Villa stays have always been popular with luxury travelers, but the COVID pandemic has made them even more appealing.
Rather than rub shoulders with strangers at hotels or resorts, many families, especially multi-generational ones, want to travel with their own group to reduce the risk of infection. (The appearance of new virus variants (like XBB.1.5) will only accelerate this trend.)
The privacy of a private villa vacation allows families (or groups of friends) to be housed under one roof and eat meals together. Yet it offers the flexibility to be better able to meet the disparate needs of group members of different ages, stages and activity levels. In a villa, each guest can set their own sleep schedule and choose their own activities and itineraries (on-site and off-site).
Since the pandemic, people are also opting for longer trips, which is easier to do when travelers don’t have to depend on restaurants for every meal.
Finally, the nearly two-year-long pandemic has caused many people to rethink their life priorities and reevaluate what is truly important to them. Travelers are more eager to find time to share meaningful experiences with loved ones, whether it’s exploring Florence’s great art galleries or reconnecting by a private pool or table laden with delicious Italian specialities.
The special charm of villas in Italy
The private villas are an idyllic setting for group getaways. These luxury properties combine all the amenities of five-star properties with the opportunity to experience storybook-worthy settings in the ‘Bel Paese’ regions, from Lombardy in the north to Sicily in the south.
A recent article in The Washington Post cited Italy, a perennial favorite for families, as “the absolute and undisputed most popular destination for 2023”.
“Italy is a country that offers so much variety, from the romance of Venice and the awe-inspiring history of Rome, to the rolling green hills of Tuscany and Umbria, to the chic cliffside villages of the Amalfi Coast,” says Amy Roper, an Italian. specialist at Red Savannah, a tour operator that organizes tailor-made travel experiences and stays in luxury villas around the world.
“There are beautiful beaches to discover, wonderful hikes, fascinating history, and wonderful art and culture,” says Roper. “Gourmets feast on delicious food and wine.
“The climate is hot and the season in Italy extends well beyond the summer months; spring and fall are also good times to visit when cities and towns come alive with festivals and harvests,” she says. “Italians are renowned for being incredibly welcoming and friendly – older generations are revered and children are adored.”
Ensure a perfect match
The company’s portfolio in Italy ranges from cozy one-bedroom hideaways in Umbria to lavish estates with acres of gardens by Lake Como. Guests can rent villas without additional services or opt for a concierge, daily chef, local tours and reservations at local restaurants.
Finding the right villa for clients involves understanding their interests and expectations. Red Savannah begins this process with a telephone consultation, to get a good idea of a client’s needs and requirements.
On the ground, Red Savannah maintains close relationships with villa owners and managers and local concierges in each region of Italy where it operates.
“We personally review properties and revisit them at the start of each season to assess their suitability based on location and access; quality of building, decoration and furnishings; and the beauty of the grounds and views,” says Roper. This assessment also includes careful consideration of security issues and staffing levels.
“We strive to meet everyone our customers are likely to meet, such as villa managers, housekeepers and chefs,” she says. “Before guests arrive and during their stay, we also ensure that staff are available to assist guests with tour suggestions, restaurant reservations, wine tours and arranging other unique experiences. ”
“In 2022 we launched a new e-bike program in Chianti, which involved working with a local bike operator to provide a support service. Together we have designed three beautiful routes for cyclists to discover off-the-beaten-track sites and visit wineries and taverns with magnificent views,” she says. “We’ve cycled through every route to ensure we can provide customers with all the information they need, first-hand.”
A sampling of exclusive Red Savannah Italian villas
Villa Cassinellenear the village of Lenno on Lake Como, Lombardy
The Regina in Tuscany, within walking distance of Panzano
Villa Luce in Tuscany in the Chianti Classico wine region
Il Marinaio on the Amalfi Coast in Campania
Villa del Conte in Umbria, a few minutes drive from Lake Trasimeno
“True tailor-made travel means doing our best to meet each client’s demands, no matter how demanding,” says Roper of Red Savannah.
“In the past, we’ve been asked to arrange in-villa yoga classes, a string quartet over dinner, and even the delivery of a grand piano to a guest’s villa.”
* Learn about these and others red savannah luxury villas and tailor-made itineraries on the company’s website.