Condo and Villa Rentals Around the World
The perilous search for a vacation rental abroad or in the U.S.
International Lodging Corporation (300 First Avenue, Suite 7C, New York 10009, phone 212/228-5900 or 800/SPAIN-44, fax 212/677-1815, Web address: ilcweb.com) is a major source of vacation home rentals in Spain, supplying everything from one-bedroom apartments to six-bedroom deluxe villas in dozens of cities and locations--and they've done so since 1983. For golfers in particular, it represents several properties alongside the Mijas Golf Course on the Costa del Sol. For travelers seeking kitchenette apartments in Barcelona, it represents the Duques de Bergara in the heart of the shopping and business district.
Interhome (305/940-2299 or 800/882-6864, interhome.com) is a major source for Spain, publishing a large catalogue of four-color photographs of individual properties. We've used its services, and find them reliable.
For the United States
Interhome has 20,000 homes, condos, and apartments for rent in Florida and 14 European countries. Check out interhome.com or call either 305/940-2299 or 800/882-6864.
Villa Net, a big firm of Seattle, Washington (phone 800/964-1891) claims to represent rental homes in Western Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and the United States. For information online, go to rentavilla.com.
For renting a condo on popular Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, the company to call is Resort Rentals of Hilton Head Island at 800/845-7017. With over 40 years of experience, it offers rentals of nearly 300 homes and villas in every part of Hilton Head. Visit its Web site at hhivacations.com. The Vacation Villa Referral Center offers rental vacation properties in several states, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Visit ifb.com/vvrc/view.htm for details and pictures of the properties for rent. Alternately you can call 540/721-9915.
If you're looking for a listing of properties available all over the world (though primarily in the U.S. and the Caribbean), try one of the following Web-based companies: Reservations Direct (reservationsdirect.com or 727/738-1737) direct rentals from private owners worldwide); Condo Vacation World (condoworld.com or 888/391-6766; specializing in areas like Hawaii, Arizona, California, Florida, and Canada, but with additional global listings); and Condo Concepts (condoconcepts.com or 888/CONDO-53; global listing including a frequently updated "specials" page).
For almost everywhere
The "E-bay" of condo rental sites, Vacation Rental by Owner, better known as VRBO (vrbo.com) has perhaps the most extensive list of properties of any site out there. Looking for an apartment in Recife, Brazil or Cape Town, South Africa? You'll find it at this site, as you will homes in all 50 US States, throught the Caribbean, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The downside? As the name states, these are all being rented by the owner, so there is no outside agency to inspect properties or guarantee quality or even price.
Mike Thiel's Hideaways International 767 Islington Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (800/843-4433 or 603/430-4433 or visit its Web site at hideaways.com ) is a fascinating and popular organization, in business for many years, representing rental villas, apartments, condos, throughout the world, ranging from Cape Cod to Upper Captiva in Florida, from the California Coast to Provence and Tuscany. Instead of acting as a "broker," Mike operates a referral service. He issues a twice-a-year catalogue containing color photographs of hundreds of homes for rental, but without listing their street addresses and phones. If you see something that interests you, and if you have become a member of Hideaways, you phone them and they provide you with the details. You then contact the owner of the home or condo directly, and make your arrangements without involving (or paying a fee to) Hideaways. Membership is $185 a year for two issues per year of the 150-page "Hideaways Guide." Paying the membership fee enables you to rent, say, a private home in the Bahamas for four people for $1200 a week, a big, multi-bedded condo on the Florida coast for $900 a week in winter. You save, according to Thiel, by renting direct.