Here come the holidays again, with the same old, same old meals, traditions, and decorations. Why not make a change this year and do something different – like taking the family away to a foreign country with its own cuisine, customs, and colors? Rentalo, the leading online lodging directory, not only makes it possible for anyone with a computer to find a dream vacation rental, but makes it fast and even easy. With their wanted ads” feature, you can place an ad giving the specifics of what you want — villa, apartment, country, town, number of bedrooms, terrace, pool, amenities, etc. and wait for the offers to roll in. Here’s a sampling of vacation rentals available on Rentalo’s web site:
TUSCANY PALAZZO — US$257 PER NIGHT
This historic, elegant, and heated palace in Cortona, Italy, has four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and sleeps seven. There’s a professional kitchen so you can cook your own tacchino (that’s Italian for “turkey”) and a large dining room that’s perfect for a family gathering. Just a few steps from the palace are all the things that make Italy so appealing: beautiful piazzas, a weekly market, great shopping, restaurants, bars, art treasures, and the church of San Francesco, started by the founder of the Franciscan Order. The nightly rate is US$257 with a seven-night minimum. For information: http://rentalo.com/268668/mosesl.html.
COSTA RICA COTTAGE — US$139 PER NIGHT
A private cottage estate with two bedrooms and two baths, this charmer overlooks the city of San Jose, distant volcanoes, and the mountain peaks of Escazu. The nine-acre Robin’s Nest property is an ecological paradise, but it’s also just a short drive to restaurants, shops, and an outdoor market. It boasts a terrace, fireplace, complete kitchen, washer/dryer, and high-speed Internet. Nearby activities include everything from gambling casinos to bird-watching and canopy tours. The nightly rate is US$139 until December 20, US$169 after, with a two-night minimum. For information: http://rentalo.com/317007/escazu-costa_rica-vacation_rental-cottage.html.
PARIS TOWNHOUSE — US$255 PER NIGHT
Located in the fashionable 16th Arrondissement, this stunning duplex is in a 1930s art deco building on a private street. It is furnished in a comfortable but minimalist style with many modern classics. The living room has a dramatic 22-foot-high ceiling and sweeping staircase, and the kitchen is modern. The master bedroom, large bath with separate shower, and a study are on the second floor. Within a block are two supermarkets, bakeries, a butcher, pharmacy, cafés, brasseries, and a Métro stop. The nightly rate is US$255, with a five-night minimum. For information: http://rentalo.com/303059/parisvacationrental78.html.
CANARY ISLANDS VILLA — US$194 PER NIGHT
How about a cozy three-bedroom house on the volcanic isle of Lanzarote in the Canaries, just 70 miles off the west coast of Africa? This Spanish island is a moonscape of lava fields and sandy beaches, and its warm winter climate and beautiful blue sea are reminiscent of the Caribbean. The house has a living/dining room, bathroom, kitchen with microwave, swimming pool and garden with barbecue, plus a wonderful view of the other islands. A grocery shop, restaurant, and tennis courts, as well as a sandy beach, are not far away. The nightly rate is US$194 until December 18, US$275 after, with a three-night minimum. For information: http://rentalo.com/290480/detachedinlanzarotemacher.html .
“Since November is the first annual International Vacation Rental Awareness Month, it seems an appropriate time to check out this budget-friendly alternative to traditional lodging,” said Rentalo president Alfredo Purriños. Rentalo’s inventory of some 200,000 properties in the US, Europe, Caribbean, and around the world includes hotels and bed and breakfasts in addition to vacation rental villas, apartments, and condos. To book an affordable vacation rental in an interesting destination, log onto http://rentalo.com .