When you hear the words “luxury vacation rental,” you usually imagine couples-only destinations. But today there are also luxurious retreats that cater to families with young or older children, as well as other larger groups.

Thinking of a family getaway, a family reunion, or even a destination wedding? A luxury vacation rental (instead of a hotel) could be the answer in terms of space, value, and all the amenities you need.

But how do you select from a wide range of stunning villas with similarly indulgent offerings – from private pools and personal concierges to souped-up kitchens and stunning views? Don’t book the first villa you see advertised. Be sure the luxury vacation rental you choose has these 7 must-haves:

Must-Have 1 – The Right Location

What kind of vacation would your family enjoy? Whale-watching tours? Swimming, scuba-diving, and other water sports trip? A historical and cultural itinerary? Skiing, biking, or other outdoor getaway? A theme park vacation? There are luxury vacation rentals in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean that are in close proximity to these activities. And many are also nearby spa and shopping opportunities should you and the other adults want to indulge in pampering and retail therapy after a tiring day of sightseeing.

 

Must-Have 2 – Space

You want togetherness. But you also want privacy. Good news – you can get both at a luxury vacation rental, where there’s enough space for everyone to come and go. Many rentals come with enough bedrooms to comfortably sleep eight people, and enough extra bathrooms so nobody ever has to wait their turn. Look for luxury properties with large living areas for family bonding and activities, pools and outdoor play spaces for the kids, and a big-enough kitchen so you can eat your meals together (no dress code required).

 

Must-Have 3 – Fully Equipped Kitchen

The luxury vacation rental kitchen never closes – and lets you feed a family of four or fourteen without having to go out to expensive restaurants every day. Cook big or small meals at your leisure. Prepare a breakfast for two or a feast for twenty. Whether you’re a gourmet cook or not, you’ll appreciate the large, state-of-the-art kitchens and sometimes even outdoor grills that come with many rentals. Check if the rental offers complete kitchen supplies, including microwave, coffeemaker, blender, mixer, and of course, pots and pans. And a fully-stocked pantry, prearranged to contain your favorite foods, is a welcome sight to a family just off an exhausting flight or ferry trip.