While a hotel room is usually a single bedroom with a bathroom, having your own place offers you a lot more freedom. You can have a living area, dining area, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and a garden. The extra living space gives you the opportunity to enjoy a stay in surroundings that are spacious and comfortable as opposed to cramped and restrictive. Another positive aspect of renting a house is the privacy provided to residents. While hotels are a bustling mix of numerous guests and hotel employees surrounded by lobby, corridors, restaurants and more, a holiday rental by nature is much more secluded and private. You can also get much better value accommodation when renting a private house, especially if you are renting for a month or longer!
Before you being your search, you should figure out what requirements you have. How many bedrooms? Apartment or villa? Facilities? Garden? Internet? Parking? Furnished? Length of stay? Maid service? Transport? Location? Make a list of the things that are important to you, so that is is easier to search for your property, and you can compare them. You will need to consider size of the property and the number of rooms that you need for yourself and your family.
The single most important factor to consider when you are going to rent, is location - It is important that you prioritize what's important to you before starting your search. You may be looking for a place close to schools and shopping malls, or maybe close to your business. Perhaps you want to be in walking distance to the beach? Do you need a central location? Do you want to live in quiet surroundings, or do you want to be in the middle of the bustle? Will you have a car or bike to be able to take you around? You may find that properties outside the main tourist areas provide better value without sacrificing the facilities in the surrounding area. See our Phuket Location Guide for more info:
Phuket Location Guide →
When renting a property, remember that you don't just have to pay rent – you'll have bills and other expenses as well. Search for those properties that fit within your budget, and keep additional costs in mind. Some property owners (or agents) will list their daily or weekly prices, as well as their lowest price (often for low season) - Make sure sure to request a price for the specific time period you will be renting, as well as any additional costs involved. Keep in mind, there are often seasonal price fluctuations in rental rates, and the best deal are often made outside the high season. Through the peak season, rental rates are often doubled because of the high demand!
In most cases, the longer you stay the better a monthly price you'll be able to negotiate. Of course, you may be required to commit to a certain period before you can take advantage of favorable rates long-term rates. Remember to ask for a discount if you are renting for more than a year!
Don't forget to ask what sort of security deposit you'll be required to pay. In general, this can be anything up to 3 months rent, and is refunded when you depart, unless there are any damages. For long-term rentals where you've been required to pay a deposit, be sure to request an inventory from the landlord. Make sure that you go through the inventory as soon as you move in, as this will help you to inspect the property before you leave in the company of your landlord. Both you and your landlord should sign the inventory, and this extra effort will ensure there are no disputes when you're leaving over damages.