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A Short History of The Villa

Villas from the Romans to Today

Villa 7 Ocean View
Villa 7 Ocean View from bedroom

Originally “villa” was a used to describe an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since then the idea of this elegant country home has evolved and continues to change to this date. It is used to describe a class of resort accommodation that is not a hotel, not a home and not an apartment building or condo.

Villas date back to Roman times. In those days they were the country cottages of the upper-class. After the fall of the Roman Republic, these upper class cottages became became small farming compounds. They were increasingly fortified over the years of political and religious disputes. Many were transferred to the Church for use as a monastery. Source

Later in the middle ages they re-evolved slowly as elegant upper-class country homes. They were not permanent residences but rather a place to escape to and restore. They were soon associated with holidays and that is very much the case today.

Today the word has somehow lost its meaning as so many tourism establishment use it to describe their holiday product hoping to position themselves as an upper-class offering. It does not fit in our mind with the idea at all. Although there are no official classifications today, it is understood that not every holiday accommodation can be called a Villa. Certainly an apartment block with elevators is not in the classic sense of the word a villa. Still some condos and apartments are calling themselves villas. But that has no roots in the history of this classical style of accommodation.

Villa Apartments

villa 6 garden terrace
villa 6 garden terrace

Our definition of what is a villa is simple: It is not a house or a high rise apartment or condo as so many might claim. In studying the history of the villa we see that it may be a semi detached or fully detached cottage or fully contained accommodation offering separate bedroom and a kitchen – dining and sitting area. It must have its own private entrance and a front door along with ample windows. Basements do not qualify no matter what setting they are in. We do not consider a permanent residence a villa although some may live in a villa permanently. It is not a suburban or urban residence.

# 4 the nook one bedroom villa

A villa was and should be in the country, village or a resort area. In modern days villas are being build on the fringes of cities and even within cities in some cases as special retreat away from the hustle of city life. Poinsettia is a case in point, it is just a short walk from the city center but you would never know it. Surrounded by an ocean, a bird sanctuary, a tropical inlet, woods and natural garden, it is an oasis tucked away on a hilltop by the sea, just out of sight of the capital of St. Lucia, Castries.

Not every house can be a villa and if we stray into letting a residence be so classified it will loose its meaning. The setting can contribute to the classification; clearly a cottage in the country or in resort setting may be a villa. But we would never call a castle a villa, not a plantation, nor a high rise apartment or condo building. Opulence does not characterize the villa. It was a cottage a second home of the upper-class in its origins and that upper-class idea hangs on today. Classy but not opulent is what we consider a villa.

It’s a place you can feel comfortable in and not be afraid of destroying the families ear-looms; the Dresden china and Chippendale furniture. They don’t belong in the classic idea of a classy country cottage.

Poinsettia Ocean View Villa Resort

Villa  5 -entrance by pool
Villa 5 -entrance by pool

Apartments comprise many variations. We were always saying yes it is like an apartment and more like a villa in many ways:

We are not a high rise, yes you do have your own entrance, yes their are many window.

No there are no hallways; and yes it is very much a resort setting. It’s a gated community and its very small and private. Guest share the pool and huge sunroof terrace. Many have said they felt it is their own private villa, as the number of guest at the resort at any one time is small.

Poinsettia coined the name Villa Apartments to describe a certain type of detached and semi-detached apartments or townhouses with the feel of a villa like home and used primarily as a holiday resort residence. That is, they must be open, breezy, comfortable and private with access to resort amenities like pools and gardens and with spacious kitchens and ceramic tile countertops. Each with their own entrance.

Villa Apartments are not highrise buildings, they are resort accommodation for the discerning traveller who love holiday living away from the crowd and with the facilities of home. They are often considered a more exclusive and comfortable alternative to hotel accommodation.

Why Rent a Villa Rather than a Hotel Room

-Allows you to create a unique, customized experience based on your needs.
-Villas are often much better value per person than hotel or resort suites.
-More space, privacy, and quiet, not too many strangers in the units or by the pool.
-Great for all occasions, from big group gatherings to intimate getaways.
-Holiday with like minded people.
-Many different options.
-Travel where you want, when you want, away from the crowd.
-Dine in the comfort of your own home, on your own time and enjoy enjoy experimenting with local cuisine.

Poinsettia Villas –
A Great Place to Come Home to!

Best Rates Guaranteed: We Know St. Lucia and Love to Help You Plan an Amazing Holiday


While poinsettia is top of its class and the only ocean view villa apartments resort in St. Lucia located in the iconic Poinsettia hilltop above Vigie cove, it is not at all alone. There are many St. Lucia villas to choose from. From Luxury to Budget and everything in between. We know that you will find our quiet and selective resort with only 7 villas in this natural garden setting by the sea to offer some of the best value in self catering accommodation in St. Lucia. But if for any reason its not what you want we will be pleased to help you choose something that fits your preferences.

In our villa St. Lucia page we give a frank assessment of what we are not so that you will never be disappointed, only pleasantly surprised as we exceed your expectations.

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