Villa holidays

(13 Posts)
adelle89 Mon 16-May-16 21:29:40

Our close friends have asked us to go on holiday with them next year. We have to go in August due to the kids all being at school and the prices are crazy!!! I've just been having a look at staying in a villa and it does seem a lot cheaper. Has anybody done this? Do you have any recommendations? We both have 2 children so would need a pool and close to the beach and restaurants/bars. Thanks smile

mummymeister Tue 17-May-16 07:39:17

we always go self catering in a villa. there is a huge choice especially if you book a year in advance. first off you need to think of where you want to go. then use some of the general sites to find villas of the right size. avoid ones with beds in the lounge and go for the right number of actual bedrooms. owners direct are a good site but you need to narrow right down on the country you want to visit first. remember also you need to get a clear agreement with your friend on the costs and how you will split them including food and drink when you are there.

adelle89 Tue 17-May-16 17:26:39

Thanks for the reply smile we were looking at Spain, probably majorca. I would like a villa close to all of the local attractions etc and beaches but the ones we have looked at so far all need a car and are quite far out!

SooticaTheWitchesCat Tue 17-May-16 20:09:25

Have a look at Owners Direct, Holiday Lettings and Home Away. We have used all these companies.

If you want Spain look at Espana Breaks, I think that's the name, we used them once too.

Blu Tue 17-May-16 20:27:19

Have a look at relative prices: Lanzarote is cheaper than the South of France, for example. But check the different flight costs, too. Look directly on EasyJet (don't fall for that Dreams' site that comes up first for EasyJet on Google!) and Ryan Air etc, and remember to allow for checked baggage costs when comparing.

I find it far more relaxing with kids to have a villa.

Make sure it has washing machine and dishwasher.

3catsandcounting Tue 17-May-16 23:00:51

Have rented villas over the past few years. So much easier, in a lot of ways, than hotels.
Get up for breakfast when you want, straight out on the terrace, so much more relaxing. More space, if there's a few of you, and you can get away from each other too!

I would recommend a villa, rather than an apartment, as I like my own pool, and with a shared one it's awkward with younger children, going up and down a couple of flights of stairs getting drinks, lilos, stuff you've forgotten, then the kids have had enough and want to go back inside, etc.
The villa we had last year was perfect; big lounge with small open kitchen, leading out onto lovely big terrace and straight down to the pool.

We usually keep stuff in the fridge for brekkie, lunch and lots of drinks. Everyone dips in and makes their own, then out for dinner in the evening.
Holiday Lettings, HomeAway and Owners Direct are all great companies to use; most have filters to match your criteria, and booking is all very easy.

SealSong Tue 17-May-16 23:41:51

Mallorca is one of the more expensive places in the Med for villas in my opinion. Southern Spain such as Andalucia, or Greece such as Crete are much better value, Portugal can be ok in price.

Consider whether you want to hire a car or not. If not, you will have to think very carefully about villa location otherwise it could be tricky re food shopping or going out. Villa holidays without car hire is possible but you have to choose your location with that in mind.

OwnersDirect is a decent site. I have booked from there a few times without problems but would always only book a villa that has positive reviews from previous holidaymakers rather than one that has no reviews at all as the listings (as on any site) can sometimes fail to mention possible downsides with the villa e.g. located next to noisy road or pool overlooked etc. If I find one I like I then usually exchange an email or two with the owner (via the website) to get a further feel that the owner is decent and a genuine letting.

Make sure you check out flights before you book the villa to ensure they tally, and book your flights as soon as possible as they do sell out.

Blu Wed 18-May-16 07:24:48

There was a big feature in the Guardian at the weekend about the massive increase in people going to Mallorca / Balearics because of avoiding troubled destinations: they are even considering banning visitor car hire because of the congestion. Also it has become a major stop off for huge cruise ships, adding to the scrum.

Costacoffeeplease Wed 18-May-16 07:46:13

Have you looked at the Algarve? I live in Carvoeiro - lots of self catering apartments and villas here, and a wide choice of restaurants. There's usually some kind of entertainment/live music in the square from June to September and a really nice, friendly atmosphere

Skala123 Wed 18-May-16 08:25:26

I agree that villa holidays with kids and friends are brilliant. Having done an extensive search this year I've found that ones walkable to the beach are few and far between and tend to be very expensive. I would say that if you don't want to hire a car then this sort of holiday possibly isn't for you though

Costacoffeeplease Wed 18-May-16 08:50:00

Taxis are plentiful and cheap here

adelle89 Thu 19-May-16 20:16:54

Thankyou for all of your replies. We have decided to go for a villa as it does work out so much cheaper and reading all of your posts have made us feel a lot better about it smile we just need to decide on a location now as we aren't really fussy! X

Dowser Tue 24-May-16 12:01:28

Florida villas are great for two families to share.

Orlandovillas.com are all family owned not big companies.

You tend to get a lot of additional extras.

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