We’ve all been there, at least those of us who decide a villa holiday in Spain in the summer holidays would be great. The only problem is we make the decision at Easter, and of course every villa we like the look of is already booked. As a result we end up taking anything we can get with the inevitable consequence which is not a great vacation followed by a vow of not making the same mistake again.
This year, in fact last week, which is early August we made the bold decision to book now for next July. As a family of four, with three of us active golfers, our teenage daughter will be press ganged into playing, but would rather lie by a pool reading.
For this reason we decided it would be safer to try to book a villa on a golf course, so our daughter would effectively be behind secure gates in a club environment and so relatively safe. Our additional requirements were obviously a decent size private swimming pool, a decent size garden, and very preferably a view.
Our troubles began almost immediately in that many of the websites we looked at were simply awful. The property descriptions seemed to have been sacrificed for photographs, and boxes showing facilities, and not much descriptive writing. Happily we found quite early on a website called Owners Direct where we could indicate what we wanted. Boxes were ticked indicating four bedrooms, so that the children’s friends could stay too, a private pool, and golf. Additionally we specified a villa and not an apartment.
The fun began immediately with villas described as twenty minutes from 20 golf courses, apartments, three bedrooms, even 16 bedrooms, and shared pools. Undaunted we pressed on, my wife and I facing each other on our laptops emailing our findings to each other because it is ridiculously easy to lose a page.
Eventually we found the perfect villa, frontline on a golf course, four bedrooms, and within our price bracket which was up to £2800 for two weeks. Availability was also OK as it was for 99% of the villas we checked out. We emailed, and rang the owner, got no reply, then two days later a call to indicate the villa was booked for the intended dates. It was then we realised that the details had not been updated since June!!
Incidentally our price ceiling eliminated many of the smarter areas in Spain, but that really wasn’t the problem. The problem lies with the owners.
Our second choice was promising, course frontage, and everything we wanted. the photos looked fantastic, but after an interchange of four lots of emails we discovered the photos weren’t of the villa, the views weren’t taken from the villa at all, which was in a street behind the frontage onto the golf course. We nearly booked it so thank goodness we did some more digging.
In fact we had also used Google Earth, and this horrified us. We had no idea that the golf courses in Spain are surrounded by what they call urbanisation, which is what I would call row upon row of houses much like suburbia in the sun. I don’t know about you but we go on vacation to escape our neighbours, not to live in their barbecue smoke area, because none of the gardens were any size at all.
Slightly disillusioned we finally came upon an old farmhouse, five minutes drive from a golf course standing in its own land, with great views, and with security fencing. It looks perfect, and I’m glad we kept searching.
When looking for a villa in Spain, just make sure of what you want, and that you are going to get it.