Tagged: villaparade

Jan 18

The Perfect Family Holiday?

I make no apologies for my outright LOVE of holidays.

I am the sort of person that just doesn’t function effectively unless I’ve had some sun on my bones, a sun lounger to relax on, late nights, late mornings, no rush to do anything, no hustle and bustle, just please yourselves and keep on doing it.

We have tried almost every kind of travel experience, be it camping, caravaning, B&B’s, self catering and hotels, at both end of the spectrum for quality and value and I have to say without exception, we have found that Villa holidays are just perfect family holidays in every way. Goodness knows I adore my city breaks with my husband, but when it comes to travelling with children I just don’t think you can beat what a Villa holiday gives you

For me the reasoning is simple

Its ultra no hassle,come and go as you please

There is no dressing up for dinner, or breakfast for that matter.

No enduring the children in a hotel dining room, picking at food that they (and frankly you) don’t want and wouldn’t ever choose

No requirement to play sun lounger roulette.. will you wont you get  one today?.. will it be in the full sun or shade?

Free and easy access to your kind of food and drink when you want it (i.e. the good stuff and Spanish measures of course)

No hoard’s of (other peoples) children making your lives a misery

No coach drive from hell from the airport and back, simply get your car and drive it to the well directed villa

No queuing for drinks, or snacks or requirement to wear a wristband!

Your music playing..  British TV if you want it.. perhaps a bit of WIFI should you fancy it

Lots of bathrooms, lots of space and separate bedrooms!

Explore your surrounding area and beyond – try as many or few restaurants as you like, BBQ at home, a glass of something in the hot tub – oh yes I think so

But most of all the utter peace and tranquility that can only come from being in a home from home, be it in the city or out in the country with no requirement other than to relax.

So for our family, its Villa’s all the way, be it Florida, Spain, Majorca, France, Italy or anywhere else, its always my first choice for the family and I cant imagine a situation when I would feel differently, we have travelled to villa’s with just our family, or with an au pair to help with the childcare, with grandparents and even with other families with children similar ages which is a fantastic option

We have travelled before with Villaparade and a couple of other firms but I can without reservation say that Villaparade have the most extensive selection of the most amazing villa’s to suit all budgets and based on my experience with them this year, I couldnt rate them highly enough. Take a look, there is something there for everyone

 

 

 

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Nov 07

The @VillaParade Majorca Villa Review – Can Fuster

As you might have figured from my previous blogs, I was the extremely lucky winner of a week in a luxury villa for the October Half Term, and this is the review of the villa and service offered by VillaParade.

I was offered a choice of fabulous villas, one in Cala D’or, and two others in the Pollensa area, whilst all the villas offered were of a superb standard we plumped for Can Fuster just outside of Pollensa Old Town for two main reasons, this one, the GATED pool, which for us with a kamikaze two year old was a must, and the utterly inspired Hot Tub

In October the weather can’t always be guaranteed, although it was brilliant when we were there, but the hot tub offered the whole family the opportunity to enjoy and swim even if the pool was a bit on the bracing side. The children alternated between launching into the hot tub and then launching into the pool and repeating ad infinitum.

As we rolled up the drive, through the electric gates we got a sense of security and privacy, the house isn’t overlooked at all and it felt perfectly peaceful, far enough from the town without feeling remote. It had ample parking next to the house, with access down the sides to both the pool and patio areas.

The villa itself is a stunning Mansion House with beautiful old front door, through the door you are straight into the ample open plan living area, complete with L Shaped sofa and reclining chair, TV, DVD and British TV Freeview box. There is a large dining table in there and two doors out to the patio areas, both one at the back looking on to the pool and one at the side overlooking the sea.

Off the main lounge area there is a very comfortable twin bedroom which overlooks the front garden, a downstairs bathroom, and the kitchen. The kitchen was comfortably appointed, with all the usual appliances, including plastic cups and plates for the children, as well as a further dining table, and another door leading out onto the rear raised patio and pool area.

Up the open staircase overlooking the lounge you arrive on the mezzanine floor, which could serve as a suitable child’s sleeping area. We had Emma’s cot there, leading on from the mezzanine was our bedroom. A beautiful large sunny room with built in wardrobes, with feature lighting, leading into a very well appointed Bathroom, with Jacuzzi bath and shower, and more importantly… This view

The overall feel of the house, is that it is loved, it’s not your usual bland soulless villa, it’s full of art, light and personality, some huge stunning contemporary pieces and some classic Majorcan art.

Outside is where this villa really steps into a completely different league, as I said in part one, we have stayed in several villas both in Majorca and around Europe and the US, but Can Fuster is without question in the most stunning location of any we have stayed in, up in the Trumantara Mountains surrounded by olive trees with views out over Pollensa Bay, I honestly think words couldn’t do the location justice, it’s simply beautiful.

There are raised wraparound patio areas on the back and side of the house so it’s not hard to sit out in the sun and enjoy those stunning views. Out on the patio there is a dining area, and steps leading down to the gated pool and hot tub, with sun loungers and several inflatables and outdoor toys for the children to enjoy. A large well appointed BBQ area with lighting and sink area along with a further feature dining area.

 

On one side of the house there is a vine covered arbour over a table tennis table and on the other side there is a hidden gem, a beautiful suite, perfect for travelling with teenagers, another couple, grandparents, an au pair or nanny, accessed separately from the main house this suite offers perfect peace and privacy, lovely bedroom, stunning view, well appointed bathroom, it’s such a treat, infact if the children were older we would have decamped in there ourselves!


All the windows have shutters and it’s an absolute joy to open them up every morning and just breathe deeply and savour the view.

Can I recommend Can Fuster? oh yes I think so
Would I go back? In a heartbeat
What’s so good about it? two things.. the hot tub and location
What could be improved? A larger bed in the master suite, some new crockery

So there is my review, I wasn’t asked to review the property, the prize I won came with NO requirement for that, but when a service is this good and a property is so lovely it’s absolutely right to let the World know about it!

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Nov 03

My @VillaParade Majorca Villa Holiday Review – Part 2

We flew out on the Thursday, was a 3pm flight, as we checked in the lady on the desk was astounded at our lack of luggage and utterly incredulous at us travelling without a pushchair for a two year old, in her words ‘you are legends’ little did I know how much this aspect would come to bite me royally in the ass

Emma roared round the airport like a complete loon, rarely agreeing to sit on the Trunki and when she did sit on it the strap broke off rendering it nigh on useless, she ran off, hid in shops, wouldn’t hold hands, complete nightmare. But Lucy was VERY excited – can you tell?

By the time we got on the plane the relief was palpable, not least down to being able to keep her in one spot for more than her customary 7 seconds, to be fair she was great though that was probably assisted by the £30 I spent on colours, magazines, stickers and toys for that exact purpose!

We arrived and headed to pick up the checked bag on the carousel of hell and then went over to the carhire bit, collected our car and set off, before figuring out that we didn’t have a map, not so good with 3 tired overwrought children and it now being 7.20pm and it going dark.

Headed straight the local supermarket for a ‘big shop’ where yet again, the phenomenal range of fresh food and veg is a miraculous sight in it’s own right, no wonder they are so much healthier and happier than us, our supermarkets are full of packets, jars and frozen goods, over there virtually none of that, the balance is completely skewed the other way.

Set off and remembered that we still didnt have a map – doh! however knew the general area and had physical written instructions from the wonder that is VillaParade – we followed them in the pitch black and remarkably found the villa on the first look.

Arriving in the dark is never a good thing, you cant get a feel for the place or the location, so we quickly explored, turned on the hot tub to warm up and put the children to bed and relaxed with a bit of British TV (thank God for a freeview box with British Channels) and a bottle of Lancers.

Next morning I was greeted by this view – at the back of the house

and this view at the side – not bad eh – I could certainly get used to this view every morning I can tell you. Though you cant see it on this image – the view goes out over Pollensa Bay

I got  my bearings and figured where we were in relation  to towns, mountains and roads, Im the navigator in our house and it helps me to feel at home to know where I am. The children got straight in their swimmers and headed out to the gated pool – there is NO denying it was cold in that pool – and the hot tub wasnt warmed up yet but try telling that to this face.

Tim and I sat back, watched the children as they alternated between sunbathing, table tennis and swimming  – brilliantly the house already had a ton of inflatables and buckets and spades so they just got stuck straight in

We went into Pollensa thats afternoon/evening and found the wonder that is Ca N’olesa in the main square – simply superb pizzas, in a stunning location – now Im on holiday, eating and drinking after a chilled out sunny day – bliss

Friday morning we headed into Puerto Pollensa and found the Gran Cafe 1919 for croissants, pain au chocolat and coffee – on a lovely pedestrian promenade – perfect for families it became a regular haunt for us for nightly ice creams sundaes and waffles. Back to the villa to relax some more – then onto Stay Restaurant overlooking the marina in Puerto Pollensa for tapas and a cheeky G & T

Saturday we headed into Palma for Tim’s usual pilgrimage in Massimo Dutti – we LOVE Palma, its pretty, cosmopolitan, cultural and fantastic for shopping, we headed up to a cafe for croissant and coffee (noticing a theme?) and Tim as accosted by an elderly woman foisting olive leaves onto and into him, as I marched onward she was stuffing them down his shirt and into his pockets, was comical to watch him try to be polite but firm til we saw her try and take his wallet in the process then demand money for the leaves!

As we headed up one of the stunning wide pedestrianised streets Paseo Del Born – we were suddenly feeling like someone had pressed pause – we had unwittingly walked straight into a Flash Mob event, in this case a Flash Freeze event where everyone and we mean EVERYONE was just stopped in time, frozen, mid chat, mid coffee, mid cycle, mid call – was SO surreal til we figured out what was going on – cars stopped, the street fell silent – was incredible – so we decided to join in and froze to the spot too, after taking this cheeky snap.

Though I know it just looks like they are all mid action – they werent – they were all frozen still – for about 3 minutes – and then they came and did it again half an hour later.

Tim shopped, then we headed to Porto Pi – an indoor shopping centre – where I mainly chased the never tiring smallest member around – regretting not bring a pushchair?  you could say that.

Back over to the villa we ate in that night we headed out around 8pm for icecream and waffles at Gran Cafe

Sunday is market day in Pollensa – this is truly not to be missed – Pollensa is very Spanish – sounds odd doesnt it of course its Spanish you might be thinking but often Majorca is accused of being too British with its English Breakfasts and pubs, not in this area – its still very Spanish so the market here is a sea of amazing stalls of fresh fruit, veg, meat and spectacularly – anchovies – Oh. My. God. Just amazing.

Emma drove us insane by charging through crowds and diving into shops and at that point it was decided that a pushchair was a must – so after a lovely wander around Pollensa we headed to the Hire shop to get one sorted out and met a lovely chap who provides all the stuff you might need on holiday – we were very impressed, let me tell you that pushchair was 15 Euro VERY well spent. Back to Pollensa again to discover this the 8th wonder of the World…. Il Giardino

Il Giardino is a restaurant where the chairs spill into the pedestrian square – perfect but down the side they have their very own bakery *sigh* where they make not only the bread for the restaurant, but also to sell warm fresh croissant, pain au chocolat and wait for it…. ensaimada a treat so revered in our house we might have to get a plaque – you buy the pastries and then go and eat them in the restaurant – a perfect concept – just magic – this MIGHT be the reason I came back 9 – yes NINE pounds heavier.

Yes that is us all drooling over the pastries in the reflection

Look at the layers in there  – and let me say this – they were WARM – WARM I tell thee

In the afternoon we headed over to Festival Park – Majorca’s answer to a an out of town shopping outlet centre – to be honest it was pretty small, and not much of interest to us but they have some super childrens entertainments and activities there, including a carousel and fantastic water fountains for the kids to play in – worth a trip for that alone for us, full of locals spending some super time with their children

Think thats enough for now – the rest of the week will come in Part 3

 

 

 

 

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Oct 27

Simple Pleasures

I have the complete joy of writing this blog post in Majorca, more specifically in a stunning Villa that I won for a week, courtesy of VillaParade.

Just to further sicken the readers of this blog, I’m happy to report that as I tap away on the old Ipad, I can gaze up towards the Tramuntana mountains towards the back and Pollensa Bay to the side, Diana Krall is lilting in the background how she’s become ‘accustomed to his face’ the sun is on my back. I have a rather large gin and tonic on the table in front and the scent of the Mediterranean is wafting delicately around as the children play in the hot tub.

It’s a completely idyllic scene

For once it’s not ruined by a mobile phone, Facebook, the Internet, the TV or anything else more distracting than me tapping away how lovely this really is. When we arrived I felt a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a wifi connection, then realised I was being an idiot, that’s half the charm of this place. Tim managed to leave his phone in the car, and whilst he cursed and stomped I felt secretly relieved that he would finally get a decent break from work and not be at the end of the relentless lead like other holidays

This afternoon we headed to Alcudia Port and relaxed on the beachfront, the children playing on the sand and my husband and I sharing a peaceful moment together, eyes closed, heads tilted back slightly towards the sun, relaxed and calm, a deep breath, a moment.

So where am I going with this, except to sicken you all stuck in cloudy rainy miserable towns, well here it is, we haven’t had a family holiday for 5 years, we are extremely lucky and have the place in Wales to retreat to, but it’s just NOT the same as coming abroad, the heat, the pace, the food, the language, the scenery. It’s all so different from Wales, and so so very relaxing, it makes a huge difference.

As we relaxed in the sun today I commented to Tim, that when you haven’t been away for a long time, you forget what it gives you, what it does for you both as a couple and as a family. it’s so simple to just keep up the same relentless pace without recognising how much you all need a proper holiday. Stopping the hamster wheel, or clicking pause, catching your breath, then preparing to go again.

We have had a very tough couple of years, for a few different reasons, financially and otherwise, and in truth this holiday could NOT have come at a better time, it was so very needed, but even more importantly it’s reminded us how much we need to do this, and whilst we were blessed to get the villa for free this time it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, a bit of planning, and a couple of cheap flights and bobs your uncle

I’m not going to let it go so long again, we need this, I need this. It’s who I am. It’s who I want to be too, and seriously does gin ever taste this good at home?

Next week I will review the amazing villa, but for now just let me enjoy this

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