your holiday rights - information and advice on your holiday rights



Holiday Villa

Looking for a low cost holiday villa? Gone are the days when you needed to search the small ads in 'Daltons Weekly' or 'The Lady' to find a cheap holiday villa. Not only does the internet provide a greater choice, you'll usually find lots of pictures of the holiday villa and you can quickly check out the surrounding area online before you book (our 'about your holiday' page is a good place to start).

Holiday villa websites fall in to three categories - single holiday villa websites where individuals offer just their own holiday villa, brochure websites where you book direct with the holiday villa owners and rental company websites where you book the holiday villa from the rental company.

It would be impossible to review and recommend single holiday villa websites, so here we focus on brochure and rental company holiday villa websites. But that doesn't mean that you should ignore single holiday villa websites. It's always worth doing a google search on '(your destination) holiday villa rental' to see what it throws up. You never know……

In general, you will pay less if you book a holiday villa direct with the owner via a brochure website than booking a holiday villa via a rental company. You can also get more information and the owner may be prepared to be more flexible. However, if you have a problem, it will be more difficult to get compensation or a refund if you book your holiday villa direct rather than via an ABTA member.

Hints & Tips to help you find the perfect holiday villa

  1. Read the description carefully. 'Conveniently situated for the airport' can mean directly under the airport flight path. If you want peace and quiet, ask whether the holiday villa will provide this.
  2. Ask questions, particularly about the things that are important to your holiday. If you want to swim every day, check that the pool is heated. Not all Florida holiday villa pools are heated, for example.
  3. Get answers in writing, particularly for the import things like costs, dates and times. This is particularly important if you have agreed anything 'non standard', such as a late departure.
  4. Print a copy of the information from the website and keep it.
  5. Take the phone number of the owner with you and make sure you have the address and telephone number of a local agent in case of problems or emergencies.
  6. Once you're at the holiday villa, think 'security'. Thefts from holiday villas are more common than thefts from hotels or holiday complexes.

    Holiday Villa Brochure Sites

Ownersdirect - a well-designed and easy to use website with plenty of pictures. The site has a couple of hundred holiday villas spread across the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, the Bahamas and Florida. Property details include availability and you can contact owners direct via e-mail or the telephone.

Worldwide Holiday Homes - Worldwide Holiday Homes will help you find your dream holiday home. Use their unique property request service to let them do the searching for you, or their advanced search to browse through their portfolio of low cost and luxury holiday homes.

1001-villa-holidaylets - a UK based website with prices in £'s and holiday villas worldwide, this site is much better for the US than for Europe (it has one property in Menorca, but 8 pages of holiday villas in Florida).

Holidaybank - this company sits between a brochure site and the rental companies. It lists individual properties and pulls together information from many specialist holiday villa companies, with over 1,000 properties across Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.

Holiday Villa Rental Companies
A few words of warning - brochure websites usually quote a price per week for the holiday villa, rental company websites often quote a price per person per week. If you are looking across the two make sure you are comparing like with like.

Interhome - offer over 20,000 privately owned holiday homes spread throughout Europe and in Florida. Choose from holiday villas with pools, historic castles, manor houses, city apartments and holiday villages, with prices from £5 per person per night to over £100! It's easy to select and book online, just enter your criteria and the search engine will locate the perfect holiday home for you.

James Villas - an independent company offering holiday villas throughout Europe and Florida. A very good website with a late availability section, you can also request a copy of the company's printed brochure.

Meon Villas - owned by First Choice, the search engine is a bit ugly and the prices quoted are per person not per holiday villa. But, it has a wide choice, an 'offers' section and you can order a brochure online.

Bowhills - a French specialist with a good choice of farmhouses, cottages, gites and villas. You can check availability and reserve a holiday villa online, but must wait for a booking confirmation.

Cottage Selection - 9,000 properties in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy and Spain. Quick search, clear property descriptions. Book online or over the phone. Owned by the people who bring you RCI, so a name you can trust.

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