Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Flight to Nice from Glasgow


The journalist Mark Stevenson from "News of the World" went to Nice with Jet2, who now offer direct flights from Glasgow to Nice from £ 29.99 each way. He experienced Nice with its "incredible history and exceptional culinary delights", during three days.

In his article "I'm Still Standing" (NOTW April 24th, 2011), you can read about his visit to the Old Town with it's fruit, vegetable and flower market, his wine tasting at chateau Toasc, culinary dinners at restaurant Keisuke Matsushima and restaurant l'Aphrodite and his visit of the Modern Art Museum (MAMAC).

Why not visit Nice yourself, make the most of the Cote d'Azur and Provence with a holiday villa from the Holiday Villa Company Ltd. 

Call for expert, personal service on 0845 052 0660

Hand-picked Villas with private pool in the Algarve, Orlando, The Gulf Coast of Florida, France, Italy, Mallorca and Corsica

Friday, 27 May 2011

What are the prospects of a good summer?

A return to gales and rain in the north, sunnier in the south
but what about some guaranteed sun this summer!

On past experience you could be thinking that we've already had our summer. Unless you want to risk spending another summer break watching the reservoirs fill up, take a look at the villas from the Holiday Villa Company.

A foreign holiday is not just about the weather, there's also culture, food and wine, breathtaking sights, your own swimming pool, as well as sun filled days and balmy evenings dining outdoors.

Remember - we know the villas personally and offer advice based on our first hand experience!


Take a close look at those flight offer mails being sent out at the moment, there are some fantastic deals available that could give you a great summer holiday for less. We've found great value fares for travel in June, July and August from £29 each way and on our changeover day!

Jet2 serve the north of EnglandScotland and Belfast
Ryanair and Easyjet take care of most of the nation.
Ryanair get bad press but if your expectations are reasonable you'll have a good flight.
TOP TIPS - Use a good flight search tool - is fantastic, shows flexible deals, alternative airports, finally there's a useful tool. Lists Jet2, Ryanair, Monarch, Easyjet, Thomson etc etc.

Where possible travel light, 10kg of hand luggage is usually free, what more do you really need for a week in the sun. All our villas have washing machines and your clothes will soon dry outside in the sun! Check-in online so you just turn up at the airport, do passport control, duty free and board the plane.
FLORIDA Already selling fast for Easter 2012, in most locations March is booked but there's still availability over Easter, for the first 2 weeks of April. The stronger pound is also helping make the USAattractive. Contact me for prices and availability. 0845 052 0660

We have villas in Orlando near the theme parks. If no prices are shown, the villas are on request so call or email for prices. At the Gulf Coast we have some amazing villas close to fabulous beaches and top class resorts.

Naples there's 20% OFF Villas, all dates from now until October, discount applied after booking!
Superb villa with pool on Lake Marlin, Englewood, Florida

MALLORCA We only offer the northeast corner, around Pollensa and Alcudia, it's beautiful with beaches perfect for children of all ages.

Every booking gets 

Check our website for available dates this summer, if you can't find what you want give us a call (local rate) on 
0845 052 0660. We have lots of new villas and not enough time to get them all on the website. Advise us of your dates and the number of bedrooms you need and we'll send you a selection to choose from. 

Stunning coastal scenery, fabulous beaches, even more wonderful villas and resorts with world class sporting and leisure facilities to enjoy in the sunshine.

This detached villa has stunning sea views, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, walk to beaches, restaurants shops and bars. Located in the pretty Carvoeiro, where you can enjoy a different beach every day of your 2 week break. <<<<Villa Silvana details>>>>
Book July now and save over £400 with 15% off
Villa Silvana in Carvoeiro

Bourreiras, 2 bedroom villa with pool in the Dordogne
FRANCE I must admit to being perplexed by France this summer, we have some fabulous villas in beautiful countryside, well priced but UKbookings are slow.

Look at this 2 bedroom villa, quaint, rustic, fabulous pool, far reaching views, no neighbours and easy walking distance to a beautiful village. Cheaper than James Villas too.

£866 to £1566 a week, what are you waiting for?

We're also just adding villas in Brittany, many peak dates already booked but there is some availability and it's not expensive.

In ITALY, we have a wonderful selection of villas in TuscanyUmbria, and the Rome countryside known as Lazio.
For off season stays in May, June and September, take 10%off the published prices on most villas. Contact us to confirm your chosen villa qualifies. The discount is applied after booking.

You could holiday near Rome and be neighbours with the Pope in this classic Liberty-style villa in Castel Gandolfo, on the shore ofLake Albano, with dates also  available in August.

Click picture for details.

Bella Vista on the shores of Lake Albano, Italy


We Brits may be biding our time but the rest of Europe is busily booking the best holiday villas,leave it too late and you will miss out on the perfect villa for your family - Again!  


If you want more information than is shown on the website - give me a call 
0845 052 0660

I know the villas personally and if you have questions I can answer them - Villa Solaria in the South of France
even provide missing prices.

Availability is as up to date as it can be, so confirm the villa before you book flights, I'll hold the villa for you until everything else is in place.

If you can't understand the website call me or look here. It has been designed to give customers lots of information at a glance and what you put in helps with what you get out.

I look forward to helping you book a fantastic holiday villa 

• View all our Special Offers here 

With warmest regards

Why do people book with James Villas?

I run a holiday villa company called the Holiday Villa Company as you can see from my blog.

Over the years I've worked with several big organisations including

Sunmed Holidays, ops manager in Corfu
Something Special Holidays, marketing and overseas director
Thomson Holidays, marketing specialist holidays
French Life, marketing project specialist

It's amazing how people move between large organisations, which large companies buy others and how the actual product (the villas our customers rent) move around from company to company.

Something Special were one of the fastest growing and best respected villa operators ever. We recognised the fact that everyone in the supply and demand chain needed to be happy and I had this theory I called the virtuous circle. We attracted property suppliers who were happy with the personal relationships we built with them, honest and fair, we treated our customers with integrity and reinvented personal service, our profits were reasonable, savings we gained from suppliers were passed onto customers and our dealing were pretty transparent so that everyone in the transaction was happy. Word spread, bookings from recommendations were high and we were very successful.

Unfortunately Thomson Holidays made a bid for the company and once under their control things went awry. This is when people with knowledge moved away and started their own companies or took their contact lists to others willing to pay. Invariably the virtuous circle was lost as one or other parts of the relationship were squeezed to improve or maintain profits on dwindling sales, ie you pay more or get less.

So the Something Special product base went to Thomson, went to French Life, went to the VillaCentre, went to the Villa Company (which became the Holiday Villa Company) and even to obscure operators like Hammonds, Premier and Villas du Monde. The product also turned up at James Villas, recently taken over by the same group that owns many well known holiday brands as they try once again to take back market share and remove the opposition. I'm surprised the monopolies commission haven't investigated this latest aquisition.

So, if you're looking at a renting a villa in France, Italy, the Algarve, northern Mallorca, Orlando or the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida and value the honest opinion of someone who's been to these villas;  and value a truly personal service and want better value for money, then pick up the phone and see how we can help you.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Easter was fabulous, now what about Summer?

If you're still debating what to do this summer perhaps we can help with some inspiration. We know that a foreign holiday is not just about the weather, there's also culture, food and wine, breathtaking sights, your own swimming pool, but don't forget the sun filled days and those balmy evenings dining outdoors...

We're probably having our summer right now and unless you want to spend another summer break watching the reservoirs fill up, take a look at the selection from the Holiday Villa Company. Don't forget we know the villas personally so we can offer help and advice based on first hand experience, I look forward to hearing from you!


FLORIDA is looking more and more attractive this summer with the £ looking good against the dollar.
In Orlando we have a great selection of villas within a few minutes of the Disney parks and close to Universal and SeaWorld. If no prices are shown, the villas are on request so call or email.
At the Gulf Coast we have some amazing villas close to fabulous beaches and top class resorts.

In NaplesSarasotaVenice and Englewood we have abolished peak season prices in the school holidays, now a week in August costs the same as a week in September. Wonderful family villas for a relaxing holiday, many are a short walk from the beach!

Naples we can also propose 20% OFF all dates from now until October, discount applied and confirmed in writing after placing your booking!

In MALLORCA every booking gets FREE CAR HIRE
Villa Cisterna (left) has an outdoor pool and an indoor pool, gym and tennis as well as everything else!

What about May half term, dates still available??

Check on line for available dates this summer, if you can't find what you want give us a call (local rate) on 
0845 052 0660. We have lots of new villas and not enough time to get them all on the website. We just need your dates and number of bedrooms to send you a selection to choose from. 

This detached ALGARVE villa stands in secluded gardens with lawns in the Dunas Douradas community next to Vale do Lobo. It has something for all the family with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, aircon, wifi, sat TV and fabulous pool, you can even walk to the huge sandy beach and a selection of restaurants

If that were not enough, you also get 


Click picture for details.

Casa Paraiso, another ALGARVE villa that's perfect for a larger family. Flat garden, sea views from the upper terrace, walk to fantastic beach as well as a choice of restaurants and the local mini-market. Located in Clube Atlantico, Carvoeiro.

20% off week of 2nd July, discount applied after booking. 4 bedrooms 4 bathrooms, and a promise of true relaxation.

Click picture for details.

In ITALY, we have a wonderful selection of villas in TuscanyUmbria, and the Rome countryside known as Lazio.

You can holiday near Rome and be neighbours with the Pope in this beautiful Liberty-style villa in Castel Gandolfo on the shore of Lake Albano, dates available in August. Click picture for details.

For off season stays in 
May, June and September, take 10% off the published prices, the discount is applied after booking.


Lots of special offers around for flights this Spring 
Jet2 have reduced prices by up to 50% and Easyjet have 3 million flights for £34.99 or less.
Couple that with a low priced, off season villa for a fantastic value, luxury holiday.
The weather's wonderful in The AlgarveSouthern FranceItaly and Spain
So why not make the most of it.


We Brits may be biding our time but the rest of Europe is busily booking the best holiday villas,
leave it too late and you will miss out on the perfect villa for your family - Again!
Book your villa now, it's 20% deposit and the balance is paid a couple of months before travel.


If you want more information than is shown on the website - give me a call 

0845 052 0660

I know the villas personally and if you have questions I can answer them -
even provide missing prices.

Availability is as up to date as it can be, so confirm the villa before you book flights
I'll hold the villa for you until everything else is in place.

I look forward to helping you book a fantastic holiday villa 

• View all our Special Offers here 

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

What's Special about Vale do Lobo

Vale do Lobo Area

Highly regarded and sophisticated holiday destination featuring some of the Algarve's finest beach resorts.

Vale do Lobo Area
Vale do Lobo Villa Holidays - Region overview
The typically Portuguese town of Almancil is the gateway to the Golden Triangle, a highly regarded holiday destination with the most exclusive holiday resorts in the Algarve. Vale do Lobo is perhaps the best known resort in the Golden Triangle area. It has villas, townhouses and quaint village houses set beside one of the world's most photographed golf courses, with the dramatic Vale do Lobo beach backed by red cliffs. Quinta do Lago is one of the finest Algarve resorts along the coast, with private holiday villas set in beautifully manicured grounds between the fairways of the 36 hole golf course. The popular Dunas Douradas resort is also well located less than 1km from a beautiful sandy beach.
In this area our villas are located in Dunas Douradas, Quinta das Salinas, Quinta do Lago, Vale do Garrao, Vale do Lobo and Villas Alvas. See our Algarve holiday villas
Vale do Lobo Area
Holiday Villa Company in Vale do Lobo
At the Holiday Villa Company we offer an excellent, hand-picked selection of holiday villas, including villas with pools in our Vale do Lobo holiday programme - villas that meet our high standards and offer our guests a certain 'something special'. We believe no holiday villa in the Algarve would be complete without those home-from-home comforts and our holiday villas in Vale do Lobo and the rest of the Golden Triangle are no exception.
Throughout the Algarve we have selected the best villas available; personally selected in the best locations the Algarve has to offer. From sophisticated resorts with superb sporting and leisure facilities to traditional fishing villages, villas amidst the secluded tranquility of the unspoilt countryside and all within easy reach of wonderful Algarve beaches. We know our Algarve accommodation personally, in fact all the villas and apartments we offer are inspected and selected for quality and value to give you an Algarve villa holiday to remember. Browse our holiday villas all along the Algarve in Quinta do Lago, Dunas Douradas and Vale do Lobo, Guia and Vale da Parra, Carvoeiro and the western Algarve resorts of Lagos and Luz.
Vale do Lobo Area
Vale do Lobo Villa Holidays - Facilities
Almancil is the town closest to some of the Algarve's most evocative and upscale resorts. 6km inland, Almancil has major facilities such as banks, supermarkets, post office and a reasonable and growing selection of restaurants. With Almancil the apex, the area towards the sea, bounded by Quinta do Lago in the east and Vale do Lobo in the west, forms the Algarve's 'Golden Triangle', containing some of the most expensive and exclusive property in the Algarve.
Vale do Lobo Villa Holidays - Activities
Vale do Lobo Area
Vale do Lobo's popularity has increased due to its world class sporting and leisure facilities, notably the golf and tennis and of course, the magnificent beach which stretches almost all the way to Faro.
Vale do Lobo Villa Holidays - Beaches & Coast
A number of highly regarded resorts handily located near to the beautiful sandy beach. Here private luxury villas nestle in wooded valleys and those on the heights have views to the sea. The main beaches in Amancil are Praia de Ancao, Praia de Garrao, Praia de Quinta do Lago and Praia de Vale de Lobo.
Vale do Lobo Area
Vale do Lobo Villa Holidays - Gastronomy
There's a very wide selection of restaurants in the area with a style, cuisine and price bracket to suit all tastes. The restaurants along the beach are conveniently located at various points, handy for guests staying in our luxury villas and apartments here. Julia's and Maria's are well known eateries, the menus offer good local dishes and the seafood is generally very good. The views over the beach are quite unique.
The Praca (pronounced Prassa) in Vale do Lobo has a dedicated following. It has a number of restaurants around the square in a beach side location and there's often live entertainment in season. Quinta do Lago has an excellent (yet pricey) fish restaurant across the causeway on the beach, it is a lovely spot and worth a visit while enjoying your holiday. Also by Quinta are 2 shopping and dining commercial centres, Quinta Shopping and Bouganvillea Plaza, with a good selection of restaurants that seem to be popular with families. Dunas Douradas also has a fine restaurant beside its communal pool and tennis centre, Xenia is well regarded and there's a lunch-time snack bar too.
Vale do Lobo Area
Heading towards Almancil there are a number of Portuguese style restaurants that offer great traditional food, very well priced too. Juncalinos and A Floresta are favourites with locals, particularly at lunchtimes when a set menu is available. The Irish pub just outside Almancil attracts the usual crowd and also welcomes families. At the Holiday Villa Company, our all time favourite is Senor Frango in Almancil, located just off the road to Quarteira. It's an upmarket chicken piri piri restaurant with very well priced food and a superb wine list. They do other dishes too but the usual order is chicken, salad and fries, washed down with a bottle of Vinho Verde.
Vale do Lobo Villa Holidays - Out & About
With the new motorway network now completed you can reach places as far apart as Tavira and Carvoeiro in well under an hour from Almancil. Faro, the capital, is an easy drive away and the old town boasts some excellent fish restaurants as well as the superb shopping complex.
Vale do Lobo Area
Close by to the east of Almancil is the small Algarve village of Sao Lourenco. The church here is well worth a visit as the interior is decorated with beautiful 18th Century ceramic tiles. It's an outstanding example of the Portuguese tradition. In the street leading up to the church you will find the Sao Lourenco Cultural Centre which is open to the public, established for many years it holds regular art exhibitions and classical music events.
Vale do Lobo Villa Holidays - Golf Courses
The whole Almancil area is renowned for its choice of high quality golf courses. Here we have listed those in the immediate vicinity of our villas:
Vale do Lobo Ocean Golf Course As an older golf course it had a strong influence in placing the Algarve firmly on the golfing world map. Some of the holes take you along the cliff top with the blue Atlantic sea as a backdrop.
Pinheiros Altos Golf Course: Located within the well known Quinta do Lago estate, this golf course enjoys a solid reputation.
Quinta do Lago South Golf Course This is the golf course that has been used several times for the Portuguese Open.
Quinta do Lago North Golf Course (Ria Formosa) The golf course has four great par-5 holes requiring power and accuracy to play them well, also providing superb views.
Vale do Lobo Royal Golf Course The golf course that has combined existing holes from the original Vale do Lobo course and some special interesting new holes. San Lorenzo - Located in the Quinta do Lago estate enjoys a reputation for the condition of its golf course and its attractive views around the lake formed by Ria Formosa. It has been ranked in the past as the second best golf course in Europe.
Almancil Algarve Holidays - Tennis
Vale de Lobo Tennis Academy is a leading tennis academy run by Pedro Frazio. It has 12 tennis courts (8 hard, 4 synthetic clay, 6 with lights), multi lingual coaches, pro shop, gym, sauna, swimming pool, bar and a restaurant. Our guests staying in Dunas Douradas also have access to the Dunas Douradas tennis centre which is located beside the beautiful communal pool. There is a small charge to play tennis.
For those staying in Santo Antonio in Vale do Lobo, there's a new tennis centre with several are tennis courts (and a crazy golf course) beside the communal pool in the central area. There's a small charge to use the tennis and mini-golf facilities.

Our selection of villas in Vale do Lobo Area

Friday, 4 March 2011

Easter is just a few weeks away - Book some sun!

If your thoughts are turning towards Easter and thinking about spending time with your family over the holidays, just think how much nicer it might be with sunshine.

The late Easter this year means the weather in southern Europe should be great - there's even a good chance of a tan! Here are some holiday ideas and offers!

Prices quoted are for villa rental, not per person and don't include travel...

   MALLORCA Beautiful Balearic Island
This villa in Pollensa available for Easter - just £800 per week
OFFER  Book Now for FREE car hire, all villas, all dates
Plus, for bookings in March and April, including Easter
Book 2 weeks and the 2nd week is half price! 2 weeks £1200

Villa Lisa with 3 bedrooms available at Easter, just £613 for the week
PLUS big reductions for smaller parties at any time
OFFER  This means under occupancy savings! Call for quotes...

How about this villa near Grasse, available 30th April - £1090
Within a short drive of the Cote d'Azur and Monaco!

Italy doesn't really get going until May but how about this
2 bedroom villa in Tuscany - from £798 a week
Villas in Tuscany, Umbria and the Rome region (Lazio)

How about this 3 bedroom villa with pool, 421 Vistamar walk to beach
Available Easter for £1250 a week, Free car hire or Pool Heating
OFFER  Book Now for FREE car hire, all dates
Lots more choice, Look at these new villas in Carvoeiro

Venice, Englewood, Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Naples
Would be wonderful if you have flights, we can still get villas!

We are now uploading prices and availability in France for villas in
DordogneCorsica and the Atlantic Coast, so if you're waiting for
a particular villa or chateau - give me a call!

If you need any help or advice or just want to say hello - GIVE US A CALL

0845 052 0660 (local rates) or email

I look forward to helping you with your holiday villa

Thursday, 17 February 2011

You need a Personal Villa Holiday Advisor

Villa with Pool holidays - it's our thing...

If you're looking for a villa to rent for your 2011 holiday it could be a tough job finding the right one. With so many owners and rental agents all vying for your attention, you have to play a new game.

This is what they say, what do they actually mean?

  • Does handy for the airport mean under the flight path?
  • Does spectacular setting mean difficult to reach?
  • Does close to nature mean the garden's overrun with wild animals or worse, insects?

It's so easy to get carried away writing descriptive copy of beautiful villas in fabulous places, words just seem to flow so easily describing the "infinity pool" or the "incredible views" or the "designer interior" but the reader needs to take care.

Has the person who wrote this copy actually seen the property or at least the resort it's in? Do they share your ideals when it comes to being wowed, or what constitutes "designer furnished" never mind the basics like cleanliness and comfort. Photographs help build an impression but they are so easily "doctored" to disguise failings or hide the truth, how do you find someone you can build trust with?

What you need is a strong head before letting your heart have any say in the villa choice, having someone you can speak to, to discuss your requirements with, someone who knows the ins and outs of the villas available will help you select the best villa for your family and not just one that looks right.

Early in my career, I learned that you can't hope to pull the wool over people's eyes when it come to villa holidays, prospective customers should expect a lot of information about the villas and the only way to useful information is to see the villa with your own eyes, and spend at least a night there if possible.

I make sure that every villa we offer has been visited, detailed notes taken, impressions about what might be distractions gained and lots of pictures taken.

When you're thinking about your choice, phone up and interrogate us, ask questions about subjects that are relevant to you or give us your requirements and we'll help you select a villa that will work perfectly for your family or group. 0845 052 0660, local rate call!

We have a number of customers who use our expert knowledge to find the right property every year in different locations, because we know what and why they like certain villas we can select and recommend similar or even better villas in new places they want to explore. This takes away a level of uncertainty, they are more relaxed on arrival as they know just what to expect although there's generally a few features that will wow them!

If you're thinking of taking a villa holiday in any of these locations, have a look at what we offer then give us a call and ask some questions about some villas you like the look of, we'll help you make the right choice.

The Algarve and Vale do Lobo in particular, which is perhaps the most requested resort.

Florida, villas near the wonderful attractions around Orlando and villas close to the incredible white sand beaches at the Gulf Coast.

France, wonderful France where we specialise in the Dordogne and the charismatic South of France amongst other locations where we have a smaller selection of villas, but still chosen with care.

Italy provides a stunning selection of villas that I'm particularly fond of, they do things just right. Choose from Tuscany, Umbria and the beautiful Lazio region close to Rome.

Finally, our selection in Spain's Costa Blanca and the Island of Mallorca (or Majorca if you prefer) where we have a choice of villas around the Pollensa area of the island.

My History

I've been involved in selecting family holiday accommodation since the 1980's, originally in the south of France and Greece before joining "Something Special" holidays in 1987, one of the best respected and most popular villa holiday operators ever. As head of contracting under the influential MD, I broadened my horizons to include the Algarve, Costa Blanca and the Balearics before being packed off to Florida and instructed to "bring home the bacon". I spent 13 wonderful years at Something Special and finally specialising as Marketing Director when the company was sold to what was then Thomson Holidays. I left shortly afterwards (was never a "corporate" person) and started the Villa Company in 2001 which morphed into the Holiday Villa Company in 2011.

Thanks for reading about The Holiday Villa Company.