Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Question 1: Why do you charge separately for linen, air/con, winter fuels etc?
Answer: Firstly, all the villas that we list are privately owned and are priced very competitively for the value they are.
If we included the costs of linen and maid service then it would have to be based on the maximum number of beds, which would be unfair should less than that number of persons occupy the villa. Further, we allow options to the client on linen, since some clients drive down and take their own linen with them, or prefer to book one lot of linen and do their own washing, which is explained on our Extras page.
Again, if we included air/con in the rental then charges would be based on the higher of cost and be included in the villa rental. Because air/con usage can be abused by the few it would end up being paid for by the many since it would need to be recouped in the charge somewhere. A meter is therefore a fairer and more equitable way of handling and controlling electric costs on those villas that have one fitted and is highlighted, particularly with the rising costs of utilities. We do this also for central heating in winter, which allows villas to be rented at low cost.
Q2: Why are some villas more booked-up than others? Does it mean they are better and more desirable than others?
A: No, definitely not! It could be for any of the following reasons:- i) we have villas that we have offered for many years and get repeat bookings; ii) they are booked well in advance; iii) the villa is a new listing; iv) we have a flexible booking system with private owners who block dates but release to us at any moment - due to changing their minds about own reservations, or holding off until they knew what dates they wanted themselves; v) villa could have been blocked off for refurbishment/decoration, but the works were completed early, so could be included on availability page. Therefore a showing of good availability is not a reflection of the villa whatsoever.
Q3: Why would, say, a 3 bed villa be priced at £850 and some at over £1000?
A: Differing rental prices between villas that are illustrated with the same number of bedrooms are a result of our policy to take into account the size of accommodation, number of rooms, size of plot, type of views from the villa, privacy aspects, location, extras within the villa, amenities and the quality of furnishings. See also our Villa Grading section which gives you an unbiased indication of the comfort level of soft furnishings and quality standard of the kitchen equipment.
Q4: How do I know the rental prices are fair?
A: The areas of and around Altea, Denia, Moraira, Javea and Calpe, which are located north of the Costa Blanca, are expensive, whereby property values are higher in comparison to many areas south of Alicante.
Our policy on pricing is that we take into account the local market rental, so we ensure that we are always very competitively priced. You will find us much less expensive than most villa rental companies rates and you don’t pay us more should you find a private advertiser.
Q: What security as a consumer do I have when paying for accommodation with you?
A: Click here Your Financial Security for full details on this.
Q5: What about mosquitoes?
A: A problem in all warmer climates. Best be prepared and purchase plug-ins for a peaceful nights sleep. There are 2 types available, one is a unit that takes a pastille and the other is a liquid one, which is much better. These are available at all supermarkets. Many villas are equipped with mosquito screens to bedrooms.
Tip - If there are no mosquito screens then if you close the door and windows, place a plug-in and leave for one hour then you can open a door or window without getting bitten as the plug-in will maintain its potency in the room even though the window or door is open.
Q6: What should I take with me to Spain?
A: Apart from the obvious we would suggest:- A torch - particularly if you arrive on a late flight or arrive late due to delays, as you may find that the villa is more difficult to navigate when you are not familiar with the property and need to locate the door keyhole and steps; Ear plugs - for swimming in the pools to help prevent any possible ear infection (available at chemists) - see pools below for more info; Pool caps - particularly for those with dyed hair, which could react to chorine in the pool and change its colour (available at large stores or local baths); Suntan cream - waterproof and of a high factor. Remember you can get the sun even through your clothes or parasol; Hair dryer - useful to take your own (also adaptor needed for conversion to 2-pin); Mosquito repellent plug-ins - liquid ones are best, as opposed to tablets (available at the airport or cheaper in the Spanish supermarkets). Tip - if you close the window & door to the bedroom and leave the plug-in on for 1 hour before you go to bed then you should be able leave the window open all night without any disturbance from mosquitoes. Note the more elevated or breezy the property is the fewer mosquitoes are around.
Other items to remember: camera, CDs (where useable), directions to the villa with contact details, driving licence, passport (10 year one), contactable phone number on GSM for your family. Keep cash and credit cards with you at all times in a useful money belt.
Q7: Can my party arrive at the property before 5pm?
A: The official time for entry to your villa is 5 o'clock. Whilst you cannot enter the villa until it is cleaned and prepared for you we suggest that if arriving after 1pm, and should the cleaners be present, then you can leave your luggage and return later. If the villa has been cleaned and prepared early then you can have access.
Please remember that previous guests will still be in residence until 10am so no entry to the villa or its outside facilities will be allowed before that time. It is most important, for logistics, that you do advise us of your flight arrival and departure time to whichever airport.
Q8: Can my party remain at the villa after 10am on the day of departure?
A: This is not possible as the villa will need to be cleaned and prepared for the next guest. However, in the winter period, or on long lets, then possibly the supervisor may be able to assist you if you contact them when you are at the villa a few days before your intended departure.
Q: How do I get into the villa if I arrive at night?
A: Whatever time you arrive at the villa we will give you full details of where to collect the keys, that is very simple to follow, and close by.
Q9: Do I need to hire a car?
A: Although there are some villas that are close to the beach and supermarkets, that can be walked to, it is recommended to hire a car for the enjoyment of your holiday. Villas with private pools tend to be set back in the valleys and therefore generally considered too far to walk to shops, although would only be a few minutes drive away. Buses are virtually non-existent; taxis are available, but would be more expensive than car hire for the duration of a holiday. Note that there are few pavements and very little street lighting on the access roads to many villas, so walking at night can be more precarious. The low cost of car rental is the best option. Click here for CAR HIRE or view travel advice. For stays at the beach side Club apartments then you can avoid having to hire a car.
Q10: Can I take cash to Spain?
A: We strongly advise to take only a small amount of Euros, with the balance, possibly, in travellers cheques. Credit cards are considered the best option and accepted in some bars, most restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and shops, but not everywhere, so please don't rely on being able to use them always. Most banks do have cash points where you can obtain money with your credit card, but do remember your PIN number.
Q11: Can I hire or request a hamper, cot, hire chair, Z-bed, fans, extra cleaning or maid service?
A: Yes, click here HOW TO BOOK for full list of what is included.
Q12: When do I get my damage deposit back?
A: We take a damage deposit and, if applicable, a usage deposit against pool or villa heating. Deposits are returned within 14 days, unless there has been any damage. We ask holidaymakers to bring any damage to the attention of the supervisor, so that delays can be avoided in refunding any differences.
Q13: What if I experience a robbery at the villa?
A: NOTE: Beware opportunistic thieves that could disturb or upset your holiday, either when the villa is locked up or even when occupied.
TIP: When occupying a villa do take the trouble, which is in your own interest, to observe where you would consider that an unwanted visitor may come from in order to gain entrance to an unlocked villa whilst you are in occupation. Do, therefore, lock windows, particularly those without bars and doors. Thieves have been known to go into villas to steal when the occupants have been on the patio, or in the pool, and work very quietly & speedily.
Be aware of unwanted persons arriving pretending to wish to speak to the owner, or any obscure name, or appear to sell something. If suspicious do take their car registration number and report it to the police, as such persons are just sizing-up the villa.
Also, be aware at cash point machines as to who may be watching you. Keep a photocopy of your passport and key documents in case of theft. Report to the police and ensure you get a report number in case of your own loss or that of the owner, as the holidaymaker is responsible should the villa be left open.
Q14: Why do I have to pay for any additional accommodation costs should I wish to be relocated to another villa?
A: The owner of the property has been paid the rental and any changeover to another villa, should Villaspain be able to accommodate the hirer that is, will create a further debt due to that new owner as well. Neither Villaspain nor the owner can be held responsible for any attempted robbery made upon the individual hirer or the villa itself. Such costs can be claimed under your personal liability cover, which you should check before purchasing such cover. Do try to ensure you arrange travel insurance, which is a condition of booking, that your insurers offer a 24 hour advice line available to you from Spain, which can be quite helpful. Certainly our supervisors will be on hand to assist you should anything occur whilst you are at the villa.

The official time for entry to your villa is 5 o'clock - this varies throughout the year depending on the number of villas the team have to clean, and the time the previous clients had left (if an early departure then the team can clean & prepare the villa earlier), hence we ask all clients for their flight details.
Whilst you cannot enter the villa until it is cleaned and prepared for you, for earlier flights we suggest that you arrive after 1pm, and should the cleaners be present, then you can leave your luggage and return later. If the villa has been cleaned and prepared early then you can have access.
Please remember that previous guests will still be in residence until 10am so no entry to the villa, or its outside facilities, will be allowed before that time.
We cannot guarantee earlier access as it is down to the team in Spain, and their rota of villas on that particular day.
Similarly, during the period October-June, when we have flexible arrival/departure days, then there may not be a changeover on the same day, so you can arrive earlier, but this won't be known until the day, and you will have to contact your supervisor directly on this.
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Villa Grading
In our effort to give impartial information, and to allow holiday-makers to discern better the quality of furnishings, comfort and facilities in each of the private villas we offer, we have introduced a grading system that is outlined below. This allows you to ascertain the contents of each villa as photographs and detailed descriptions can only go so far. In particular it grades, for example, items in kitchens like china, serving dishes, and cooking utensils. For soft furnishings it grades the comfort and quality of the sofas, mattresses to the beds and dining sets.
We visit all villas regularly, as well as our own supervisors checking on each change-over throughout the year, so all efforts are made to ensure standards are maintained and replacements, where needed, are attended to.
For example: A kitchen rating of 'average' would reflect the quality of the china, utensils and range of inventory.
A rating of 'Good' would reflect above average quality, condition and or comfort.
A rating of 'Very Good' would reflect the superior quality of all soft furnishings, or kitchen equipment. You may see a rating that is listed between grades and would be shown as: 1-2 or 2-3
Grade 1: Average
Grade 2: Good
Grade 3: Very Good
The grading information is merely a guide, as furnishings can change, and be subject to some wear & tear during the year. The grading can also alter during the year and therefore what may be deemed good becomes very good or vice versa.
The information is a guide only and we do not accept responsibility for the description.
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Villa Cleaning
Saturday change-overs tend to be extremely busy for the cleaners and it is always possible in the season that something may have been missed. Please do not hesitate to bring it to the attention of our local contact who will attend when practicable. It is a requirement that the latest time to vacate the villa is 10am, unless expressly arranged directly with the local contact.
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Electricity in Spain is generally 110 volts, with round 2-pin plugs.
It should be noted that villa owners are contracted with their electrical supplier (monopolised with Iberdrolla) with limitations on electrical use under contract. So it may be the case that if you have many, or all, electrical appliances on at the same time then this will overload the system and trip the meter. You will find that certain electrical appliances do burn-off a lot of electric. You should therefore switch off several non-essential electrical appliances and switch back-up the fuse, avoiding such overloads in the future.
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Although we do not take responsibility for the breakdown or malfunction of any appliances, since electrical appliances can fail on occasions necessitating the call out of a specialist engineer. Such engineers may not be able to attend quickly due to their coverage in the region of particular branded appliances. Your contact villa supervisor will do their utmost to inform the service engineers in order to rectify the situation.
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Contents of hamper
Welcome pack hamper contains the following, though can vary: bread, butter, jam/marmalade, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, bottled water, orange juice, eggs, etc. Cost approx 14 euros of groceries collected fresh by the supervisor on day of arrival. Villa includes 1 toilet roll per bathroom, kitchen bin liner and certain cleaning materials and sponges located in the kitchen.
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We are not a travel agent or package operator and therefore do not have agents or representatives that attend to you during your holiday, which would necessitate higher rental costs. As an independent traveller we would assume that you would wish to be left alone to enjoy your holiday without interruption. In the event that you do experience a problem at the villa then the contact numbers of the villa's caretaker/supervisor are given in the confirmation booking form as well as in the villa information book. This person will make the necessary arrangements to assist and advise or even instruct, in the case of a mechanical breakdown, by giving instructions to efficient local tradesman, as quickly as possible.
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Usually open Monday-Saturday till 8/9pm or later. Some close for a siesta 1.30pm to about 4pm. Some open in the morning Sundays & fiesta days. A few listed below:-
Pepe la Sal on Teulada Road from centre of Moraira. Open all day and Sunday mornings. Up the ramp above Barclays Bank. Also, near Cap Blanc on the Moraira to Calpe Road - open all day.
Quick Save Moraira - (English supermarket) Avenida de Paz Open all day Monday - Saturday. Sundays until 2pm.
Mercadonna Benissa and Javea - Spanish supermarket, wide range of fresh meat and fish.
Mas y Mas - Moraira and Benitachell. Large supermarkets, fresh bread, meat, cheese etc.
Open Cor - Moraira. Located on the corner of the roundabout, opposite the petrol station. Open every day 8am to 2am the following morning.
Lidels - Javea and Benidorm.
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Swimming Pools
DEPTHS - Generally all pools' depths run from between 1.2 to 2 metres, and if the pool is less than 8 to 10 metres long then the drop is fairly rapid.
MAINTENANCE - Swimming pools have to be maintained on a regular basis and, as with garden maintenance, this cannot always be done on 'change-over' days. They are normally cleaned once a week (twice in summer), and whilst this is often done very early in the morning, maintenance personnel may arrive whilst you are using the pool. In these cases you will be asked to kindly vacate the pool whilst this is being done. Filtration is automatically controlled by a time clock. Neither pool maintenance personnel nor gardeners have fixed hours, so it is not possible for us to advise you of the exact day or time of their visit. There are no pool wardens or fenced off pools unless otherwise stated. The questionnaire we provide you with refers to pool condition as being clear to the bottom of the pool and not that leaves or insects are present. You should find a net to remove any such items near the pool.
PRECAUTIONS - In order to avoid any ear infections that can result from continuous use of the pool, which can be as a result of any imbalance in the chemical make up of the pool, since the suns rays can alter this chemical balance of the water fairly quickly as well as the use of any suntan creams that have not been washed off prior to entering the pool. Further should water be laying in the ear for any period of time will cause an infection, so ensuring that the ear is dry is important. We recommend that you take ear plugs for all the family, particularly for the children who may be more susceptible to ear infections.
LIGHTING - Underwater lighting is not available (at some villas there may be a light in the pool, which will have been disconnected, since it cannot be seen in daylight and can burn out easily).
The chemical PH and chorine levels in pools are maintained by the pool maintenance firms engaged at the villa.
These levels are effected dramatically by the undermentioned actions and therefore in your own interest of safety these rules should be adhered to.
Directly effects running of pool do please follow rules:
* Do not swim with suntan oil/lotion
* Always shower before and after going swimming
* Warn your children not to urinate in the pool
* Do not touch chlorine tablets in the skimmer basket or in base of pool - this can burn your skin
* Do not swim with athletes foot - this is contagious
* Do not swim with open wounds - the chemicals can have an allergic reaction to this
* Do not leave small toys / rubber balls in pool - these can get stuck in the pump and filtration system
* Don't run around pool area - when wet it is very slippery and dangerous
* No diving in deep or shallow end
* Take care when entering the pool by the steps - these can be very slippery
* Do not enter the pump house
* Please use the net to get insects or leaves out of the pool
* Ensure children wear ear plugs - this is due to the amount of time they spend in the pool-or water left in the ear and can cause ear infections. Ensure ears are washed thoroughly.
* If swimming pool is cloudy please ring the pool man or the supervisor
* Note that pool man comes once a week in the Winter months and twice a week in the Summer months
You must report immediately to the supervisor or poolman if the water level goes below the skimmer (recessed area where pool water enters), as this would damage the filtration and pump.
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Pool Heating
The average cost is about £50-£70 per week over the winter months for oil, electric or gas fuelled heating and obviously you won't need to heat it that much when it gets warmer in the summer - there is usually a cover supplied to retain the heat. You decide your usage, by switching it on/off and we charge based upon the units used.
Note that it is difficult to estimate the cost of pool heating, as you are able to control the heating yourself and heating depends on the ambient temperature during your period of stay. Should you use the heating economically, when it is not cold or wet, and by using the pool cover blanket (if available) when the pool is not in use, then an approximate cost would be £5 per day, depending on outside temperature. Should you leave it on 24 hours a day, with no pool cover, than the price can escalate to £20- £25 per day.
Heating will be switched off upon exit of the last client. If you require the pool & villa heating to be left on for your arrival day then this can be arranged, but it does mean that you are responsible for the cost of heating that day.
Please note that there is no extra charge placed on the villa for the benefit of having a heated pool so in effect you are not paying more for the villa than a villa without a heated pool, you are only subject to the meter charging.
Should the pool heating malfunction, or not reach your desired temperature for any reason we cannot be held responsible. However, all attempts will be made to rectify the situation whilst you are in occupation.
Please note that fuel rates have increased dramatically, particularly in Spain who is a net importer of fuel, so meter charges have increased by up to 70% between 2007 and 2008. View our extras page.
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Gardens have to be maintained on a regular basis and it is simply not possible for this maintenance to be carried out on 'change-over' days. Gardeners will be as discrete as possible.
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Garden Furniture
The sun-loungers at villas do not normally have cushions as they are by the pool, whereby sun creams and chlorine from the pool reduce a cover's life dramatically. Any staining becomes a problem as it cannot be removed and can quickly become unsightly. Normally a towel placed on a sun-lounger is the best and recommended option to hirers and owners. Cushions are provided on all patio chairs and wicker furniture (where wicker is provided).
Please note that sun loungers supplied at villas will not necessarily equate to the number in occupancy. You will find that a villa for 6 will have a minimum of 4 sun loungers, and at least 6 patio chairs.
At properties where there is a shared pool, there are rarely any sun-beds supplied (where these are supplied it will be stated in the property description) and be part of the property.
Sun umbrellas are not standard equipment, although at villas with private pools one will be supplied if there is no shade near the pool. These should not be taken to the beach. Cheap parasols are readily available in most supermarkets.
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All villas have barbecues, unless otherwise stated. These can be built-in or free standing. They must be cleaned by the tenants and cold ashes disposed-of in the roadside rubbish bins. Apartments will not normally have barbecues.
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A full inventory of all our villas is taken at the beginning of the letting season to ensure that there is sufficient equipment for the number of people occupying the villa. It is simply not possible to do this between each let, so if you do not get a chance to replace any damaged items, then please advise us so that we may replace them. This way the visitors following you will not be disappointed with the equipment in the villa.
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Satellite Television
All our villas are equipped with televisions including a satellite dish receiving digital satellite transmissions. Satellite transmissions tend to be temperamental when the electric supply gets tripped or there are any temporary cut outs. The memory is lost in the decoder and has to be re-programmed. There is an information sheet in the information book at the villa detailing how to re-program and is easy to follow. On the digital decoder free to air channels are available. It is not possible to hire 'smart' cards or decoders in Spain. Please note that the card is particular to the decoder and would not work in any other decoder. Therefore there would be no point in taking your own card to Spain should you have one. Some villas are being equipped with smart switches to prevent loss of memory, but not all.
Note that the Free to View system has restricted channels and unless otherwise stated in the villa details will not have movie channels or regular BBC programs.
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Mobile Phones & Telephones
Many mobile phones will work when you are in Spain. However, it is very important that you check with your phone supplier in your home country before you leave in order to ensure that this feature will be operational during your holiday. When a mobile phone is used in another country the subscriber pays not only for making calls but also for receiving them (for example to receive a call in Spain you will pay for the part of the call from the UK to Spain, and the caller will pay only for the call within the UK). It is sometimes difficult if not impossible for either our local contact or ourselves to contact you because of the set up and operation of the mobile phone contract you have. If phoning from a phone booth to a mobile do ensure that you place at least a Euro coin in the box, otherwise it will just cut out. You will find telephone booths in the town whereby you pay on exit or regular booths, which is very simple.
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Pets, Animals & Insects
We generally do not accept animals at any of our properties - there are exceptions so please enquire. However, in such cases you must obtain written permission from Villaspain and a deposit of £25, for the duration of stay, will apply, and the pet owner must ensure that the pet does not go onto any furnishings or scratch or mark any surfaces. That when taking the dog for a walk it should be on a lead and that a pooper scooper is used. That the dog will not be a nuisance to other property owners in the area.
Stray and wild small cats should not be fed or allowed into the villa, as they tend to have fleas and can destroy the furnishings, as well as irritate members of your own party.
Ants are constant visitors to most villas in Spain, particularly as most of our properties are surrounded by gardens. Locally bought ant powders are a good repellent, but it also helps to keep crumbs to a minimum. These can be kept out of the house by keeping food out of temptation's way.
Mosquitoes should be kept at bay by a good repellent (available in UK chemists and supermarkets and chemists in Spain) - please don't splatter them against the wall. Most villas are equipped with mosquito nets to all bedroom windows and some other rooms.
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Building Works - Very Important
Just as at home, while you are on holiday life goes on as normal all around you. Building or road works may be in progress nearby, a neighbour may start building a swimming pool or wall, or the local water board may decide to drill for water in the vicinity. Spain is still 'enjoying' a building boom never seen before and new building work starting may in some way distort our description of the property we have considered peaceful or quiet. This work may start early in the morning, as is local practice, and can start at any time in the year. As it is not always possible to gauge the extent of such works we regret we cannot advise you of the constantly changing conditions. If within 8 weeks of the start of your holiday we become aware of such works taking place on a plot immediately adjacent to your property (that is, an adjoining plot - not across the road or merely nearby) that in our opinion could materially spoil your enjoyment of your holiday we will advise you. You may then either a) cancel and receive a full refund for accommodation, or b) change your booking to another available villa for the same period either paying the difference if it is more expensive or receiving a refund if it is cheaper, or c) leave your reservation as it is and hope that there is not too much noise or dust to spoil your holiday. If you choose option c, to stay with the reservation, it is extremely unlikely that after arrival we will be able to move you to any alternative accommodation, particularly in the peak summer, if you suffer any inconvenience as described above, nor will any claim for compensation be accepted for any loss of enjoyment due to building or any other associated works within the vicinity of your holiday villa. You should note that we are not responsible for such work, are not able to stop such work taking place nor control the noise level. Nor can we be responsible for any building works that start during a holiday.
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Baby-sitting & Nannies
Baby-sitting at villas can sometimes be arranged informally through our local contact, so if you would like a "night off" then please call them to make arrangements. A few days' notice is required, especially during the busy summer months. Baby-sitting should be paid locally to the baby-sitter, and costs around Euros 10 per hour. offer a service specifically for the Costa Blanca. Visit their website for further information.
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Disabled Visitors
Regrettably, none of the villas we offer are specifically adapted for disabled visitors, those who rely on the use of a wheelchair or those with special needs (with the exception of Villa Kay which is on a flat plot, on one level, and has extra-wide doors internally). Additionally, some properties with many steps are less suitable for toddlers, elderly guests, or those with walking or breathing difficulties. We have tried to give as clear a picture as possible as to the suitability of the property stair flights. If any member of your party uses a wheelchair or, is in any way disabled, please inform us so that we can suggest suitable accommodation and thus avoid any disappointment when you arrive. Bathroom doors are generally not wide enough for a wheelchair.
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Portable Fans
Where not stated in the villa details these can be hired. The charge for the hire of a fan is £8.00 per week. This includes the administration, collection, delivery and re-collection of the fan. Should you not order a fan at the time of booking and request one when at the villa, then a charge of £25 will apply as an administration charge, or £10 if requested within one week of your holiday.
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Cots & High Chairs
Cots and high chairs are available for infants under two years old. If you require either, or both, then please request it at the time of booking in order that we can ensure it is at the villa upon your arrival.
Bookings of 8 and 9 days will not incur more than the weekly charge, whereas bookings of 10-13 days will incur a 2 week rental charge.
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Bed Linen & Towels
In self-catering accommodation sufficient beds will be made up for the number of persons on the booking form. At all of our villas we supply one bath towel and a smaller hand towel for each adult on the booking form. However, in a few cases towels may be smaller than those you are used to at home, large towels may be no bigger than 100cm by 80cm, and small towels about 80cm x 40cm. Most villas are equipped with a washing machine to enable guests to do their own washing. We kindly ask all guests not to use the towels supplied at the villa for the beach or around the pool. Swimming towels are not supplied but these can be bought locally. Most of our linen is operating on a pooled system.
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MUST REQUEST AND PAY THE REQUIRED SUM, WHICH IS PER PERSON PER WEEK FOR BEDLINEN & TOWELS OTHERWISE IT WILL NOT BE SUPPLIED. If you only request 1 week's towel and bed linen, and you are at the villa for 2 weeks, then you will not have any fresh linen for the second week, which is an option that you can choose as detailed on the booking form.
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As you are hiring the villa you are responsible for the villa and its contents, as well as the pool during your stay. Therefore please refer to the Terms & Conditions of hire, and in particular the sub headings of hirer's responsibility at points 10,11 and 13.
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As you would be security-conscious at home so you should be in Spain. Opportunistic thieves have made simple break-ins into villas in the past, mostly due to the non mortise locking of doors or the failure to properly close windows, that are not protected by the local decorative metal bars on windows and sometimes gate doors.
As at home in the UK or other parts of the world insurance cover on any break-in is only honoured provided that a mortise lock is used (not just a Yale type key) and any other fitted bolts are also used (if fitted). Therefore the owner is subject to the damages caused by such break-ins and non–recoverable from the insurance companies in Spain. Any possessions stolen, even with a crime number, are not recoverable from the insurance company. Therefore it is your liability and responsibility whilst renting the villa or apartment to ensure that all doors including gates are closed and mortise-locked, and to use all other locks fitted in the proper fashion, including windows.
In the unfortunate event that you had the misfortune to be broken into whilst at the villa, and it is via a non locked door or window (Not Yale), then you may well be liable for any damage or loss caused.
It is vital that upon exiting the Villa or Apartment, at all times, that you double check that you have mortised-locked all doors, including the metal gate should there be one, and that you turn the key twice around to double lock the mortise locks, as well as windows.

Be careful at arrival to airports. It has been reported that it is sometimes here that thieves will identify possible targets at the entrance halls. When one is on holiday the mind is relaxed and pre-occupied with simply moving luggage and getting to the destination. Thieves may identify potential targets for many reasons. Some include seeing expensive luggage, video cams, a pre-occupied family in a flustered state and others perceived as a vulnerable target.
Without being alarmist it is in your interest to be more vigilant. It is possible that you may be watched at the airport and followed to your villa in order for the thief to ascertain the vulnerability of the villa, knowing that it is holiday-makers arriving for a week or two. Keep valuables with you when you are out, or in a safe if the villa has one. Opportunistic thieves tend to seek portable items, usually non-identifiable and include cash, and would normally attempt a break-in when you just arrive or leave the premises.
TRICKS. It has been known that certain tricks are played in Barcelona. Whereby a passing senorita or senor passes you by and then brushes your shirt and tells you that some bird has made some droppings when it was her/him that actually put it on you. By the time you overcome the confusion the partner runs off with your wallet.
Other tricks may involve a helpful fellow motorist that flags you down indicating that you have a flat tyre on your car. When you both get out of the car to see what is wrong they run off with a handbag.
If the entrance door to the villa is some way from the pool ensure you lock the door.
If you do experience a theft then go directly to the police station and report the incident and ensure you get a crime number, as you would in the UK.
Remember in Spain as well as the UK or elsewhere in the world:
Do not leave unattended luggage anywhere including your car.
Be careful if the car is loaded when parked and left unattended. Best go to a secure car park in cities rather than park in the street.
Be mindful of what is going on around you. Particularly at airports and when leaving the airport and leaving the villa. If possible leave a car in the driveway and leave a light on.
Keep possessions close to you.
Hold less cash. Use travellers cheques or use credit cards more.
Beware of who knocks on your front door, as you could well be being assessed.
If you are suspicious then do call the local police or mention it at a bar or restaurant close by.
CASH MACHINE - PIN Number Reversal - Good to Know
If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your PIN # in reverse. For example, if your pin number is 1234, then you would put in 4321. The ATM system recognizes that your PIN number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine. The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to the location. This information was recently broadcast on CTV by Crime Stoppers however it is seldom used because people just don't know about it. Please pass this along to everyone.
NOTE: Beware opportunistic thieves that could disturb or upset your holiday, either when the villa is locked up or even when occupied.
TIP: When occupying a villa do take the trouble, which is in your own interest, to observe where you would consider that an unwanted visitor may come from in order to gain entrance to an unlocked villa whilst you are in occupation. Do, therefore, lock windows, particularly those without bars and doors. Thieves have been known to go into villas to steal when the occupants have been on the patio, or in the pool, and work very quietly & speedily.
Be aware of unwanted persons arriving pretending to wish to speak to the owner, or any obscure name, or appear to sell something. If suspicious do take their car registration number and report it to the police, as such persons are just sizing-up the villa.
Also, be aware at cash point machines as to who may be watching you. Keep a photocopy of your passport and key documents in case of theft. Report to the police and ensure you get a report number in case of your own loss or that of the owner, as the holidaymaker is responsible should the villa be left open.
What to do in case of robbery: Should the most unfortunate occurrence happen and there has been an incident at the villa involving a forced entry then please note the following:
Ensure you do report the crime to the local police WITHOUT DELAY and ensure that you obtain a report crime number from them, even if nothing has been stolen. Depending on your insurance provider you will usually find contact numbers in the policy documents for assistance in translation or other purposes.
Should you wish to relocate to another property following a robbery then Villaspain will do its utmost to accommodate you and advise on availability. However, whilst some travel insurers will compensate you for this as well some will not, so you should check the schedule of cover before making such a decision. Please note though that any additional rental would have to be paid by yourself in addition to the rental that you have already paid. Again, you should clarify this with your insurers, as different premiums give differing cover.
Do inform your insurers by phone and letter about such an incident as soon as practically possible, as each company has it's own deadlines, which are usually within a week of returning from your holiday.
What to do should you experience any personal theft that is not a result of a forced entry at the villa, or experience any difficulties outside of the villa, and not associated with the villa whilst on holiday, that necessitates the assistance of the supervisor to the villa.
Should you require assistance that requires a callout from the supervisor in connection with any difficulties that you have personally, which are not directly related to the villa then the callout charge and time will be charged at the prevailing rates. The supervisor will be happy to assist you in any request that you make and if they are busy at that moment will organise and arrange for you a translator to accompany you to the police station or any other local destination should you have difficulty in any retail outlet, or car problem.
Such charges are made as the supervisor is only paid for the supervision of the villa and is not a holiday representative.
Such sums may be recoverable from your insurers should you experience a personal theft or other hazard whilst on holiday.
All parties react differently to a robbery, or attempted one, so do try not to allow it to interfere with the rest of your holiday and enjoy the remaining period.
Britain is the most burgled nation in Europe article in Sunday Times 27/08/06 by J Milne & N Smith
BRITAIN has the best burglars in Europe, according to a study by the European Union, which also finds that the country is the continent’s second most crime-ridden.
The research found that break-ins here are more likely to be successful than anywhere else, even though householders are also the most likely to have burglar alarms.
The ease with which burglars get around security measures helps Britain to top the EU’s league table for burglaries, with twice the average rate. Overall, 21% of people fell victim to crime in one year, a rate surpassed only by Ireland.
The authors of the research, a draft of which was unintentionally released last week, conclude: "Levels of crime have been declining in the United Kingdom since 1995 but not to the extent as in some other EU countries. The UK remains a high crime country".
The researchers said this weekend that the Home Office was so worried about how badly Britain came out of the study that it had demanded early warning from Brussels before publication.
"There was a politically motivated fear (among) civil servants because of what ministers would say," said Robert Manchin, chairman of Gallup Europe, which conducted the research in conjunction with the European commission.
The study was based on interviews with 28,000 people in 18 countries from both western and eastern Europe, including 3,600 from Britain. The researchers found that in 2004, 3.3% of respondents in Britain had been burgled, compared with an EU average of 1.7%.
In addition, 1.8% had had their car stolen and 5.4% had been assaulted or threatened -also the highest in the EU.
Britons are also more likely than other EU citizens to fit security measures at home, with 36% of respondents having burglar alarms. The researchers asked whether they had been the victim of either a successful or a failed burglary in 2004.
The results showed that in countries with high burglar alarm ownership, a high proportion of break-ins failed.
Except in Britain. “A clear outlier in the relationship is the United Kingdom,” the study notes. “(It has) the highest rates of burglar alarms and a moderately low proportion of failed burglaries.” Frankie Dettori, the jockey, has had several trophies and his MBE stolen in a burglary from his home near Newmarket racecourse. Dettori, 35, was said to be “deflated and sickened. The jockey, who has ridden more than 2,000 winners, added: “The main thing that has gone is my MBE medal, as well as three Gold Cups I won in Japan.” Dettori’s wife Catherine was on holiday with the couple’s five children when the break-in took place on Friday.
Percentages of assaults, burglaries and robberies in 2004*
* Percentage in each country. Total 28,000 respondents Source: EU/Gallup
BRITAIN - Assaults/Threats: 5.4; Burglary: 3.3; Robbery: 1.3
IRELAND - Assaults/Threats: 4.9; Burglary: 2.3; Robbery: 2.2
POLAND - Assaults/Threats 3.0; Burglary: 1.4; Robbery: 1.3
GERMANY - Assaults/Threats: 2.7; Burglary: 0.9; Robbery: 0.4
FRANCE - Assaults/Threats: 2.1; Burglary: 1.6; Robbery: 0.8
SPAIN - Assaults/Threats: 1.5; Burglary: 0.8; Robbery: 1.3
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