Guest post by Alison Bailey
Visiting a city, but need help finding accommodation? Searching for something slightly different away from the normal hotels, self-catering, with more flexibility, possibly dog friendly, well, more! Consider Villas.com which don’t just book villas, but also apartments, cottages, holiday homes, and chalets throughout Europe.
There is wide variety of cool independent properties available, couples, families, or groups are catered for, including those with four legs, and fur.
Thousands of accommodation styles can be found, for all tastes, and budgets, many even have a pool. They are all verified, so there won’t be any nasty surprises, and with trusted reviews, it’s easy to make the right decision.
I used Villas.com to book accommodation for the World Travel Market this year, and instead of a tiny hotel room, miles away from the Excel, a spacious apartment in trendy Greenwich was my reward. Here is how I did it.
The first pleasant surprise, is how really easy the site is to use, in fact it’s actually enjoyable to explore the website, and check out the many options.
It starts typically enough, entering the required location, and dates will bring up a huge choice. The next logical step is to refine the choices, menus help tailor the search parameters. How many bedrooms are required, pet friendly essential, is parking a necessity, and which other facilities would be useful, laundry, gymnasium, or bar? What about attached, or local facilities; is a swimming pool desirable, a golf course essential, what are the dining options? Finally, does it meet the price range.
There is also a fabulous section called “Theme” where it’s possible to choose accommodation most suitable for romance, family, city trip, luxury, design, shopping, countryside, gourmet, nature/wildlife and business.
Most usefully it’s possible to choose to filter the results on level of importance in making your choice; price, review scores, recommendations (which are also often cracking deals).
Each accommodation has a complete description, all important details are included, with plenty of decent photographs showcasing the property. This provides a real feel for the accommodation, allowing informed decisions before parting with any cash.
Once happy with the choice of accommodation, there maybe several different pricing options available. Whether the accommodation will be a feature of the stay, or just a room with a bed, selecting a super king with a Jacuzzi bath, or just somewhere to sleep, it’s up to the guest.
In my case, a deposit wasn’t even required, and payment wasn’t requested until arrival at the apartment hotel, though obviously it’s not possible to confirm if this is the case across all properties.
A really nice touch is the provided map, showing where the accommodation is located, and the local attractions.Handy if some were missed in the planning…. don’t forget to check out the reviews, they can reveal a great deal about every property.
It’s not necessary to navigate away, another site isn’t required, it’s all there, accessible from the one page! (Some pages open in new tabs).
We were very pleased with our choice of accommodation, one of the Staycity Apartment hotels, just a few minutes walk from the London DLR. There was plenty of space, the serviced apartment being split into living, sleeping and shower areas. There was a small, but well featured kitchenette, there were even two beers in the fridge on arrival, and 24 hour manned reception, dealing with any issues, and providing local advice.
Several minutes walking, and we were in a thriving London district, with a variety of shops, restaurants, and public houses, it was perfect for our needs.
Villas.com is ‘parented’ by Booking.com, a world leader in online accommodation booking service, so they can be relied upon. My experience was extremely pleasurable, the range of properties available is impressive, and value seems superb. So whether seeking a pied-à-terre in Paris, or a romantic break in Barcelona do give them a try, even if a villa is actually needed …… they have those too.
Although the apartment was provided to us as guests of Villas.com, all opinions are my own, formed in the comfort of a sizeable bed somewhere in Greenwich.
I started as a photographer at the tender age of three when my Dad gave me my first camera, a Kodak Brownie. I crawled around ‘taking pictures’ of everything, even though there wasn’t any film, and I’ve been taking pictures ever since.
I’ve worked as a Lab Technician specialising in Pathology to the promised land of Olympus cameras, and even a spell in law enforcement. I’ve returned to my first love now however, specialising in wedding photography. I predominantly use digital today, but the traditionalist in me still loves film, and the skills required to develop it.