Wanted: Fourteen friends – five couples and four singles – are looking for a self-catering villa holiday to somewhere sunny next summer, with flights and car hire.
Budget: £750 per person
8 Western Road
The shop was clean and had bespoke window displays. The only agent acknowledged me as I walked in, despite dealing with another customer. After a lengthy wait, the friendly agent turned her attention to me. I was offered three quotes through James Villa Holidays: Villa Casa Marron, in Menorca, for £710, including four hire cars; Villa Vieira, in the Algarve, for £581, plus £200 per car; and Villa Casa Salsa, on the Costa Brava, for £654. Prices were based on September departures with flights from Gatwick, although I was also shown more expensive options in June. The agent offered a range of holidays, and knew individual properties, not just the destinations.
20 Western Road
The window displays were attractive. The staff weren’t in uniform, so I wasn’t sure who was an agent until I was acknowledged. I was offered a wide range of options through James Villa Holidays, including Villa Casa Marron, in Menorca, for £537 for a September 19 departure, or £591 on May 1, including flights from Gatwick. I was also offered car hire. The agent suggested that September was a better time to visit Menorca than May.
1 Western Road
The window display enticed me to enter. I was acknowledged immediately, and the agent said Florida was the only realistic option. The agent quoted £777 for a week at Storey Lakes Resort in Kissimmee, from Tui’s Villa Collection brochure, departing October 2. I was also quoted £769 for the same week in May. They were good quotes but I would have liked more options. Car hire was mentioned, but not quoted.
Karen Swann, senior travel consultant
“Villa enquiries are rare but it’s important to listen to exactly what the customer wants as groups have lots of different requests and you have to get them into the budget.”
Premier Travel’s greater range of options saw it pip Dreamtime Travel, despite a long wait while Tui’s agent looked further afield.
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