Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

On finding the perfect holiday villa

with 7 comments

I’m currently searching for a villa in Spain into which to stuff my family and a significant chunk of my in-laws for a week this coming July (that’s a story for another day). Usually, when it comes to booking holidays, I’m really decisive and the booking stage is done very quickly.

But, despite having spent over 100 hours trawling through villas online, I’ve been unable to commit to one. First, they’re desperately expensive. I simply can’t believe that a four-bedroom house can actually, seriously, be on the market for £4,500+ a week. A week!

For that kind of money, I expect a stunning, interior-designed house; spacious, en suite bedrooms; an integrated pool snaking its way through the interior; wall-to-ceiling glass windows; a slide (yes, a slide!) down to the pool from the master bedroom; a butler; a chef; and siding doors that open onto a beautiful sandy beach. And maybe even a speedboat thrown in.

"Paradise" villa in Spain. Miles from the sea and what's going on with that plastic furniture?


But the reality is that the majority of these houses (and by that I mean all but the three that are going for about £8,000 a week) are not what they call “frontline” beach. They have small, pokey rooms, a shower and one bathroom between five bedrooms, and old-fashioned, rectangular swimming pools surrounded by hot, slippery terracotta tiles. You have to cross a four-lane highway to get to the beach, after walking for 20 minutes. The nearest supermarket is “a short drive away”.

But the biggest issue I have with these Spanish rental villas is the décor. Why would you go to the effort of buying a villa for the holiday rental market and then furnish it with pine beds, flowery sofas and white plastic patio furniture? Why?

I can’t pay £4,500 for a week of flowery sofas and pine beds. I don’t want to spend a week relaxing on plastic furniture that looks like it’s come from Costco. If this is Europe, well… all I can say is the Maldives is looking inviting.

"Paradise" villa at Six Senses Lamuu. Not a plastic chair in sight.





Written by mrsdubai

March 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. We spent a week at Soneva Fushi when V (my daughter) was 4 months old and trust me it was the perfect family destination. We met people with multiple kids who were spending months there and their kids were as calm and happy as clams.


    March 6, 2012 at 8:02 am

    • Sounds amazing… I’ve been trying to butter up DH to buy one of the Lamuu villas but, to be honest, they’re pretty pricey 🙂


      March 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      • Wow! ‘buying’ is way out of my budget. Though it makes sense if you’re close enough to take frequent trips. Cost per use would be the strategy I would try with the techie (my husband) for something like that 🙂


        March 7, 2012 at 9:11 am

  2. PS Have you been to Six Senses Zighy Bay? It’s FAB for weekend breaks from Dubai. just 90 mins in the car and like you’re in another world.


    March 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    • I heard their Spa is to die for. Mom and I are planning an overnight trip on my next Dubai visit, though it may be scorching hot as I’m plan to fly in post May.


      March 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

      • ‘I’ not ‘I’m’. Sorry for the typo.


        March 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

  3. Oh I couldn’t find this villa on trip advisor, it kept directing me to Samui (Koh Samui, Thailand) and then I found Laamu :p


    March 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

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