Villa Home Truths

It is a fact of life that some companies and individuals marketing holiday villas are either economical with the truth or hopelessly optimistic with the claims that they make. Our experience over the years has taught us a great deal about what is often portrayed and what is reality.

Whatever holiday homes may be on your shortlist, please ensure that that you know exactly what you are booking. The quality and level of detail of the information that is provided to you, as well as the way in which it is presented, will all give you some clues as to whether you are on the right track. It never hurts however to ask and, if you are unsure about anything, speaking with a villa’s owners can tell you more than a website or brochure advert ever can.

In addition to the investment that we have made in Citrus Grove itself, this website is also a direct reflection of the standards we have set. What you read and see here are genuinely what you will find when you arrive. Our greatest asset is you, the guest, and we not only want you to have a fabulous holiday, we want you to recommend Citrus Grove to your friends and family and hopefully we will even be able to welcome you back again at some point in the future.

The following points are just some to be aware of:

Luxurious or Merely Comfortable

Almost all holiday villas are described by their owners or rental agents as ‘spacious’, ‘comfortable’ and ‘well-equipped’. Many are also marketed as ‘stylish’, ‘executive’ and ‘luxurious’. So, can it all be true?

Well, without doubt almost all holiday villas have more than adequate living space, most are indeed comfortable and, in general terms, most are reasonably well-equipped. However, adjectives such as stylish, executive and luxurious are somewhat more subjective and debatable. It is not uncommon for the reality of your holiday villa to fall a little way short of the expectation you perhaps had when you booked it, albeit to be fair, genuine disappointment is rare.

Villas that truly live up to their glowing descriptions and that have had real money, thought, time, care and imagination lavished on them are not as common as their advertisements suggest. Most holiday villas are actually purchased by their owners as ‘turn-key’ operations. In other words, the villa, its furnishings, fittings and equipment come as a package. The owners’ choices within these packages are somewhat limited (which explains why so many villas look very similar in style internally) and the quality of what eventually goes into most villas is in truth pretty basic.

At the end of the day, most holiday villas are bought, furnished and equipped within carefully controlled and modest budgets. What reads well in print and what looks good in photographs does not always come over quite so well when you walk through the door and spend the next week or two living with and using it all.

The Model Home

Beware the model home! Many of the photographs that you will see of holiday villas are actually ‘examples only’ and are not of the property you may think that you are booking. It is quite commonplace for pictures of a model (or show) home to be used. These model homes are inevitably fitted out with every conceivable extra and made to look extraordinarily lavish. What you see in pictures on a website or in a publication may not necessarily be an accurate representation of what you will find when you arrive at your villa. Many sites also conveniently omit to tell you that the images you are looking at are 'examples only'.

All the images you see here of Citrus Grove are of the property itself. We commissioned a professional photographer to shoot the villa, only when it was totally completed. Indeed, no marketing of the villa was undertaken until it was 100% complete and as you see it here. Since then we have taken further photos (suitably dated) so you can see how the quality continues to be enhanced. See our new Photo Gallery for more details.

Private or Not?

Many holiday villas are slotted into quite compact plots and your neighbours may be closer than you think. A side window in your villa may be little more than a few feet from a side window in the villa next door.

Also, many of the pool and decking areas are extremely adjacent to those either side or behind - sometimes almost on top of each other. Watching others in their pools (and them watching you) just a few feet away is not particularly pleasant and private conversations become almost impossible when you know your every word can be overheard. Either that or the over-excited and excessively noisy kids staying next door can never be gotten away from!

Our villa was constructed on an over-sized, premium plot. There is well above average space between it and its neighbours and the pool area is not overlooked at all. In addition, creative landscaping has added to the feeling of privacy and exclusivity.

How Close?

Have you ever noticed how many holiday villas stake great claim by their proximity to Disney and supposedly how quick it is to get into the Disney theme parks?

The classic and oft-used ‘10 minutes to Disney’ (and sometimes less) may well be feasible at 6 o’clock in the morning but, to most people who prefer to relax and enjoy their holiday by leaving for the theme parks at a sensible hour, journey times of thirty minutes and longer are by no means unusual.

Villas that are located closest geographically to the Disney theme parks invariably suffer from dumping you right into heavily congested traffic and roads that never seem to be quiet. These villas also suffer from no alternative in so far as other routes are concerned. Other than getting up and leaving early, one can do little other than grin and bear it. Staying in a villa that is seemingly nearest in distance to Disney is rarely as advantageous as it may seem and, in any event, the Disney theme parks are but a part of what your holiday to Orlando offers.

Tuscan Ridge is not the closest of estates geographically to the Disney parks. However, it does provide easy access as well as a variety of route options which allow you to avoid the traffic congestion that many of the villas located nearer to Disney experience. At any time of any day it is usually less than 15 minutes from our villa to the Disney parks.

Hidden Costs

Some holiday villas do tend to conceal the fact that certain things are not included in the basic rental price. There is nothing more frustrating than deciding on the villa that you would like to rent, only to find that you then have to pay extra for certain things that you thought were included in the rental price, such as the barbecue, cot/high chair, etc, or that certain things are not available at all, such as pool towels, or to perhaps find that the compulsory sales tax is not included in the cost.

The only additional charges that can be incurred when renting our Citrus Grove Villa are for the pool-heating. We recommend the pool heating from the end of October to the beginning of May. The cost of pool heating is £110 for a week.