North Cyprus Blog: Holiday Villas vs Hotels
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23 July 2008

Holiday Villas vs Hotels

My friends think I am rather strange, because when I go on holiday, I much prefer to stay in a holiday villa than a hotel. When I start to describe my latest villa discovery, their eyes start to widen. "Why don't you stay in a hotel?" they ask, "You don't have to cook, everything is laid on. A villa is too much like being at home!"

That is just why I don't like hotels for my main holiday! I work in a crowded city in a big office, and spend much of my time rushing from job to home to kids' swimming matches, etc. The last thing I want on holiday is to spend it with a lot of other people - I want peace and quiet, and my own pool not packed with junior racers, thank you very much! Which is why, for the last two years, we have hired a villa in North Cyprus.

A North Cyprus holiday villa gives me and my family the freedom to chill out and enjoy being together again. We have breakfast together on the terrace in the sunshine, instead of rushing through burnt toast and sticky cereals before the school run. I can admire the view (I like a nice view!) while the kids splash in the pool, or we can drive to a small local beach for the morning.

I must be a lucky Mum, because my kids eat almost anything that doesn't move too fast. I like to think this is because we always shop locally on holiday, at small shops or markets. So, for lunch, they are happy to tuck into a local restaurant 'meze' selection without knowing quite what's in it, or tackle a big North Cyprus kebab, always a favourite.

Then it's time for an 'adventure', whether it's exploring a mountain castle, playing gladiators in a Roman ruin or learning to scuba dive. (A surprise hit with all the family last year, thanks to the PADI Bubblemaker course for the kids.)

At the end of the day, our holiday villa really comes into its own. Now we parents can sit back with a glass of wine or an Efes beer, while the kids kick back with a DVD for a while. (I do appreciate a DVD player in a villa rather than just a TV, since my Turkish is non-existent!)

If we want to cook what we bought earlier, then my husband is on barbecue duty. If I'm feeling inspired, it's fresh veg, fresh fish and lots of nibbly bits like olives, etc. If not, it's a walk (preferably) to the local taverna for a slap-up supper that costs less than a trip to the cinema back home.

In the past, I have rented villas across the Mediterranean, either through villa holiday companies or direct with owners themselves. I prefer to rent through a villa rental company, as I find the villas tend to be better equipped, cleaned more regularly, and, thanks to driving direction written in English, much easier to find!


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