Mallorca Villas & Holiday Homes
A private villa is a good choice for those looking for privacy or for a larger group of people wanting to stay under the same roof. Even a beautiful seaside villa may turn out to be a more economic option for your holiday in Mallorca than a 3-star aparthotel when the villa is used at maximum capacity.
Private holiday homes in Mallorca range from small studio apartments to huge estates and everything in between. Just like with hotels, a private rental may or may not have airconditioning or a safety deposit box, but a kitchen is standard in all as these are usually intended as permanent or long term residences. First time private holiday home renters should be aware that there are differences in renting a private holiday home versus booking a hotel. The most important considerations are covered here.
Things to consider when choosing a holiday home
Holiday home location: distance to shops, restaurants & beach
Unlike most hotels, private holiday homes like villas and fincas are often located outside of the centers of holiday resorts so there may be a long distance to shops and restaurants requiring the use of a car on a daily basis. When selecting a villa you should make sure whether you need to have a car during your stay. Remember that a distance of only 1km is already quite a long distance for carrying groceries and especially drinks as they tend to weigh quite alot in the quantities needed under the warm Mallorcan sun.
If you are on a tighter budget, it may be a good idea to buy at least most of the heavy items like lots of drinking water, juices, sodas etc. on the day you arrive and either rent a car for that day or take a taxi from the store to the villa so you don't have to carry the heavy items and then during your stay you only need to shop for smaller amounts of groceries that you can carry by foot.
Larger holiday homes in Mallorca are mostly further from the beaches than hotels, so if you wish to go to the beach a lot, you may need a car unless you book a property next to the beach.
Pool: private or communal
A private rental may have a shared pool or a private pool, so if you are looking for privacy you may want to make sure you have your own private pool. Apartments or smaller houses usually have pools shared with other houses in an enclosed community of houses, but there are exceptions.
Rental Periods and Changeover
Many holiday homes are rented for a period of one week, two weeks and so on, with one week as the minimum rental period and with a set day of the week for changeover, which means the day when one renting party leaves the property and a new renting party enters. Changeover is often on Saturday and the arrival time is usually in the afternoon around 15-17 and departure on the last day in the morning around 10am. Some smaller properties allow shorter stays, for example a minimum of three nights is common, while for longer stays you may be given a discount around 5-10% off of the price.
When looking at prices, check what is included in the price. Are there additional costs? For example air conditioning, a stereo, a hairdryer, a cot, an extra bed, electricity usage, water usage, pool cleaning, final cleaning, bed sheets and additional towels may be available only at an additional cost. On the other hand, sometimes even a rental car is included in the weekly price or prices may be shown with flights included from a certain destination in the case of a rental agency catering mainly to a certain region or country's travelers.
A booking is made either through a website, via e-mail or by telephoning the renter or rental agency. Many times a rental price and availability is shown online, but by contacting the renter you get these confirmed as sometimes the price online is for the previous summer or the availability status has changed but hasn't been updated online yet.
Confirmation / Booking deposit
Usually you can put a rental property's rental period on hold for a short time, but the booking isn't fully confirmed until you have paid a deposit sum, which usually ranges from 30 - 50 % of the total cost of the rental. This deposit sum confirms your booking.
Once you have paid the booking deposit, the rest of the rental price doesn't need to be paid until closer to the time of the rental. The rest of the price payment is often required around 8 - 10 weeks before the start of the rental period, but can be payed earlier if wished.
Cancellation of a booking is usually allowed until the very end, but the closer to the rental period a cancellation is made, the smaller the refund and close to the rental period you may not get any of your money back, unless you have appropriate traveler's insurance, in which case the renter will not give you money back, but you will receive the money from your insurance company.
An example of a cancellation policy is that if you cancel your booking while there is 10 or more weeks till the first day of your rental period, you will need to pay 50% of the rental price, if you cancel 4 - 10 weeks prior to the first day of your rental period, you will end up paying 75% of the full price and receive a refund of 25% and if you cancel less than 4 weeks till the rental period you pay 100% and do not receive any refund from the renter (but note that a good traveler's insurance will cover these losses in case of illness etc.)
During the rental period you are responsible for the items in the property and if you brake something, you have to pay for it. Renters either ask you for your credit card information so they can bill you in the case of damages or the may require a specific amount as a breakage deposit, which is then refunded to you if everything is in order when you leave. If something does get broken, the amount needed to either fix the damages or replace the item is deducted from the deposit and the rest returned to you.
In order to prevent having to pay for a previous renter's damages, check that everything is in order when you arrive. Also, at the end of your stay, it is polite to report any damages you may have caused instead of waiting for them to discover the damages during a checkup. Check with you insurance company that your traveler's insurance is in order so if there are any unexpected mishaps, you will not get stuck with a large bill.
Other Rental Terms
Other common terms include leaving the villa with dishes and cooking utensils cleaned (unless you have ordered final cleaning), trash taken out to the bins outside(if possible), and that during your stay you respect the neighbors(if any) by keeping the noise down during the night hours.
Other thing to consider
Are pets allowed or not?
Is smoking in the property allowed?
Is the property suitable for children, the elderly or disabled?
Is airport transport provided?
Distance to the airport?
Number of bedroom and types of beds (double, twin, singl, bunk, cots)?
Number and type of bathrooms (ensuite or common)?
Read more about related topics
> Hotels and aparthotels
> Hotel Booking
> Hostels in Mallorca
> Mallorca Hotel Directory
> Independent Travel to Mallorca
> Flights & Cruises to Mallorca
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