Archive for the ‘Spain’ Category

Hectic days a-coming up

Over the next few days it’s going to be pretty hectic here as the Spanish are coming, as usual for their pre-Easter break.

Also, as usual, they wait ’til the last minute to book. Just a few weeks ago, we had nobody down for the next few days yet as of tomorrow we’re pretty much full until Monday and everyone is from Spain.

The last minute business seems to be getting worse each year as we had several days worth of bookings arriving this morning including the first double booking for the year. The last minute aspect is something that none of the booking systems are really geared up for in that it can be several hours between the guest booking and the system notifying us of that booking which, of course, is plenty of time for a competing reservation system to slip in another booking for the same dates.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Targetting the Spanish market

I’ve been trying to build up the representation of properties that I have in Spain by way of sending out an e-mail in Spainish to a number of properties. Now, the sites that I have are basically targetted at an English speaking audience so I need the entries to be in English of course.

What’s interesting is that a number of properties have responded and are all excusing their “bad English”. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? After all, these are largely Spanish owned properties. The funny thing is that the English is often better than the English that I’ve been getting back from properties based in the UK!

Still, what I must do next time is highlight that I’ll translate the entries into English if needbe which I suspect will bump up the take-up somewhat next time I’m trying to get more Spaniards onto the listings.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Is long term rental over the Winter a viable option?

Although you can find that it’s arond the 700‚€ a week mark to rent a villa regardless of the season, many Spanish owners offer dramatic reductions in the price for long term rentals over the winter months.

For example, if you take a month long break in southern Spain, you can get quite a substantial villa for around the 600‚€ per month mark. Now, granted that doesn’t include food but it does include heating (which you’ll not need) and for a villa you’re effectively living there rather than in your own home ie you’ll be preparing most of your own meals rather than eating out so the price will be little different for meals in Spain than they would be if you were staying in your own house.

That lack of heating bills can make for quite a substantial saving taking the net cost down from 150‚€ per week to under 100‚€. This means that many pensioners are able to take up the winter in Spain option every year and with the increasing rise in “home working” it’s becoming a viable option for many more of us.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Where do they get all the money?

One thing that’s very noticeable in Valencia is that everywhere you see employment vacancy signs which implies quite a strong local economy.

As in other places in Spain there’s building work going on just about everywhere but it doesn’t seem so intrusive as it does in some cities (notably Madrid) with many quiet areas around the city. There’s more of a laid-back feel about the city too: everyone is certainly going somewhere yet they’re not going at the hectic pace you often see in Barcelona.

With the building work, there’s certainly money to be made in property speculation of course and the apartment we rented was owned by a relatively young Spaniard.

And the banks? It seemed like almost wall to wall banks in most of the central area of the city. Both more branches and a much wider variety of banks that I’ve seen anywhere outside London. They’re all competing for business too with many offers available on loans, credit cards and so on.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Short-break to Valencia

We’re just back from a very packed short Christmas break to Valencia.

What we’d not allowed for was that, of course, Christmas takes out several days from the time available as there’s Christmas Day itself and then there’s the Christmas shopping, etc. Anyway, net effect is that we’ve heaps of stuff to see when we go back there the next time.

The apartment that we stayed in was right in the centre with just a short walk taking us to the massive eight floor Corte Ingles department store and the almost as large shopping centre just behind it. Just beyond that were the arts & sciences museums that you can see in the photo.

By chance the Titanic exhibition was on so we started off with that. It takes a couple of hours to go round and goes into often tedious detail about maybe a couple of dozen of the passengers but skimps on other areas where you might like more detail eg there’s just the one short segment on how come they ran into the iceberg.

Next up was the Museo de la Ciencias (on the right of the photo). It’s one of those hands on interactive museums so sounds pretty good for the kids but in fact there’s very little on offer for children who are younger than mid-teens and even then we found that an awful lot of the exhibits weren’t operational. I suspect that the Hemispheric would be a better bet as it’s based on a series of IMAX shows though whether you’d want to stay there the whole day I don’t know.

We’d also a very brief trip round the old part of the city which we’d liked to have spent a lot more time on and will do next time around.

Definitely a city very suitable for a short-break.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.