Thursday, 29 October 2015

Review - Our Clickstay villa

Last week we spent the October holidays at Villa Zenith in Portugal... our first family holiday abroad and we were super excited, especially the kids! We had won £1000 towards a villa with Clickstay in their Mummy Blogger Awards which made the holiday possible for us.

The whole process of booking the holiday was hassle free - we chose our villa on the Clickstay website, and we paid the difference easily with a secure online transaction into my Clickstay account. The correspondence from Clickstay was great and they kept us informed thoughout.

We travelled with EasyJet from Glasgow to Lisbon via London Luton and overall I'd say the journey with the kids was manageable. We had to wake the kids at 5am which wasn't ideal, but I took them to the airport in their PJs and we got dressed in London! I had planned ahead, buying a few new sticker books and blind bag toys for them to play with on the day of travel, and we managed to kill some time at Luton Airport at Frankie and Benny's having brunch. I had an amazing American brunch of fruit, pancakes, bacon, crispy potatoes and syrup!

Once we landed in Lisbon we collected our hire car (which took forever as there was a queue at the desk!). I had been dreading having to drive on the opposite side of the road and found this part of the trip rather stressful. I've never driven abroad before, so this was a first for me.

The villa is near Cascais and you definitely require a car to get you there and to get out and about - the house is in a residential area and there aren't any supermarkets or restaurants within walking distance. I was organised though and had brought some noodles, rice and brioche rolls with me in my suitcase! Despite this, we did have to go out to find a supermarket on our arrival (at around 8pm at night!) and that just added to my stress levels. Once we were back, the kids were tucked up in bed and we had unpacked the car I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the surroundings.

As you'll see from the photographs, the villa is absolutely stunning. There are the most amazing unobstructed views of the beach and the ocean and the large open plan kitchen, dining and living space is ideal for large groups. The villa can sleep up to 14 guests, and we were being joined by my sister, her partner and his two little ones the following day, making 8 of us in total.

The gorgeous open plan living space 
(with a few strategically placed sheets to protect the cream suede furniture!)


The interior design of the house is mixed... modern glass vases and candlesticks mixed with rustic wooden sculptures... concrete surfaces and lots of glass. I'm going to put together a separate inspiration post as it's given me lots of ideas for my own home.


We had a slight hiccup in that the pool heating was broken on our arrival but Clickstay liaised with the villa owner, a new system was installed successfully and we did get a couple of days use of the warm pool. The additional fee that we had paid for the pool heating has also been refunded and there was a mention of compensation too. This was one of the benefits of booking the villa through an agent, as they were able to do the running around in the background whilst we continued to enjoy the holiday.



The kids enjoyed splashing around in the pool, practicing their swimming and playing games with the floats that we had brought with us. There were also a few inflatable toys at the villa too that we used. There were plenty of options for outdoor lounging which we all enjoyed and there were also large parasols which were needed for the kids when the sun was out.

Enjoying ice lollies by the pool

We enjoyed a couple of BBQs using the outdoor kitchen, which was a great addition to the garden. The villa also had a dishwasher, washing machine and tumble drier - and I used all three!

The outdoor kitchen

Once the little ones were tucked up in bed, the grown ups were able to enjoy some down time. This is the benefit of having a villa as opposed to a hotel bedroom. We were able to relax in the living space, listen to music or watch TV without disturbing the kids.

A glass of fizz for the grown-ups 

There were a few other niggly little things that could have been improved. We were unable to get four of the five whirlpool baths to work and we could only get one of the DVD players to work (and it wasn't the one in the main living space) which wasn't ideal for trying to occupy the little ones. Some instructions as part of a welcome pack may have helped in this instance. The villa did however have wifi which was a extremely valuable as this meant we could view content on the tablet devices that we brought with us.

The website states that the villa is suitable for children, however I'm not sure that the villa is suitable for young children due to the lack of banisters or railings. There is netting to prevent falls, but in some parts this wasn't secure. I did spend a lot of the holiday on edge and keeping a watchful eye on everyone's movements! We had a few incidents of slips on the concrete floor as the kids had wet feet, and trips on the concrete stairs. My son also walked into the glass doors! He's a bit of a klutz sometimes like his mum (I trapped my hand in a door the other day at work!!).



As well as spending time at the villa, we enjoyed a few days out.... at the local beach watching the surfers and jumping the waves, the Oceanarium in Lisbon and a trip to Cascais.


The beach was just a 5 minute drive away

Rick enjoyed a spaghetti pizza!!

The oceanarium in Lisbon

Cascais

Overall the holiday was a huge success - the kids loved it and have been raving to everyone about their trip. It would be an amazing summer holiday for a group of friends or couples sans children!

1 comment:

  1. That's a really smart idea about taking the kids to the airport in their jammies. Does it work for adults too?

    I walked into a glass door once. Nothing to be ashamed of :D

    Glad your first family holiday was mostly wonderful.

    Lis / last year's girl x

    ReplyDelete

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