About Oliver's Travels

Where did it all start?

In 2003, my best mate Ravi and I spent a week at a crumbling chateau in the Dordogne with a group of our closest friends. It was one of those holidays you never forget. The chateau was stunning, the wine was flowing and the weather was pretty much perfect. Best of all, we had the whole place to ourselves.

As it turns out, that holiday was the start of something pretty special. Before we’d even got back to England, Ravi and I had come up with the basic idea for our first business, Simply Chateau: a website where people could find and book exclusive, luxury chateaux without having to shell out a fortune.

 

 

Where are we today?

We’ve grown a bit since then. We’ve now got a team of people who love travelling just as much as we do. Between us, we’ve hand-picked every one of the properties you’ll find on the site.

Our emphasis is still on quirky, lavish, one-of-a-kind places to stay, but we now offer villas, castles, stately homes, beach huts and cottages, as well as chateaux – not just in France, but all over the world.

You may have noticed we’ve changed our name too. Ravi took a bit of persuading, but in the end we agreed on Oliver’s Travels!

 

 

Why do ordinary?

So whether you want to treat the family, get together with friends or spend a romantic weekend somewhere special, why do ordinary... when you can have exceptional?

If you are looking for a bit of inspiration, why not take a look at our latest recommendations, where you’ll find a list of our own favourite places to stay? The Inspiration page is also a good place to start your search. And if you still haven't even decided on where to go, head to Oliver's Journal - our pretty awesome blog!


Happy travelling,

 



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Favourite Property: Maison Sebastien 
Favourite Region: Aquitaine, France
Top Tip: Try 'UPS-ing' your luggage - It works out cheaper than charges the budget airlines levy and means you waltz through the airport sans luggage!

Favourite Property: Chateau Seiguier
Favourite Region: Dordogne, France
Top Tip: Splurge a bit! Holidays are so important and it's always fun to go slightly over budget occasionally.

Favourite Property: Villa Woofina
Favourite Region: Barkshire
Top Tip: When organise a pawty, ensure there are sufficient balls and food. Let’s raise the woof!

Favourite Property: Villa Saint-Trop
Favourite Region: Venice & Veneto, Italy
Top Tip: Don't waste a magic moment to take a photo for social media. Just enjoy it alone or with your travel companions. Eat and drink local as much as you can!

Favourite Property: Snow Goose
Favourite Region: Kefalonia, Greece
Top Tip: Always pack snorkelling gear when going to the beach! You never know what beauty lies beneath.

Favourite Property: Casa Nero
Favourite Region: Maldives
Top Tip: One of the best ways to really get to know a destination is to explore as many parts of it as you can, especially the ones which are less commercial and touristic. Don’t be afraid to get lost. Google maps is always there to save you anyways!

Favourite Property: Villa Isidoro
Favourite Region: Lisbon, Portugal
Top Tip: All journeys have secret destinations which the traveller is unaware of. Make time to explore and find these hidden gems!

Favourite Property: Casetta Sul Mare
Favourite Region: Ubud, Bali
Top Tip: Always ask the locals where they would recommend you eat! 

Favourite Property: Water Lily House
Favourite Region: Sicily, Italy
Top Tip: As well as the local food or wine, try a local beer - branching out has brought me some of my favourite tipples!

Favourite Property: Villa Trutx
Favourite Region: AlgarvePortugal
Top Tip: If your partner tells you to stop packing so many things into your bag, discretely sneak it into theirs.

Favourite Property: Deluxe Veri
Favourite Region: Lesbos, Greece
Top Tip: Do some research before going to your destination, but also allow time for some spontaneity!

Favourite Property: Villa Orpheus
Favourite Region: Rhodes, Greece
Top Tip: If it's hot, then early starts and afternoon siestas can help make the most of the day!

Favourite Property: Chateau du Patrimoine
Favourite Region: Elapiti Islands, Croatia
Top Tip:
Spend a day mimicking the locals – from their walk to their hand gestures. It's a surefire way to break the ice and get invited to unexpected local events. Just remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Favourite Property: Villa Sughera  
Favourite Region: Sardinia, Italy
Top Tip:
Pack a small bag with all the essentials you'll need when you arrive. It will save you rummaging around in your suitcase!

Favourite Property: River Cottage
Favourite Region: Loire Valley, France
Top Tip:
 Learn a joke in the local language to break the ice and make new friends! 

Favourite Property: Manoir Normand
Favourite Region: Sorrento & Amalfi Coast, Italy
Top Tip: Treat yourself at least once - whether it's a full body massage at a luxury Turkish spa, or a taster menu at an iconic Michelin star restaurant, you deserve it!

Favourite Property: Casa Leilani
Favourite Region: Ski
Top Tip: Research your destination's transport options. You can get a good deal and save some monies for some more shopping or your next holiday!

Favourite Property: Villa Buona
Favourite Region: Jamaica, Caribbean
Top Tip:
Save space in your luggage by rolling up your clothes. Remember - if you aren't sure about bringing an item, you probably don't need it!

Favourite Property: Skyfall
Favourite Region: Protaras, Cyprus
Top Tip:
Collect any small sized toiletries and keep them somewhere safe. They will always come in handy when are you travelling light!

Favourite Property: Riad Gypsum
Favourite Region: Marrakech, Morocco
Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to get lost! It usually leads you to the best place.

Favourite Property: Finca Cillian
Favourite Region: Tenerife, Spain
Top Tip: Save the clear bags they give you at the airport to store your liquids. Next time you go on holiday, pack your liquids into the clear bag while you’re at home. Makes it easier to get through security without fiddling through your carry-on!

Favourite Property: Villa Todari
Favourite Region: Akyaka, Turkey
Top Tip: Make a copy of all your important documents. Store them on your phone and have a hard copy or two just in case.

Favourite Property: Villa Nancy
Favourite Region: Lake District, UK
Top Tip:
 Banana is a favourite pizza topping in Sweden! 

Favourite Property: Gigaro Beach House
Favourite Region: Cornwall, UK
Top Tip: What's the best way to a sense of humour fail? Get lost. Keep it old school and take a paper map!

Favourite Property: Chateau du Vieux Palais
Favourite Region: South of France, France
Top Tip: Make sure your hire car GPS has an English option - unless your French is good it can be tricky finding rural chateaux otherwise! 

Favourite Property: Magic Rocks
Favourite Region: Madeira, Portugal
Top Tip: Wake up early to avoid the crowds, you will see the most beautiful sunrises!

Favourite Property: Binibeca Deluxe 5
Favourite Region: Binibeca, Spain
Top Tip: Step out of your comfort zone, life is to be enjoyed!

Favourite Property: Arc En Ciel
Favourite Region: Caribbean
Top tip: If you are travelling to a new country and you can’t speak the local language try to learn some basic words and phrases and you will have lots of fun making new friends. The language helps you learn about the culture, and the culture helps you learn about the language.

Favourite Property: Villa Intan
Favourite Region: Canggu, Bali
Top Tip:
 Take free walking tours, they are really informative and fun! 

Favourite Property: Villa Castelli
Favourite Region: Santorini, Greece
Top Tip:
 Roll your clothes like sushi to save space and avoid wrinkles! 

Favourite Property: The School House
Favourite Region: Norfolk, Britain & Ireland
Top Tip:
 Play "mystery meal" by ordering the most unusual item on the menu! 

Favourite Property: Sunshine House
Favourite Region: Jamaica, Caribbean
Top Tip: When booking a table, always say it's your birthday. You'll get the best table in the house!

Favourite Property: Emley Woodhouse
Favourite Region: Wales, UK & Ireland
Top Tip: Give yourself time to take in your surroundings. What you are looking at now will be different in the next minute. Take it in.

Favourite Property: Chateau de Grazay
Favourite Region: Mykonos, Greece
Top Tip: Practice walking before going on holidays to prepare your legs, feet and walking shoes. No one wants blisters on day one!

Favourite Property: Sea View Villas
Favourite Region: Edinburgh, Scotland
Top Tip: Rise before sunrise (at least once) during your trip to enjoy tranquillity away from busy attractions.

Favourite Property: Villa Azucena
Favourite Region: Barbados, Caribbean
Top Tip: Why not give each family member a disposable camera? Most won't remember what they photographed and it's a great way to extend your holiday once back home. 

Favourite Property: Villa Garbancito
Favourite Region: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Top Tip: Plan some private time - travelling with family can be tiring and planning some you time will enable you and everyone else to have a much better holiday!

Favourite Property: Logan Manor
Favourite Region: Crete, Greece
Top Tip:
Always take sensible walking shoes! And enjoy a picnic made up of local delicacies in an idyllic setting of your choice.

Favourite Property: New England Mansion
Favourite Region: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Top Tip: Packing is everything. Will you wear everything you are taking? Probably not! Get rid of a third of the clothes packed, so you can bring more back!

Favourite Property: Villa Delle Sirene
Favourite Region: Montenegro
Top Tip: Bring a travel journal. Ask everyone in your group / family to contribute something in it at the end of each day. Years from now, you will look back and memories will come flooding back! 

Favourite Property: Villa Krystal
Favourite Region:
Kalkan, Turkey
Top Tip:
 You can learn so much about an area by the food, visit a market and see the raw ingredients and try things that are new to you.

Favourite Property: Cameron North Lodge
Favourite Region: Cotswolds, UK
Top Tip: The best travel snack is a banana, they are nutritious, yummy and easy to pack - and will keep you going for hours!

Favourite Property: Villa Terracotta
Favourite Region: Costa Brava, Spain
Top Tip: Dress your kids in very bright colours. If they go for a run whilst you are trying to repack the bag they just unpacked for fun, you will still be able to see them in a packed airport.

Favourite Property: Le Logis de General
Favourite Region: Brittany, France
Top Tip: Get some coconut water in you. It will help with the extreme heat, or even better, your hangover!

Favourite Property: Villa Choli
Favourite Region: Malta & Gozo
Top Tip: Be active! Don't think twice and jump off the cliff, you will surprise yourself!

Favourite Property: Vistas Algarve
Favourite Region: Phuket, Thailand
Top Tip: Never be afraid to go off the beaten track, you may find the best local bars and restaurants that way!

Favourite Property: Sea View Villas
Favourite Region: Scotland
Top Tip: Always remember that lighting and angles are key to a good Instagram holiday snap!

Favourite Property: Villa Leylak
Favourite Region: Kayakoy, Turkey
Top Tip: You can always pack lighter. Remember that when doing a backpacker trip!

Favourite Property: Casa Vista Roqueta
Favourite Region: Balearic Islands
Top Tip: Travelling between the islands is so easy with regular daily boats leaving between Mallorca – Menorca – Ibiza - Formentera.  Make the most of your holiday and visit the other islands for the day.

Favourite Property: Mas Guadalupe
Favourite Region: Spain
Top Tip:
Spain has some amazing all year round fiestas ,not to be missed, don’t forget to request a list of all the local fiestas in the area you are travelling to so you can plan ahead.

Favourite Property: Villa Regina
Favourite Region: Lake Garda, Italy
Top Tip: Always try to learn a little bit of the local language when you are travelling somewhere!

Favourite Property: Chateau de l'Histoire
Favourite Region: Burgundy, France
Top Tip: Check museum websites before visiting for any free entry times!

Favourite Property: Villa Francis
Favourite Region: Lake Como, Italy
Top Tip: Holidays are the perfect opportunity for a digital detox. Unplug, disconnect and enjoy!

Favourite Property: Villa Jacaranda
Favourite Region: Kvarner, Croatia
Top Tip:  Don't wait until you are hungry to find a restaurant. Avoid 'hanger' at all cost!

Favourite Property: Good Harbour House
Favourite Region: Mexico
Top Tip: Get out of the big cities and explore the lesser known places as they are normally so beautiful!

Favourite Property: Evergreen
Favourite Region: Grenada, Caribbean
Top Tip: For overseas purchases, always use credit cards with a 0% exchange rate & NO loading fees – it could save you £££s!

Favourite Property: Waterside House 
Favourite Region: St Lucia, Caribbean
Top Tip: FREE WATER FOR ALL! Pack an empty water bottle if you want to save on the expense, there are usually water fountains after security! Magic!

Favourite Property: Villa Laguna
Favourite Region: RomeItaly
Top Tip: Always have snacks for your kids! This will avoid arguments and small disasters. And have a snack or two for the parents. Adults can get as hangry as kids!

Favourite Property: Chateau Bourgogne
Favourite Region: Midi-PyreneesFrance
Top Tip: Visit supermarkets in a new country! They are full of amazingness and food you may not know. Buy a couple of unknown things and try them back at your villa!

Favourite Property: Grange la Chouette
Favourite Region: Antigua
Top Tip:
 Book early! This will save you a little which you can then spend on your holidays! 

Favourite Property: The Alexander Villa 
Favourite Region: Turks and Caicos
Top Tip:
Let your bank know where you are off too! It will avoid the late calls to your bank to let them know it is you trying to buy a hat. 

Favourite Property: Le Bastion
Favourite Region: Paris, France
Top Tip:
Always talk to the locals about the best areas, hidden gems and restaurants! I found gorgeous secret beaches and the yummiest food this way!

Favourite Property: Villa Alisa
Favourite Region: IstriaCroatia
Top Tip: Pack some card games. Great for anytime of the day and to keep the whole family entertained! 

Favourite Property: Manoir des Chasseurs
Favourite Region: London, UK
Top Tip:
More of a fun fact - it is the same time at both ends of China!

Favourite Property: Gumruk Evi
Favourite Region: Ireland, UK
Top Tip:
Go for a walk! Use those beautiful legs and walk everywhere!

Favourite Property: Cortijo Don Cristobal
Favourite Region: Sitges, Spain
Top Tip:
Ever heard of a jacket with 14 pockets? Pack your socks, snacks, and maybe even a small pet. Stay hands-free and impress fellow travelers with your portable storage fashion sense!

Favourite Property: Villa Syrna
Favourite Region: Cape Town, South Africa
Top Tip:
Pack only one sock type. Embrace the sock roulette game every morning – it's like a surprise for your feet, and who knows, you might start a new trend!

Favourite Property: Little Cygnet
Favourite Region: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Top Tip:
Create a bingo card with unique experiences (like getting lost and finding a hidden gem). Cross them off as you go. Achieve a bingo, and you're officially a travel maverick!

Favourite Property: Chateau Beaucharm
Favourite Region: Canguu, Bali
Top Tip:
 A versatile item like a sarong can serve as a towel, scarf, beach blanket, or even a makeshift curtain. Its compact size makes it an excellent multi-purpose travel companion.

Favourite Property: Le Cocon
Favourite Region: Puglia, Italy 
Top Tip: Don't forget the suncream if you don't want to end up mistaken as a boiled lobster!

Favourite Property: La Closerie
Favourite Region: Seminyak, Bali
Top Tip:
 Don't stick solely to familiar food options. Venture out and try local dishes to immerse yourself in the culture.

Favourite Property: Domaine La Sitelle
Favourite Region: Cote D'Azur, France
Top Tip: One for the ladies – a beautiful pashmina is always a must have item on holiday. So versatile and light.

Favourite Property: Villa Thalassa
Favourite Region: Dalmatia, Croatia
Top Tip: Hire quad bikes when you’re on the Greek islands…Awesome way to explore and discover the less-packed beaches!

Favourite Property: Comporta Villa
Favourite Region: Lisbon
Top Tip: Forget Ibiza! Comporta- incredible seafood, golden beaches, picturesque buildings & warm, welcoming culture. Make it your next villa holiday!

Favourite Property: Villa Kasika
Favourite Region: Vietnam
Top Tip:  Don't try to cram too much into your trip. You can't do everything and some of the best times happen when you don't plan anything at all!

Favourite Property: Villa Slatine
Favourite Region: Morocco
Top Tip: Forget public transport, taxis or cars, just walk everywhere, talk to people, eat the local food and enjoy as a local!

Favourite Property: Chateau des Lauzes
Favourite Region: Portugal
Top Tip: Tag your favourite spots on Google Maps with a little suitcase icon so you can keep coming back (and recommending hidden gems to friends).

Favourite Property: The Breakers Beach House
Favourite Region: South Africa
Top Tip: Be patient, things don't always go to plan and that is okay. Enjoy the adventure and the unexpected! Life is too short!

Favourite Property: La Ferme Bretonne
Favourite Region: Bergerac, France
Top Tip:
 You don't need to wait one hour after eating to swim and vice versa. It's a myth!

Favourite Property: The Dreaming
Favourite Region: Trogir, Croatia
Top Tip:
Forget the generic keychains. Collect random items from each place and make your own funky souvenir – like a collage of napkin doodles or a mini-sandcastle collection.

Favourite Property: Baccha Deluxe Soller
Favourite Region: Provence, France
Top Tip: Wake up early! You’ll be able to pack a lot more in, see beautiful sunrises and enjoy fewer crowds at popular attractions.

Favourite Property: Exi Estate
Favourite Region: Florida
Top Tip: When life gives you lemons, make limoncello!

Favourite Property: Chateau Lignol
Favourite Region: DalyanTurkey
Top Tip:
Try and buy a postcard from everywhere you visit and write your holiday highlights on the back. It’s lovely looking back through them!

Favourite Property: Le Petit Prince
Favourite Region: Sussex, UK
Top Tip: Pack a harmonica, even if you can't play it. It'll make you look mysterious and cultured. Plus, if you encounter a bear, you can either charm it with your 'music' or throw it at the bear and run while it's confused ! 

Favourite Property: Hilltop Manor
Favourite Region: Highlands, Scotland
Top Tip: Buy travel insurance. You probably won't need it, but the day you do, you will be delighted to have it.

Favourite Property: Casa Vista Roqueta
Favourite Region: Koh Samui, Thailand
Top Tip: Make sure you have enough storage on your phone to take great snaps before you go on your fantastic trip!

Favourite Property: La Maison des Moines
Favourite Region: Corsica
Top Tip: Involve your kids in the holiday planning, let them pick an activity or two. Keep everyone excited all the way! 

Favourite Property: Villa Sa Torre
Favourite Region: Slovenia
Top Tip: Before getting to your destination, why not read up on its history. This will give you great facts for your group, help you understand certain quirks of said place, and just great knowledge to have! 

Favourite Property: Villa Beyaz Gul
Favourite Region: City & Apartments
Top Tip: Get in touch with the villa owner before getting there, they will have great recommendations for your holiday! 

Favourite Property: Deluxe Antig
Favourite Region: Florence, Italy
Top Tip: Follow the yellow brick road, see where it takes you!

Favourite Property: Maison Aredius
Favourite Region: Grasse, France
Top Tip:
 Did you know Monaco is smaller than Central Park?

Favourite Property: Villa Juno
Favourite Region: Uluwatu, Bali
Top Tip:
 Traveling can be dehydrating. Carry a reusable water bottle and make a habit of staying hydrated throughout your journey.

Favourite Property: Villa Chrysos
Favourite Region: Porto, Portugal
Top Tip:
 Invest in a portable charger and a universal adapter. This duo ensures your devices stay powered up, and you can charge them anywhere in the world, eliminating the stress of finding compatible outlets during your travels.

Favourite Property: Spindrift
Favourite Region: Milan, Italy
Top Tip:
Learn local phrases and turn it into a rap battle. Not only will you be linguistically savvy, but you might also become a street sensation. Mic drop, travel style!