Costs and Payment
1. Why do I have to pay a deposit?
To reserve your property (and prevent anyone else booking it for the same dates) we ask you to pay a 35% deposit. But we won’t charge your card until we’ve sent you a booking confirmation, which normally takes about 48 hours.
Please note that the deposit is non-refundable, except where the property is unavailable (in which case we’ll refund you in full). We recommend you take out holiday insurance – just in case the holiday gremlins find a way to keep you at home.
2. When is the full amount due?
We’ll ask you to pay the final balance around 12 weeks before you leave for your holiday.
3. Can I cancel my holiday and get a refund?
If you let us know more than 12 weeks before your intended departure date, then we’re happy to refund you the balance of your holiday. Unfortunately, we’re not able to refund the deposit you paid to secure your booking.
4. The final price is slightly different from the one I was quoted. Why is this?
Don’t worry – it’s all to do with the exchange rate. The price may change because the owners of your property charge in Euros and the exchange rate has fluctuated slightly since you paid your deposit. This has affected the final balance by a small amount.
The rate can go up or down, so fingers crossed your final bill is a little bit less than we originally quoted. If you wish to fix the price, simply pay for your booking in full at the deposit stage.
5. Why am I being asked to pay a security deposit?
Just in case you do a Keith Richards and start throwing tellies out the window! As long as you leave the place clean, tidy and in the same condition as the beginning of your stay, the property owner or Oliver's Travels will return your security deposit shortly after your holiday is over.
6. How do I pay the security deposit?
By confirming a booking you authorize us to charge your credit card up to the value of any damage caused on presentation of photographic evidence and/or receipts for repair or replacement. Some owners require their security deposit to be paid locally or in advance of arrival (you will be notified if this is the case).
7. Are discounts available?
Yes! You can always find offers on the Oliver’s Travels website. The full list is available on our homepage under Special Offers but you’ll also see discounts and extras (marked by an orange ‘special offer’ banner) on properties as you browse through the site.
8. The owner has offered me a discount - what do I do?
If you’ve been offered a discount, that’s great! Please proceed with your booking at the rate shown on the site. We’ll apply the discounted rate when your payment options are sent out.
9. Why am I charged in British Pounds when the property is priced in Euros?
Some property owners deal in Euros. Because we are a UK-based company, we convert prices into Pound Sterling. Please note that the price for many of our properties is calculated and quoted in Euros and that both the deposit and balance amounts shown during the booking process represent the sterling equivalents.
Therefore, while the deposit amount is the actual amount you will be charged, the balance amount in sterling is only a guide and will vary upwards or downwards in line with exchange rate fluctuations between the date of booking and the balance due date.
10. How does the exchange rate work?
Exchange rates fluctuate all the time. In order to minimise any impact on you, we use the most competitive rates available – normally direct from banks. To see today’s exchange rate, click here.
11. Can you recommend a good insurance policy?
From personal experience, we’d recommend heading to Just Travel Cover. It’s easy to use and you’ll have a great deal in a jiffy.
12. Are there any additional costs?
When you book with Oliver's Travels, we send you a confirmation of the cost. That is all you’ll be asked to pay.
The only exception to this is either:
- Where your property is charged in Euros and there’s been a fluctuation in the exchange rate
- Or the property owner asks for a security deposit (which you’ll get back at the end of your stay)
- Please note you may also be charged to use heated swimming pools, energy costs and for end of stay cleaning. Do read the terms and conditions of your chosen property very carefully to avoid any surprises!
Many properties will also offer a range of extras, from catering to guided tours, and there may be charges for these. But it’s important to stress these are optional extras. Please read the terms and conditions of your property carefully before booking.
13. Does the price include VAT?
VAT where applicable is included in all our quoted prices unless stated otherwise.
14. Are we ATOL bonded?
ATOL bonding relates exclusively to package holidays (accommodation with flights, car hire etc). We offer ‘accommodation only’ so an ATOL bond requirement does not apply.
1. Why don’t you give out property addresses?
For security reasons, we don’t publicise the exact address details of any of our properties. What we do show is the nearest village or town so that you can start thinking about travel arrangements and hunting out amazing things to do nearby.
Once we’ve confirmed your booking with the owner, we will send you the full street address. But it’s probably best to wait until then before committing to any flight or travel arrangements.
2. Why is the name different to the property’s real name?
Sometimes, to keep the property’s address private we have to change the name as well. We try to choose names that reflect the property’s history, character and setting so that you can still get a good idea of its style and story. Once we’ve confirmed your booking, we’ll send you the property’s real name and full address.
3. How far away is the nearest airport or train station?
Just click on the ‘Location’ tab on the property that’s caught your eye – all the information you need should be there. If in doubt, get in touch with our knowledgeable concierge team and they'll point you in the right direction.
4. Do I need to hire a car?
It depends on where you’re going and how much exploring you want to do on your holiday – if your idea of exertion is walking from the sun-lounger to the pool and back, then a car’s probably unnecessary.
But do bear in mind our properties are sometimes set in remote rural areas where a set of wheels would come in handy, especially if you fancy a day trip somewhere exciting.
We recommend Holiday Extras. They search thousands of destinations to bring you the best holiday car rental, so you don't have to. And with no added commission, we can save you time and money.
1. Can you help us book activities and trips while we're on holiday?
Yes! Whether you’re looking for an in-house chef for the week, a dream snorkelling trip or private golf lessons, we can help you book activities and trips – leaving you more time to relax.To find out more, fill out our Concierge Form and we’ll work our magic. Please note that the free concierge service is only available for holidays, and does not apply to weddings or any other event.
You can also filter your property search results by the specific service you're looking for (including babysitting, a chef, and even a personal butler!). Simply click on 'Advanced search' and scroll down to 'Oliver's Extras’ to find all options.
2. Can catering be organised?
Should you want catering for your party (either for a special evening or throughout your stay) this can usually be arranged.
Many of our properties can provide three prepared meals daily, while others might offer a welcome dinner on the first night or the option to hire a chef for the duration of your holiday. You can find all the details in the grey 'Extras' box found in the property overview.
3. Can food or drink be delivered?
If you think you’ll be turning up late on your first night, or you just don’t fancy trekking to the supermarket the moment you arrive, we may be able to arrange a welcome basket with the owner. For more information call our dedicated concierge team on 0800 133 7999 or email email@example.com.
4. Can we get married at one of your properties?
Yes! We’ve got a whole section on the site dedicated to properties where you can tie the knot. You may be able to get married at other properties too, so if you fall in love with a place and have your heart set on getting married there, let us know.
If you need a hand planning for a wedding abroad, we also offer a dedicated wedding consultancy service. You can find out more by giving us a buzz on 0800 133 7999.
5. Can you organise flights?
6. Can you organise car transfers?
We can organise this once your booking has been confirmed. For costs and details, kindly submit a Concierge Form.
7. Can we have a babysitter?
Yes! Whether you’re looking for a live-in nanny or just someone to help for a few hours we can take care of your needs. Once your booking is confirmed, kindly submit a Concierge Form and we’ll get back to you shortly.
8. We want to organise a birthday surprise; can you help us organise this?
Your wish is our command. We can help make your ideas come to life or we can come up with some suggestions, such as pampering (massages, manicures etc), wine tours, or any other local activities. For details, kindly submit a Concierge Form - we’ll be in touch soon!
9. What does your Vill’otel Collection include?
Our Vill’otel villas offer the perfect combo of privacy but with all the luxury and convenience of a hotel.
With a Vill’otel holiday, you can enjoy all these services throughout your stay:
- Daily breakfast
- Daily maid service
- Deluxe welcome hamper with local delicacies
- Welcome drinks for your group
- Fridge-stocking service
- Private chef service
If you’d like to book the Vill’otel serviced option, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a tailor-made quote! Typical costs range between £100-£250 per person per week dependent on requirements.
1. Is the property suitable for children?
90% of our customers are families or groups of families, so the vast majority of our properties are child-friendly. If there’s anything about a property that we feel isn’t particularly suited to kids, we’ll say so in the property overview or the terms and conditions – but if you’re not sure about something, get in touch with our concierge team who can answer all your questions.
If you want to narrow your search to places tailor-made for kids of any age use our handy filtering system – use the navigation bar on the left of our search page to narrow your choices depending on whether you're travelling with ‘Babies & Toddlers’ or ‘Kids & Teens’.
2. Are children included in the capacity?
In short, yes. Some owners make an exception for babies and children up to the age of two, though. If you want to find out more about a specific property, get in touch with our concierge team.
3. Are there cots and high chairs available?
Usually - some even have beds especially for small kids too. To find out, simply tick these choices in the search options like below:
Or see if it's highlighted in blue in the ‘Kids’ tab in the individual property page (like in the image below!)
1. Can I bring my pet?
Some properties are very happy for you to bring the pooch while others would rather you didn’t. That said, although sometimes they are allowed, they are sometimes (usually) on request only and subject to the owner’s prior agreement. It's also worth noting that sometimes a supplement applies, so be sure to see the T&Cs of your chosen property.
You can filter which of our luxury villas are pet-friendly using our handy search function – simply select ‘Property Amenities’ then tick ‘Pets allowed’ and you’ll have a list of holiday homes happy to host your hound in two shakes of a pup’s tail.
1. Will the pool be safe for kids?
We define a pool to be ‘child safe’ when it has one or more of the following features:
· Safety cover
· Fenced or gated
Every property is different so please enquire to understand the specific safety measures that each pool has. Please also note that we act as Agents to the holiday Principal so the ultimate responsibility for the safety provision of the pool lies with the owner/property manager stated on your booking confirmation.
In France and some other EU countries, in-ground pools are legally required to have a barrier, security alarm or cover, however not all countries have such laws. You can search for villas with child-safe pools, by using our search function – simply click ‘Advance Search’ then click more filters and select ‘Child-safe Pool’ (just like in the image below).
2. Is the pool heated?
Lots of the pools in our portfolio of luxury villa rentals are heated, and some can even be heated especially for you, for a fee.
You can filter which of our properties have a heated pool by using our handy search function. Simply click ‘Property Amenities’, then select ‘Heated Pool’ and you’ll have a list of great properties all ready to dip into.
3. Will the heated pool be warm in cooler months?
The temperature of the water is reliant on its heating system, the weather and the outside temperature. A heated pool will usually make swimming more pleasant during the months when you would use a pool, but in cooler weather the water will not necessarily be warm. Remember to check the property’s T&Cs for information regarding availability of pool heating and any extra charges.
4. Will the swimming pool be open at all times?
The period when a swimming pool is open may vary depending on the property, the region, the weather at the time and even if a pool is open as cooler months may not be suitable for swimming. Remember to check the property’s T&Cs for information regarding any specific dates and other information regarding the swimming pool.
1. Who is my contract with? Oliver’s Travels or the property owner?
For all 'accommodation only' bookings, your contract will be with the owner/supplier/principal of the property.
When making your booking we will arrange for you to enter into a contract with the property owner. Your booking with us is subject to agency terms and conditions and the specific booking conditions of the owner you contract with.
Property specific terms and conditions for each owner are listed under the relevant heading on each property advert. By booking a property you agree to those terms and conditions.
2. Do the owners live on-site?
Sometimes. If they do, it’s normally in separate quarters on the same estate. Wherever they live, you’ll be free to enjoy the property and grounds as if they were your own – even if it’s a 16th-century chateau!
Owners are normally delighted to welcome you to the property, show you around and point you in the direction of the local attractions. If you'd like to find out if the owner lives on-site, just check under the properties 'Features'.
3. Will the owners or local managers speak English?
Not necessarily (although, many will speak English). If you require further information get in touch with our concierge team.
4. Will there be information in the villa about local amenities and things to see and do?
Not always, so it’s best to do some local research before you head off on your holiday. But we can also help point you in the right direction, just get in touch with our concierge team and they’ll do their best to sort out some fun activities.
5. Can I organise a party or special event at my villa?
All of our properties are entirely different, some owners will be totally on board and others won’t. For the specifics please check the ‘Events’ tab as well as the terms and conditions of your chosen property.
6. What size are the beds?
They vary, but as all of our properties are chosen for their style and comfort so catching zees shouldn’t be a problem wherever you stay.
7. What are the local activities?
If you have a specific interest (such as hiking, wine tasting or even skiing!) you can filter your search results to make sure it’s available in the area surrounding your booking - this can be found in the 'Location' of the search page.
The ‘Location’ section of the property you’re interested in should have some tips and suggestions too - there’s normally lots of information there about local attractions and activities.
8. What is the change-over day and what are usual check-in/check-out hours? Is this flexible?
It’s normally Saturday in the peak season but very occasionally it will fall on Friday & Sunday. Change-over days tend to be fixed during school holidays and summer months, but you may find owners are more flexible in the quieter seasons.
Check-in is usually from 4pm and you can check-out by 10pm on the day of departure – please note, some owners apply charges outside of these hours. You can always find precise information regarding your arrival and departure in the terms and conditions section on each individual property page. It'll look something like this:
9. Do the properties have air conditioning?
Almost all our villas in the Caribbean have air conditioning, as do some of our newer European villas. Chateaux and traditional villas tend to be more old-fashioned about climate control and rely on thick stone walls to keep things cool. If air conditioning is a must-have, all you need to do is click ‘Property Amenities’, then select ‘Air conditioning’ and we’ll make sure we only show you properties that really allow you to chill out!