Feliz Navidad 

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Enjoy a Christmas to Remember at DSV Collection in Marbella

The Spanish enjoy some quirky and unique Christmas traditions.   Why not immerse yourself in a different culture this December with a Christmas break at Villa El Cano in Marbella. From December 22nd-29th up to 20 of your friends and family can experience some of the incredible Spanish traditions in the local area, whilst still embracing your British roots and enjoying an delicious Christmas meal cooked by your own private chef on the 25th.

Nochebuena or Christmas Eve is the most cherished of all family gatherings in Spain.  Most families eat their main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve, before going to Midnight Mass or ‘La Misa Del Gallo’ (The Mass of the Rooster). It is called this because a rooster is supposed to have crowed the night Jesus was born.  

The traditional Spanish Christmas dinner was 'Pavo Trufado de Navidad' which is Turkey stuffed with truffles (the mushrooms, not the chocolate ones!) or 'Pularda asada' (a roasted young hen), although they are not commonly eaten now.  Check out the incredible sample menus that you could be enjoying for this year’s festivities (insert hyperlink)

After the midnight service, one old tradition was for people to walk through the streets carrying torches, playing guitars and beating on tambourines and drums. One Spanish saying is 'Esta noche es Noche-Buena, Y no Es noche de dormir' which means 'Tonight is the good night and it is not meant for sleeping!'

Traditionally Spanish children don’t get their presents on Christmas Day but you may have a few issues trying to get your little ones to embrace this part of the culture.  Children have a few presents on Christmas Day, but most are opened at Epiphany on January 6th. 

On December 28th, you’ll have to have your wits about you as 'Día de los santos inocentes' or 'Day of the Innocent Saints' is very much like our April Fools Day.  Friends and families go to great lengths to play tricks on each other.  

New Year's Eve is called 'Nochevieja' or 'The Old Night' in Spain and one special tradition is that you eat 12 grapes with the 12 strokes of the clock at Midnight,making a wish for good fortune in the months ahead.  Some say that this tradition started in 1882 when a group from Madrid headed to the famous central plaza of Puerta del Sol and ate grapes as the clock struck midnight to mock the upper classes who drank champagne and ate grapes all night long. Others say it was a clever marketing gimmick when in 1909, grape farmers had an overly abundant harvest and needed a way to quickly sell their grapes. By saying that eating grapes brought about good luck, it quickly became a household institution.

 

Children believe that the Three Kings bring presents and not Santa Claus. The children send letters to the Three Kings of Orient – Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar – who travel bearing gifts for children who have been good throughout the year, and coal for those who have been a bit naughty. On the evening of January 5th, the Kings arrive in Spain and visit every city and village, where they’re welcomed with a fun-filled parade.

 

On the morning of January 6th, families eat the Roscón de Reyes, a delicious, brioche-like cake with candied fruit on top. Hidden within the cake is a small toy king and a bean. Whoever gets the slice of the cake with the small king will have good luck for the rest of the year and whoever gets the bean must pay for the Roscón!

 

As well as these unique traditions, the Spanish really know how to bring Christmas to life in their towns and cities.  With stunning light displays, nativity scenes and festive themed concerts in the streets and plazas, you’ll have a truly magical experience.

 

Emailinfo@dsvcollection.comfor details of our Christmas break at Villa El Cano

Villas vs Hotels

The top ten reasons to stay in a villa on your next holiday

With an average of 230 days at work per year, it’s imperative that you choose the right destination for your next holiday.  We’ve taken some of the work out of that decision by showcasing the benefits of staying in a private villa vs a hotel.

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We’ve put together our own top ten both from personal experience, but more importantly…following feedback from our guests at the DSV Collection.

 

And at number 10

 

No early morning jaunts to reserve your sunbeds

The last thing you want to have to do on holiday is set your alarm so you’re guaranteed the best space by the swimming pool.  When you have your own villa you can wake up when your body clock says it’s time and you can head to your sunbed when you feel like it – whether that’s after a relaxing breakfast or after a morning exploring the local area.

 

Number 9 – No need to dress for breakfast

If you go down to breakfast in a hotel wearing your favourite unicorn pyjamas, you are likely to get some strange looks in the restaurant.  There’s nothing more leisurely than jumping out of bed and heading straight down for a coffee and some fresh croissants.  On a villa holiday, every morning can feel like a Sunday morning.

 

Number 8 – The fun continues when the kids are in bed

If you travel with children, their bedtime can often mean the end of your fun.  This isn’t the case in a private villa.  You can tuck them up and head back downstairs for some much deserved adult time.

 

Number 7 – Access to the food and drinks fridge all day every day

Those bikini and speedo bodies have been achieved and it’s now time to let go and just enjoy everything about your holiday.   Restaurant bar and opening times in a hotel can be very restrictive but in a villa the fridge is there 24 hours a day, whether you fancy a late night treat or a mid morning cocktail.

 

Number 6 – The swimming pools and hot tubs never close

Hotel pool timetables are really annoying because they never seem to fit perfectly around your day and your desire to take a dip or totally relax in warm bubbles. In a private villa this isn’t an issue… whether you fancy an early morning swim or a late night dip by the light of the moon.

 

Number 5 – Lots of communal areas for late night and early morning catch-ups

When we stay in hotels we spend an average of 3 hours & 22 minutes in our rooms per day, when we’re not sleeping.  That’s a whole day per week! Time is precious and it would be much better spent creating memories with your friends and family.

 

Number 4 – Eat in, eat out, the choice is yours

On holiday there are nights that you want to dress up and head out to enjoy the bright lights and bustling sounds of the likes of Puerto Banus, but there may be other nights when you just want to lounge around and enjoy a pizza or some home-cooked food.  At DSV Collection you can also get the best of both worlds by booking one of our 

recommended private chefs to cook you up some gastronomic delights!

Number 3 – Plenty of spaces for ‘you’ time

With our busy lives, it’s important to take time out to truly relax.  In a hotel, this space is often limited to your bedroom or even the bathroom if you have a large family!  In our villas you could go for a rooftop hot tub, take an early morning or late night swim when everyone else is in bed or leaf through the pages of your favourite book on your private balcony.

 

Number 2 – Your own piece of heaven without other holidaymakers

There’s nothing worse than having your holiday peace destroyed by other annoying holidaymakers – the ones with the uncontrollable children and the ones that talk so loud that you feel as though you’re part of their conversation.  We can’t guarantee that your friends & family wont be like this but as you know them so well you can be honest and tell them to keep it down without the risk of creating holiday-rage!

 

Number 1 – Your holiday, your way

Villa holidays give you the total flexibility to build the holiday that you really want.  No clock watching, no time restrictions, eat what you want, when and where you want it, do whatever you want, whenever you want to.  Plus, you get to do all of this with your favourite people in the world. Even your closest friends & family can test your patience sometimes and fortunately our villas are big enough for you to have some well-deserved time out.

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Well, it’s clear that a villa holiday is a much better idea than a hotel trip.  If you are struggling to decide where that villa should be then we can highly recommend Marbella and a beautiful little area called Benahavis. We hear that there are 2 incredible villas there that sleep up to 25 people each.  Apparently they’ve got private indoor and outdoor pools and several hot tubs.  They’ve also got a load of 5 star reviews!;-)

The Ultimate GOLFING break on the Costa Del GOLF

‘This year it’s all about the ladies’

Lady Golfing

It’s all about ladies golf in Marbella this November.  With a superb choice of 15 fabulous golf-courses, and with over 320 days of sun each year, you’re pretty much guaranteed great weather and a fantastic game or 2, or 3...

Whether you play golf yourself or enjoy watching it, you’ll be spoilt this autumn as The Ladies European Tour have just announced that the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España will be contested at La Quinta Golf & Country Club in Benahavís from 22-25 November.  Only 15 minutes from our DSV Collection villas, join us for the ultimate golf break.


With only 15% of UK golfers being women, we’re really excited to watch England’s Georgia Hall in her contention to be World Number 1. She claimed both the LET Order of Merit and Players’ Player of the Year titles in 2017, and is currently leading the pack for the 2018 LET Order of Merit, which will be announced at the November event.  English players Dame Laura Davies and Mel Reid both triumphed in winning the national title in the region in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

 Long gone are the days of golf just being about the men. As well as the international award-winning players, there are also a large amount of female celebrities that feel right at home on the fairway.  Brits include Jodie Kidd, Catherine Zeta Jones and Jane Seymour and they’re joined in their passion by the likes of Cameron Diaz, Eva Longoria, Vera Wang and Tea Leoni.  Celine Dion is so passionate about golf that she even owns her own golf course in Quebec.

Why not get your golfing buddies together and book a 5* luxury break with us?  You could always bring the men along because there’s plenty of room for up to 25 people in our 10 luxury bedrooms.

 With the garden of Villa El Cid overlooking the golf courses at Villa Padierna, you can plan your shots for the next day over a delicious cocktail or if you want to have a bit of downtime from the game you could relax with an evening swim and hot tub in your own private garden. 

 The incredible view from Villa El Cid

The incredible view from Villa El Cid

 As well as golf and relaxation, our villas are perfectly located for a fantastic range of restaurants and world-class shopping and nightlife in Puerto-Banus.

Puerto Banús : ‘Like No Other’

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Just an 8 minute drive from the DSV Collection villas, the beautiful marina town of Puerto Banús really is ‘Like No Other’ and the tourist board have just launched a new digital campaign to showcase this.

 

Its nautical facilities, its unique luxury shopping and its enviable climate, with more than 300 days of sunshine, seduce millions of visitors every year.

Since its creation in 1970, this must-visit Marbella destination really has become a playground for the rich and famous - attracting celebrities, royalty and aristocrats.  From Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant of yesteryear through to the likes of Robert de Niro, Hugh Grant and Michelle Obama.

 

Fortunately Puerto Banús is close enough to our villas to enjoy the world-class shopping, stunning beaches & coastal views and superb gastronomic experiences but it’s far enough away to give your credit card a few hours of necessary respite. 

 

Just a few of the brand names that will test your shopping impulses include Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Tom Ford.

 

Multi-million pound yachts and impressive sports cars adorn the marina.  So if you’re looking for inspiration to buy your own, or you just like to dream of what to buy with your future lottery win, the fantastic restaurants and bars provide the perfect vantage point.

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Whether you’re a big or little kid, it really is a place not to be missed on your visit to Marbella and the DSV Collection villas will provide the perfect base for your visit.

5* Marbella Luxury, The Perfect Family Retreat

We’ve just returned from a perfect week’s holiday at Villa El Cid in Marbella.  I can fully understand their 50% repeat booking rate as we’re looking at opportunities to return already.
— Annalie H, Lincolnshire

From the moment we pulled up on the driveway to the moment we left at the end of the week, we experienced 5* luxury throughout. 

Ideal for couples and families alike, there really is something for everyone, with the space being large enough for each person to enjoy doing their own thing. 

 

The kids really were in heaven.  They made their own fruit cocktails using the local produce and spent hours trampolining in the garden, playing in the pool, and chilling in the hot tub.  As a parent, their safety is paramount so the lockable gates around the pool and the addition of swim vests for the young ones, meant that we were able to have a truly relaxing break.   

As the sun went down each evening, the kids would use their last burst of energy to enjoy a family film or create their own rules at the pool table, before heading up to their slumber via the lift.  The level of excitement when they realised that the villa had a lift was off the scale.  Not only was it very convenient for the adults to take heavy suitcases up and down the stairs, but the joy of the doors opening and closing and going up and down was on a par with a popular fairground ride.

Following long hours at work, it’s often difficult to remember how to relax on holiday, but following our warm welcome from the wonderful Andreaa, all of the adults managed to settle in very quickly.

With a large array of fantastic restaurants within an 8-minute drive of the villa, access to private chefs within the local area and the most incredible professional kitchen and dining areas, Villa El Cid is paradise for MasterChef fans.  Whether you’re looking to create your own gastronomic feast using the local delicacies or prefer to sit back and savour someone else’s creations, you certainly won’t go home hungry.   

And if you have sports fans within your party they won’t be disappointed.  The Rugby 7’s World Cup and The FIFA World Cup Fixtures played on the TVs in the communal lounge. They were far enough away that we weren’t disturbed by the vocal support that the boys showed for their teams, but they were close enough to feel that we were all on holiday together, enjoying the same incredible space. 

The rest of us took the opportunity for total relaxation - soaking up the sun, catching up on holiday reading and melting away our stresses in the pool and hot tub.  At night the flood lit pool and hot tub came in to there own – the quiet surroundings, the sleeping children, and the sunset over the golf course - all accompanied by delicious homemade cocktails.

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Whether you’re looking to experience the beautiful surroundings of Marbella or spend quality time with friends and family within the grounds of the villa, you wont be disappointed and there’s certainly no risk of you getting claustrophobic. 

During our stay we ventured to the beautiful town of Puerto Banus, which is approximately 8 minutes from the villa.  The harbour side restaurants, the spectacular boats and the exceptional shopping meant that we were able to give our bankcards the flexing that they deserved.  A fantastic Indian takeaway on the terrace and several beachside bars completed our gastronomic journey.

 

Sadly all good things must come to an end and after 7 days it was time to head home to the UK.   During the journey home the priority discussion was the friends and family that we’d bring back to share the experience with us next year.  

 

Thank you to the fantastic Barbara for finalising our itinerary and to Andreaa and Rihas in-resort for looking after us.  In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, ‘We’ll be back’.

 

 

 

 

 

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