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!;-)

Family Holiday in Spanish Luxury

Family Holiday in Spanish Luxury

Planning a family vacation for you and your loved ones can be a stressful prospect. Our aim at the DSV Collection is to take away any undue hassle so that the whole family can enjoy the best possible trip away, filled with fun, laughter and memories!

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