What we hear time and time again at James Villas (and it’s very true) is that our customers love villas because of the private pool, or the space and freedom that they offer. This is very true, but there’s something else – for me personally, having been on 5 of them – that make villa holidays very special.
Every villa is unique. It’s been fitted up with care and attention so that it has its own character and ambience – a vibe that you don’t typically get in a uniform hotel. Each villa has its own story and an individual behind it.
Juan, Maria & their villas in Ibiza
Mark is one of our contractors, which means he’s the lucky guy that gets to go out and visit every single villa, meet the owners and actually hear the full story of the property. It was he who first told me about Juan and Maria – some villa owners that we work with out in Ibiza.
James Villas started offering villas in Ibiza in 2004 and have been working with Juan and Maria since 2005, so that’s a good ten years. We now work with them on 5 different properties. The first was Es Baladres in 2005, the second Sa Descuberta in 2006 (when very pleased with their first year with us they invested in a second property) and next up was Cas Puig de S’Arenal in 2008.
I was chatting with Mark about just why these villas were so popular, and why they just kept on coming. His reply – “Juan and Carmen are very good, hands on owners who have an immense amount of pride in their houses and are always ready to listen to ideas for improvement. They genuinely care for our customers.” It got me thinking about the personalities behind our villas, and as I was curious, Mark was good enough to put me in touch with Juan and Maria for a chat.
At first our conversation was pretty generic – my own family, our villa holiday experiences, etcetera… It turns out Juan and Maria both come from larger families themselves, with 3 children of their own and 3 and 4 siblings each respectively. It didn’t come as a surprise to me then that their first villa – Es Baladres – was very family centric, close to the beauty-spot of Portinatx and walkable to the beaches and the low-key resort. They love welcoming families here and frequently get extended groups with grandparents et al – “there are 3 bedrooms on one side of the villa and one on the other”, Maria points out, “meaning that the group can be slightly separate if they need to be. The grounds are also large enough so that even if 8 people are in the villa you have your own space.”
Our two more recent “signings” of Juan and Maria’s villas were in 2012 and 2014. Looking rather enviously at the pictures I’m curious as to why Cas Puig is so charmingly traditional with beautiful authentic features, while Sa Bassa Blanca, although traditional from the outside is so chic and modern within.
Juan explains to me that Cas Puig is actually a ‘finca’ style farmhouse over 200 years old, and his family home. They had it fully refurbished in 2014, but wanted to keep as much to tradition as possible. Despite the dark wood furnishings and exposed beams, the rooms remain light and spacious. Maria (who I sense is the interior designer here) tells me “family time is so important to us, so the rooms were designed so we were all able to group together & relax.”
Looking at the photos further, I’m drawn to the neat lawned area (a big consideration for me when choosing a villa for my own family and small children), the delightfully gnarled tree and ornamental vase. I mention this to Maria and I can hear the pride in her voice. “Yes, I love to garden but sometimes with the heat and air in Ibiza some plants are difficult to grow. We have chosen hardy plants with as much green as possible. Gardening is my hobby so it keeps me occupied.”
So why the contrast between the styles of Cas Puig and Sa Bassa Blanca, with its traditional façade but ultra-modern interior? Juan tells me “It doesn’t look it from the outside, but it’s much newer villa. The local architect – Francisco Cuevas – designed it to fit with local traditions.”
“Local traditions” struck me, as do the photos of the beautiful, hilly countryside views down to the sea. This is not the Ibiza, I’m afraid to say, that I knew in my late teens. But I’m now a mum of two and my tastes have changed somewhat!
I tell Juan this and he laughs. “The area of Portinatx” he says, “is in the far north of Ibiza, so due to being away from the crowds, leads to quiet family or holiday lifestyle, it has maintained the Ibizan laid back attitude.”
Wherever our conversation veered off to, it kept coming back to family, it seems. It’s something that’s obviously inherently important to Juan and Maria and that comes across in the very build and personalities of their villas. These are places they’ve carefully crafted for holidaymakers to come to and spend real quality time with their loved ones. And that’s enough for me, I’m sold. I think Ibiza might be back on my radar for my next family holiday…