Steve and his family stayed at Chez Freddie
, a large family house in Cherigne, France.
Steve McConnell: "We were all delighted to be chosen to take part in the HomeAway.co.uk campaign and to represent the mixed family group of 14 all holidaying together! It was the highlight of our holiday when the film crew arrived, everyone enjoyed the filming and all of the funny shots that were taken during the day, especially the underwater games and the on mass jumping into the pool - surprised there was any water left in it! Everyone involved from HomeAway.co.uk and the crew were a pleasure to deal with, we are booking through HomeAway.co.uk again and will be travelling together again in August 2013. The property we chose, Chez Freddie, was lovely with everything provided for a large group; it was in a peaceful location yet close to shops and places to visit. Our hosts Ianthe and Jean Michel were great, nothing was too much trouble and they were very hospitable giving us all a lovely welcome evening party with plenty of aperitifs! The children loved playing in the large garden and we all relaxed by the pool most days having had lovely weather. Would like to return again in the future, highly recommended!"
Ianthe Roper (house owner): "I was thrilled to learn that our guests had been selected to take part in the HomeAway.co.uk campaign this summer, and was impressed by how assiduously they carried out the very comprehensive brief they had been given, while still enjoying a relaxing and convivial holiday at Chez Freddie. During their visit, the film crew was very professional and discreet, and made full use of the time available. Full marks for creativity: I admit to being a little surprised one day to see one of the guests walking around filming her own feet."
6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 13. From £1,139 per property per week
Chez Freddie is a traditional Charentais house located in a quiet village, ideal for a family getaway or a group reunion. The house has double, twin or triple bedrooms with three cots also available. Downstairs is a large dining room with wood burning stove, a quiet lounge with TV and a well-equipped kitchen.
Louisa and her family went to Greece and stayed in Villa Lucia
, a stunning 5-bedroom villa in Crete.
Louisa Whitworth: "We had great fun on our Crete holiday last summer. We captured some special memories of all our family generations together in a unique, friendly and stunning villa. Making the video for HomeAway.co.uk was a great way to keep a record of the fun times we had and just shows how a ‘home away from home’ can really bring out the best in a holiday."
5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12. From £1,139 per property per week
Villa Lucia is a newly built villa set in an elevated position, with breathtaking sea views. Set within its own private landscaped gardens the villa comprises self-contained ground and first floor luxury accommodation for up to 12 guests. The villa offers a private swimming pool, air con, satellite TV, fireplace, sunbeds, beautiful natural surroundings, garden and BBQ area.
Simon Watkins:"We chose Tuscany because we wanted to experience a cultural holiday, with a sense of isolation. We found that with Casale degli Ulivi, the Tuscan villa! The house was at the end of a dirt track, surrounded by vines and olive trees, with an idyllic view of the rolling Tuscan hills. We felt like we were miles from civilisation, yet it was only a 15 minute drive to the local station for express trains to Florence and Rome. The house itself had plenty of room for the six of us, and kept us cool during a very hot first week. The gardens and pool area kept us all either busy, or asleep in the sun. The film crew visited us early in the holiday, and it is a day we will all remember for a long time. The camera guys really immersed themselves (literally for the underwater cameraman!) in our day and had us in fits of laughter as they encouraged us to make the most of the pool and the kitchen. When I entered the competition there was some trepidation from a couple of the family about a day with a film crew, now everyone would like a film day every year!"
Nicola Pericoli (villa owner): "I really appreciated this initiative. I thought it was original and a good opportunity for the owners. My greatest satisfaction is always to give our guests the memory of a very special holiday and the HomeAway.co.uk initiative was certainly unforgettable for everyone."
5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12. From £208 per property per night
Set in a private garden of around 2000 square meters with green grass and olive trees, the villa is located in the heart of Tuscany near Florence. It has a private swimming pool and features stunning panoramic views of the hills and of the Apennines.
Marianne and her family stayed at The Squid House
, a beautiful 4-bedroom villa in Playa Banca, Lanzarote.
Marianne Gardiner: "Winning the HomeAway.co.uk competition facilitated the best family holiday ever! Our daughters were keen to make the best holiday video ever (as were we), so it became an action packed holiday seeking out that perfect setting or experience. It gave us positive energy in abundance to explore what was on offer. But we never forgot the importance of the "chill factor" ingredient, so spending evenings dining and relaxing around the villa was a perfect way to end those adrenaline-filled days. "
Therese Oliver (villa owner): "As owners, we were just as excited as the guests! The family have been regular visitors to The Squid House since their first booking through HomeAway.co.uk. When we first heard that they had been shortlisted, the excitement definitely grew and we told everyone. We stayed in touch with Marianne throughout the campaign and it was hilarious hearing of their adventures with the video camera! I could almost picture Marianne capturing every moment and turning her family into video stars."
The Squid House
4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8. From £850 per property per week
Situated in probably the most central and sought after area of delightful Playa Blanca and only 5 minutes’ walk from the village and beach, this beautiful, traditional villa is furnished to the highest standard and offers all the comforts of home. The villa is detached, has a large drive with parking and private garden, as well as a private, heated pool with spacious terrace and sunbeds.
Matthew and his partner stayed at Trullo Bellissimo
, a stunning, unusual villa in Puglia, Italy.
Matthew Chapman: "From the moment we came across Trullo Bellissimo on the HomeAway.co.uk website we knew it would be the perfect location for our romantic getaway. The owners made life simple from the outset and on arrival we were speechless. The property has everything you need, and so much more. It really was a home away from home, and within minutes we had settled in and were enjoying everything it had to offer, especially the pool.
Being part of the HomeAway.co.uk campaign was fantastic and we both felt it made us get the very most from our holiday. We had great fun filming the various shots using the camera provided and being filmed professionally was an experience we shall never forget."
Moira and Keith Brown (villa owners): "What a wonderful, emotional, journey. My thanks from the outset are to our lovely guests, who were up for this from the word GO. How kind and considerate to welcome a film crew into your holiday, which was itself a secret, surprise, birthday gift from señor to señora! My thanks also to the film crew for being such lovely people, we've seen some photographs and everybody seems to be having a ball.
Lastly, but not least, thank you to HomeAway.co.uk for having such a bright idea, and putting the resources into making it happen, and doing everything with such sensitivity. As owners we never get to see other people having a lovely, happy, fun-filled holiday – but now I can, how wonderful is that!"
2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6. From £1,375 per property per week
Originally three separate buildings, the oldest 300 years old, Trullo Bellissimo has been sympathetically restored and joined to reveal original stone walls, arches and vaulted ceilings. Set in its own olive grove, with stunning terraces, gardens and a private swimming pool, the property offers the ideal location to explore and enjoy the culture, food and people of Puglia
Fiona and her family stayed at Villa Panoramica
, a beautiful newly built villa in Lucca, Tuscany.
Fiona Jacobs: "We had a fantastic HomeAway.co.uk holiday last summer in a magnificent villa up in the hills of northern Tuscany. The property has the advantage of being away from main roads but, with a train station about 5 minutes away by car, we still had easy access to beautiful towns like Lucca and Florence. The villa itself is situated on a hilltop with magnificent scenic views, which we could take in from the swimming pool. There was plenty of space so we could both enjoy each other's company and get some privacy if we so wished. Taking part in the HomeAway campaign was a wonderful opportunity, and inspired us to do things we might not have attempted otherwise! As a result we spent more time doing activities all together, and so our overall experience was enhanced. A good time was had by all!"
Varinia Terroni (villa owner): "We were so excited when we heard that Villa Panoramica had been chosen to feature in the HomeAway.co.uk upcoming campaign. It was a great opportunity to promote the Villa, especially as so much hard work had gone into completing the property ready to welcome our first guests."
Villa Panoramica, 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 9. £1,335 per property per week
This stunning villa has been furnished to a very high standard and is a welcome and comfortable retreat from a day's sightseeing. Access is via a private tree-lined driveway leading to the main entrance on the first floor. Across the terrace, the impressive double doors lead into a spacious entrance hall and a lounge area with French doors leading onto the balcony. The open plan kitchen has a dining area with doors leading to just one of the three sun-filled terraces with a solar panelled lit parasol and amazing views.
Guy and his family and friends stayed at La Maison Fleurie
, a large farmhouse located in the picturesque village of Latoue.
Guy Thomas: "I can’t recommend HomeAway.co.uk holiday rentals highly enough. Our family and friends wanted a getaway in France and HomeAway.co.uk proved to be excellent. We searched several properties that met our requirements, viewed photos of them, looked at the surrounding area and read reviews written by previous holidaymakers. We were able to contact the owners directly and book the property. When we arrived at the house we were not let down, the standard of the property was first class and Francesca, the owner, was the perfect host. We will be definitely using HomeAway.co.uk again as they provide access to holiday rentals that cater for exactly what you’re looking for, be it a big family house with pool, or a fashionable city centre flat for a romantic getaway. Many thanks to HomeAway.co.uk for your help in making an excellent holiday for us all."
Francesca Miller (farmhouse owner): "I was very pleased to take part in this campaign. What a great idea, well done HomeAway.co.uk!"
La Maison Fleurie
6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 11. £1,450 per property per week
Situated midway between the market towns of Aurignac and St. Gaudens, La Maison Fleurie is built on three floors and features oak beams, a large open fire in the dining room and wood burners in the lounge and kitchen. The property has a swimming pool, a games room, as well as a summer kitchen.
Irene Tait: "The experience of our Greek villa holiday was fantastic, I thought having to film might take time away from the holiday but it actually made it even better! On entering the villas the reaction was just what we wanted and everyone was wonderfully surprised at how lovely the villas were. We celebrated my son-in-law's birthday, our friends' wedding anniversary and also our reunion with Tom and Claire, the owners of the villas who we have not seen for some years. We look forward to doing this again as we have already booked another HomeAway.co.uk house in Folly Beach Charleston in June, so I can't wait."
Olive Grove Villas
2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4. From £250 per property per week
Relax and unwind at the Olive Grove Villas, located in peaceful countryside surroundings with magnificent mountain views. Take a dip in the swimming pool then bask in the sun on one of the large sun terraces. The villas are well designed and furnished to a high standard with a real 'home from home' feel.
Jonathan Oddy: "After several months of hectic work and school, we couldn't wait to get on holiday and check out the property we had chosen! What a great choice we had made from the various different listings on the HomeAway.co.uk website. Within moments of arriving, we were made to feel at home and began relaxing and enjoying all the facilities. The tranquil feel and idyllic scenery, together with the home from home facilities, made the week unfortunately end too quickly. Being part of the campaign allowed us to capture moments we perhaps otherwise wouldn't have and push our exploration of the area a little more and we hope this will give an insight into how much fun you can have with your own itinerary."
Sarah Lacey (cottage owner): "I thought there was nothing better than to get an independent review on a holiday cottage or destination until the video campaign from HomeAway.co.uk was devised. It was great fun advising the Oddy family to help capture the beauty of this region in France and all the things to do around Les Moineaux at La Ferme des Tourterelles. One week was just not long enough!"
La Ferme des Tourterelles
3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7. From £692 per property per week
Set on the borders of a regional park and champagne vineyards, La Ferme des Tourterelles provides an oasis of calm. There are four cottages recently converted from barns, each decorated to a high standard providing all comforts. Each has its own private terrace surrounded by honeysuckles and roses. They line a courtyard and all have access to the large garden and outdoor heated swimming pool with fabulous views of rolling hills.
Fay, a yoga teacher, went with a few of her students on a yoga holiday. They stayed at Villa Panorama
, an impressive 8-bedroom villa in Malaga, Spain.
Fay Lochore: "Last summer, I spent a week at Villa Panorama in Malaga, Spain. This was our second visit to this villa; it was such a fabulous experience the previous summer that we decided to repeat the experience and come back! Being asked to do the video as part of a competition only served to make the holiday more enjoyable, the whole group was very happy to contribute and loved playing up to the camera. It was fabulous being part of the HomeAway.co.uk campaign and we all enjoyed ourselves very much."
8 Bedrooms, Sleeps 16. From £2,605 per property per week
Initially designed for the Swedish Ambassador, Villa Panorama was built to the highest standards with absolute privacy, top security and luxury fittings. You too can now relax in the landscaped and picturesque gardens with ponds and cascading water feature. Enjoy the heated pool with in-water coloured lighting, have a siesta in the hammocks or in the Jacuzzi. Inside the villa, you will find 8 double bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 huge lounges, other utility rooms, and over 100m² of terrace and covered patio.