The following information is not intended to put you off but is an honest guide to the way of life in Portugal. As at home, things occasionally go wrong and whilst we have only chosen those villas which we feel will provide the perfect holiday accommodation, we can't guarantee that things won't happen that are beyond our control.
We do not offer a meet and greet service at the airport however if you encounter any problems our emergency service may be contacted via the contact details provided with your documents. If you have booked transfers with us, the driver will be waiting at the airport with a board displaying your name and if you have a hire car booked with us for collection from the airport, please make your way to the car hire desk.
We will endeavour to have the house fully cleaned and ready for you by 3pm on the day of your arrival. We receive many requests asking for early access but unfortunately this is something we are unable to arrange in advance. Villa managers and maids are authorised to refuse entry until the scheduled access time therefore, to avoid any disappointment or embarrassment, we would kindly ask that you do not attempt to arrive any earlier than 3pm.
We endeavour to have complimentary food hampers delivered by 4pm on your arrival day but should you decide to go out after your arrival we may not be able to access the property to leave your hamper.
Building Work & Disturbance
As with any country, building work in Portugal is sporadic and can start at any time. Even villas in developments that are well established, can be affected if a neighbour suddenly decides to renovate or improve. Likewise local councils may start road works with little or no notice. We do not control such work and we do not always receive advance notice of when it will begin. However, if we are made aware of any such disturbance that is likely to affect your enjoyment, we will contact you as soon as we are aware of it. If this happens, you will be entitled to exercise the options outlined in section 5 of our Terms and Conditions although compensation will not be payable unless the work is being carried out by, or on behalf of, one of our own suppliers. If building work starts during your holiday we will do our best to try to move you in resort but this may prove difficult, particularly in peak season.
Where we advertise the distance to the nearest beach, please bear in mind that access may be difficult for those with limited mobility. Please familiarise yourselves with the flag safety system that operates at most large beaches and exercise care at smaller beaches where no such system is in operation. No swimming pool is safe for unsupervised children and many villas have bedrooms with direct access to the pool. Pool dimensions, where provided, are only approximate. Swimming pools are generally 1m – 2m deep so are without a very shallow end so we would strongly recommend that upon arrival at your villa, you check the position of the shallow and deep ends. Pool sizes are approximate and may include, or exclude, pool features such as steps or integral whirlpools. Please refrain from diving into the pool at any time and diving boards must not be used. Please take extra care with children if your pool is described as an 'infinity'. This style of pool will have an open drop from the pool edge. Towels for use by the pool are only provided if stated in the villa description and must not be taken to the beach.
As we know, children are naturally curious, especially when on holiday where there are lots of areas and things to be explored. Please ensure that children are not left unsupervised at any time during your holiday and take extra care with swimming pools, balconies, roads, unfenced areas, tiled or marble floors etc, as it is likely the accommodation will not have the same child precautions as you are accustomed to in your own home. Parents are responsible for the actions of their children at all times.
We accept that accidents do happen, and if you break something, please either replace it or report it to the house manager who will endeavour to replace it for you. All breakages should be paid for before vacating the villa. If replacement items are required, you will be expected to pay for these in full and no adjustment will be made for wear & tear unless the damage is deemed as a result of excess usage. It is clients responsibility to ensure that parasols are taken down overnight and if it becomes windy and charges will be incurred for parasols that are damaged and require replacement. Some sun lotions and oils can cause permanent staining to linens that only become apparent after they have been laundered - please ensure that you wash off any products carefully as any damaged items will be charged for. Your travel insurance should cover you for accidental damage or breakages whilst on holiday but keep all receipts as they will be required for any claims on your return. If you are unable to obtain an official receipt, a letter from the house manager should suffice. Unreported damage or breakages will result in a deduction from your security deposit so it is advisable to report anything, however minor, before you depart. Please also note the information regarding Security Deposits below.
We would also ask you to vacate by 10am on the day of departure and failure to vacate the villa at this time will incur a charge for a late check-out that will be deducted from your security deposit. We receive many requests asking for a late check-out on departure day but unfortunately this is something we are unable to arrange in advance but it may be possible for you to arrange this directly with the villa manager once you are staying at the villa. It is not uncommon for maids, gardeners, pool technicians and other resort staff to begin working at the villa prior to your check-out time - work must continue to keep villas maintained and this cannot always be done during the changeover period.
Pool heating, Jacuzzi & hot tub heating, central heating (including electricity for mobile heaters and fuel for open fires or log burning stoves) and air conditioning are NOT included in the villa rental price unless otherwise stated and must be booked and paid for in advance. Should you request the use of additional facilities whilst in resort that incur a charge, these must be paid for at the time by calling a member of our reservations team or by paying online using our secure website.
In general a pool heating system can heat water between 3 and 8 degrees Centigrade higher than an unheated pool under normal circumstances at the relevant time of year. Heavy rainfall, high winds and/or exceptionally cold nights will have a detrimental effect on water temperature and can seriously reduce the effect of the pool heating system and under these circumstances, no refund will apply. If a pool cover is provided, the pool should be covered at night and when not in use to minimise heat loss. Not all pools are provided with a pool cover. Pool heating supplements are non-refundable irrespective of what temperature the pool reaches. Under normal conditions the heating system should generate a beneficial warming and will not provide a 'hot' pool. As the majority of the cost is incurred in the first few days of heating, any cancellations will not be possible after the heating is initially switched on. It is not recommended to heat the pool during the hot summer months when heated pools can sometimes turn green with a reaction to the chemicals. This can be rectified and your house manager should be notified immediately, but we cannot accept responsibility if you opt for pool heating in July and August. Please note that unheated pools will feel cool in early and late season. Any problems with pool heating MUST be reported during your stay and failure to do so will negate any claim you may wish to make upon your return. In the case of any malfunction, we will endeavour to rectify it as soon as possible and our liability shall not exceed the amount paid for pool heating as shown on your confirmation invoice.
Hot tub's and Jacuzzi's can be temperamental and will occasionally go wrong. Whilst every effort will be made to ensure that the facility is in working order for your stay, we cannot make any guarantees as obtaining spare parts can be very difficult in Portugal and therefore our liability shall not exceed £75 per week
Air conditioning, where provided, should provide sufficient cooling within a property to reduce the internal temperature. The type and age of the system will have a bearing on the efficacy however, the majority of systems will cool rooms within 10-20 minutes of being activated and therefore clients are respectfully asked to not leave air conditioning units switched on 24-hours a day and to switch off units when rooms are not in use or when external doors are open. We recommend an operating temperature of 20-24 degrees centigrade is applied to ensure optimal cooling, any lower and the units may freeze or malfunction but please bear in mind that external temperatures and the age of the units will have an effect on the efficacy. As with other facilities, air conditioning can go wrong and every effort will be made to ensure that repairs are carried out as soon as possible but it is not always possible to arrange for engineers to visit or obtain spare parts at short notice. If any problems with air conditioning are reported during your stay, portable fans will be offered to help alleviate the problem where possible and our liability shall not exceed £120 per week.
During the cooler months, at the beginning and end of the season, villas are likely to feel much colder inside. If a villa is equipped with air conditioning units, it is usually possible to use the units to provide heating and any advertised air conditioning charges will apply. Some villas are equipped with central heating and underfloor heating and should you wish to use these facilities, an additional charge will apply, payable in advance or locally. If it is possible to use an open fire or woodburner, logs will not be provided but these are readily available but please check with the house manager before using this facility.
The frequency of maid service is stated in each villa description. The maids duties include general cleaning (but not washing up or personal laundry), sweeping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms. They will ensure clean bed linen and towels are provided once per week and most will perform an additional mid-week towel change. Please note that maids do not work on Sundays or public holidays and that the frequency of service includes the change over day. If your stay coincides with a public holiday, any maid visit scheduled for that day will not be rescheduled. Therefore, if maid service is twice per week, the first clean will be on the day of arrival and you will only see her once more during that week. Maids do not dispose of household rubbish, which should be bagged up and taken to one of the many local public bins. Where it is indicated in a villa description that a washing machine is not available or that laundry is by arrangement, it should be possible for you to make a private arrangement with the maid to do personal laundry. Occasionally, washing machines are stored in a locked area to which you may not have access, in this instance the maid will do any personal laundry for you. Swimming pools need regular maintenance in order for them to remain in sparkling condition and the gardens need regular work. Our staff, however, will be as unobtrusive as possible but this work is likely to happen while you are in residence. Sometimes essential maintenance or repairs need to be carried out at the villa but any arrangements to complete work will be made with you in advance by your house manager. Should you notice anything that needs maintenance during your stay it is essential that you advise your house manager. We will do our best to ensure that anything that needs repair or replacement will be done with the minimum amount of disturbance to you and your party. To repair swimming pool lights, or make any other repairs to the pool below the waterline, may require the pool to be drained of water therefore any repairs will be delayed until the end of the season to ensure you have full use of the pool during your stay. It is likely that organic debris will fall into the swimming pool and a pool net may be used by yourselves to clear the water. Guests are asked to shower before entering the swimming pool to remove any traces of sun lotion, body creams or oils that may affect the quality of the pool water, reduce your enjoyment of the facility and cause damage to swimwear. As there are many factors that can affect swimming pool water, Affinity Villas regrets that they cannot accept any liability for damaged swimwear.
As with all hot countries, insects can be a problem. Use plug-in mosquito repellents in bedrooms, and a lotion to protect exposed skin when eating out. Uncovered food will attract hoards of ants so store all food in the fridge or in airtight containers and make sure surfaces are wiped down to remove crumbs. Ant powders will solve the problem if it occurs and can be purchased at most supermarkets, but prevention is the best cure. Likewise accessible food is a great temptation for mice and other rodents so please remember to store provisions carefully and dispose of refuse appropriately.
Please note that where a villa description contains satellite and/or cable television, where advertised, it does NOT give access to the subscription channels (e.g. Sky which includes movies, sport and entertainment). Eurosport and News are usually available but may be the only channels available in English. Some owners have provided ‘free to air’ channels which will give access to a limited number of English terrestrial channels. We therefore cannot guarantee, or be held responsible, for any specific channels that may or may not be provided. If there is internet access at your chosen villa, there may be an access charge in common with many wireless ‘open zones’. We cannot be held responsible if the service develops a fault or is unavailable for any reason and our liability will be limited to the amount you paid for the use of this facility. Similarly, once access has been requested and granted it is not possible to refund any, or all, of the access charge applied. Internet access and download speeds will not be equivalent to the service we expect and receive in the UK and may have a limit on the amount of download available therefore clients should not expect to be able to download large files, use online gaming services or stream movies or music. Where WiFi or internet access is advertised, it may not be possible to access the facility throughout the entire property and may be restricted. If internet access is essential, we would suggest clients explore obtaining an alternative means of internet access (such as a prepaid international mobile broadband service) prior to travel. Affinity Villas will not be held liable for any illegal activity, such as downloading of illegal movies or music, by any guests using an internet connection whilst staying at a property.
We understand that accidents happen but should you or a member of your party cause damage to a villa or its contents, villa owners have the reassurance that we hold a security deposit. Security deposits are between £500 and £2,000 and payable 8 weeks prior to departure, with the balance payment. We cannot hold credit card details or accept post-dated cheques for this purpose. Security deposits are usually refunded in full within 14 days after your return, back to the card used to pay the balance or by cheque if the balance was paid via this method, as most clients treat the villas with a great deal of care and respect but if there are any problems, we will get in touch with you as soon as possible. The maid will have checked the villa prior to your arrival to ensure everything is in good order but should you notice anything broken or damaged, please report it immediately to the house manager. Should any breakages or damages be noted after your departure, we will write to let you know and inform you as swiftly as possible of the charges that are to be applied. Should quotes or estimates be required before any repairs are undertaken, please understand that this may take some time and we will retain your deposit until this is received. House managers are entitled to request a deduction from a security deposit for any additional cleaning that is required that is above and beyond what would be considered acceptable following a guests stay. Additional charges may also be incurred for rearranging furniture as guests are required to leave the property as it was presented on arrival. You may dispute any charges and we will endeavour to resolve matters swiftly for you however our evaluation is final. It is imperative to ensure that you have adequate travel insurance as charges incurred for damage can usually be claimed back from your travel insurance provider. Please also note that any outstanding balance that remains on your booking following your departure may be deducted from your deposit.
Weather in the Algarve is generally good throughout the summer, with a low average rainfall. Buildings are designed and furnished to be comfortable in hot temperatures, and may not be as well suited to wet or cold periods as houses in northern Europe. Humidity can be a particular problem in countries where temperatures are usually high. In very wet periods, villas may give the appearance of being damp. However, as soon as the weather reverts to normal, and houses can be aired properly, any sign of dampness will quickly disappear. With long, hot and dry summers there is a risk of wildfires so please remain mindful of your own personal safety and do not attempt to dispose of hot charcoal.
As can happen in any home, appliances can go wrong and whereas this may cause inconvenience the house manager will endeavour to arrange a repair or replacement as swiftly as possible. Occasionally appliances will be covered under a service contract and a replacement, temporary or otherwise, may not be available. In the case of a washing machine breakdown, the house manager should arrange for laundry services to be available to you at no extra charge and providing this service is offered, no financial recompense will be offered.
To save you the chore of shopping immediately on arrival, we will provide an initial food pack to get your holiday off to a good start and this should be delivered before 4pm. This will be sufficient for a light meal on arrival and breakfast the following morning and will include bread, rolls, butter, milk, tea, coffee, sugar, eggs, water, ham, soft drinks, wine, fruit and salad (items may vary subject to availability). Please note that an initial supply of toilet paper, bin bags and washing up liquid will also be provided. Clients staying at more than one villa during the course of their holiday will only be provided with a hamper at their first villa so please remember to take supplies with you when you move. Welcome hampers are not provided where a discount has been applied to the booking but can be purchased in advance - please contact a member of our reservations team for details.