Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the common questions we get about renting a holiday villa in the South of France. If you didn’t find here an answer to your question, please feel free to contact us.

You can also check our Terms and Conditions for detailed information on our operating procedures, including booking and payment.

Costs & Payments

Booking & Cancellation

Arrival & Stay

Pools

Your holiday villa in the south of France - coronavirus

Costs & Payments

How do I pay for my villa reservation?

After booking (online or directly with one of our travel counsellors) you will receive a Booking Confirmation by e-mail. This is also your invoice. It states the payment date(s) and includes the bank details of VillaSud. All the prices are in EUR and include VAT.

How do I know that my payment is secure?

You spend time researching and preparing your holiday, and you’re paying good money for your deluxe villa. Of course it’s important that you know who you are dealing with! Please feel free to double-check our credentials and reviews.

The safest way to book is through bank transfer or credit card. At VillaSud, we accept both payment methods. You can find more information below, under the Payment Methods section.

Another good way to secure your booking is to have it insured. VillaSud is a member of the SGR Foundation (Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden) — a Dutch non-profit organization that provides additional financial insurance to travellers. In case of any financial impediment concerning your paid booking with us, your booking is insured. (Please note that SGR insurance doesn’t cover any material damage and/or any damage to your personal belongings.) For more information about SGR, visit www.sgr.nl.

Do I have to pay the whole amount at once?

If you make the reservation more than 8 (eight) weeks in advance, then we only need to receive 35% of your total rental amount within 5 business days after you receive your Booking Confirmation. The remaining 65% of the rental amount can be paid until 8 (eight) weeks prior to the beginning of your stay.

If you make the reservation less than 8 (eight) weeks before the starting date of your stay, then we ask you to pay the entire amount at once at the moment of booking.

Once your payment has been processed by VillaSud, you will receive a confirmation by e-mail that your payment has been received.

For more information on booking and payment, please refer to our Terms and Conditions.

Why am I asked to pay a security deposit?

The security deposit is required by all owners of our villas. It serves to cover any damage or extra costs that may result from your stay (such as additional cleaning costs, noise nuisance, etc.). So, as long as you leave the place clean and in the same condition as when you arrived, you will get your deposit back shortly after your holiday is over.

How much is the security deposit?

The amount of the security deposit varies from one villa to another. The exact amount will be stated on your Booking Confirmation. 

How do I pay the security deposit?

Some owners ask you to pay the deposit in cash when you arrive. In this case, it will be refunded to you by the caretaker when you leave (minus any additional costs that may have resulted from your stay).

For most villas, however, VillaSud collects the security deposit on behalf of the owner. In this case, it is included in the invoice and charged with the final payment. It will be returned to you shortly after your stay, with the agreement of the villa owner. For the refund, we will send you a request to confirm your bank details and make the transfer within 2-3 weeks.

Why is there a fee for the VillaSud Service Package?

Our job is to take care of everything you might need, so that you could relax and enjoy a carefree holiday. The VillaSud Service Package is the sum of all services provided to you as a tenant. When you book a villa with us, you are charged one all-inclusive fee — that’s all. No hidden costs, you know exactly where you stand. This fee is included in your Booking Confirmation (invoice) under ‘Service Package’, in addition to the rental price.

What payment methods do you accept?

Currently we accept two payment methods. You can pay either with your credit card (via PayPal) or with a direct bank transfer.

We are also looking into implementing online payments with credit card on our website. We'll keep you updated.

Why do we offer the option of paying with a direct bank transfer? VillaSud is a Dutch company. Traditionally, in the area of e-commerce, most Dutch customers choose to pay with a bank transfer (the independent Dutch Payments Association has a detailed insight into these trends, if you're interested).

However, we're fully aware that it might be less common outside of The Netherlands. And with the villa holiday scams on the rise, we completely understand that you might be hesitant to pay using international wire transfer. This is why we also offer you the safe option or paying with PayPal using your credit card. (Is PayPal safe for the customer?) If you prefer that, please let us know about it before finalising your booking.

Are there any additional costs or fees that I should be aware of?

All the costs are always clearly stated on your Booking Confirmation, which also serves as invoice. This includes the rental amount with the security deposit, the single service fee (the VillaSud Service Package) and any charges for extra services, should you choose to take any. If some of the fees are to be paid on-site (e.g. local tax), this is also mentioned in the invoice. All our prices are indicated in EUR and include VAT.

In other words, there are no hidden costs: you know exactly where you stand.

Are discounts available?

Sometimes we do offer a discounted price — for example, for a stay over 2 weeks long or for a last-minute booking. It is a case per case decision though.

What is the required length of stay?

The minimum rental amount is usually calculated for 7 days. During the off-season period most properties are flexible and offer the possibility of staying longer (e.g. 10 days), with the rental price calculated pro rata.

Booking & Cancellation

How do I make an online booking with VillaSud?

You can submit a reservation request for the villa of your choice on our website, or directly to one of our travel counsellors by phone (+44 33 03900471) or e-mail (info@villasud.nl).

If you’re short on time, you can fill a super short webform to let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll be happy to suggest you a few villas tailored to you needs.

When we receive your reservation request, we’ll immediately get in touch with the villa owner to confirm the booking. Once that’s done, you’ll receive by e-mail a Booking Confirmation, which also serves as invoice. This concludes the rental agreement. 

Before booking any villa, please make sure to read our Terms and Conditions.

Can I change anything after booking?

If you made the reservation more than 1 (one) month before the starting date of your stay, then you can modify it by e-mail within 2 (two) business days after booking.

If you made the reservation 1 (one) month or less prior to the starting date of your stay, then you cannot modify the booking anymore.

Can I add guests after booking?

The Booking Confirmation that you receive by e-mail explicitly states the number of guests, and this number cannot be changed without consulting the villa owner. However, if the new number doesn’t exceed the maximum allowance of the property, it’s usually not a problem. If you’d like to add more people to your party, please let us know about it as soon as possible.

Please note that you can only bring pets if it was explicitly requested before booking, and allowed by the owner.

For more information on booking and payment, please refer to our Terms and Conditions.

Can I cancel my reservation and get a refund?

If you made the reservation more than 1 (one) month before the starting date of your stay, then you can cancel it by e-mail within 2 (two) business days after receiving your Booking Confirmation. After this delay, the booking is considered final.

If you choose to cancel your booking 8 (eight) weeks or less before the starting date of your stay, please be aware that we won’t be able to refund either the rental amount or the security deposit (if it was charged).

If you decide to shorten your stay, you will still have to pay the full rental amount.

Cancellations must take place during business hours (9:00 — 17:30 CET). A cancellation request submitted after business hours is reported to the next business day (Monday — Friday).

If you made the reservation 1 (one) month or less prior to the starting date of your stay, then the Booking Confirmation is binding, and you cannot cancel the booking anymore.

Should I take a cancellation insurance?

We strongly advise all our customers to take a cancellation insurance. This will cover you if you need to change your travel dates, cancel your holiday or return home earlier than planned.

Arrival & Stay

What information will I receive ahead of my stay?

Once we received your final payment, about 2 (two) weeks before the starting date of your stay at the villa, we’ll e-mail you the Travel Details. This document contains the exact address of the villa (which we don’t publicize elsewhere for security reasons), as well as the contact details of the local caretaker and the information about how to get your key.

Who would be my contact for anything we may need while we are there?

That would be a caretaker (property manager) who lives on the property or very close by.

Most caretakers and villa owners speak English. Only a few of them speak just French — but from our guests’ experience, it has never been a problem to understand each other.

In any case, you can always call us if there is an unexpected issue.

What are the usual check-in/check-out hours? Is this flexible?

The arrival time for all of our villas is between 16:00 and 19:00. We kindly ask you to get in touch with the caretaker at least 2 hours in advance, to let them know when you plan to arrive (e.g. if there are traffic jams).

Who will meet me at the villa and how do I get the key?

You’ll be greeted by the caretaker of the villa. If they cannot welcome you in person when you arrive, they’ll inform you ahead of time where you can find the key.

Most caretakers and villa owners speak English (only a few of them speak only French — but from our guests’ experience, it has never been a problem to understand each other). In any case, our team is also available if you need our help.

How can I submit a complaint?

If there is an issue at the villa, it’s best to take it up right away (within 24 hours) with the local caretaker or owner. They’ll do their best to solve it as soon as possible.

If you’re not happy with how your complaint has been addressed, then please contact VillaSud. We’ll check with the caretaker or the villa owner and find a solution together.

If you’re not satisfied with our response, you can file a formal complaint within 2 (two) weeks of the final day of the rental period. It should be submitted to VillaSud in writing and addressed to the villa owner. Please include any relevant information and evidence (witness statements and/or photos).

If you have a complaint about the VillaSud service, please give us a call or send us an e-mail. We’ll get back to you within 14 (fourteen) business days. If we cannot give you a substantive response within this delay, we’ll send you a confirmation that we received your request, and let you know when you can expect a reply.

If you’re not satisfied with the handling of your complaint, you can take it to the independent Dutch Consumers organization Dispute Thuiswinkel, PO Box 90600, 2509 LP The Hague. You can also submit your complaint to the Disputes Commission through the European ODR platform. For more information see also the Terms and Conditions (Article 18).

Can I organise a party or special event at my villa?

All our villas are privately owned, and some owners may have concerns about guests hosting a party at the property. However, if you let us know ahead of time that you would like to organize a party during your stay, we’ll be happy to check with the villa owner if they’re fine with that.

What is the change-over-day? Is this flexible?

During the high season, the change-over usually happens on Saturday or on Sunday. Off-season most villas are flexible.

Do the properties have air conditioning?

Most of them do. You can use the “Air conditioning” filter when searching for villas on our website. For every particular villa, it is always specified in the description, under “Amenities”, whether air conditioning is available.

Is cleaning included in the rental price?

The final cleaning is always included as part of our Service Package. Interim cleaning can be arranged upon request.

Pools

Will the swimming pool at my villa be open at all times?

The “pool season” is usually from May to mid-September at most properties, but please feel free to double-check with our travel counsellors for any particular villa.

Is the pool heated?

Many of the private pools at our villas are heatable (sometimes at extra cost). You can use the “Heated pool” filter when searching for villas on our website. Pool specifications are always included in the description of the villa, under “Amenities”.

Is the pool safe for children?

All our villas comply with French regulations on private pools. The French law requires that an in-ground swimming pool is protected at all times by one approved security devices: a fence, a reinforced pool cover, a drowning alarm, or a pool shelter. Moreover, you can use the filters “Pool cover” or “Fenced pool” when searching for villas on our website. 

Your holiday villa in the south of France - coronavirus

  • Is the coronavirus more dangerous than the flu?

The symptoms of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) are similar to those for colds and flu. According to the World Health Organization, “we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people”.

While people of all ages can be affected, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

  • How does the outbreak of COVID-19 affect my holiday in the South of France?

National governments closely monitor the risks associated with the coronavirus for every country. You can check the official travel advice from the UK Government here.

  • Should I hold off on booking my trip?

Legit question. At this time, there is no evidence that any world region presents a high risk of contamination with COVID-2019, except a few places (China, Iran, northern Italy). You can continue to safely travel to the South of France. 

Staying at home doesn’t guarantee any additional safety, because the spreading of the virus is unpredictable.

If you were planning to holiday in the South of France this year, postponing the booking wouldn’t change anything to the risks that you may, or may not run later. If anything, staying at a private villa can minimize the risks. Our holiday villas can only be reached with your own transport, and you only share it with your own party.

  • I want to cancel or change my booking. Does my cancellation insurance cover the costs?

This depends on your travel insurance. We always recommend that you take one yourself when booking your villa holiday with us.