The magic of Disney and the Holiday Property Bond
The couple, in their early 40s, took their three children – aged eight, six and four – to Le Mont over the Easter period.
It was not their first Bond holiday. "My mother invested in the Bond about 12 years ago, maybe more," says Hugh, director of a property company. "Initially my brother used it, when his children were younger – sort of the ages mine are now. But now it’s our turn!"
So far, the Craigs have chosen to holiday at the Bond’s overseas sites: La Reserva de Biniorella in Majorca; and El Balcón de Santa Ana on the Canary Island of La Gomera, no less than four times. "We love it there," says Hugh. "Such a beautiful place, with a perfect climate year-round. We had a pre-Christmas break there a couple of years ago; to leave a freezing UK and find ourselves a few hours later, basking in 20°C to 25°C warmth – just glorious."
"There are other sites we’d like to visit," says Ann, a designer. "Stigliano in Tuscany looks very tempting, and Viehhofen in Austria will be great for skiing when the children are a bit older."
"I can see us using the British sites too," adds Hugh. "The fact that they’re spread the length and breadth of the UK… If, say, we’re invited to a wedding in Pembrokeshire, I can well see us basing ourselves at St Brides Castle, and making a long weekend of it."
But for the time being, Europe wins out. However, it’s not just better weather the Craigs value. Both Hugh and Ann set great store on what they call the 'Bond standard'. "Knowing in advance that the accommodation is going to be clean, comfortable, well equipped and nicely furnished, that the neighbours will be friendly, that the site staff will be efficient and professional, and focused on ensuring that we have a good time – these things really matter, especially with young kids," says Ann.
"And I must say, the Bond has got the formula exactly right."
The St Siméon holiday was a case in point. The weather was less than kind, but the children had a great time in the swimming pool – and as always, says Hugh, that Bond standard was well in evidence.
In any case, says Ann, "We weren't there for the weather. The Mouse had been calling to us for some time – and as anyone else with small children will attest, resistance is futile. The time had come to pay Mickey a visit."
The Craigs had originally planned to stay at Disneyland, but it proved cheaper – and, says Hugh, "far more restful!" - to book in to St Siméon, and sally forth from the site. "Disneyland is magical," says Ann. "But it's pretty full-on. To be honest, one day was enough for all of us. To be able to relax on site, with little trips out here and there – much easier for all of us to cope with."
"As a matter of interest," Hugh adds, "we found that by pre-booking Disneyland online while in France, using St Siméon’s free-of-charge onsite computers and printers, we saved about £60 on a family day ticket - that’s to say, what a family day ticket would have cost had we pre-booked from Britain. No idea why – but worth bearing in mind!"
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