Just what the doctor ordered
Dr David Evans and wife Margaret have been Bondholders since 2004. “I suppose you could say we were shamed into it!” laughs Margaret. “David’s sister and brother-in-law, and brother and sister-in-law, have been Bondholders for years – as have a number of our friends – and, as their guests, we were very familiar with what the Bond had to offer. But with our own children, and latterly grandchildren, we really needed to be able to enjoy HPB holidays independently.”
The Evanses, both of whom hail from the West Country, have lived in Budleigh Salterton since 1968. David was a GP and is now retired – which leaves plenty of time for holidays.
Both pre- and post investment, the Evanses have racked up an impressive list of Bond trips. In the UK, they have visited Duloe Manor in Cornwall; Henllys in Anglesey, North Wales; St Brides Castle in Pembrokeshire, South Wales; Blore Hall in the Peak District; and Lodge Yard, Askrigg, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. But David and Margaret have found themselves particularly drawn to HPB’s overseas sites: Stigliano in Tuscany; Le Manoir du Hilguy in Brittany, Constant in the Dordogne and Le Mont de St Siméon in Île de France; Encosta Cabo Girão in Madeira; El Pueblito de Alfaix in Almeria, southern Spain; Viehhofen in Austria; La Reserva de Biniorella in Majorca (where son Geoff and family enjoyed a Points-free holiday in March); Santa Rosa in Lanzarote; Coreggia in Puglia, southern Italy; and Javea on Spain’s Costa Blanca – with just two luxurious villas, the Bond’s smallest site. In fact, the only overseas sites that the Evanses have yet to visit are Bena Vista on the Costa del Sol (“we’re going in October!”) and Rocha Brava in Portugal’s Algarve. “But we’ve also enjoyed lots of lovely holidays in HPB’s Tenancy properties, including one very near Rocha Brava,” says Margaret. “Does that count?”
We’ll allow it. So what do they like most about Bond holidays?
“Simple,” says David. “The Bond allows us to spend quality time with our children and grandchildren. Wherever we go, we know we’ll have all we need, the staff will be helpful, and the standards top-class. What more could you ask for?”
For Margaret and David two sites exemplify this more than most: El Balcón de Santa Ana in La Gomera, the Canary Islands; and Physkos in Turunç, Turkey. “They’re just perfect,” says Margaret. “Beautiful locations, glorious climates, fabulous facilities and you can do as much or as little as you want – absolutely ideal. So much so we’re off to Physkos again in October 2013. Last time we went we hired a gulet – a two-masted sailing boat; you can see them all over the Med these days, but their design originates in south-west Turkey. We spent the whole day aboard, anchored in three different places, swam off the boat in crystal clear blue waters, had a delicious lunch and tea… It wasn’t cheap, but I would thoroughly recommend it; we may well repeat the experience next October.”
“Having said all that, the grandchildren loved Alfaix, too,” adds David. “So did we; it looked to us a really coherent site – really well designed and thought through.”
As for the UK – well, the Evanses are booked in to St Brides Castle this month, with son Geoff, daughter-in-law Amy and baby granddaughter Cerys, for her second Bond holiday. “We can’t wait!” says Margaret.
But there are other UK sites on their wishlist too: Langton House in Dorset; Sibton Park in Kent; Braithwaite Court in Cumbria; Barnham Broom in Norfolk; and perhaps especially Tigh Mor Trossachs in Scotland. “My brother-in-law is forever rhapsodising about the place!” laughs Margaret. “But I rather fancy these holidays might tend towards the child-free. When we are on HPB holidays without the children we tend to do a lot of sightseeing and enjoy the scenery and the heritage of the different locations – both at home and abroad.”
“We have absolutely no regrets about joining the Bond,” says David. “Holidays, locations, standards, service – all first-class, from start to finish.”
“Though of course it hasn’t finished – far from it,” adds Margaret. “We still have holidays with our Bondholder friends and family, when, of course, we are able to share the Points! But it’s great to know that our three children will continue to benefit from the Bond, and enjoy HPB holidays long into the future.”
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