News about Casa Alimas is listed with the most recent first.
September 2014: TV via Google ChromeCast If you bring a laptop, a Smartphone or an iPad to the villa, you should be able to stream TV content to the television using the Google ChromeCast device we have now installed. This provides another option for receiving UK TV channels.
June 2014: TV via Net TV Box Southern Europe recently lost
most UK satellite TV channels (see Jan 2014 below). To enable you to
watch UK TV we have now provided an Android TV Net Box. With this you
should be able to view most 'freeview' channels that are available in
the UK. Programmes are streamed via the Internet and can be subject to
disruption, but hopefully you should be able to watch the programmes you
require. Instructions are provided in the villa - please read these
carefully and please avoid changing settings, as this will make it
difficult for subsequent guests. Update: See TV Reception
March 2014: New Bathroom Following
on from the refurbishment of bathrooms for two of the bedrooms in 2012,
we have now completely refurbished the ensuite bathroom for the master
(double) bedroom. As well as all new fittings, we have added a luxury
spacious walk-in shower, in addition to a new bath.
March 2014: Spring Clean. We
have re-decorated much of the villa interior, in particular the hall
and staircase. We have added a new safe into the master (double)
bedroom, so the villa now has two safes; and we have bought a new
glass-topped table with 'bistro-style' chairs for the balcony in place
of the plastic table and chairs. This is additional to the tiled top
table and wicker chairs.
February 2014: A22 Toll Charges and Rental Cars
Following a national agreement, most of the car rental companies have
now installed a transponder into their cars, which automatically records
your motorway tolls and means that payment will be automatic. The tolls
are deducted from your credit card (you give your card and sign an
agreement with the rental car company) and you have to pay to rent the
transponder - it costs about 1 or 1.5 Euros per day. While all these
additional costs are unwelcome, for most guests this will be an
improvement on queuing at the post office to pay. Update: Autorent now use Transponders. LuzCars do not use Transponders.
January 2014: Satellite Switch Off All
'Freesat' and free Sky channels, including BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV and
Channel 4 have been moved to a satellite with a much tighter focus on
the UK. This means they are no longer available in Southern Europe, even
with a 1m satellite dish. This means that the Sky Satellite box at the
villa will now only receive Sky News and a few international news
stations. We are told the only way to receive UK channels is now via
the Internet and we are working to find a solution. Update: See TV Reception
May 2013: A22 Toll Charges Different car
rental companies have different policies, but many don't even mention
the A22 tolls when you collect the car. your journeys on the A22 are
automatically monitored, then you are supposed to pay at a Post Office
or at a PayShop agent. To pay the toll for your home journey, you can
leave the money (currently 7 Euros) with Jinny Harman, along with your
rental car registration number and they will pay it for you.
May 2013: Curtains There are now new curtains in all the bedrooms of the villa. We have replaced many of the pots and pans and added a new steamer. We now have an additional toaster in the kitchen.
March 2012: New Bathroom We have completely refurbished the main bathroom, (near the front door). In addition to complete new plumbing, modern tiles, and a new bathroom suite, we have added a walk in shower in addition to the bath. We have also made a new (second) entrance to the bathroom, giving direct access from the large twin room. The completion of this project means all bedrooms now have ensuite facilities.
March 2012: New Shower Room We have built an ensuite shower room for the smallest (twin) bedroom.
June 2011: New Pool Annexe We have built a new wooden structure on the pool patio beside the villa. This is currently open fronted and can be used to store pool furniture, toys, etc. away from the wind.
April 2010: New Patio Furniture Each spring we renew a proportion of our patio furniture - sun loungers, tables and chairs. In the last year or two, we've noticed that items are not lasting as long as in previous years, so this year we've renewed nearly all the sun loungers with a more expensive model and we've equipped the balcony with a new table with a ceremic top and matching chairs, which we hope will last for many years.
April 2010: Update - Hire Car shortage Last Summer there was a severe shortage of hire cars on the Algarve (see September 2009 entry). This doesn't seem to be such a problem this year, although a number of the car hire firms have put up their hire charges for the peak summer months in 2010. If you are staying between July and September, I would advise booking a car early. You can book cars from AutoRent directly through this site, here: Car Hire from AutoRent
September 2009: Hire Car shortage In August I made an unscheduled trip to Luz and was horrified to find I couldn't book a hire car from anyone. It would appear that many of the hire car companies couldn't get credit from the banks to replenish their stocks this year and thought demand would be severly hit by the recession. The result has been some 4,000 less cars available for hire this summer. There are still shortages this September - so book a car early to avoid disappointment!
June 2009: We have now obtained an Alojamento Local or 'AL' Licence for Casa Alimas, which means we fully comply with the requirements for "local accommodation" on short-term or seasonal rentals, as laid down by the Portuguese government.
May 2009: Broadband at Casa Alimas We have now installed fast broadband at the villa. Initially, we plan to charge £10 per stay up to 14 nights (if paid in advance) or €15 paid locally. ln order to access it, you will need to bring your laptop or mobile device equipped with wi-fi.
Other recent additions to equipment in the villa include a new widescreen LCD TV and an iPod docking station system.
April 2009: Road Layout around Luz All the work on the roads in Luz has now been completed. The main street through Luz - Rua Direita - now has pavements and pedestrian refuges along its entire length and has been fully resurfaced. It now looks much more attractive, is much easier for pedestrians and remains one-way for vehicles in a Westerly direction (ie from the Church towards Lagos).
Rua do Ramhalete (the road below the villa that runs parallel with Rua Direita) looks to be retaining two-way operation after a few years of one-way traffic. This makes access to and from the villa very simple.
May 2008 Rent With Confidence I appreciate the concerns of holiday-makers booking a holiday villa with a private owner that the property may not be as described online or may not even exist at all! To alleviate these fears, I can always provide you with the email addresses of previous guests.
A really tangible guarantee is provided by HomeAway holiday websites (including Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, where I have advertised for a number of years). They offer the 'HomeAway Rent with Confidence Guarantee', which provides a money back guarentee should the home not exist. Should you wish to take up this offer, you need to make an enquiry about Casa Alimas via the holiday-rentals web site, then once your booking has been confirmed, you can register with the scheme. Please note that my Property ID with Holiday-Rentals is 9257.
Spring 2008: Road improvements around Luz Work has continued in the Centre of Luz throughout the Winter to improve the main road through the village and the roads around the Supermarket. The objective is to make the area easier for pedestrians, with wider pavements, seating and improved street lighting. During this time, the main road (Rua Direita) has been closed to through traffic and Rua do Ramhalete (the road below the villa) has reverted to two-way working. The work is due to be finished in time for the arrival of visitors, when the one-way system will be re-introduced. Those familiar with Luz will find that the one-way system has been extended around the Supermarket, but all in all I think all the changes are likely to be welcomed.
Sept 2007 We now have a name for our road! Regular visitors will be interested to know that the cobbled lane up to the villa now has a name displayed, making it much easier to find. It's called Rua da Amendoeira - Almond Tree Road, which is appropriate as the villa is in the middle of an almond tree grove.
June 2007 Villa Guests will be given a User ID and Password to access the Guest Area, once the balance for your holiday has been paid. If you haven't received Log on details, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 2007 Email Newsletter - If you are interested in receiving the latest news about Casa Alimas, including offers and last minute availability, please register here.
May 2007 Madeleine McCann As a villa owner in Praia da Luz, I was shocked to learn of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Those who are regular visitors to Luz will know what a tranquil and child-friendly village it is. Until she is found, publicity is extremely important to keep Madeleine in the public eye worldwide. For more information, click on this link Bring Madeleine Home.