Which? has produced a ranking of the best self-catering accommodation providers – and it’s Jet2Villas that has come out top.
It’s followed by Brittany Ferries and Gites de France in joint second place. Tripadvisor, meanwhile, is at the bottom of the table – though it still scores highly.
The ranking is based on a survey in which respondents were asked to rate 11 self-catering accommodation providers across seven categories, including cleanliness, whether the description matches the reality, customer service and value for money.
Top-ranking ‘Jet2Villas’ has a score of 82 per cent, receiving five stars for its range of properties, booking process and description matching reality.
Which? Travel says: ‘It offers villas in dozens of Mediterranean and Canary Island resorts, with customers impressed by the range of properties – from no-frills terraces with shared pools to stylish mansions with hot tubs and gyms.’
Which? has produced a ranking of the best self-catering accommodation providers – and it’s Jet2Villas that has come out top. Above is a Jet2Villas property – Villa Sorian Kokkino – in Kefalonia, Greece
The watchdog notes that all its package holidays also include return flights and car hire, with one respondent declaring Jet2Villas an ‘easy company to deal with and good value’.
Summing up its verdict, Which? says that ‘whether you’re on a tight budget or looking to splash out, Jet2Villas covers popular sun-soaked destinations and still delivers the personal touch’.
Joint-second Brittany Ferries and Gites de France, meanwhile, receive a score of 81 per cent. Looking at the former, Which? says that the holiday rentals offered by Brittany Ferries ‘are all near the company’s ports of call on France’s Atlantic coast and in Spain’s verdant north’.
It says: ‘Choose from rustic cottages and apartments in family-friendly complexes, with your return ferry included as part of the package – you get a cabin on an overnight crossing to Santander or Bilbao.’
The ranking is based on a survey in which respondents were asked to rate 11 self-catering accommodation providers across seven categories
A holiday home in Pleubian, Brittany, listed by Brittany Ferries, which ranks joint second overall
Gites de France, a French organisation that lists tens of thousands of properties across France, ties for second place. Above is one of its properties in-between Nantes and Ancenis
The watchdog does note that there’s one ‘niggle’ to booking with Brittany Ferries – ‘although you can browse the properties online, you must call to check availability and to book’.
Filling out the survey, one respondent said of their experience with the firm: ‘The whole experience was great from booking, to travelling by ferry, and then arriving at our destination.’
What is the watchdog’s verdict? It says: ‘For a self-drive getaway with all the protections of a package holiday, look no further than Brittany Ferries.’
As for Gites de France, Which? says: ‘This French organisation lists tens of thousands of properties across France, from alpine chalets to chic seaside villas (along with B&Bs and campsites). Each is vetted and given a rating out of five epis (ears of wheat) for amenities and comfort.’
The watchdog notes that most Gites de France properties can be booked online, and though its terms and conditions are in French, you can request English versions from the firm’s Paris call centre.
Which? does note that one respondent said that it’s ‘easier to get superb service’ from the company if you speak French.
Third place goes to British Airways Holidays, which bags a score of 79 per cent. Above is the Zafiro Menorca resort – British Airways Holidays is offering a seven-night stay there from £324 per person
Sharing its verdict on the provider, Which? says: ‘The cheapest provider in our survey, Gites de France can help you to explore the more hidden corners of France.’
Third place goes to British Airways Holidays, which bags a score of 79 per cent and five stars in the ‘description matching reality’ and ‘range of properties’ categories.
Overall, Which? notes that big-name booking websites are instinctively people’s first port of call these days – more survey respondents booked with Airbnb (4th, 78 per cent) and Booking.com (joint 5th, 77 per cent) than all the other self-catering providers put together – but it’s specialist firms that rank top overall.
Last place Tripadvisor, meanwhile, received a decent score of 69 per cent, bagging four stars across the majority of categories, including for quality of accommodation and range of properties.
Commenting on the ranking, Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘A self-catering holiday can be the perfect way to enjoy your very own home away from home, but with so much choice out there, it can be difficult to know who is best to book with.
‘While the majority of respondents to our survey used big-name booking sites, the most glowing reviews were for more specialist providers like Jet2Villas and Brittany Ferries, who rather than acting merely as middlemen between you and the owner of the property, can provide a more personal touch. These companies also have the advantage of letting you book a package, which offers more protection in the event something should go wrong.’