Hundreds of tourists left with nowhere to stay in Marbella after Rainbow Villas’ sudden collapse

One group of 20 flies out on Friday with nowhere to stay

LAST UPDATED: 10 Jun, 2015 @ 18:06

Bride-to-be Victoria Edwards with hens
Bride-to-be Victoria Edwards with hens

MORE than a 100 Marbella-bound tourists have been left in the lurch after holiday company Rainbow Villas suddenly ‘ceased trading’. 

One group of 20, from Manchester, had booked Villa Blue through website Owners Direct for friend Victoria Edwards’ hen do.

They paid €4,400 and are due to fly out to Spain on Friday morning, but received a shocking email from Rainbow Villas on Sunday to say it has ceased trading – and that the villa is not available.

They are now desperately searching for rainbowvillasemailalternative accommodation, and have not yet received a refund.

While it appears several other groups were also booked into Rainbow Villas’ properties and, in more than one instance, over the same June weekends.

A Facebook group for victims of Rainbow Villas collapse now has almost 250 members.

One member, Gemma Axell, was five minutes from Gatwick airport last week when she saw an email telling her the villa had been cancelled and not to travel to Marbella.

“Devastated was an understatement, I took the costume off and sobbed as the reality sunk in that we had nowhere to stay and had lost £4350 (€6,000) on a villa,” she posted in the group.

Rainbow Villas, owned by Mark and Michelle Stafford, sent the same email to their clients, instructing them to contact their travel insurance to claim for the lost money.

If you have any information on Rainbow Villas, please contact [email protected] or call 0034 951 273 575

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  1. We were due to fly out on the 26th after paying out more than £5000 for a friends hen weekend .gutted still got flights booked but no accomodation for 25 of us

    • @Wendy it would appear you have lost so far £200 each on a villa booking. Had you thought of perhaps booking into a hotel which would be a safer bet. Naturally you would not have the freedom as a villa but at least you still could have a great time.

  2. I’m a victim after booking to stay in villa Mexico which was apparently owned by them. Myself and 15 friends were booked to stay in the Bulls for 4 nights after seeing it advertised on owners direct. Mark and Michelle Stafford are people who have ruined lots of people’s celebrations as well as taking hard earned money from people. Do not book on owners direct as they are claiming no liability. Beware as there are many people like this in Marbella!

  3. Who are Mark and Michelle Stafford? Is this not just another straightforward Owners Direct booking scam?
    Always use a reputable agency or go direct to the villa’s owners – speak to them, check that they are legitimate and stay in close contact..

  4. This smells of hacked accounts and villas being rented out by fake owners. If your eBay account got hacked and a scammer sold non-existent goods to people, you can’t blame eBay. The same goes here.

    “Beware as there are many people like this in Marbella!”

    Now, that bit is correct.

  5. How do you go “direct to the owners” when they live in another country, or continent? People trust email, websites and Facebook etc, and yet these can be faked very easily.

    Once a scammer has access to an owners phished/hacked account, they can act as the owner. Even if a site like Owners Direct verified a real owner (via passport check, documents etc) then the account could still be hacked later. It’s an impossible situation that cannot be fixed. Even if a owners’ account was not hacked, fake profiles can still be created to entice in holidaymakers. Verification of ownership is an impossible concept on today’s Internet, and so any purchase, unless from a massive brand name, could leave you out of pocket.

    Not enough information has been presented in this case. Were Mark and Michelle Stafford real owners, or were they promoting villas they did not own? Or were they a genuine company whose online villa profile was hacked? The OP needs to find out and present a more accurate story.

  6. Fred how do you know this after all the rhetoric in your postings about corruption in all fields. So basically what you are now saying is only German property is legally safe. Don’t wish to delve to deeply into your various postings regarding lawyers, town halls, the Junta, and so on, but there are honest lawyers etc and many that have purchased here have found them and have purchased legal properties, do you not agree. So please don’t make a song and dance about what I have said but you know exactly what I mean as most of your postings are first class but the odd ones do tend to let you down now and again. lol

  7. Jacko, I didn’t say only German property was legally safe; you must stop projecting and misinterpreting my posts (a habit you have). Last time I looked I could not find any articles about German demolitions or whole courthouses specially built for hundreds of corrupt defendants involved in German planning abuses, so I would say Germany is a safer bet, legally, than Spain for property purchases. Would you agree with that? Of course people have purchased legally in Spain, myself included, but it was a messy affair in a country who, let’s face it, has an extremely poor planning system and a property register that doesn’t even tell the potential buyer if there is a demolition order on the property (little things like that). Spain is higher risk.

  8. And Fred one other thing – while dozens probably hundreds, even 1000 – 2000, get scammed – millions rent villas in Spain each year

  9. I’m not sure “millions” are rented, after all, there are no really accurate rental figures available – please correct me. Many villas are rented “off the radar”, and to friends/family etc, but yes, many thousands of villas are rented ok in Spain and I have rented long-term in the past. Problem is, how do you distinguish those from the scams? And what is the “scam” in this particular case – it hasn’t even been determined if this case was a scam or a genuine problem.

  10. Fred, I apologize, (like any sane person would do), but I thought the post and discussion was related to Spain and NOT Germany. Your “one liner” came out of the blue and gave the impression that only Germany guarantees legal building, but tend not to mention England and perhaps other countries.

    Naturally if you had clarified the wording differently and perhaps kept to the topic there would not have been a need for me to respond and hope this reply answers your question about misinterpreting your post.
    Btw, I was not referring to past postings you may have made about Germany (which I don’t think you have) but posts you have made about Spain and perhaps that is your misinterpretation of my post.

    There are good lawyers in Spain and by your own account have purchased legally, so not all is bad. Fred, I do like some of your postings and if you feel I am wrong it’s your prerogative to say so as I would expect the same response from you without being bitchy. lol

  11. Fred, I am not being bitchy but this is what you said to GUAQ
    “Squiddy, Tesco are not based in Spain, so irrelevant to this thread”.

    This is more or less the same as what I said about your “one liner” regarding Germany. Am I wrong?. lol

  12. Looks like the OP have been post-editing again. Germany was mentioned, somewhere, alas no more, and thus the comment looks out of place. Never mind, point still stands; Germany is a safer bet than Spain for legal property, indeed most places in the world are lol.

  13. Fred, Germany was not mentioned once in this entire posting so why can’t you accept the fact when you are wrong, even down to trying to get the last word in about Germany, but it won’t work, it’s about Spain, and why suddenly bring OP into this conversation, (a bit like your “one liner” I suppose) is this another attempt in trying to pass the buck. Nobody is perfect Fred, not you or, God forbid, even me, so please put your hand up now and again, nothing wrong in that, I would.
    Sorry Fred, your a bad loser and a person lacking in character. Getting boring now. lol

  14. I’ve come across Fred’s comments before. Quite honestly there not worth the time reading…..

    Never a good word to say about Spain or the people making a living here.

    #keyboardwarrior #nothingbettertodo