What’s your name and where do you come from?
Hi, My Name is Jo Ryan, and I am originally from a little place in the North West of England called St Helens, but I have been living overseas now for 30 years, most of those years on this beautiful island of Majorca.
How long have you been at Villa Plus?
I started and set up Villa Plus here on Majorca, at a time that we only had two other resorts, Portugal and Costa Del Sol and we received our first clients in March 2005. My Villa Plus journey began with 38 villas and today we have 220 in different areas of the island!
Fun fact about you/ Mallorca
I was fascinated by the Spanish language from a very early age and remember always trying to chat to Spanish natives as a child on holiday in different parts of Spain. I always wanted to live in Spain when in was older. I was lucky enough to take my O’ level Spanish a year early and perfected my Spanish in the North of Spain during my teenage years. When I came to work on the island I was shocked to be greeted by people speaking a new language….. Mallorcan/Catalan, a totally different language to what I had learnt!! I was, at this time fluent in Spanish! I spent the next 10 years here on a mission to learn this language!
Today I am fluent, like a local, in Catalan and Spanish and have a 15-year-old son born on the island who speaks both languages like a local but also English with his Mum’s great northern accent! 😊
What is your favorite villa and why?
That’s a really hard question to answer with just one villa name. We have such a variety of villas ranging from villas that are walking distance to beaches and resort centres to Mallorcan fincas located down meandering country lanes, modern villas and classical Spanish villas. I’m going to be cheeky and give my two best choices:
I love Villa Marino which is a beautiful country villa nestled in mature gardens with a fabulous pool area to enjoy sunny days in the sun, with comfy seating on the splendid terraces and a wonderful BBQ area for those evenings relaxing by the pool. It’s a country villa but also not far from the resort of Cala Dor so for me offers the best of both worlds.
Another favorite of mine is a new villa on our programme this year, Villa Quiros 2.
I fell in love with this villa for its perfect location by the beach and a few of my favorite restaurants are nearby too, not to mention La Roca Beach Bar which just a stone’s throw away and a great place for those early evening cocktails. The villa itself is so majestic and impressive and I can imagine myself and my family on holiday here in the hot sunny months.
What is a typical day like for you?
I can’t say that any day is the same for me in my job as Area Manager, which I love! It’s such a diverse role that keeps me busy and on my toes! I work with a wonderful team of 17 people who are what make Mallorca so successful. I feel very lucky to have the team that I have. I am responsible for the whole delivery of the holiday experience to our clients, through the hard work of my team, as well as contracting the villas for our programme on the island. My days start early in the morning and I can often be found at my desk before 8am. My role takes me out of the office quite a lot too and I travel around the island meeting owners and agents and visiting their villas to see if they could be part of our programme. I work closely with my team on the ground to ensure the smooth running of the resort and to make sure that we deliver a great holiday experience to every single one of our customers. Once my working day is over, I can be found cycling along the pine walk on my new vintage bicycle and having a well-deserved G&T with friends, or walking my dog Luna with my son Samy, who is 15. In the hot summer months, we often go to the beach at about 8pm to have a refreshing evening swim followed by a BBQ in the garden. It’s great to relax and be able enjoy this wonderful island as well as working hard!
What made you want to be a holiday rep/manager?
I wanted to work in Spain ever since I can remember. As a family we holidayed most years in Spain or France and I decided in my teens that I wanted to be a holiday rep in Spain.
I worked as an Overseas Holiday Rep for the first few years of my time overseas, and with my years of experience and time became involved with the contracting of the villas and Area Manager. I love my job as Area Manager and the diversity contracting also gives to my role.
Which other Villa Plus destinations do you most want to visit & why?
I would love to visit our Greek resorts as Greece is one of the places that I have never visited. Perhaps this summer I may escape my lovely island and pop to see my colleagues over in Corfu or one of the new islands that we have on offer like Zante.
What is one thing our guests CANNOT miss during their holiday in Mallorca, in your opinion?
You simply cannot miss sitting on one of our beautiful beaches at the end of a fabulous day and experiencing the amazing sunset over the Mediterranean Sea and majestic mountains whilst enjoying a fresh cool drink with your loved ones!