Author: John Hollway

Author: John Hollway - total articles: 10

Meet Marc Elliott: "Being able to communicate well with lenders and clients is essential to this business."

Marc Elliott of Fluent Finance Abroad and his partner Kelly

Marc Elliott of Fluent Finance Abroad and his partner Kelly

Marc Elliott is the British expat and brains behind Fluent Finance Abroad, the mortgage specialists based in San Pedro de Alcántara, Marbella. Providing clients with the most appropriate form of finance to purchase their dream home abroad, Marc – being half Spanish – has taken to life on the Costa del Sol like the proverbial duck to water. When he’s not hard at work sorting out people’s mortgages, Marc can be found relaxing on the beaches of Conil in Cádiz or occasionally belting out some top tunes in a karaoke bar…

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Author: 26/10/2015 [0] Comments 

Moneycorp exchanges currency for ‘hockey on horseback’

Rough-and-tumble: Polo at Santa Maria Polo Club

Steamy Jilly Cooper novels, the movie Pretty Woman, the fact that Stewart Copeland from music group The Police is an avid player and a vague awareness that Argentinians are quite good at it – that was the embarrassingly basic knowledge I had of the game of polo before I was kindly invited to the famous Santa Maria Polo Club in Sotogrande by the good folks at currency exchange company Moneycorp for the 44th Torneo Internacional de Polo…

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Author: 31/08/2015 [0] Comments 

Meet Kristel Schoeman-Daneel: Claiming her place in the market with reclaimed wood

Kristel Schoeman-Daneel of Woodfactory

Pay a visit to some of the Costa del Sol’s hippest and most popular beach bars, restaurants, shops and cafés, and you’ll notice a growing affinity for eye-catching, sturdy, bespoke wooden furniture that is not only comfortable and durable, but environmentally-friendly, too. Dutchwoman Kristel Schoeman-Daneel – the creative mind behind Marbella’s Woodfactory – noticed a gap in the southern Spanish furniture market; namely, a lack of availability of weathered, rustic looking furniture made from reclaimed wood. Three years later and Woodfactory is decorating many of the Coast’s coolest establishments…

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Author: 27/08/2015 [0] Comments 

Meet Tomas Davidsson: "Technology is constantly evolving so my work never becomes boring"

Tomas Davidsson of TD Sat & Sound

It was a skiing holiday to Austria that gave former car mechanic Tomas Davidsson the urge to up sticks from his native Sweden and try life somewhere else. The sunny shores of the Costa del Sol beckoned and in 2000 Tomas made the permanent move south. Six years later he set up his own company, though in a field far removed from the one of brake discs, oil changes and head gaskets. Also with a background in installing television antennas, Tomas decided that the future was in user-friendly audio and visual solutions for homes and businesses…

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Author: 22/05/2015 [0] Comments 

Meet Jens Wenk: “Making my clients happy is what motivates me”

Jens Wenk, founder of Gecontec SL, with his wife Daniela

Jens Wenk, founder of Gecontec SL, with his wife Daniela

A professional builder in Berlin, Jens Wenk enjoyed his holidays on the Costa del Sol so much that he moved here in 1992, although his work later took him to Lanzarote and Tenerife. But when the time came to start thinking about growing his business, he knew the perfect place. That place was the Costa del Sol and he lost no time in returning to it…

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Author: 19/02/2015 [0] Comments 

Meet David Gibson: “The future looks very bright”

Partners David Gibson and Steve Dixon with pet labrador Ebony

David Gibson (seated) with partner Steve Dixon and Ebony, their black lab

When David Gibson and Steve Dixon bought an investment property on the Costa del Sol 12 years ago, little did they know it was a decision that was about to give their lives a whole new direction. They both had fulfilling careers in London – with David running a medium-sized manufacturing business there, and Steve working as a retail manager.

They’d purchased their apartment in Estepona as a holiday home and at the time the prospect of relocating here permanently hadn’t even crossed their minds. But it was when they came to furnish it that they had their eureka moment – and Mad About Furniture was the result…

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Author: 05/12/2014 [0] Comments 

VIVA attends the Association of International Property Professionals AGM in London

AIPP chairman Peter Robinson at the AGM in London

AIPP chairman, Peter Robinson, speaking at the Association’s recent AGM in London

Annual general meetings are usually not that interesting, unless you are a major shareholder and are being asked to vote on the board’s remuneration. So, as we at VIVA are neither a major shareholder or voting on anyone’s remuneration, it was with some trepidation that I recently attended the Association of International Property Professionals AGM on behalf of VIVA, which was held at  the Charing Cross Hotel in London…

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Author: 03/07/2014 [1] Comment 

Meet Andrea Böck: “2014 is going to be a wonderful year for the Costa del Sol!”

Andrea Böck, founder of Ambience Home Design

Andrea Böck: I can ski or snowboard in the Sierra Nevada all morning, and be back in time for a late lunch in Puerto Banús!

Andrea Böck has had a passion for beautiful properties, beautiful architecture and beautiful furniture for as long as she can remember. Originally from Düsseldorf, she spent a holiday with a friend living on the Costa del Sol who offered her a place to stay if ever she wanted to relocate here.

Back home in Germany, and gazing out of her studio window at the seemingly interminable cloudy grey skies, 13 years ago she decided to take her up on her offer, leaving her native Germany to move to the Coast. Founding Ambience Home Design in San Pedro de Alcántara in 2002, Andrea has never looked back…

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Author: 12/03/2014 [0] Comments 

Meet Carlos Abril: “There’s no finer place than Marbella’’

Carlos Abril of Abril Cumpián Solicitors

Lawyer Carlos Abril was born and bred in Marbella

Keeping it in the family – that could well be the motto of Abril Cumpián Solicitors. Consisting of three generations of lawyers, this Marbella-based firm has been serving the needs of the Coast for over a decade.

Carlos Abril is one of their leading figures, and as a committed family man and true son of the Costa del Sol, he knows more than most the pressures – and pleasures – that life on the Coast brings…

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Author: 16/10/2013 [0] Comments 

“I want a dancer’s bottom”

Nikki Beach Marbella

Nikki Beach will be holding this season's legendary Red Closing Party on 29 September.

Living here as long as I have – 18 years plus a stint back in the 80s – you sometimes tend to forget just how much there is on offer on the Costa del Sol to take advantage of. As going to the recent Full Moon Party at Nikki Beach made me realise.

Nikki Beach has become an institution on the Coast, holding some of the most glamorous parties and playing host to stars, billionaires and those that aspire to the celebrity culture we live in. If you’re a cynical old coot like me, you’re easily led down the grumpy old man route on how everything is expensive, false and just plain wrong… so it was with some trepidation and a little bit of grumbling that I went along…

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Author: 04/09/2013 [0] Comments 
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