Category Archives: Florida Beach Rentals

Perfect vacation rental

9 Need to Know Differences between Hotels and Vacation Rentals

Towels and Linens at a Vacation Rental VS a Hotel

Vacation rental king size bedHotels and vacation rentals handle linens and towels very differently. In a hotel, you can get new towels and linens either every day or on the schedule you request. At a vacation rental, your towels and linens are there for the duration of your stay. The perk you will usually get at a vacation rental is an in-unit washer and dryer for your laundry. That is great for week long stays where you are visiting the beach often. It also means, however, that you will be washing the sheets and towels on your own. While an on-call towel service is nice, so is having your own washer and dryer for your one week to one month vacation accommodations.

 

Daily Cleaning at a Hotel Vs a Vacation Rental

Clearwater Beach hotelsHotels will clean your room each day if you let them, while vacation rentals leave that task up to you. The pros and cons are pretty easy to imagine. With a hotel, you get the cleaning done for you. In a vacation rental, you do the cleanup, but, in exchange, the space is yours without interruptions. That means leaving your personal belongings lying around in a vacation rental might feel more comfortable.

 

Staffing at a Hotel VS a Vacation Rental

vacation hotelYour vacation rental staff is always willing to help you out but they are not onsite like a hotel. Help in a hotel is usually right downstairs in the lobby. For a vacation rental, the staff is in an office somewhere in town. While vacation rental offices (like ours) will respond to your call 24hrs a day, it might require a longer period of time to arrive than a hotel, based simply on distance. You might want to choose your vacation rental office based on office location, by the way. A remote office will be less capable of helping you than one closer by.

 

Hotel Check in VS Vacation Rental Deposit

Check in for vacation rentalVacation rentals and hotels operate differently regarding check in. Hotels will take your credit card number to secure your reservation and you pay for your room when you arrive. Vacation rentals most often take a deposit at the time of booking and the remainder upon arrival. This is where researching your vacation rental company becomes a good idea. Are they members of BBB? Are there reviews of at least some of their properties? See our blog on vacation rental scams for more information on how you might protect yourself.

 

Hotel Common Spaces VS Vacation Rental Properties

vacation rental with poolHotel and vacation rental grounds differ considerably. A hotel will always have common areas such as the lobby, rec rooms, restaurants, pools, and so on. A vacation home or vacation cottage, on the other hand, will often have yards that are yours to use. Rather than a balcony, many vacation homes will have patios. If you enjoy luxury accommodations and settings, a hotel is probably your style. If you are looking for spaces to call your own, a vacation home or vacation cottage might be the way to go.

 

Noise and Privacy in a Hotel VS a Vacation Rental

vacation rental spacesIt is easy to guess who comes out on top when comparing noise and privacy between hotels and vacation rentals. Despite the numerous pleasures of a hotel, they are meeting places for larger numbers of people than you will encounter at private residences. This is true even with beach vacation condos. The choice here is between a more dynamic hotel atmosphere and the quieter spaces of a vacation rental.

 

Hotel and Vacation Rental Age Requirements

Clearwater BeachThe difference in age requirements between vacation rentals and hotels is slight, but very important. While most hotels will allow 21 and up to book, the age is higher in most vacation rentals. Our requirement is 25 and up. Anyone who has gone to Florida during Spring Break will understand why that rule is in place. We do apologize to our college friends.

 

Hotel Dining VS Vacation Rental Dining

vacation diningMealtime at a vacation rental is a very different affair than at a hotel. Hotels rooms without kitchenettes offer very few options outside of ordering a pizza or going out on the town. At a vacation rental, how you eat your meals is completely up to you. Vacation rental properties will always have some sort of kitchen, even if it is a kitchenette. Vacation homes and vacation condos will usually have full kitchens, just like at home. Leave the pots and pans at home as these kitchens are stocked with at least the standard complement of kitchenware. If you want a kitchen, look for hotels with condo-style suites, or book your vacation in a vacation home, cottage, or condo.

 

Length of Stay at a Hotel VS a Vacation Rental

Clearwater Beach sunsetHotels will accept accommodations for one night while vacation rentals are intended for longer stays. Ordinarily, a vacation rental will limit the minimum stay to seven days, while some condominium associations will hold vacation rentals to one month minimums only. The plus side to this, of course, is that longer-term vacation rentals will often prove to be the better value for per night costs.

 

Other blog posts you might enjoy:

What Is a Beach Villa?

Regatta

How to Prepare for Florida Gulf Coast Beaches

 

 

Pet vacation

3 Essential Rules for Taking Your Pet on Vacation

Control Your Pet while on Vacation

Dogs on beachIt is not always easy to find a vacation rental that will accept pets. Once you do, it is definitely in your best interest to have your pet under control. You don’t want your little pal to chew up something you have to pay for, and you certainly don’t want him or her to piddle in the vacation rental. Two obvious ways to prevent problems with pet control are pet crates and leashes. Yes, even cats can be put on leashes. If your cat reacts poorly to a collar then a crate is definitely something you should consider. An animal on the loose and one in a crate make two very different impressions on property owners. Good control of your pet should extend through the time of your stay. If you are in a vacation condo, you will encounter your neighbors while walking your pet. If your pet is loose while outside, this could cause a number of problems. Dogs can frighten people, especially if the animal is large. Your very friendly pooch might just want to say hello, but if the incident scares your neighbor, you might wind up with a complaint. A leash that can be kept at six feet is advisable while leaving the building. Only let your pet greet people who show interest in meeting him or her. Only allow your pet off the leash in approved areas. Check the Internet for local dog parks near your vacation rental.

 

Clean Up After Your Pet while on Vacation

Tarpon Springs catThe last thing you want to do while on vacation with your pet is to leave a mess behind. The terrain surrounding your vacation rental will be new to you. You will not know by looking whether someone will mind if you leave pet droppings behind. Even in the middle of a forest you should clean up your pet’s droppings to protect the local wildlife. Of course, at a beach rental, you are dealing with some of the most valued real estate in the region. Picking up after your pet is essential. Never leave droppings on the beach, and don’t bury it under the sand! The other key feature of cleaning up after your pet has to do with odor. You must keep in mind that someone will be staying in the same unit when you leave. While you might be able to make a pet “accident” disappear to the eye, the cleaning crew should know about it so they can sanitize the floor at that location. The other big no-no is to allow your pet’s odor to wind up in the fabric of sofas or beds. If your pet is of the opinion that he or she is too good for the floor, then use a blanket or towel to protect the permanent fabrics of the unit. And, be absolutely sure to wash the cloths your pet slept on. Nothing is more off-putting than to pull a blanket to your chin and smell the last tenant’s pet. You can prevent your pet deposit from being used for clean up by protecting your vacation rental from pet odors

 

Never Try to Hide Your Pet at a Vacation Rental

Big dogHiding your pet at a vacation rental might seem like a good idea, but really, it’s not. When you consider that some vacation rentals might actually evict you, it’s just not worth the risk. The other penalty you might face is added fees. A vacation rental office has every right to charge a pet deposit fee once they have found out you have an animal in your unit. You could also face additional cleaning fees. But money is not the only thing you might lose. You also damage your reputation with the vacation rental office. You have committed deception and now the rental office won’t trust you. Will they be as willing to rent to you next time? You never know. If you bring your four-footed family member into a location that does not allow pets, especially a condominium complex, you might upset the neighbors. That’s not a situation a vacation rental company wants. Ordinarily, pet deposits are not very much money compared to the trouble you could get into by sneaking in your pet. In the long run, it pays to be up front about your furry friends. When you stay at a pet friendly vacation rental, you will have nothing to worry about but planning your next day of fun.

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Nautical dining room

What Is a Beach Villa?

What is a Villa?

2. Front ElevationThe word villa can conjure up images of wealthy British estates with rolling green lawns. For others it might bring forth pictures of quaint urban residences with blooming gardens. The term can also illicit memories of childhood holidays spent in a vacation home in the country, or by the sea. So which of these is a villa? Well, all of them, actually.

 

Vacation Villa

balconyWe at Florida Beach Rentals use the term villa when referring to vacation rentals. To us, a villa is a place by the sea, close to or even on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Villas are fun places to get away from it all, and what better place than the white sand beaches of the Central Gulf Coast of Florida?

 

Florida Beach Rentals Villas

1. Back Yard fire pitOur main villa namesake is the Villas of Clearwater Beach building. These vacation condos look directly over the sands of the beach, receiving some of the best beach views and dramatic sunsets available on Clearwater Beach. To join the vibrant beach life, one only needs to walk out onto the sands. Our other villa namesake is the Seaside Villa House. As the name suggests, this is a vacation house, making it a perfect family vacation villa. Walking to the beach is a mere casual stroll to the end of the street, and not a long walk at that.

 

Villas by the Sea

living room 2Why not take your next vacation in a villa by the sea? Enjoy the beautiful white sands of Clearwater Beach by day, view sunsets over the Gulf at days end, and then dive into the activities of the dynamic beach community by night?

 

 

Beach community vacation rental witha pool

St Pete Beach Pool House

Gulf Coast Vacation Rental Is a Charmer

3. Pool and Florida room 6-24-13

You know you are near the beach just by the feel of this vacation rental. While you will need to drive out to the shore, it’s not far off. This charming house is a great for a base camp for a Gulf Coast vacation. The interior has charming beach décor and is unarguably in keeping with the Florida lifestyle, with its two screened porches and swimming pool.

 

11. Dining room 6-24-13Vacation House Floor Plan

This home has seen additions, all of which add to its charm. The kitchen area is a great space for kids as well as a place to dine. The kitchen is centrally located for easy access from the rest of the house as well as making the kids easy to watch. A front screen room lets sandy feet enter the house without the mess, while the screened back porch allows you to relax in the shade by the pool.

 

Coffee Nook on the Florida Gulf Coast

24. Front patio room 6-24-13Does this vacation rental have a great place to relax with your coffee? No. It has several.

Let’s start with the screen room on the front of the home. This converted garage space couldn’t have more Florida appeal. Enjoy your joe here while watching the world go by.

The dining room is remarkably relaxed if you enjoy your coffee with breakfast. Roll up the shades and take in the sun.

If not the dining room then go right outside to sit on the patio furniture in the back porch screen room. This setting gives a great feeling of space, aside from being right next to the pool and shady palms.

Last but not least, why not go outside and sit in the shade of one those palms, with your feet in the pool? Really. Why not?

 

2. Swimming poolBeautiful Poolside Rental

The gem of this Gulf Coast vacation rental is the pool. The setting is beautiful, with a waterfall spilling into the pool and tall palms waving overhead. The wood fence gives the setting a sense of privacy.

 

 

Beachy Neighborhood with Nearby Attractions

27. Upham Beach 6-24-13

This neighborhood has a beachy feel as it is near the bottom of the peninsula. Though it is close to shopping areas, the immediate streets are calm and pleasant for walks. The beach is not too far off and a neighborhood pool with fun water fountains for the kids is close by. Fort De Soto Park is within easy driving distance and is repeatedly voted one of the best beaches in America. Be sure to look into nearby theme parks like Busch Gardens or even Disney World.

 

 

7. Florida RoomEntertain Your Friends or Family

This house is great for weekend bar-b-ques. Why not have a get together around the pool while serving up burgers for your guests? This vacation rental is well equipped for anyone who likes to relax and play before even leaving the house.

 

 Why I Would Stay at The Saint Pete Beach Pool House

This house has everything vacationers needs to enjoy their stay without ever leaving the house. Florida atmosphere permeates this rental, making it a great place to feel like you are on vacation every minute of the day. Despite the comforts, the area has plenty of attractions to draw you out of the house. The community is very much about the beach, and nearby public beaches are fantastic.

23. 2nd bedroom 20. Master bedroom 6-24-13

 

 

 

 

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Sailboat

Regatta

What Is a Regatta?

Dunedin, Hurricane Pass (13)A regatta is a series of boat racers but the word also refers to the activities that accompany the races. Perhaps it could be seen as a boat race surrounded by race excitement and activities. This conjures up a pleasant picture when one considers going to see a regatta or perhaps to join one. While the term may conjure images of sailboats, the word originally comes from Italian, referring to gondola races.

Regatta Beach Club

1. Regatta Beach Club Front ElivationDo sailboat or gondola races launch from the Regatta Beach Club? Well, no. While nearby Tampa Bay and Saint Joseph Sound host many sailboat races a year, the Regatta Beach Club is named for its beach access and shorefront theme. It is the most northern high rise condominium complex on Clearwater Beach with breathtaking views of America’s number one beach. The sands are white and very soft on bare feet. Sunsets are spectacular from Regatta Beach Club balconies.

Looking Out for Regattas

18. View of the pool areaWhile you may not see a regatta launch from the Regatta Beach Club, you just might catch glimpses of races that pass by your section of shoreline. You could always check the racing schedules in the area. In the meantime, why not imagine boats pushing off from the Regatta Beach Club dock or racing flags flying on the rooftop.

 

For more info on the Regatta Beach Club, click here.

16. Balcony with table and chairs 6. Master Bedroom with King  size bed

 

 

 

 

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Beach Cottage

Florida Beach Rental Review of Sand Dollar Clearwater Beach Cottage

We had a chance to personally experience what the SanDollar Clearwater Beach Cottage had to offer while on the photo shoot for this rental. The Florida Beach Rental unit is in the heart of the Clearwater Beach community and has some really great features.

 

1. Front elevationBeach Cottage Appeal

This beach community rental home has a great seaside feel starting right from the curb appeal. A collection of shells greets you at the door while on the inside, the furniture and color schemes are all in keeping with what you would expect from a beach cottage. Pinks, blues and greens keep the spaces lively and carry you away to the beach even when you are indoors.

 

11. Family roomCozy Cottage near the Beach

The floor plan makes staying this seaside cottage a breeze. The kitchen forms the central hub from where you can travel easily to the living room, family room and kids’ room. This beach style rental will make an easy to use launch pad for getting out to the nearby beach whenever you want.

 

16. Master bedroomCottage Decor Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is reminiscent of the sea with its blue color scheme and oversize jars of seashells collected from the shores nearby. The en suite bathroom is decorated to never let you forget you are enjoying the sunny shores of Florida.

 

Poolside Coffee in the Shade at this Clearwater Beach Rental

The opportunities available to enjoy the morning coffee at this beach cottage are fantastic. Enjoy your brew in the family room while looking out through the wall of windows or sit on the patio set just outside within the screened porch that enjoys shade all day long. If you’d like some sun, head out to the exterior patio table or get comfortable on a poolside recliner. Even the front porch offers a space to unwind while you watch the world go by.

 

7. KitchenBright Kitchen with Beach Cottage Appeal

The kitchen enjoys the bright beachy feel spread throughout the rest of the rental. Parents can keep an eye on things from this central room with a view of the living room, family room, kids room and the swimming pool! The wide floor also has some space to accommodate that extra cook.

The Amenities You Need

This three bedroom rental is equipped with two bathrooms, a garage, and a screen room. Towels for the pool are on-site and you will find a washer and dryer in the garage.

 

26. Screened patioRelaxing Cottage Patio in Sun or Shade

The backyard has great shade trees for reclining in the breeze as well as open spaces to catch some sun. Plenty of chairs of various styles wait for you around the pool. If a towel is more your style, lay yours out on the spacious, decorator-brick patio.

 

Safe and Upscale Living

This beach community is prime living space in Clearwater. Enjoy a well maintained street where you can take morning and evening walks to take in some air. A bike ride can take you right down to the beach!

 

30. PoolsideBeach Cottage Poolside

This backyard pool at this beach cottage rental has some great extras. Aside the spacious yard, this pool is surrounded by chairs, recliners, a patio dinging set and a hammock. An enclosed, outdoor shower awaits you to rinse off after your swim. The bar-b-que brill is not far off. What more could you ask for?

 

Vacation Cottage for the Kids

This beach rental is great for kids. Aside from ample sleeping arrangements, it has TVs in both the living room and the spacious family room. The pool is a favorite for kids and the low traffic neighborhood is kid friendly.

 

29. PoolsideGreat for Get Togethers

This beachy rental has lots of seating in the family room and outside on the patio furniture. A wicker bar occupies one corner of the screen room while outside seating and the bar-b-que grill are just asking for a get together.

 

Why I Would Stay at the Sandollar Vacation Rental Cottage

This beach house is just plain great. It has lots of room, two TV rooms, and looks like it would be a blast to hang out in. The Florida sun can’t get too hot when you have a pool to jump into. The neighborhood is prime beach community, a fun place to live or vacation. This Gulf Coast vacation rental is close to the hot spots of Clearwater Beach but far enough away to let you completely unwind when that’s what you want.

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Florida Beach Rental Review of of the Marina House

Easy Beach Access

Clearwater Beach signThe first two things that will strike you about the Marina House vacation rental are the ease of access and the wide open parking lot. You are at the beach, so parking is assigned, but the rental comes with a parking space. The lot is right off one of the main back roads along the beach strip, making coming and going from the beach or local attractions very easy. The Marina House has easy access to either of the bridges that lead to the island.

 

Great View of Clearwater Harbor

Harbor view from Marina vacation rental

The second striking thing about the Marina House vacation rental is the view. Sliding glass doors occupy the wall facing northeast, giving an encompassing view of Clearwater Harbor. You will have a front row view of the 4th of July fireworks from this unit, with the harbor to reflect the lights. You don’t have to wait for a holiday to see a good light show, however. You will see Clearwater City lights reflected on the water every night.

 

Coffee nook

DSC_4727This vacation unit has two great places to enjoy your morning coffee. You can sit at the kitchen table, looking across the living room to the large picture windows. For a closer view, just stroll onto the patio to be surrounded by sights of the harbor. The balcony is enclosed by both screens and sliding windows, giving you a choice of how you enjoy this space.

 

Clearwater BeachA Vacation Rental Close to the Beach

The Marina House unit is close to all the bustling Clearwater Beach activities but is set back from the road, giving you peace and quiet whenever you want it. Beach shops are an easy walk away while pubic beaches are just a bit farther, although the kids won’t mind the walk.

 

Clearwater Point poolMore Than One Pool

The complex has several pools, one of them with a view of Clearwater Harbor. They are great for cooling off in the middle of a hot Florida day.

 

 

Clearwater Beach, Pier 60 (55)For the kids

This vacation rental has a master bedroom and a second bedroom with two twin beds that are great for the kids. Children and teens will love the pools and the older kids to walk right down to the beach on their own. Putt putt golf is very close by along with a lot of beach vacation gift shops where they can find a souvenir to take home.

 

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Florida Beach Rentals Review of Coastal Cabanas

After the updates at this beach-community cottage, we took new photos so that we could give online visitors a look at the changes. Below is a review created based on that visit.

 

3. Livingroom & kitchenGulf Coast Cabana for the Family

This studio style vacation rental is brightly colored to remind you each day that you are on a Florida Gulf Coast getaway. With room for a family all in one studio, you will be set to launch your vacation at the Gulf Coast beaches of St. Petersburg and beyond.

 

10. Trundle bedGreat Family Setup to Cabana

This cabana vacation rental unit has more room for sleeping than it appears at first glance. A queen size Murphy bed folds down from one wall while the day bed has a slide out trundle mattress.

 

17. PatioCoffee Deck

The best place to have your cup of joe is on the open air patio out front. Wake up to the cooler morning air while you sit on the beachy deck furniture. The decking style is reminiscent of a seaside dock.

 

2. Front elevationBeach Neighborhood

This vacation rental is only two blocks from the beach and an even short walk will take you to a view of the intercostal waterway. It is easy to pick up the beach feel from the neighborhood anywhere you turn.

 

Fort De Soto (6)What Is Nearby?

The beach and the intercostal are close by but you can also take a short drive to the community pool with great poolside play fountain, a very popular feature at Gulf Coast parks and pools. Be sure to check into the nearby Fort De Soto park.

 

3. Livingroom & KitchenA Vacation Rental for Extended Family or Friends

This small unit fits a standard family but more room is next door if your group is larger. The two Costal Cabana vacation rentals are side by side and can be rented together, pending availability. Be sure to book early to grab both units for your party. Enjoy the units in the evening and then meet on the front porch for a family breakfast.

 

Why I Would Stay at the Coastal Cabana

This vacation rental appears set for a group to have fun. Return from your great day of sightseeing, wash off the sand, then hit the streets of this beach community for a fun filled night. This location brings back fond memories of family vacations spent on the beach.

 

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Beach Vacation Cottages

What Is a Cottage?

beach cottage signIf you ask a number of individuals what a cottage is, you will get fairly consistent answers. People have the idea of a quaint, cozy spot, perhaps a getaway from their ordinary life. The idea of vacations and cottages tend to go together in the minds of plenty of folks. Cottages are generally smaller than a standard home and, according to common conceptions, they occur in locations like mountainsides, along rivers, and on the shores of lakes and seas. Cottages are commonly thought of as places to go on vacation. In other words, cottages are fun!

 

Florida Beach Rental Cottages

Clearwater Beach off Cabria Cottage rental (21)Florida Beach Rentals is proud to have a pair of cottages on our line up of great vacation rentals. Are they really cottages? Well, all Florida Beach Rental units have the advantage of being either on the beach or close to it, which complies with the expectation of your cottage being close to the sea or in a beautiful vacation destination. But this pair of cottages has cozy-and-quaint down to an art. You will find beach decor and sunny colors throughout, as well as bead board and wicker accents. Our two vacation rental cottages are both in the Clearwater Beach community, putting renters within easy reach of America’s best beach and some of the most entertaining beach attractions in the region.

 

Sand Dollar Clearwater Beach Cottage

Sandollar Cottage

Sandollar Cottage

The Sand Dollar cottage, quaintly spelled Sandollar, sits at the heart of the Clearwater Beach residential area. Is it in just another neighborhood? Hardly. Clearwater Beach residences are as beachy as they get.  This cottage residence has the Florida palm trees you would expect as well as the traditional collection of seashells on the front porch.

Inside you will find beach décor from wall to wall. It has a pool in the back yard with plenty of lounge furniture and a hammock. Cabana? Why yes, there is an enclosed outdoor cabana shower poolside to rise off after the pool or to make sure that extra beach sand doesn’t make it inside the cottage.

While it is a cozy setting, you might find this cottage has quite a lot of interior space. Its three bedrooms offer a family plenty of room for their Clearwater Beach vacation. With a separate living room and family room, you will find plenty of cottage lounging opportunities for everyone. This location is a great place to plant your stakes for a fantastic beach vacation.

 

Cambria Cottage

Cambria cottage pic

Cambria Cottage

Cambria Cottage fits the above definition of cottage without a hitch. The cozy, three bedroom rental includes a fireplace, bead board wall paneling, wood floors, and fun little niches for you to relax. Sure, it has a flat screen TV, ceiling fans and a modern kitchen, just don’t tell anyone.

The location is a stone’s throw from the beach with a rich cottage atmosphere even on the front porch, where you can enjoy the Florida sun and rustling palm trees.

But will you spend time enjoying the comfortable interior of this cottage or experience most of your vacation on the soft, white sands of the nearby beach? We’ll leave that for you to decide.

Military Discounts at Florida Beach Rentals

Limited Time Military Discounts

Florida Beach Rentals is offering military discounts on selected vacation rentals from October 1st 2013 through Jan 31st 2014. Merely show proof that you are on active duty, retired from the Military, a member of the National Guard or Reserves to receive a 10% discount on some of the best vacation rental units on Clearwater Beach and Indian Rocks Beach. The discount is taken before tax and applies to the total net price of the unit. The individual presenting military ID must be the person booking the rental and must arrive at the time of check-in to receive the discount. Cannot be combined with other discounts.

Browse Our Beautiful Beach Rental Properties

Please take a moment to browse the Gulf Coast vacation units to which the military discounts apply. These are some of the most aesthetic and beachy rentals available on our list. Don’t miss out on this discount!

1. View to the North  White Sands House

1. Building  White Sands Sea Turtle

2. Living Room from entrance  White Sands Driftwood

23. Pool from the back  Clearwater Beach Vacation House

  Westwinds Beach Paradise