Category Archives: Florida Beach Rentals Updates

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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

 

 

Florida Gulf Coast of Pinellas County

Where the Heck is Pinellas County and Why Should I Care?

Pinellas County Is the Florida Central Gulf Coast

Clearwater BeachPinellas County is home to some of the best tourist destinations in the United States. We are pointing out Pinellas County in this blog for that very good reason. According to HomeAway.com, a general understanding a location is one of a traveler’s top concerns. Vacationers want to know where they are going!

A term has recently appeared labeling our coastline the Florida Central Gulf Coast. The area has become famous for its white sand beaches and growing number of tourist attractions. Within this region you will find Clearwater Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Treasure Island, St Pete Beach, Fort Desoto State Park, Honeymoon Island, Caladesi Island, Tarpon Springs, Lake Tarpon,  and St Petersburg.

The area boasts such attractions as Pier 60 Sunset Festivals, Winter the dolphin from the Dolphin Tale movies, the Dali Museum, and John’s Pass. The on-the-water attractions in the area are truly endless. They include dolphin sighting tours, dinner cruises, sunset cruises, pirate ship cruises, deep sea fishing, and more.

 

Where is Pinellas County?

We could write a thousand words explaining the location of Pinellas County, Florida but why not just show you some maps?

Pinellas County Florida

Pinellas County Florida Map

 

Pinellas County is for Everyone

WClearwater Beach, Oct 1, 2013 (5)hy is Pinellas County a premier vacation destination? The answer is that Pinellas County has beaches that fit every taste.

If you like a beachfront resort hotel with fine dining, beachfront bar and grill, a swimming pool, sun deck, and umbrellas on the beach, you will find them here in Pinellas County, Florida.

If you want a vacation home or vacation cottage on or near the beach, you will find them for rent throughout our beach communities. If you like natural beaches with miles of untouched coastline that you can walk at your leisure, we have those too.

IMG_4918The turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico are ready to explore regardless of your tastes. You can take a dinner cruise across Clearwater Harbor, or take in the sunset on a fun-loving pirate ship. Booze cruises and dolphin sighting excursions are available as well. If you want a less structured way to get out on the water, you can rent jet skis, stand up paddle boards, power boats, or a kayaks.

You will find developed beaches or areas where Ma and Pa rentals are king. State and county parks deliver wildlife experiences as well as looks into Florida’s History.

Pier 60 Clearwater BeachYou can dive into dynamic beachfront activities or just disappear into a calm beach paradise. The choice of vacation types is endless but all of them include the white sand beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. You might want to add this vacation destination to your wish list. Pinellas County has it all!

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

Treasure Island Kite Festival 2014

Wildest Islands on the Central Gulf Coast of Florida

The Best Beaches in America

 

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.

Dog Beaches and Parks

7 best days in Clearwater Beach for Families

Top Theme Parks near Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach Earns Two More Top Rankings

The Best Beaches in America

Fort DeSoto

Fort DeSoto State Park

In mid December we posted a blog entitled The Best Beaches in America. In it we described that the Florida Central Gulf Coast had secured a winning place on four different Best Of lists. In two short weeks before the year could end Clearwater Beach won two more top spots. Although 2013 has come to an end, people discovering the wonders of our area will surely continue onward into 2014.

 

Best WiFi Beach in the World

WiFi at Clearwater BeachIn a contest for the best WiFi beach in the world, Clearwater Beach was listed first on Geekabout.com. The reason Geekabout gave was the large number of access sites relative to the size of the beach. This is true. Popular Clearwater Beach is located on a small barrier island on the Florida Gulf Coast. With such a small space, it is not hard to imagine getting good access to the Internet from just about anywhere. Open air bars, bistros, coffee shops, pizza diners, and ice cream shops all have great places to sit and enjoy the use of a hand held device or a lap top. If you take your gadget onto the sand, you can even sit under a sun umbrella or catch a tan while surfing the net or checking your email.

 

Winter the Dolphin Earns Clearwater Marine Aquarium the Top Florida Attraction

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Dolphin Tale 2 film crew at work

Winter the Dolphin has put Clearwater Beach on the map for many people across the globe. Youngsters everywhere know about Clearwater Beach and our favorite marine mammals, the bottlenose dolphin. Dolphin Tale was a hit at the box office, inspiring a sequel that boasts a return of the complete cast of Hollywood elites. With the new dolphin, Hope, costarring in the sequel, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium certainly will continue to draw in new visitors from near and far. The aquarium recently won the number one spot in the USA Today poll of top Florida attractions. With the white sands of Clearwater Beach so near to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the allure of the area as a Florida vacation destination has been bumped up yet another notch.

 

Related Posts:

Best View of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Clearwater Beach TriRock Triathlon 2013

Fishing the Gulf of Mexico

 

Marina House Vacation Rental

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

Florida beach rentals enjoys keeping our guests up to date on upgrades and improvements to our rentals. On a recent update photo shoot I had the opportunity to take in the accommodations for this beach front rental condominium.

 

Buildings FrontProfessional Seaside Charm

This tower condo is crisply decorated for the upscale guest or business professional. The modern decor blends well with the amenities such as an exercise room, rec room with pool table and sitting area, and the Gulf-side pool surrounded by a large deck.

 

2. Dining roomComfortable Floor Plan

The floor plan of this fifth floor condo couldn’t be simpler. Everything is within easy reach, including a serving window from the kitchen to the dining room that has the added bonus of providing a harbor view from the kitchen. The couches are cozy and the harbor view can’t be missed through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors.

 

7. Master bedroomHarbor View Master bedroom

The master bedroom is large but the mirrored closets and en suite vanity and bathroom add even more to the space.

 

17. Patio viewCoffee Nook with a View

Aside from the dining room table with a view, the balcony is the most obvious coffee nook in this channelside beach rental. A seat on the patio furniture offers a view of both the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Beach Inlet. When the sun is shining bright, the white sands on the bottom light up, giving the waters a turquoise hue. Watch Clearwater Harbor boat traffic go by with the shores of Sand Key just beyond.

Honeymoon Island fisherman at sunset

Clearwater Beach voted Best Sunset Location

Clearwater Beach Voted Best Place to Watch the Sunset

Florida sunsetReaders of USA TODAY and 10Best.com have voted Clearwater Beach the best place to watch the sunset. We here at Florida Beach Rentals agree! The Gulf of Mexico provides a variety of colors; turquoise and blue in the daylight and fantastic reds and oranges at sunset. The weather produces clouds over the Gulf quite often, giving the setting sun a tapestry to cast its colors upon. Many times clouds hover over nearby Tampa, making the Clearwater skyline a beautiful backdrop, with towering clouds lit with pinks, yellows, oranges and reds. With the over-land backdrop and the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico, some of the sunsets at Clearwater Beach create strikingly beautiful images that will remain in  your memories for a lifetime.

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

Honeymoon Island sunset

 

 

Summer Shows at Ruth Eckert Hall

What is Ruth Eckert Hall?

Ruth Eckerd Hall opened on October 15, 1983, and has since been a center of entertainment and learning for the region. The hall is dedicated to Ruth Eckerd, who with her husband Jack, lent instrumental momentum to the creation of the venue. When touring the country, many legendary artists of music, dance, comedy and other entertainment use Ruth Eckerd Hall for their Tampa Bay area venue.

Summer Shows

A great list of shows is coming to the hall this year.


July-

Alabama

Kathy Griffin

Tim Allen

The Monkees

August-

Whitesnake

Adam Ant

Chick Corea and Bela Fleck

Hippiefest (Ten Years After, Edgar Winter, Canned Heat, Rick Derringer and Pat Travers)

September-

Joe Satriani

Steely Dan

To find out show times and ticket information go to http://www.rutheckerdhall.com/