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What do you look for in a vacation home/B&B rental?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Valgal, Sep 22, 2020.

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  1. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    I live on a short block of about 20 homes. Of those 8 are B&B and another house recently sold and lots of updates going on so I assume it will be a B&B too. I am always a curious one so I have looked at the amenities offered. Several have nicely modern kitchens. Nice outside patio/entertainment areas. However, one house/cottage across the street lists as an early 1920's original. No wifi, no TV, not outside entertainment and not really any updates inside that I see. It is priced accordingly nightly. But they rarely have any guests. Business is booming every weekend at the others that are much much more expensive.

    I guess I am spoiled as I would at least want a TV/cable. If I was at place where there was scenery as in mountains and river etc outside my doorstep it would be different.
     
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  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    We just did a search for a condo, cottage, or cabin in the San Juan Islands. I found this cute "historic cabin" and then read the fine print that it has no tv, no internet and not even a reliable cell phone signal. I'll pass. I like to disconnect on vacation, but that's a little too disconnected for me. :)

    We also found a wonderful studio condo in a great location. We were hoping for a 1 bedroom, as Dan and I have different sleep schedules, but they didn't have a cancellation/refund policy. You book it, you bought it. With everything going on in the world right now, that didn't seem like a good bet. Even if we got travel insurance, it was going to cost us $350 to cancel.

    Finally found a condo in a larger resort community that had all the things we were looking for, a decent location, although not quite as convenient as the other place, and a 48 hour cancellation policy where you get a 100% refund on your deposit. No questions asked. BOOKED!! :)

    Typically we care about location. I want to be close enough to the things we are interested in doing/seeing. I also want to be near food as cooking isn't my priority on vacation. Dan likes a kitchen or kitchenette to make breakfast for himself. It's a plus if we can bring our dog along. I'm not too picky about granite countertops and hot tubs, etc, but I do like to be comfortable. We've stayed a few times at the place we call the "crappy cabins", but I'm at the point in my life where I feel like I have the money to afford to be comfortable and I'm looking for that versus saving a few bucks.

    Our most regular vacation rental has a massage chair in it, which is nice after a long day of beachcombing. But it's a bonus to the location, view, amenities and accommodations.
     
  3. Golfer

    Golfer Well-Known Member

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    The first thing I look at is "no shared spaces"
     
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  4. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    I've done these rentals with a friend in charge. I know I'd like to do this in future. So...I'll be paying attention.
     
  5. Ten_On_The_End

    Ten_On_The_End VIP Whale

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    I don't trust the pictures of the properties. The last place we stayed looked good but was a dump when we got there. No TV as advertised, we had to foil the windows to keep the spotlights out, dangerous bathroom electrical situation, 10,000 decibel disco across the water, etc. I'm not a fan of B&B places but the rest of our travelling foursome is. Gimme a Hilton any day.

    That being said, I don't vote for the cheapest property. As I like to say "They don't have pockets in coffins".
    We don't have VRBO places around here. Nobody in their right mind would stay here.
     
  6. Jimgotkp

    Jimgotkp Low-Roller

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    Depends but other than the location, I usually filter properties that have WiFi, A/C, and a washer and dryer machines. One thing that annoys me is when hosts list sofabeds and futons as a "bed" so when I search for a place with two beds, I see their property which in reality is one bed and a sofabed. Maybe I'm the only one that gets annoyed by this?
     
  7. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    No, a bed is a bed. As a half-bath isn't a bath.
     
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  8. azlefty

    azlefty VIP Whale

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    We usually rent them when traveling with our kids. For the 4 of us, I'm looking for a 2 bedroom with 3 beds, entire home. The best way to tell if the pictures reflect the room is to read the reviews. Most guests should have said they enjoyed the stay. There will always be a few nitpickers who probably didn't read the description carefully and are complaining about something that was disclosed to them.

    We also have 2 homes that we have been renting on Airbnb for part of the year, and we have to be vigilant about making sure that our reviews are as close to 5* as possible.
     
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  9. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    What I'm looking for depends on where I want to rent. Probably a/c but not necessarily (london in January? Don't care). I'd do no tv or wifi, depending on the trip, because I'd still have my phone, and I like to read. If it's more than just me and hubs, I look at number of bedrooms, not the number the property "sleeps" (AND at the specific configuration for beds) and toilets. I need lots of toilets - I'm not sleeping 8 people with 1 toilet! We haven't done rentals in the past couple of years (pre-quarantine) because we've done different kinds of trips. And lots of places we used to rent (like Paris) have more stringent rules/laws limiting that option now....
     
  10. nhcris

    nhcris VIP Whale

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    For me it depends. The main thing is Safety since I am usually solo. But it really depends on where I am going and what I will be doing. When I go to San Antonio to visit my son I usually stay 10 days or more. So I need a full kitchen, off street parking, cable tv, internet and some outdoor space. Pretty easy to find there, really.

    In San Francisco I found this adorable little place I dubbed the Rabbit Hole. It was a basement room with it's own private entrance, and had a small bathroom and a comfy bed. The amenities were minimal - a mini fridge, a hot pot & a cute private patio. No TV. The reason I chose it was that was literally 100 yards from my son's apartment and $89 a night. In San Francisco in a safe area that is unheard of! It was perfect for me & I loved it. I booked it for a second stay and at the last minute my husband decided to join me. What I had forgotten was that it had 6' ceilings and he is 6'2 - Oopsie!!

    We booked a really cool looking place on the water in Bermuda that checked all our boxes for this past August. Broke my heart to cancel it, but we got 100% refund. We will try for it again next year, Covid willing.
     
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  11. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I LOVE that sort of charm!! Definitely what I'm interested in. What got my husband to accept occasional apt rentals when we travel is this adorable place we rented in Amsterdam many years ago - Heeren Twee. Perfect location, great apartment, really weird ;-) LOTS of charm. But the stairs were sort of deadly! I loved sitting on the couch with a glass of wine, looking at the cyclists speeding by with a light snow falling. Perfect.
     
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  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    We rent privately quite often. We mostly use VRBO but in locales we visit often we go with management companies with which we have experience. We've used VRBO-like services overseas. Aesthetically we won't shun a place because it's Victorian instead of mid-century or Spanish Revival or whatever. But we don't like clutter and kitsch. GOOD beds and bedding, a full bath for each participant/couple, WiFi. On the guys trip a few of the guys lounge around at times so TV and channeling (sports) is important to them. It's nice to be able to walk to good eats, breweries and bars, but most of our trips involve cars and getting around to do and see stuff so we are flexible. Bright and open is nice, nothing dark and brooding. Hard surfaces preferred to carpet but that is almost to the point of splitting (or finding) hairs. Glad many travel with pets but we don't want any part of that. If there's a cool outdoor spot to chill, that's fine.
     
  13. azlefty

    azlefty VIP Whale

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    If you are wondering why it's less than half the cost of a hotel room, I'm 90% sure that a room with 6' ceilings is not legally habitable in California. It will be perfectly fine in 99.999% of situations, but in the rare event that something unfortunate happens, it may not be covered by anybody's insurance since the space is unpermitted.

    Upshot: maybe walk to Peets instead of using the hot pot.
     
  14. nhcris

    nhcris VIP Whale

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    That could be. I have no clue about the rules there, but it was disclosed that it had a low ceiling. If my son hadn't left SF, I would definitely stay there again as it is still listed and they have done some improvements. There were several amazing coffee shops (and bars) within a block or so in several directions, so I never touched the hot pot, and I never had to go near a Stahbucks! I'm sure gonna miss beautiful San Francisco.
     
  15. azlefty

    azlefty VIP Whale

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    To be sure, MANY listings on airbnb have uncomfortable relationships with the law, HOA rules, taxing authorities, landlords, etc, of varying degrees. Caveat emptor! But it can still be a good alternative to a hotel, especially when you are traveling with 3+ people for 3+ days. Less than that and the cost of cleaning often makes it uncompetitive vs a hotel.

    And if that basement with the 6' ceiling wasn't on airbnb, it would probably be rented out as a full time apartment.
     
  16. bull0120

    bull0120 VIP Whale

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    I use AirBNB all the time during ski season and love it. The main thing for me is having my own private entrance. A basement apartment or one above a garage is just fine. I don't mind to drive to the slopes, but I need to be within walking distance of restaurants/bars at night. If they have a grill, it's an awesome perk. If I'm staying at a property with a grill and the owners are on site too, I always make sure to invite them down for some grub and a few beers. Ski towns are kind of their own little world, but I've actually made some really good friends through AirBNB. Hit the slopes several times with the owners of a couple of places and I've had a few show me a few secret places in the trees. In fact, I booked one randomly that ended up being the aunt of two friends I went to college with who now invites me stay for free whenever it's not rented... Such a sweet lady that she saves the beers people leave behind for me.

    Haha and one of my best "filters" for AirBNB is looking for places that describe themselves as 420 friendly. The owners are always laid back, good, chill people who are friendly. They usually provide free munchies too.
     
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  17. ronc

    ronc VIP Whale

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    Our requirements for our Keys trips have been:

    --washer/dryer (my wife does not let clothes rest in the hamper for more than a few minutes...)
    --pool
    --sufficient bathrooms (rules out some older houses because not all had multiple bathrooms, but she mentions not wanting to share the space with three guys--myself, son, and friends...because she thinks we hog the space...)
    --dock sufficient for a 25' boat
    --good reviews and pictures
    --Our fishing guide swings by each house before we go (while we can still cancel) by car and boat to see what it looks like from land and water...he tells us if he sees any issues.

    We are doing two VRBO rentals in San Antonio later in the year. The main requirement for them was space and location. Same with the one in Fredericksburg, TX last winter.
     
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  18. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    Well if anyone needs a scout if you are planning a trip to Fredericksburg let me know. I live on B and B row. I have a few friends who have B and Bs. Sometimes when you look at the website you see a beautiful house. They don't show you the next door neighbors house or the neighborhood.
     
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  19. Julie888

    Julie888 VIP Whale

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    A. Location is prime for me.

    B. Ratings & reports are very important.

    Once because of A I had to turn a blind eye to get to get into a place near a surgery location. It was as bad as reviewed by some others who had stayed there for eye surgery too. Absolutely no hotels to be found in tourist season.
     
  20. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    I look for family....”You using that on March.....?” It could be beach or mountains but a good rate. :eek:
     
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