The Adventures of the VRBO® Bear
The nice folks at VRBO® gave me this page so I could show you the Vacation Rental homes that I have visited. In case you don't recognize me, I'm the VRBO® Bear - a rare blue eyed Teddy bear that loves to travel all over the world... and when I travel, of course I stay only at VRBO® Vacation Rentals (so should you!!) When staying with VRBO, always remember to Carpe Vacationum®, Seize the Vacation!
# 404136 Downtown, Austin, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, CONDO
Relax in this quiet cozy condo after a busy Austin fun-filled day!
09/25/2014 - Comfy Oasis in a Vibrant Downtown!
I, VRBO Bear, arrived tired from a long flight into Austin and was thrilled to find this hip, modern condo with such comfy beds waiting for me– even the sofa bed was comfy – Nice! I choose my own entry code for the front door security, so that was easy. There was a personal note from Trey and Brandy on the kitchen bar welcoming me. I felt like a celebrity – and I guess I sort of am. Awakening refreshed, I found everything I needed to start my day, from a large shower and fluffy towels to a coffee maker with filters to a fabulous bakery only a block away.
The location is ideal for experiencing Austin’s vibrant downtown. Though I had a car, I didn’t use it. I was able to walk and pedi-cab – now that’s a cool way to get around – everywhere I wanted to go. With such a nicely equipped kitchen, my friends and I stopped at Whole Foods for fresh grouper, greens, and fingerling potatoes that we prepared ourselves. Then it was a 10-minute pedi-cab ride to Austin City Limits for some live music – Austin style. We relaxed back at the condo on the upper balcony, facing the lights of downtown, with a glass of wine (I’m older than I look), and it was magical.
The next day, I discovered a “Pecan Street” festival in downtown. We saw great art, ate at amazing food trailers, heard live music, of course, and took a stroll around Lady Bird Johnson Lake. That night we choose a restaurant from the list provided by our hosts, and took in the Austin Ballet performance of Firebird! In a word, Spectacular!
Sunday, we all slept in – comfy beds, remember? Even though we were staying downtown, it was so quiet in that condo! It was hard to leave because we had hardly begun to visit all the fun places within walking distance, but we will be back! Thanks for making a great time so easy … VRBO BEAR
# 147152 Near North Side, Near North, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Warm and cozy!!!
09/18/2014 - What a treat it was to stay at this spacious yet cozy Chicago condo! As soon as my paw stepped inside the front door and left the hustle and bustle of the street, I felt relaxed and at home.
I was greeted by the lovely woman who owns the place, Andrea. She was very helpful and hospitable and gave me some great restaurant recommendations. As she showed me around I started getting more and more excited about my stay. The master bedroom was comfortable with plenty of closet space. The attached master bathroom was well lit with a big jacuzzi bath in between his and her sinks! The two other bedrooms had plenty of space and each had a queen size bed. The second bathroom had a large double sink vanity and a great shower. As she showed me the main living area I was pleased by how spacious it felt! I was delighted by the wall-to-wall windows and large comfortable wrap around couch. All of which was overlooked by a clean, modern kitchen stocked with free coffee and tea, and good enough for any chef looking to make a meal.
Each day when I went I went out to explore the city, it was a breeze to get downtown because the condo is right next to Lake Shore Drive. I had many great adventures shopping on the Magnificent Mile, sunning in Millennium Park, throwing pennies into Buckingham Fountain, walking along the lake, riding the ferris wheel at Navy Peer and so much more. But every day I looked forward to heading home, taking a hot shower in my clean bathroom and making some tea in the tea kettle before plopping down on the comfortable sofa in my Chicago oasis. Every morning I woke up so refreshed that I thought I had been hibernating! The beds were comfortable, and the rooms were quiet and peaceful, they were just right.
I can't say enough good things about my experience here. It was clean, well stocked, well lit and really felt like a home away from home. I'm definitely going to stay here next time I visit the windy city. Thanks Andrea!
# 326077 Padova, Veneto, Italy, Europe, 4 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Enjoying the panoramic view!
09/13/2014 - Ca’Contea is an impeccably designed countryside villa amidst the picturesque backdrop of the tranquil Veneto Region. I recommend booking Ca’Contea if you are interested in living like a local bear of Teolo nestled in the dramatic yet serene Euganean Hills, but want a relaxing sanctuary that’s still in paw’s reach from the more popular and busy destinations like Venice, Verona, Padova, Montegrotto and Abano Terme Hot Springs, and Vicenza.
Upon arriving at our private gated property, we found ourselves in awe of the blooming rose bushes, the fruit trees (fig, pomegranate, apple, plum, etc.) and the 12 acres of vineyards. The panoramic view from the villa allowed us to escape from our hustle-bustle city lifestyle and get immersed with the calming Euganean scenery. There was even an outdoor brick oven that overwhelmed us with the sense that we were in the true heart of rustic Italy.
The historic countryside villa was completely modernized inside with a fully functioning kitchen, complete with local spices and cooking necessities. Next to the kitchen, a dramatic formal dining room was dressed to comfortably seat up to 14 bears – great for family gatherings or holiday meals.
On the lower level, there were 2 spacious living rooms full of eye-catching décor and all the comforts of home. Books, guides, maps, recommendations, comfortable sitting areas, wifi, games, and a big flat screen TV were all easily accessible.
Upon walking up the large brick stairs to the second floor, we noticed all the eclectic artwork and tastefully decorated interior as we approached 4 large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a huge office – all with gorgeous views of the land.
Altogether, we are applauding Ca’Contea and we want to give Cristina a big bear hug for such a memorable lifetime experience. Thank you so much. We would love to return!
# 381655 Waipio, Hamakua Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Awesome view from the dining table on the lanai.
09/06/2014 - The sun was setting on Waipio Bay in a hundred different shades of pink and purple. Tree frogs were singing to one another all around us as a cool breeze blew through the house from a multitude of screened windows and doors as the VRBO Bear and his family arrived at our vacation rental Hale Io. The house was filled with traditional Hawaiian music.
Of course, since we are a family of bears, we immediately had to check out the beds! We roved excitedly all around the house and found that every room has a queen bed or bigger, each with plump pillows and a gorgeous view to wake up to. This house sleeps 10 in comfort and splendor. You have no idea how stunned you will be when you wake up in the middle of the night and see thousands of stars twinkling in the night sky!
We found the kitchen amply stocked with high quality pots, pans, utensils, dishes and knives. The pantry was stuffed with spices and the big butcher block counter invited us to make meals there. As a bonus, the grounds will provide (when in season) fresh guava, lilikoi, coconut, and grapefruit to add local flavor to your meals. But if you’re not the cook-it-yourself type, no worries! Honokaa is a 10-minute drive away and offers some great little restaurants. Whether it’s the peaceful lanai and organic ingredients at Green Market and Café or karaoke by talented locals at The Landing, the town has a little something for everyone.
The house sits on sprawling grounds with amazing views of the Waipio Bay, the black sand beach at the foot of the Waipio Valley, and Maui in the distance. Since bears are nature lovers, we hiked down to the Waipio Valley and spent a gorgeous morning on the beach. You can enjoy sitting on the beach listening to the surf, or you can go clambering over rocks to secluded overlooks. If you’re not a strong enough swimmer to brave the complex current where the river meets the ocean, you can just soak in the cool river a little upstream. It looks swifter than it is, and I can attest that sitting up to your neck in the cool river water and laying your head back on the sand is absolute bliss. The hike back to the top was tough, but there are paid shuttle vans that do the round-trip down and up from a little art gallery near Hale Io.
Hale Io genuinely feels like a home, with art on the walls and good books on the shelves and everything you could possibly need in the kitchen. The house has books and board games, a comfy pune’ to nap on, a luxurious pool and a hot tub to soak in. There are towels to take with you to the beach, bocce balls and beanbag toss games to play in the back yard, a waterslide, and outdoor showers.
Honokaa town has everything you need - a supermarket, a farmer’s market, a butcher shop, a friendly pharmacy, and a handful each of bars, restaurants and shops. We were impressed with how friendly everyone in town is, and how they all know each other by name. This town is the true essence of Aloha. It’s an hour or less to Hilo, Akaka Falls, or Kona! The Big Island is not that big, really, so Hale Io is just far enough away that you’re not living in the tourist mainstream bustle, but close enough that you can still easily get to all the sights and activities.
# 501529 Pointe West, Galveston, Gulf Coast, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, COTTAGE
What a beautiful view!
09/05/2014 - What can I say? The VRBO Bear had a great time in Galveston thanks to this beautiful property that had everything we needed! With 6 adults and 3 kids we had plenty of room and felt right at home. We had a great time making breakfast in the kitchen every morning and dinner every night. The kitchen was lovely and had spices and pantry items already stocked. There were also many pots and pans, utensils, plates and glasses to use, we didn’t need anything else!
Access to the beach walkway is directly across the street from the house which was so convenient. It was perfect being so close to the beach and being able to walk over whenever we wanted – especially with 3 kids in tow and lots of sand toys to carry! We also went over to the Beach Club to enjoy the pool and views. It was absolutely beautiful and there was plenty of space without feeling overcrowded.
The home has a grill, which we did not use, but it was nice that it was provided just in case. There is also an outdoor shower on the back of the house which was VERY useful and we used it many times to wash off the sand from our feet after being at the beach. There are also beautiful views of the bay from the balconies on the back of the house and we got to see some beautiful sunsets.
Timo was very responsive and helpful in providing all the information we needed prior to our stay. He even sent an activity guide he created for things to do or restaurants he recommended. This beach cottage was the perfect place to get away from it all and relax on the beaches of Galveston! We had a great time and would love to go back!
# 346843 Palazzo, Gulf Resort Beach, Panama City Beach Area, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 1 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
The balcony views and breezes can't be beat.
09/04/2014 - This was our first time in Panama City and we came here to celebrate our marriage anniversary. We stayed here for 5 nights and loved every bit of it. The condo was beautiful and we enjoyed our stay here. The time we spent on the beach was unsurpassed.
The condo was well stocked and Kathy took care of even the smallest details to make sure we were comfortable and well cared for. We were pleasantly surprised to see fresh flowers awaiting us when we arrived. She even called us up to make sure we were comfortable and didn't need anything extra.
We spent hours on the balcony, enjoying the breezes and the view. We spotted dolphins, stingrays and a shark during our stay and one thing that stands out of all is the amazing view from the balcony.
The listing pictures don't do this place justice. Kathy, you have a beautiful beach condo - thank you for sharing it with us.
# 398950 Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe, 1 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
Recharge and Relax!
08/25/2014 - We had been traveling through Paris and Bruges before reaching Amsterdam, but staying here was better than coming home. The apartment is located conveniently close to Amsterdam Centraal and is very easy to find. Tomoko welcomed us inside from the bustling city street. We were quickly in awe of how quiet and beautiful the 16th century lobby was in contrast to the noise and traffic just outside. After taking the elevator to the second floor, she walked us around the flat, room-by-room, and introduced all the features and nuances specific to the apartment. The home is beautifully decorated, sophisticated, and quiet (even with all the activity from the city just outside the windows). The unique slippers were a wonderful touch.
The apartment is well supplied with everything guests might need with several luxurious and comforting extras! The bedroom is very quiet, warm, and extremely comfortable: absolutely perfect after a long day of sightseeing, traveling, or a hard day’s work. The fresh ikebana and tatami space facing the large windows overlooking the water was beautiful and great for meditating. My favorite spot, however, was lounging on the couch to read or watch the activity of the city below with the windows open. They also have a fantastic collection of books on art, music, history and zen.
This apartment was like a quiet retreat with the option of diving straight into the pulse of the city. It’s a perfect escape to recharge and find your center.
# 553661 Pointe West, Galveston, Gulf Coast, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
What a spectacular view...Galveston at its best!
08/24/2014 - I love Pointe West, La Sirena, and Clem and Tre! The pictures do not convey the beauty and size of the unit and the spectacular view. The second I walked in the unit I gasped at the view and ran right over to the huge balcony and the view took my breath away! I have been to Galveston several times in my life and there is no place like it!
The beach was well manicured and the infinity pool and beach club made us feel like we were at a true beach resort. The amenities inside the unit were impeccable from the Henkel knife set to the Calphalon pots and pans. The unit is so spacious (much bigger than what the pictures convey) and comfortable. There was plenty for the Bear cubs to do - from the beach, to the pool, and they met other cubs to play with and ride bikes. We felt very safe and secure.
Beach toys, floats, and much more were provided. I can’t say enough how much we enjoyed our stay and how helpful Clem and Tre were with directions, arrival, and all the questions we had while we were there. We will be back next year! In my opinion if you go to Galveston this is the only place to stay!
# 67476 Truman Annex, Key West, Key West Area, Florida Keys, Florida, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Key West equals Key Fun!!!!
08/23/2014 - This was our first visit to Key West and what an amazing trip it was! We arrived at this large, beautiful condominium completely stocked with amenities that made us feel right at home. Our first relaxing view of Key West was from our second floor balcony overlooking a tropical and lush flora and fauna surrounding a heated pool. Right from the beginning we knew this trip was going to be a success.
The location of our Truman Annex condo could not have been better. The central location of our unit was perfect - we were in walking distance of the most popular and beautiful attractions in Key West. The unit is a VERY short walk to Fort Zachary Taylor which had some of the best and easiest beach access in all of Key West. Staying at Mike’s beautiful unit gave us the chance to explore Key West without having to worry about a vehicle, since with this great location we could easily walk to all popular restaurants, museums, and even the most southern point of the USA!
The interior of the unit was very tropical and Florida at heart. The grill provided on the balcony gave us the chance to cook up some locally caught fish and have a more intimate dinner on the balcony. The kitchen was very spacious with plenty of amenities to help with cooking and prepping food. The unit also provided our very own blender to spice up our night with margaritas!
Mike, the owner of the unit, made himself available at all times for any questions we had about the unit or nearby attractions. He was very helpful making sure we were able to find the complex and unit when we arrived. When we come back again Mike’s unit in the Truman Annex will DEFINITELY be our number one choice to stay at. We’d like to thank Mike and his family for hosting the VRBO Bear and providing unforgettable memories that we’ll share for a long time.
# 281128 Mosman, Sydney Metro, Greater Sydney Area, New South Wales, Australia, South Pacific, 3 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Check out the harbor views!
08/23/2014 - This house was fantastic, especially the wide panoramic view of the harbor. The entire back of this house is VIEW, VIEW, VIEW. You can see the glimmering ocean in almost every window. It is stunningly beautiful and made me realize what a pretty city Sydney is.
The rest of the house is quite nice as well. There is a large commercial stove in the kitchen that would make even the most serious chef happy. The living room is open and spacious with nice clean comfortable couches and an entertainment /music system anyone would love. We did not watch too much of the huge 60+ inch TV, though, because the view was outstanding and the beach was just took a short walk down the road. While we were down at the beach we noticed several nice restaurants along the shore. All are good but the Bathhouse restaurant on the ocean was our favorite.
But this review is about the house. When you go downstairs there is a kids’ room with 3 beds, a bath, a big 60 inch TV, Xbox360 and plenty of built in toys to play with. You may have a hard time getting your kids out of the house but the beach down the road usually did the trick for us.
I have saved the best for last. The owners’ retreat is fantastic and includes a reading lounge, a clean open dressing area with large closets, and a truly breathtaking view. The furnishings are nice and the bed is quite comfortable, but the view is simply historic. We found ourselves waking up slower each day just so we could lie in bed a little longer and enjoy the fantastic view.
There are many other items to mention as well - the private pool, the fantastic indoor- outdoor dining area, and the top notch furnishings.
Everything about the house was professional and easy. The property agent was fantastic and a pleasure to deal with. Mosman was an easy ferry ride into the CBD of Sydney. Close to the beach. Close to the zoo. Great neighborhood. We will certainly be looking forward to staying here again.
We very much enjoyed our stay. The house is the best vacation rental we have stayed in.
# 407415 French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 0 BR, 1 BA, STUDIO
A quiet oasis at the end of Bourbon Street.
08/22/2014 - The condo was a quaint little spot that was conveniently located at the very end of Bourbon Street which made it easy to walk to everything, whether it be history or nightlife! A perfect place for two people with a lot of privacy from neighbors and any outside noise. The condo was on a really beautiful street with lots of trees and pretty houses, and made us feel right at home.
We really enjoyed the security of the building. The apartment being inside the building made us feel very secure and stowed away from the high energy of New Orleans. It was a great place to settle after a long day of great food, live music, and taking in the city with my best friend. The bed was big enough for two and the kitchen was perfect to store all of our yummy leftovers. Cindy was very helpful with the rental information, had really good nearby recommendations, and was easy to reach for questions. Definitely would stay here again!
# 34056 Village of La Jolla, La Jolla, San Diego County, California, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, COTTAGE
Enjoying the sun & sea.
08/17/2014 - We were blown away when we arrived at this beautiful cottage with its ocean view and plentiful windows that let the sea breeze drift through the house. Its three ocean-facing patios were perfect for enjoying breakfast or the breathtaking sunset while watching the waves roll in. The view from this gorgeous house is truly spectacular.
The trail that spans most of the beachfront was right across the street and excellent for an invigorating morning jog. We loved being able to simply walk down the street and relax on one of the many beaches or use one of the supplied boogie boards to play in the surf, and the outdoor shower on the back patio was great for rinsing off the sand. In the evenings, we had our choice of cooking out on the grill, using the fantastically outfitted kitchen or walking to one of the excellent restaurants nearby. The street on which the house is nestled was very quiet at night and inviting to beach visitors, picnickers, joggers and folks walking their dogs during the day. It was convenient to have a big, secure garage for our car, as parking can be hard to come by in busy La Jolla. Unless you plan a lot of day trips into San Diego, however, a car really isn’t necessary as there are fantastic beaches, restaurants, museums and activities within walking distance of the house.
After a fun-filled day, we absolutely adored falling asleep to the sound of the crashing waves right outside our bedroom window. We had an amazing experience and we can’t wait to return!
# 458848 Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte Area, Southwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 5 BA, HOUSE
Ahhhh, mountains and meadows. You can't beat the great outdoors!
08/16/2014 - The Alpenglow Chalet was the perfect place for the bear and her family to spend a week exploring the mountains. Our favorite thing about the house was the proximity to some of the most beautiful hiking trails we’ve been on. Crested Butte definitely lives up to its reputation as Colorado’s wildflower capital of Colorado. We loved Cary and Regina’s suggestions for hikes and made good use of the many hiking guides they keep in the house.
Returning to the fully stocked kitchen, outdoor fireplaces and hot tub after hiking was just what we needed after long days on the trails. We continued to enjoy beautiful views of the mountains from the comfort of the home, as the place is surrounded by them. There is nothing like watching the sun set over the mountains from the front deck! I would highly recommend this house to friends and family and would love to return someday.
# 305364 Paris Arrondissement 5, Paris, Ile-de-France (Paris Area), France, Europe, 1 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
Enjoying this charming apartment!
08/10/2014 - The moment we walked into this charming apartment we knew we were right at home. The pictures do not even do it justice. It was much larger than we expected and had an amazing view. It was nice opening up the windows and seeing all the people below but also nice to be able to close them and enjoy the quiet when needed. The building itself had an old charm that really made us feel that we were living like true Parisians. The location was absolutely perfect. There were so many great attractions and restaurants within walking distance and the metro was just around the corner. Alexandre left some great restaurant and local attraction recommendations, which we were very pleased with! We will definitely stay here again when we return to Paris in the future.
# 7511 Crystal Beach, Scenic Gulf Drive West, Destin Area, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Relaxing is style!
08/09/2014 - Upon our arrival to this vacation home in Destin, FL, we walked on to a wraparound porch and into the beach house called Sunny D. While we knew we had made a good choice early on, we immediately realized the pictures of the property just didn’t do this place justice. The bunk room with its Xbox 360 was a hit with the boy cubs. The tower room was perfect for our princess cub who wanted to get away from her little brothers. Papa and Nana Bear had their own separate casita to retire to for the night.
We enjoyed having the outdoor shower to clean up before we came inside. The wraparound porch was perfect for eating ice cream in the evenings. The bedding was heavenly.
Best of all the gear! This place is set up for a family with plenty of bear cubs. Strollers, pack n play, sand chairs, umbrellas, lots of sand toys, and even an awesome cart to tote it all down to the beach. The beach cruiser bikes were a delight to ride a block to the white sandy beaches. The place was professionally decorated but still felt like our home away from home! Everything was cub friendly which we appreciated even more since we were able to relax.
# 464676 Magens Bay, Northside, USVI - St. Thomas, Caribbean, 4 BR, 4 BA, VILLA
You just can't beat Caribbean views like this!
08/09/2014 - VRBO Bear reporting for duty! It has been a while since I’ve been to the Caribbean, and as I was browsing and daydreaming of the beach, I came across the Villa Bijoux Bleu listing and I knew I had to see this place for myself! A few quick emails with Kelle, and I had everything booked.
My travel companions and I were greeted by Shary, who led us to grab some groceries (gotta have plenty of honey and salmon around, of course) and took us to the villa. The pictures are accurate, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. The patio and courtyard are beautiful, with lush landscaping. The pool is luxurious and includes a waterfall and grotto. The outdoor kitchen is fully stocked, and we made full use of the Green Egg smoker!
The inside of the house is just as beautiful and inviting as the outside. The house is not only decorated wonderfully, but they have provided everything you could need. From towels, to cooking utensils, to coolers and beach stuff, it was all there for us to use. We spent several evenings cooking and relaxing by the pool, and it seemed like being at home, with a beautiful view of course! Speaking of the view, the entire back side of the house is a patio balcony with an amazing view of the ocean. It was easy to spend hours on the balcony, lounging in a hammock, cooled by the breeze.
We were given a packet with information about the house, and most importantly, suggestions on restaurants and activities. All of the suggestions were great. We checked out some snorkeling spots, a few beaches and as many restaurants as we could fit in. A few places of note: there is a convenience store within a short walk, a great restaurant called Thirteen just down the road from that, and Magen’s Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is less than 10 minutes’ drive away! All of the recommendations were outstanding.
Kelle, Alfred and Shary were amazing hosts. We arrived the day after a tropical storm, and there were slight interruptions in power across the island. I was in constant communication with one of the team about status and schedules. They made us feel very comfortable and it was only a very minor inconvenience.
Overall, the house is wonderful, the staff treats you like a VIP, and the location is fabulous. I cannot recommend Villa Bijoux Bleu enough!
# 103436 Kaanapali Royal, Kaanapali, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Wow, what a view!
08/07/2014 - Wow, were the first words out of our mouths when we walked into the condo. What a view through the living room window past the Lanai and overlooking the golf course out to the Pacific Ocean; natural beauty everywhere! My son instantly ran upstairs and squealed with delight at the view from the upstairs bedroom. The condo was huge and had everything we needed and more. The King size beds were so comfy after the long plane ride. We slept like babies. The mornings were peaceful and I enjoyed my coffee every morning on the lanai overlooking the gardens while listening to the birds and the sound of the trees swaying in the wind. I haven’t been this relaxed in a very long time.
You can take a quick stroll to the beach or hop on the green trolley to Whalers Village, Kaanapali Beach or Black Rock in minutes. There are also several Luau’s to choose from just a trolley ride away or you can walk to Eco-Skyline next door and head to the mountains for Ziplining.
We like to stay active and explore and were delighted on how close this home is to everything we wanted to do. We didn’t have to spend a lot of time in the car going place to place. It was a short drive to Front Street shopping, the Maalaea Harbor, and all the natural wonders of the Island. You have to check out the Nakalele Pt Blow Hole and the Tide pools near Poelua Bay. After our long days of having fun, the condo was the perfect place to kick back, enjoy a home cooked meal and the beautiful sunsets. Whether you want to snorkel with the turtles, jump from the rocks, play in the surf, shop till you drop or RELAX, this is the Greatest Place to Escape.
# 421500 Northwest Hills, Austin, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 7 BR, 5 BA, HOUSE
A restful relaxing place for everyone!
08/02/2014 - From the moment you walk in the door of this palace and take your first glimpse of the breathtaking view, you have the distinct impression that you are now Master of the Texas Hill Country. When it was built, it was the home with the highest elevation in all of Austin and there is no doubt that this point of pride permeates the mansion and everyone who is lucky enough to stay in it.
When we arranged a friend reunion, we had no idea that such a perfect location was within our reach. Ryan, playing the role of owner-extraordinaire, was more than accommodating, communicative and genuinely welcoming to me and my friends.
Having friends in from all over the country with age ranges from 1-70 years, everyone felt at home. There was enough room for everyone to sit, eat, chat, play and relax. The kids had a blast playing in the overwhelmingly well stocked play room (puppet show, anyone?) The ping pong table was a big hit and the large natural gas grill kept our bellies full! The huge hot tub and plush patio furniture kept everyone relaxed while enjoying the indescribable Texas sunset.
Exploring and enjoying the innumerable amenities made for a treasure hunt of delight. There was something amazing to experience in every inch of this well cared for and surprisingly accessible home. Overnight accommodations were comfortably spaced for each family to relax and the living, dining and play areas made for great fellowship among the large group. This gorgeous and refined estate is without a doubt exactly where you want to stay with your family and friends on your next trip to Austin.
# 320191 Branson, Missouri, USA, 6 BR, 5 BA, COTTAGE
Everything you need for a big group AND a hot tub!
07/27/2014 - What an amazing, cozy, comfortable, and spacious home! My two tween-age friends brought me along to their family reunion! People came from Austin, Dallas and Iowa – so the Canyon Creek Cottage was the perfect meeting place. I was the only bear on the trip, but there were thirteen very nice, active, happy people who enjoyed the stay with us. The humans, ages 12 to 78 gathered together for a family reunion. The house was the perfect size for a big group with varying ages and interests (not to mention sleeping patterns!) The six beautiful, clean bedrooms, five bathrooms, HUGE kitchen, two FUN living areas, plus two outdoor spaces including hot tub and deck with grills, were ideal to keep us all entertained and spending quality time together.
My favorite spot was where my friends and I slept while we were there – on the top bunk of a queen-sized bunk bed! So fun to be on the top bunk – and the girls didn’t have to fight about who got the top bunk because it was big enough for all three of us! The owners thought of everything for my human friends. We spent time at nearby Table Rock Lake and swam at the neighborhood pool. I loved watching the family swim while I enjoyed the sun on the beach and deck. My other favorite thing was when the humans cooked, and we all ate meals together in the giant kitchen and dining area. LOTS of room for all of the clan to be together.
This cottage was perfect! We will definitely want to visit here again and stay in one of Debbie and Bruce’s beautiful homes in the “Cottages of Branson” neighborhood. We highly recommend it for you too – and don’t forget to bring along your teddy bear!
# 101536 South Zone, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexican Riviera, Mexico, 3 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Ahhh, the beauty of it all.
07/26/2014 - Casa Do Re Mi exceeded all expectations. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left all we could think was WOW! As soon as you enter Casa Do Re Mi you are faced with the most amazing view of the Bay of Banderas. The experience only gets better as a smiling Ivan promptly supplies the most delicious Margaritas. Ivan then invites you to sit down for a welcome dinner. The meal, prepared by Chayo, is, as every meal that followed, absolutely delicious.
On the following days Ivan helped arrange activities, supplied refreshments and kept the garden and pool tidy. Chayo prepared a succulent breakfast and dinner that we picked the day before. Sarah kept the house spotlessly clean. They made sure at every turn that this bear family had the best time possible.
Casa Do Re Mi is built in the style of a Mexican hacienda. The attention to detail in its decoration and upkeep is remarkable. The finely furnished indoors and outdoors provide everything you need to relax and enjoy the all-surrounding spectacular ocean views. Everything is beautifully maintained.
That attention to detail is also displayed by Barb the owner with her guests. We had a conversation prior to departure on the phone to go over Casa Do Re Mi. She asked us which beverages we’d like to be there for our arrival. She called us to check that everything was going well. In short, she cares about her guests having an unforgettable experience.
Across the street from the villa we relaxed and swam at the beach. The house has plentiful towels and beach toys that our bear family enjoyed. The hotel Lindo Mar across the street has an elevator for easy access to a beautiful beach with calm waters that our little bear particularly enjoyed.
We spent a lot of time swimming and laughing at the pool. Our time there was made better by Ivan’s constant supply of refreshing beverages. After fantastic dinners and deserts we were treated to mesmerizing sunsets. Our bear family has been to many places around the world but Casa Do Re Mi will forever be one of our favorites!
# 4031 South Zone, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexican Riviera, Mexico, 6 BR, 7 BA, VILLA
A playground in paradise - all play and no stress!
07/19/2014 - In all of our family adventures, we have never had a more relaxing reunion – and it was all because of this incredible home and staff. We are a family of 11 (3 generations with 6 adults and 5 children aged 2 to 10) – and the home provided the perfect retreat for each of us. The property has something for everyone and provides space, privacy and comfort across the board. We particularly appreciated the family friendliness. We felt secure with a gated property that kept the children from wandering onto the beach or off the property. Additionally, the staff cooked child friendly meals and high chairs and pack & plays for cribs were provided. The home has several bedrooms to escape the heat with incredibly strong AC, as well as shaded areas with satellite television for the kids to take a sun break. More importantly, the natural beauty and nearby outdoor activities (steps from the back porch) kept us busy and having fun. The staff arranged for a boat to pick our entire family up on the beach in front of the home, and we went fishing (caught more than 10 bonitos in a couple of hours) and then went snorkeling near Los Arcos (a great trip for children).
The views from the master bedroom, living room and patio are unrivaled. You can see clear waters, white beaches and phenomenal sunsets. The layout of the house is great for multiple families. There is a grand common area with huge patio and views, and comfortable lounge furniture to relax and enjoy the sun or shade on the bottom floor. This area also has 2 king bedroom suites with private bathrooms, and a shared half bath. The beds were all very comfortable. The second floor has 4 bedrooms, including the master suite.
The kitchen, formal dining and living room are on the top floor – which we rarely used given how much we enjoyed the bottom floor patio (and that the upstairs does not have AC, so could get hot during the day).
Finally, the homeowner went above and beyond to be sure we had a great time. The private chef prepared every meal during our stay and the food was delightful. The house manager made drinks through the day and catered to any needs, while the maid kept the entire property spotless for the duration of our stay.
# 449900 Downtown, Austin, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying the sun on the patio!
07/08/2014 - I had such a nice time staying in Bob and Lisa’s comfortable and charming vacation rental that I would recommend it to any friend or person looking for a good place to stay when visiting Austin. The location is perfect: within walking distance of restaurants, stores such as Whole Foods supermarket and the lake trail as well. It is close to downtown and at the same time located in a very quiet and nice neighborhood. Coming from the Austin airport, it was easy to find even for someone who has never been in Austin and without a GPS!
Entering the home is very convenient and easy because there is a door lock with key code: no need to schedule an appointment to get the keys and no need carry extra keys. The AC was already turned on when I arrived and the temperature was cool and welcoming. The place was clean and ready for guests, very welcoming! As nice and professional as a hotel and even better because there is a kitchen, a beautiful dining area and a huge living room.
The bedrooms are spacious with very comfortable beds and enough room to store clothes and other items. The bathrooms are also quite large and beautiful.
Last but not least , there is a cute patio right beside the kitchen to have a drink or even dinner outside and 2 bikes in the garage to use on the lake trail or just wander around Austin. I also had the chance to take some yoga classes very close by as there are tons of yoga studios everywhere
# 430075 Sant Marti, Barcelona, Barcelona Province, Catalunya, Spain, Europe, 2 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
All the comforts of home!!!
06/28/2014 - Wow! What a great vacation in Barcelona, España! This apartment was muy perfecto for my daughter and me. We stayed one week in Barcelona for some beach time and sightseeing. This apartment provided everything we could ask for with all the necessary amenities and its wonderful location. It was located only 3 blocks to the closest subway metro station and one block to the beach. We were able to walk to the beach on many wonderful sunny days!
The owner was wonderful and prompt at answering all of our questions and truly helpful and attentive to meeting every one of our needs. He has done a great job at keeping the vacation property up to date and very cozy. The living room provided adequate space and seating for us to plan out our daily adventures and excursions around Barcelona!
I can honestly say I would recommend this property to any of my friends and family and know without a doubt they would have a great experience. The property owner is a very generous and hospitable person to work with.
# 300247 Montego Bay, Jamaica, Caribbean, 1 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
Living the good life!
06/27/2014 - This bear and her husband had the pleasure of staying on the beautiful northern shores of Jamaica, in the Rose Hall area. This private one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo at Palmyra offered incredible views of the ocean and tranquil surroundings throughout our stay. The condo was nicely appointed with upgraded Bosch appliances and furnishings. Being on the fifth floor, we had a lovely balcony that allowed views of the ocean, as well as the mountains. We were happy to see a washer/dryer which came in handy for wet towels and clothing. Wifi and cable television worked well, as did the dual air conditioners in the bedroom and living room. We loved the shower; great water pressure and a fabulous shower head that I am ready to install at home!
We had no trouble getting onto “island time”, waking up in the comfy king size bed, sipping Blue Mountain coffee on the balcony each morning, and lazing around the incredible pool area or swimming in the blue waters on the private beach. We had our choice of places to relax, whether it was under a palm tree on the secluded beach, one of the many pool deck chairs, or even the comfy couches under the cabana next to the pool.
To say the staff was friendly is an understatement. From the concierge to the maintenance man, Victor, all became our friends quickly during our stay. One of the gentlemen scaled a ladder to the top of a palm tree to bring us fresh coconuts. He craftily used his machete to open it up so that we could enjoy the coconut water that spilled from inside.
The location of the condo was excellent. While we had complete serenity at the resort, we had a world of fun adventures nearby. A scenic drive to Ocho Rios, or a short drive to Montego Bay’s famous Hip Strip and Doctor’s Cave Beach were all possible. Golf courses abound in this area, and they were simply exquisite and very challenging.
There were several dining options nearby, whether it was to eat authentic Jamaican food in nearby food shacks such as Scotchies or Far Out Fish, or fine dining at the Half Moon Bay Resort, just a half mile up the road, we found the possibilities were plenty. We ate ocean front on most evenings, even being so close to the water that we could put our feet in at the Chill Out Hut. We even found a delightful English pub called Robbie’s Kitchen with a wonderful staff and excellent food at the small shopping center up the road. Our most exciting find was the Café Blue, a lovely coffee shop in the Rose Hall Shoppes that served excellent coffee, sandwiches, and gelato.
Our stay in Jamaica was such a pleasant one that it was difficult to return home.
# 259384 Dundee, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
A private oasis for any bear!
06/27/2014 - Wow, what an incredibly beautiful and welcoming vacation rental. The Bear and his wife spent 4.5 days in this gorgeous home, tucked away in Portland’s wine country. From the minute we pulled into the private driveway, we were welcomed by one of the most gorgeous landscapes this bear has had the pleasure of seeing. The owners put a lot of work into their garden that surrounds the home, and the results are breathtaking.
Debbie and John do a wonderful job of making you feel like the home is your own private oasis. The house was spotless and had all of the amenities you’d hope for during a vacation: washer and dryer, a full-service kitchen, large bedrooms and bathrooms and even extra cots/mattresses for those with a large group. There’s a gym with a full basketball court and scoreboard, which is perfect for families looking to escape any rain that might roll in.
The location is perfect for those of you looking to get a little bit of everything during your stay. It’s about 40 minutes south of the city located in the small town of Dundee. We didn’t end up cooking as much as we thought because there were so many great restaurants nearby that were too good to pass up. Beautiful vineyards are all around which obviously makes it the ideal location for going to any one of the dozens of wineries within a 5 minute drive. You’re also just about an hour away from the coast! We took some time to head out to the beach to watch the waves roll in, and stopped along the way in a few of the small towns for some shopping and great food. You should also make sure you take time to travel down the historic Columbia River to catch a glimpse at some of Oregon’s famous waterfalls, which is just about an hour away.
One of the Bear’s favorite things about staying in a vacation rental home is to return to a peaceful and relaxing home at the end of a long day. This lovely home provided us with more than we could have hoped. We enjoyed sitting around the fire pit toasting marshmallows, enjoying a glass of wine while looking out over the many hills filled with grapes, harvesting some of Debbie’s delicious fruits and vegetables in her beautiful garden, and last but certainly not least, relaxing in the hot tub while taking in the views.
We hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did. We can’t wait to come back!
# 388481 Angel Fire, New Mexico, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, CHALET
Ahhhh! The great outdoors!
06/16/2014 - Wow! What a relaxing vacation! This mountain cabin with terrific views and wildlife walking through the backyard took our breath away. The wood beams and ceiling make this open cabin feel rustic and woodsy. The open feel and tons of room helped us to settle right in. While being situated right by the golf course and a wonderful playground area, this cabin still felt like we were up in the trees. We had deer walking through the back yard and elk down the street. The wildlife in the area was just a piece of the treasure of Angel Fire.
This cabin is so close to so many wonderful things to do. Local activities like mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, fishing and hiking. Unique experiences like feeding the Alpacas are also close by. Taos is a great day trip and offers spectacular mountain scenery along the way. For a more relaxing time, just sitting on the wrap around deck and listening to the wind in the trees made the outside world melt away.
This home made everything so easy for us. From doing laundry to extra blankets during the cold mountain nights, the experience was wonderful. This cabin offered everything we could have asked for and our vacation was truly relaxing. Thank you for letting us share your home away from home!
# 32153 Sunset Lakes, Kissimmee Central West, Kissimmee, Central-Disney-Orlando Area, Florida, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Relax and relish the scenic views!
06/12/2014 - I have rave reviews for this home, the property management company, and the owner. Our flight into Orlando landed in the late evening. The detailed instructions on how to get to and into the home made it easy to get situated and unload. We woke up the next day to find ourselves in a gorgeous home with scenic views of the lake right behind us. I picked up breakfast items from the local grocery store (Publix; within 5-7 minutes away). By the time I got back, my family was already swimming around in the enclosed pool (great for summer time to keep the bugs away). The water was a bit chilly, being mid-June, even though we were in Florida. I realized I should have asked for the pool to be warmed up when Brian, the owner, asked me about it during the boarding checklist. After realizing my mistake, I gave the property management company a quick call and within a few short hours the pool heater had been turned on. WOW, what excellent service! I had to call the property management company a couple of times again with minor questions (e.g. wifi network access, the alarm battery died.) Wendy, the property manager, was pleasant, easy-going, and extremely responsive both times.
The house gave us an opportunity to unwind and relax. Whether it was the swimming, the napping in the super comfortable beds, the roomy home, or the quiet cul-de-sac that it sat on, we took full advantage of the amenities and ability to dis-engage from the real world. The home is super close to various activities like Old Town (kid’s amusement park 15 minutes away), various restaurants (5-10 minutes), and Disney Downtown (20-30 minute drive).
The home was roomy, clean, easily accessible, and just fantastic! Next time I’m in Kissimmee, I’m definitely coming back! Thank you so much for a great time.
# 442317 Paris Arrondissement 4, Paris, Ile-de-France (Paris Area), France, Europe, 0 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
Bonjour! Enjoying this charming apartment in a lovely Paris neighborhood!
06/09/2014 - Location! Location! Location! The Bear and his wife spent six nights at this charming studio apartment on Ile St. Louis. The apartment is located near the Seine River in the center of Paris, just a 5-minute walk from the Notre Dame Cathedral. The St Michel subway stop is a close walk away. The apartment is located on a street which is lined with bustling sidewalk cafes, delicious creperies, the famous Berthillion Ice Cream parlor, and local bread and cheese shops. There was also a convenient grocery on the street. We enjoyed strolling along the narrow street and window shopping at the cute gift shops. Each morning around 9 a.m. the cathedral across the street from the apartment rings its bells, which only adds to the charming ambience of the neighborhood. We could not have picked a better neighborhood to stay in for our first visit to Paris.
The apartment came with everything we needed and we were very comfortable during our stay. The pull-out bed was comfortable and we slept well every night. The building is very quiet and we weren’t bothered by any noise on the street below. We loved having a kitchen that allowed us to make dinner at home, complete with stove, refrigerator and microwave. The kitchen was stocked with a coffee maker, coffee filters, dishes and silverware. The bathroom was also nice with a good shower, clean towels, small washing machine and extra shelves for toiletries. The apartment features large windows that allow a great view of the street below and also curtains for privacy.
Sarah, our check-in person, met us at the apartment and was very friendly and took the time to show us all the apartment’s features, and showed us how to work the washing machine. We would highly recommend this charming studio apartment for anyone traveling to Paris.
# 398501 Wears Valley, East, Tennessee, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, CABIN
I love the balcony! What an amazing view!
06/01/2014 - This was our first visit to the Smokey Mountain area and my first impression was a great one at Park View. The wonderful three-story cabin was fully-furnished and well-equipped to handle people of all ages. The mountain view from all four balconies was absolutely awesome. The cabin is positioned just right, close enough to the main town and yet just far enough away to feel like you have the entire mountain to yourself.
The interior of the cabin had a nice layout, looked professionally decorated and had plenty of extras. We spent a lot of time enjoying the hot tub, pool table, arcade and movie theater on the lower floor. Most days during our stay we found it difficult to leave because we enjoyed the cabin so much. The three bedrooms in the cabin were furnished with comfortable, large beds, TVs and easily accessible bathrooms. The kitchen was great for making meals and had all of the appliances necessary to do the job. The main living area was spacious and inviting and had a fantastic view of the Smokies through the large windows that span the back wall. The main balcony near the entrance to the cabin had a great view, seating around the perimeter and a fire pit. It was a great area to enjoy the view and relax each night.
The area around the cabin was very nice as well. Park View sits atop a mountain, and getting to and from the cabin was super-simple once we had our bearings of the area. The main town is filled with great restaurants and tons of attractions for all ages. The welcome information at the cabin provided recommendations and information about the area that we found most helpful.
Don, the owner of the cabin, was very helpful and proactive in making sure that we were informed about our trip, the area and the cabin itself. We truly felt that he cared and wanted our stay to be great.
From the linens to the kitchenware to the barbecue grills outside, the Park View cabin provides all of the necessities one needs to simply pack their bags for vacation and enjoy a stay in the cabin just as if it were their own home. This experience at Park View was by far one of the best vacation experiences we’ve had in a long time. We’d like to thank Don and his family for hosting the VRBO Bear and providing a ton of great memories that we’ll share for a long time.
# 447336 The Crane, St. Philip, Barbados, Caribbean, 4 BR, 5 BA, VILLA
Ahhhh! Relaxing by the pool.
05/31/2014 - When we arrived at the airport in Barbados we were greeted by the smiling face of Willie (of Emmanuel Tours cab service) holding up my name on a card. Willie was extremely hospitable and happy to assist us with all of our transportation needs throughout our vacation. He was always there whether we needed a ride into town or just to pick up groceries.
Upon arriving to the vacation home we were absolutely floored by how beautiful and picturesque the scenery was. The front door opened into a large furnished living area with couch, surround stereo system, and full kitchen. The double doors in back opened onto a large patio with an infinity pool and an unobstructed view to the ocean. We could hear the waves breaking throughout our stay which created a very peaceful and serene ambiance throughout the home. When we wanted to turn up the music and have a good time, there was an iPad connected to the stereo system within the house that allowed us to play provided music or connect our own.
All of the rooms were very spacious and most opened up to the outdoors with fantastic views of the ocean. The master had a large balcony that overlooked the ocean. In the back patio area there was a large gazebo where our entire party of 8 could sit and relax. There we found stairs leading down toward the ocean to a small terrace with a bed that sat directly over a small cliff overlooking the ocean (spectacular!). Another set of steps would take you all the way down to the ocean where, when the tide was out, you could walk on the small sandy beach and into the rock face where there were cave-like openings where we could see crabs and other small sea creatures.
There were many fun places to experience within walking distance. Cutters Deli was just down the street; Roger was a fantastic host and saw to his customers personally, even delivering items to the vacation home himself. The Rum Punch was the best I’ve ever had! The food there was AMAZING, the flying fish sandwich has to be the best lunch I’ve ever had in my life! We also had access to the Crane Hotel which had a variety of restaurants and shopping sites as well as access to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
This was truly one of the most memorable trips we have had and we want to thank the extremely hospitable people of Barbados and our hosts for an amazing experience.
# 283184 Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, 3 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Beautiful views of the coastline and mountains from the rooftop terrace!
05/28/2014 - The Palma Vista Villa in Puerto Rico is adjacent to a cove on Seven Seas Beach, offering striking views of the coastline and the mountains of the rainforest from a beautifully furnished rooftop terrace. It’s located close to many attractions, including the opportunity to lounge in the shade of a palm tree on virtually private beaches. Snorkel the coral reefs, tie up a hammock while enjoying local refreshments, and enjoy fresh local fare. Listen to the sounds of waves lapping and the little frog, the Coqui, sing in the sunset.
The Palma Vista Villa is a comfortable and complete setting for a relaxing getaway without ever leaving the villa, but there is so much to do nearby! Explore the nearby rainforest for a casual hike or drive. Our bear family chose to hike to the top of the mountain and picnic while taking in breathtaking views of the rainforest rolling out to crystal blue shorelines. Later we explored the waterfalls that cascaded down the mountains of the rainforest. In the evening we took a starlit tour of the Laguna Grande and experienced a moonlit mangrove forest with bioluminescent water that left us in awe of the wonders of nature. Watch fish splash in phosphorescent blue schools across the lagoon and see your own hand light up the water, truly amazing.
The white sand beaches of nearby Palamino Island and the isolated snorkeling grounds were something to behold. We dove with fish of all colors, discovered conchs and schools of brightly colored fish in the coral. The island is fully staffed with tropical drinks and food. Close to the Palma Vista Villa, you could choose to spend a morning or the entire day (as we did) with enough time to return to the Villa, relax and whip up some daiquiris with world famous Puerto Rican rum.
The Villa is spectacular, with finely furnished indoor and outdoor spaces with everything you need to cook, relax, and refresh. It’s an incredible space, with both the opportunity for privacy and places to gather, eat, drink, enjoy or play. The décor is tasteful and comfortable. The kitchen has modern conveniences for preparing a fine meal for a bear family. The bedding and towels are high quality with everything you need for a beach day including a cooler, beach chairs, and a portable awning.
The staff and owners were extremely professional, friendly, and welcoming. All of the information about the area and local knowledge was well documented and gave us information we needed to truly see the best aspects of the area. The owners and staff were willing and available to answer any questions we had. We hope to return and that you also take this opportunity to experience the luxury, adventure, and relaxation that we found at the Palma Vista Villa.
# 413495 Pointe West, Galveston, Gulf Coast, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, CONDO
The view of the gulf from the balcony is spectacular!
05/19/2014 - Mamma Bear and I booked the Sandcastle condo for 5 days in late May for a sleuth gathering of our two bear cubs and both sets of grandma and grandpa bears. The Property Managers could not have been more friendly and helpful during the booking process, and they were very prompt and responsive in all our communications throughout the planning and execution of the trip.
The smell of the Gulf as we crossed over the causeway onto Galveston Island took me back to childhood memories of summer trips to the ocean. As we travelled south toward our destination, leaving the hustle and bustle of Galveston city behind, I knew we were in for a great week at the beach. The view from the balcony of our condo was spectacular and unobstructed, the perfect place to sit and sip a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise over the gulf. A short walk down to the beach past the beach club and we were enjoying a swim in the balmy Gulf waters. On the way back, a quick dip in the refreshing pool was just the thing to wash away the heat of the mid-morning sun before heading to the condo for lunch.
We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be so close to the Beach Club. We paid a flat $25 fee for our entire group to access all the beach club amenities just next door to the condo including an adult pool, a hot tub, a kiddie pool, with plenty of shade and lounge chairs overlooking the Gulf. There was also a fitness room and a game room as well as a restaurant and a bar, making just about everything we needed to enjoy our trip right within walking distance of the condo.
The condo exceeded our expectations and the attention to detail was impressive. After a trip to the nearby grocery store, we were stocked up for the week. Even though there are a ton of excellent seafood restaurants on the north end of the island, we were able to relax together as a family and have nearly all of our meals without leaving our den. Everything was perfect and allowed us to spend time together in a home away from home, as if we were staying over at a friend’s house.
When the property managers told us we didn’t need to bring anything except clothing, they weren’t kidding. There were even beach chairs and sand toys. I was thrilled to discover a kite, giving my bear cub her first kite flying experience on the beach, bringing her much joy. Inside the condo, each room was prepared with similarly pleasant surprises; from the bathrooms (featuring everything from first aid kits to mouthwash), to the kitchen (dressed with spices and serving platters perfect for family meals), to the laundry room (loaded with detergents, Ziploc bags, and supplies for every contingency), to the living room (fit to entertain anyone, with an array of cable channels, DVDs, and games for the whole family). We chose to do the puzzle and it was a challenge of legendary proportions—the perfect thing to bring us together around the table as a family for some good laughs and relaxed conversation. Details like this set the Sandcastle apart from other vacation rentals. Rest assured, you’ll have a great stay.
# 22606 Harbor Island, Low Country & Resort Islands, South Carolina, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Sit on the porch and watch the tide roll in. Nothing could be better!
05/03/2014 - Our family decided to take our cubs to be beach for the first time in South Carolina. From arriving on the secluded private island to walking into our house, we were instantly relaxed and ready for a great vacation. The house was immaculately kept up, and we loved the layout of the house. There are two bedrooms on one side, and two bedrooms on the other, giving the house a very private feel to keep those bear in-laws at a safe distance. The master bedroom was perfect with a private porch right off the ocean that provided the lullaby of waves every night. The room had a perfect amount of room for our cub to sleep in the pack and play (in perfect shape) that we rented. The master bathroom with wooden walls and jetted tub made it feel like it was a spa.
The house is suited perfectly for a large group. The living room had plenty of sitting for our group to sit together and regroup on our fun day and make plans for the next. The dining table was perfect for putting a puzzle together, and the bar area worked great for supervising dinner preparation. Speaking of dinner preparation, we were thoroughly impressed with the stainless steel pots and pans and the stocked kitchen in general. We had a coffee maker for the mornings and a blender when the time was right in the evenings.
The house is in prime location for dolphin watching with the rooftop deck, the private deck off the master, and the screened in porch (the BEST place to sit and read a good book). The community center right down the road features a nice gym, pool, and playground (the cubs really enjoyed this). The island itself is so quiet; there is no traffic noise or dogs barking. The beach was very family friendly with polite passersby giving us advice on where to eat and fish and letting us pet their dogs. One can deduce that living in South Carolina is directly related to being friendly.
Harbor Island is conveniently located by Beaufort which is a magical little city that offers a vast array of activities. We had some bears do fishing trips while other bears in the group opted for carriage rides and dolphin tours. We also enjoyed the proximity to Savanah, GA which is another must when you are in the area.
Seaside Getaways was an outstanding property management company that responded immediately to all questions and comments. The house was completely tranquil and we all were sad to leave. This home is the best way to experience South Carolina and we highly recommend this house to anyone who wants to have a relaxing and memorable trip.
# 240977 Ocean Jewels, Daytona Beach, Florida Central East, Florida, USA, 1 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Loved the beautiful decor!
05/01/2014 - I had a spring getaway by the beach, and was delighted to find a beautifully decorated and wonderfully furnished condo overlooking the ocean.
My first impression was how neat and orderly the condo was. I was instantly comfortable and the condo had everything I needed to host a few cubs and mama bear for a relaxing time on the beach. Recent upgrades were everywhere, from the tile backsplash in the bathrooms to the glass top mini-stove.
The condo had a unique flair and the walls were professionally textured and painted recently. The bathrooms were immaculate and boasted a separate artistically tiled shower and tub, as well as a fountain style sink. The bed was comfortable and cozy and the linens were clean and fresh. Utensils, cups, glasses, dishes, towels, games, boogie boards, rafts, and other basic things were provided in this well -furnished cozy condo on the ocean shore. In fact I had all of the comforts of home and everything I needed to entertain my bear troop. There was even enough room on the leather pull out sofa to sleep an extra guest, as mama bear became so relaxed and fell sleepy.
This property is located in the center of all things beach and everything I needed was close by as far as stores, shops, take-out and delivery foods. Walks on the beach, local shopping and restaurants, and local attractions like the boardwalk and parks, game rooms, and bars are all within walking distance.
# 234988 Majestic Sun, Scenic Gulf Drive Central East, Destin Area, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Enjoying the unobstructed view from the private balcony!
04/19/2014 - The VRBO bear visited Destin, Florida and enjoyed a relaxing stay at a wonderful, family-friendly property. As soon as we arrived we were in “beach” mode. The condo is in a prime location, separated from the beach by only a two lane road, and there are no other buildings in front to block the ocean view. The beach and pool are only a few steps away. Another perk are the sidewalks/bike paths which are easily accessible, and great to take to the several restaurants within walking distance. The neighborhood is full of other families on vacation, and the atmosphere is pleasant and enjoyable.
The condo had everything we needed – they even provided a cooler, beach chairs, beach umbrella, and beach cart. The comforts of home were in the details: throw blankets on the couches, extra pillows in the bedroom, and hairdryers in the bathroom. There was plenty of room in this two bedroom condo and it is perfect for a family! Each bedroom has comfortable bedding and is attached to its own bathroom. The kitchen is well stocked and features an eat-at bar plus a small dining area that opens into the family room. The interior has top of the line amenities and is very comfortable.
We spent the majority of our time on the balcony. We enjoyed coffee in the morning and cocktails at night, all while taking in the beautiful ocean view.
The owners, Andree and Mike, are wonderful to work with. They thought of every detail, so we would not have to! They even provided us recommendations before we arrived for a fishing trip and tennis courts.
All in all, we could not have asked for a more relaxing and stress-free trip to the beach!
# 125149 Manzanillo, Colima, Mexican Riviera, Mexico, 6 BR, 6 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying the amazing view!
04/04/2014 - This extraordinary house nestled in the quiet neighborhood of Manzanillo (las Brisas) was the perfect place for our large group of ten celebrating two milestone birthdays together! This beachfront home is 30 yards from the Pacific Ocean on Playa Azul with the most amazing views. Much time was spent on the back balcony watching birds, swimmers, walkers, large ships venturing in and out of the harbor, and listening to the waves crashing on the beach. As the name indicates, we truly experienced the “House of Sunsets”, as we watched the sun disappear into the Pacific below a beautiful orange-pink sky nearly every evening.
Casa Puesta del Sol is beautifully decorated throughout, and nearly every room displays large, original oil paintings (portraits) from the photo-realistic Jalisco artist, David Villasenor. We found each of the six bedrooms to be very spacious with comfortable beds and a bathroom, which accommodated our large group very well. The breezes coming off the ocean kept the place cool; however, each room has an individual air conditioner and a ceiling fan as well.
We enjoyed hanging out in the pool, sitting at the palapa bar, and visiting the very-uncrowded beach only footsteps from the house. Manzanillo is the most charming town with authentic character. We also took several excursions as well, including a day trip to Barra de Navidad for sightseeing and shopping; a 4-hour private fishing charter where we caught exclusively mackerel; a day trip to El Salto de Minatitlan – a water park and waterfalls up in the mountains about an hour’s drive east of Manzanillo – we were the only ones there that day, and truly enjoyed the falls and swimming in the pools below them and a day at La Playa Boquita on the northwest end of Manzanillo.
The house is maintained by a staff of 3 who come in every day to clean. They can arrange almost anything that you would like, including fishing trips, massages, sightseeing trips, or shopping. Guests have the option of having meals prepared, including shopping for the food and cleaning up afterwards. Our group availed ourselves of this service for one or more meals almost every day we were there. We found a wonderful pollo asado restaurant only two doors down from Puesta del Sol for dining out. Try Chef LLevArt Bistro, if you desire a more upscale restaurant, which is about ½ mile away.
This is truly a lovely vacation home. The VRBO Bear gives Casa Puesta del Sol a big thumbs up!
# 427644 Canyon Lake, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying this charming waterfront home!
03/29/2014 - Our wonderful Canyon Lake escape – Water’s Edge
From the moment we arrived at Canyon Lake, we were impressed by the natural beauty of the area. We were delighted by the generous parking, friendly neighbors and the supreme view of the lake. The house sits on an elongated lot that is deep and deliciously lakefront. Water’s Edge provides an ample ground-level covered space for easy entertaining, dining alfresco and of course barbequing!
As we climbed the staircase to the wrap-around deck, our eyes were immediately drawn to the stunning, panoramic views of Canyon Lake. The house is a charming escape that offers a living room with a wood-burning fireplace, a comfortable leather sofa, an easy chair and wonderful natural light. The kitchen is spacious, equipped with a dishwasher, microwave, fridge with water & ice dispenser, a nice stovetop and oven as well as a double sink.
Water’s Edge offers three comfortable bedrooms and two spacious bathrooms. Ample linens are available with plenty of plump pillows and comfortable mattresses. Two of the bedrooms offer easy access to the wrap-around deck.
We were delighted by the quality of the local restaurants and quick access to grocery, convenience stores and gas stations. There’s even a great hardware store that sells fishing rods and ice coolers.
Water’s Edge owner Patty was really fantastic. She was super-friendly and generous with restaurant suggestions.
Pack your bags and prepare for a joyous escape to a truly memorable property deep in the pristine Texas Hill Country!
# 302629 Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, APARTMENT
I can stay perched on this sofa and look at this amazing view all day long!
03/14/2014 - From the moment we entered the apartment, all we could say was “WOW!” This beautiful Telegraph Hill flat provides picture perfect views. The large windows of the main room and master bedroom were open to enjoy every scenic moment. In the early mornings, the world was quiet with the sound of the occasional fog horn in the distance while the sun gently filled the master bedroom. Just as enticing, as the evening sun went down, we would watch the lights on the bridge turn on while sipping a glass of champagne.
The penthouse has been nicely remodeled and tastefully decorated with a balance of up-to-date appliances and conveniences, while still maintaining the historic San Francisco Edwardian charm on the outside. Beautiful hardwood floors shine throughout. There is a nice separation between the master bedroom and the other two large bedrooms. The beds and linens were extremely comfortable. The penthouse is spacious and airy with high ceilings and filled with natural light and plenty of storage. The kitchen had everything we needed. The bathrooms were elegantly renovated and professionally cleaned. The towels were plush and hotel quality.
The location was ideal for us. The walkability to restaurants, cafes, and shopping was a plus to staying in the unit itself. Historic landmarks such as Coit Tower, Embarcadero, Ferry Plaza, and Transamerica Pyramid (just to name a few) surrounded us. When we did require transportation for farther locations, cabs were nearby, easy to hire, and could get us anywhere we needed to go. The home was a relaxing place for us to land after a full day of walking and sightseeing.
The owner, Richard, was very accommodating and helpful. His professionalism was apparent in the entire booking and check in/out process. He was prompt in his replies to my initial inquiry and questions. Richard presented us with an informative email prior to our arrival providing suggestions and recommendations for things to do in the area. I could tell right away I was dealing with a very experienced owner.
It was definitely hard to leave when our vacation ended. Thank you Richard, for hosting us Bears at your lovely apartment!
# 401219 Marigny-Bywater, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 2 BR, 1 BA, TOWNHOME
Ready to unwind in the Jacuzzi
03/12/2014 - With so much history and tradition in the city of New Orleans, this cottage strikes a beautiful balance of local charm and modern living. The details of the property stood out from the moment we walked in and extended throughout the home. The mix of local artwork with modern furnishings made it clear that the owners were committed to creating a great space.
The formal dining room space is perfect for a large family dinner and we took full advantage. The full kitchen and backyard grill allowed us to enjoy the great local markets and fresh seafood. All the modern appliances and cooking utensils were at hand allowing us to prepare meals with ease. We would open the full length windows to the front of the home and enjoy the amazing weather while enjoying food and drink with friends.
The proximity of the living room meant that our favorite local jazz band was playing on the music doc whenever we were home. The full entertainment center kept our favorites within ear shot throughout the cottage. The complement of movie channels was a nice addition, although we preferred to spend our time listing to music when not out trying to catch live shows.
The bedrooms each had their own unique charm and artwork but provided plenty of space as well. The large closet space allowed us to unpack like we were home. The beds and linens were more comfortable than what I have at home. The place we spent most of our time was definitely the kitchen and back yard where we shared our favorite stories of the day before jumping into the Jacuzzi to unwind. With a surplus of soft towels, a nice backlit yard and privacy fence, there was no better way to end the day.
With character to spare and proximity to just about everything, we could not have picked a better place to stay. The owners and property manager were very gracious and communicated with us throughout the reservation process and after checkout. In all, we feel fortunate to have stayed in a place that made our visit one to always remember.
# 54916 Seacrest Beach North, Seacrest Beach, Beaches of South Walton, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, CONDO
You'll love this beautiful condo, so convenient to the town and the beach!
03/09/2014 - Ahhh, what a fantastic way to spend a week at the beach! We had two families and this was our first time at Rosemary Beach with kids. Once we checked in using the keyless door entry (which was fantastic for older kids to go in and out), we found a great open floor plan with a large family area. The four bedrooms were plenty for all of us. One room had a trundle bed where two of the kids bunked and shared a bathroom with another bedroom. There was also two master suites with their own private baths. The beds were very comfy and each room had a flat screen TV for when we needed some quiet time. The outdoor patio was a very popular area as it had a large dining table as well as two lounge chairs where we could relax. The kitchen was also fully stocked which made staying in for breakfast and lunch easy. All liked the large breakfast bar.
As with any vacation, it’s all about the location and this place was so very convenient to the town and to the beach. The kids had bikes and were able to explore the town themselves, so they very quickly identified the quickest routes to the candy, ice cream and beach toy stores. With the bike-friendly paths everywhere, the kids could enjoy the beautiful beach town. As for their parents, being able to walk to the amazing restaurants was wonderful.
Although we packed quite a lot of beach equipment, it was not problem at all as the beach-to-door tram service was super-efficient and friendly.
Once back at the condo, it was all about the gigantic pool. The kiddos would scamper off and run around under the fountain and we could follow or leisurely watch them from the outdoor patio.
Last but not least, the owner was not only responsive but proactive in keeping us informed about our upcoming stay, making sure we knew about the scheduled cleaning of the pool area so we could schedule around those hours. Overall, we had a wonderful week at the beach in this lovely condo.
# 108605 Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, 3 BR, 4 BA, VILLA
Relax, play games, or enjoy the view from your private balcony
03/06/2014 - This wonderfully furnished, comfortable, penthouse villa is nestled at the top of the Wyndham Rio Mar Resort and Spa. Even with 10 of us, the villa was very spacious and comfortable. The wonderful cool cross-ventilation of the ocean breeze in the main kitchen area/living room, meant we didn't have to use the A/C. You will spend mornings drinking coffee, seeing the stunning sunrises, and taking in the ocean breeze. Afternoons will be spent sipping a mint mojito, or a 'cuba libre'. Evenings will be highlighted by gazing out over the balcony, listening to the symphony of singing coqui frogs from the landscape below, as you watch the large cruise ships set out to sea from San Juan. Grandpa Bear spent an afternoon watching cartoons with the little bears in the wonderfully cozy and spacious media room.
Eva and Jose have thought of everything with their villa. Each bedroom had a private FULL bathroom. Plenty of clean towels, sheets, and pillows are available. The kitchen has everything you need if you want to prepare meals. We stopped by a grocery store in Luqillo, named Amigo's, a mere 7 minutes from the villa on PR-3, and stocked up for incidental meals and snacks for our stay. If you want a quick coffee and a breakfast sandwich, consider stopping by Dalia's Diner, right at the intersection of PR-3 and PR-968. If you want a heavier meal or dinner, head out for Ritchie's Cafe at the top of the hill on PR-968. Ritchie's is best for lazy afternoons for great vistas, or catch it in the evenings on the weekend for some live local color. (Call ahead for details).
The bears spent lots of hours on the beach. Bring lots of sun screen! Eva and Jose provided boogie boards for the little bears (or big bears too) to enjoy on the beach. We felt like we practically had the whole beach to ourselves which was surprisingly nice considering it was Spring Break. Momma bear had a great, peaceful stroll up and down the beach as she collected shells and sand dollars. You have to look for them, but they are there! The little bears came in from the beach, and washed themselves at the showers before jumping into one of the communal pools available for Rio Mar residents, and spent more time having some good splash fun.
One evening we took a tour at 'Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve' -- the Biolumniscent Bay excursion. We decided on this because we had little bears and Grandpa and Grandma bear along on our vacation. We visited the Fajardo lighthouse, and later when we returned to the villa, we realized we could spot the lighthouse from the balcony! We got to experience the bioluminescent bay at night, and it was very amazing walking around outside with no lights or flashlights. Our guide was very knowledgeable and it was educational for bears of all ages.
We also visited El Yunque, the only official Rain Forest of the U.S. Forest Service. The views from the Yokahu Tower are spectacular. If you are up for the hike, do the Mt. Britton lookout tower. It is worth the trip. Some of the bears in our family took a dip at the Mina Falls, and the best part - it was only minutes away from Eva and Jose's villa!
We did many more things while staying at Rio Mar. We visited Arecibo Observatory, made a few trips to Old San Juan, and ventured for a long day trip to Ponce. Whatever your bear family decides to do, tennis, golf, hotel, spa, walks on the beach, jet skis, day trips, or just sitting back and enjoying the view, know that you will have a memorable and peaceful vacation with this vacation villa as your home base.
# 201505 Chateau Roaring Fork, Aspen, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
The perfect vacation rental for location, comfort, and views!
02/20/2014 - The pictures on VRBO did not do this beautiful property justice. There were elements everywhere that made the condo feel like a true mountain chalet. I loved the antler chandelier over the dining table, old black and white photos of the town framed in each room, snow shoes in the shape of a heart on the wall in the living room, and rustic wood furniture throughout the condo. Two great sized bedrooms with their own bathrooms made the property a perfect candidate for future trips with family or friends. The kitchen had everything we needed including an iPod docking station. There was a bottle of red wine and two glasses waiting on the expansive granite countertop in the kitchen. The living room had an awesome bear sized leather couch and with a collection of comfy pillows and throw blankets. One of the pillows read “Home is Where the Heart Is”. This was probably my favorite touch, and a perfect pillow for a vacation rental.
Arriving in the dark we hadn’t seen the mountains around us. The next morning I saw the view, which took my breath away. The condo was so close to Aspen mountain that we could see lifts from our living room! I couldn’t get over the views from our condo. I kept opening the patio door to go outside, take pictures, and just be closer to the mountainous backdrop. The condo was perfect for those who plan on coming to Aspen to snowboard or ski. We were given our own locker right outside for snowboards. There was also a giant wooden bench for our coats, gloves, hats, boots, goggles, etc. The shuttle down the street took us to Snowmass. After a day on the mountain we came back and read through magazines on the coffee table, enjoying a glass of wine and learning about famous diners and pubs to try. Our muscles were given a chance to recover in the hot tub.
The condo is within walking distance to every shop, restaurant, and bar in Aspen. Knowing that everything was a short walk away made planning unnecessary and allowed us to enjoy being on vacation. We walked down the street to get groceries. We were able to walk to the shuttle that took us to each mountain which was awesome. We didn’t use the rental car all weekend.
We shopped one afternoon, stopping at an old pub to enjoy a drink and watch the end of a basketball game. Dinner was Italian and I enjoyed one of the best plates of lasagna I’ve ever had. Aspen is the perfect spot for a bear! I fell in love with the crisp air, snowy mountains, friendly people and simple way of living. The property’s owner, Brian, made sure we were more than taken care of and was super responsive when I had questions about Aspen or the condo. I could not have asked for a better person to work with. On our drive back to Denver we talked about coming back every year and bringing friends, always staying in the same condo because it was so special to us. I’m so bearrrrr-y thankful to have been given the opportunity to experience such a beautiful place!
# 410068 Cedar Ridge, Upper Village, Whistler, Vancouver Coast & Mountains, British Columbia, Canada, 4 BR, 4 BA, CHALET
Trail map handy--planning for the day on the slopes!
02/08/2014 - This February, four of my friends and I decided to come out of hibernation early to hit the slopes at Whistler. We were spoiled rotten by the luxurious amenities and prime location of this property! The proximity to Village Run was ideal for skiing and snowboarding – every morning we would roll out of bed, strap on our gear, and cruise down to the gondola. We didn’t have to deal with the hassle of lugging around our boards or hobbling in ski boots, and also had time to squeeze in a couple of extra runs at the end of the day!
In addition to primo mountain access, the panoramic views of the valley from the wrap-around deck are breathtaking. There’s a hot tub that is constantly kept at 104o F – the perfect temperature for relaxing after a long day of tearing up the slopes. After enjoying the hot tub, the propane grill was great for cooking up a feast in the evening. The kitchen was stocked with everything we needed to prepare our meals, and there was tons of space and seating in the living and dining areas. The 42” flat screen HDTV, Bose sound system, and wifi internet connection kept us entertained on the nights that we decided to stay in.
After surveying the cabin’s accommodations, I can definitely sympathize with Goldilocks. There are beds for up to 10 people, and the downstairs bathroom has been completely remodeled with a rain shower and heated tile floors. The stackable washer/dryer came in handy for drying out my soggy ski clothes at the end of the day - even bears wipe out occasionally!
It was a pleasure planning my trip with the property’s owner, Sabina. She was incredibly responsive to all of my questions, and even helped me book our lift tickets and ski rentals at a discount before we arrived! Whenever I had a question, I had no problem reaching Sabina by phone, text, or email, and it made my Whistler experience that much more enjoyable.
After our stay at Cedar Ridge, it’s going to be really tough to return to my cave next winter!
# 200147 River Run, Springs, Keystone, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, CONDO
Ski or swim...you can't beat the fun!
02/08/2014 - After a long season of hibernation, I realized that I needed to breathe mountain air, hear the crunch of snow between my bear paws, and look across the mountains with white and frosted trees. We navigated through the infamous Loveland Pass to our final destination –The Springs at the basin of the River Run Gondola and village.
Imagine my delight as we pulled up on that snowy night to a warmly lit building welcoming us. We pulled our car into a heated garage with a conveniently located ski locker, which made it easy to unload our ski equipment. As we walked to our room we passed through a lobby with a wilderness mural and large fireplace with seating for a large group to gather. Young cubs played in a newly decorated playroom. A movie was starting to play in the theater room. Through the lobby windows we saw two hot-tubs filled with content skiers, and a heated pool with cubs swimming beneath a waterfall. You would think that would be enough but there was also a pool table, gym, steam room, and shower. Our room was toasty warm in comparison to the cool mountain air. The mountain lodge décor instantly made us feel welcome, and we were soon relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine while looking at the fireplace.
We awoke the next morning from a great night’s sleep in a comfortable bed and began making breakfast in the well-equipped kitchen. We’d conveniently stocked up on groceries the previous night while passing through Dillon. We grabbed our skis from the ski locker and walked a mere 300 feet to the base of the River Run Gondola!! This truly was a perfectly appointed ski-in and ski-out unit and we were off to shred the fresh 10 inches of powder that had fallen overnight.
After a long day of skiing in powder, we relaxed in the hot-tub while large snowflakes fell from the sky. That evening we walked along a short, yet tranquil path from the condo to Keystone River Run village to enjoy a hearty dinner. It was nice not needing to start our Bear-mobile once we arrived. Everything we needed on was just outside our door. We went to bed thankful that we’d found such a great spot for our mountain escape, and hope to come back again.
# 258470 Kingsland, Lake LBJ, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Come and enjoy this great location on the water!
12/30/2013 - This was the perfect place to start the new year, and a wonderful winter vacation getaway! I would like to try it again when the weather warms up to take better advantage of the great outside space, which includes a perfectly manicured, shaded lawn that leads down to the sheltered dock on the lake. We enjoyed spending time both indoors and outside. Even on the water, because it's winter, it was quiet and relaxing. We hung out on the dock soaking in the winter rays and getting some fishing in. There is a stop between the house and the dock that has 4 comfy lounge chairs and a BBQ grill (which we used a few times). A perfect spot for relaxing!
The lake house itself is a pleasant space, clean and uncluttered with a back wall of windows facing out onto the Lake and Hill Country. I spent quite a bit of time enjoying the gorgeous sunset views and peaceful atmosphere. There is a great ping-pong table in the large screened patio, along with lounging chairs and an eating area. There are traditional board games (we played a lot of Yahtzee and Clue). They also provided a stack of good movies to choose from. The couch and TV area are perfect for movie watching for a family, so comfortable!
The house is perfect for small kids. The children found the “secret” closet bunk beds as soon as we got there, and were so very excited! The beds there were furnished with a giant stuffed animal each – how fun! They had a really great time playing in that space. This house is also well outfitted for those travelling with a baby. There are baskets of baby toys and covers on every outlet.
And though you feel like you're miles away from any sort of commercial outlet, Kingsland is just down the road with a grocery store - just in case. There is a quaint train depot restaurant that I would recommend. Some of the travelers also ventured to Longhorn Caverns for a tour and had a great time.
# 425198 Wailua Bay View, Wailua, Coconut Coast, Kauai, Hawaii, USA, 1 BR, 0 BA, CONDO
Relaxing and enjoying this perfectly located condo at the end of each day
12/27/2013 - New Year’s in Kauai is just what the Bear family ordered for our winter getaway! This bear couple was spoiled on their 20th Anniversary with this perfectly located Condo in Wailua, on the Coconut Coast. It was the perfect location for us to do everything we wanted in Kauai.
The condo is situated at the end of the complex – away from street noise – and close to the fabulous beach and ocean view. Right when we arrived, we headed straight to the balcony to take in the sounds and view that is Kauai. The condo was well stocked with everything we needed for the beach as well as a clean and organized kitchen. And, they had air conditioning in the bedroom if it was too hot. But we didn’t need it. There were plenty of windows to open to catch the ocean breezes!
The location of our condo was perfect. We had easy access to multiple grocery stores and restaurants. But, we were far enough from town that we didn’t feel like we couldn’t get away from everything. The owners were also very attentive and surprised us with some snacks, coffee and a bottle of wine waiting for our arrival!
It seems to me that the owners really care about their home! They recently remodeled their bathroom into a mini oasis! The large shower head and openness of the space was very relaxing. They provided us plenty of towels and supplies for our visit.
One of our favorite evenings was walking over to Waialua Bay (about a 2 minute walk) with our beach chairs in hand, a tasty beverage, sitting close to the water and watching the stars. It was dark and peaceful in the evening. We brought a flashlight with us to find our way. After sitting and chatting for a while, we decided to look at what was around us with our flash lights. To our surprise, there were about 10 tiny crabs frozen by our light – staring at us. Then they quickly zipped back into the water or into their homes in the sand. It was a magical evening for all of us.
I really enjoy going on bike rides and it is very easy to go biking in Kauai. There was a bike path (called the Ke Ala Hele Makalae 7 mile trail) that starts directly across from our condo – which becomes a dedicated path in Kapa’a after 2 miles. Papa Bear LOVES to roller skate, so Mama Bear got a Bike (with room for me!) and we took that path at least 3 times on our visit. It goes all the way to Kuna Bay where we got to play in the waves and watch the surfers. I’m glad we brought towels and sunscreen!
During our visit, we got to head to the North Shore and visit the remote area of Wainiha and Tunnels Beach to go snorkeling. The waves were too high at the Tunnels Beach (in the Winter the water is more rough in the North), so we decided to check-out the Kalalau Trail – which is an 11 mile trail that goes all the way over to the Na Pali Coast. Our family loves to snorkel – so we were looking forward to the location. But, the trail was very beautiful and in the lush jungle. The trail was a little much for my little legs to handle, so we only made it a ½ mile in – but I’m glad I went that far and got to enjoy the views!
A few days later we headed to the South end of the Island to snorkel at Poipu Beach. There were a lot more people down there, but the snorkeling was great! We also snorkeled near our condo at Lydgate Park. It was a sheltered swimming area that had a few fish to see. There were lots of families there and I felt much safer and protected from the higher waves!
At the end of every day, it was nice to get back to our comfortable condo. We could cook what we wanted and barbeque by the pool. We made Hawaiian Ribs one night – they took 3 hours to cook – so I got to swim in the beautiful pool and warm my fur in the sun! Another night we picked up some giant Kauai farm raised shrimp on our way back from Waimea in Hanapepe. They were so good! And a bargain too! We cooked those by the pool as well.
It is always sad when it is time to go home. But, we had a relaxing and enjoyable time at this condo in Wailua. The location, amenities and scenery made this one of the most memorable vacations we have had in a long time. I will definitely tell my friends about this magical trip. Thank you for accepting the Bear into your home in Kauai.
# 103695 Pacific Grove, Central Coast, California, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Relaxing in this wonderful condo. Great views and location!
12/26/2013 - We planned a Christmas trip to the Monterey bay area and this was this property was the highlight of our trip! The 2 bedroom, 2 full bath nicely equipped Condo is located near the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row shopping. Included in this condo, is 4 guest passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which gives this VRBO rental an added savings. The views are astonishing! The patio overlooks the ocean and a lush green narrow park that runs along the Ocean side with a hike and bike trail. We saw a wedding party taking pictures in the park and hear that many wedding happen at this park location!
We rented bikes from about a block away and enjoyed riding along the coast from the 17 mile drive to the Aquarium and took post card perfect pictures along the way.
While making coffee in the morning we looked out through the patio window and saw a couple whales swimming in the bay. The binoculars on the cabinet allow you to get up close!
The entire condo complex is family owned and we were able to visit with some of Sally’s family. They are wonderful people and a pleasure to chat with.
The kids also enjoyed board games in from the game cabinet and were able to post their favorite photos of the day using the high speed WIFI.
# 160190 Cedar Ridge, Upper Village, Whistler, Vancouver Coast & Mountains, British Columbia, Canada, 4 BR, 4 BA, CHALET
Happy holidays from Whistler!
12/16/2013 - This holiday season, I decided to take a few of my friends skiing and snowboarding with me in Canada at Whistler Blackcomb. Boy, am I glad I picked this property to stay at! This house has everything you need for a perfect mountain vacation.
The first thing all of us could not stop talking about was the amazing location of this property. This house is literally right next to the slopes. We would strap on our gear, grab our skis and boards, take a few steps, and we were right on the run down to the village! Not all of us were expert skiers or snowboarders, but that wasn’t a problem. The run is an easy one; a beginner will have no problem making their way down.
After a long day of skiing and afternoon fun in the village, taking the lift back up and walking to the house was incredibly easy. At night, walking down the run to get to dinner, family fun, and nightlife in the village was a delight. Being that close to the village makes the experience truly unforgettable.
In the house, the experience took our trip to a whole other level of fun. The kitchen had everything we could possibly need to make delicious meals. It’s like they thought of everything! Skiing into the house for lunch or dinner was a huge plus.
For the nights where we weren’t interested in going out in the village, getting in the hot tub after dinner to relax was truly amazing. The Jacuzzi is on the deck outside; it is kept hot from the moment you arrive. You can gaze upon the mountains and the trees while relaxing in the water. It is a spectacular way to end any day on the mountain.
The owner of this property thought of everything we could possibly need to have a great stay at Whistler. Don’t like putting your feet in cold ski boots in the morning? There’s a bootwarmer in the garage! Hate cold towels after you step out of the shower? The towels are kept on a towel warmer. There was even a beautiful Christmas tree waiting for us when we arrived to capture the holiday spirit!
The house is kept comfortably warm with heat running under the stone floors and a fireplace that keeps the house cozy and clean. My little bear feet could hardly believe how warm it was! Did I mention that the fireplace is perfect for s’mores? It’s the perfect den to sit in with loved ones and watch TV while making a few tasty treats.
We knew that we were in for a treat while visiting Whistler Blackcomb, but our experience here surpassed our wildest dreams. With everything so well thought-out and the location being so spectacular, it really is the best way to experience Whistler. When we make another trip, you can bet I’ll be checking to see if this property is available again!
# 392176 Jersey City, Gateway Region, New Jersey, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
After a fun day, you can relax in your own space.
12/09/2013 - There is nothing like Christmas time in New York City! This convenient property is located in Jersey City, only a 10 minute train ride to the big city. It’s in a perfect location to enjoy a New York City vacation.
The apartment is located on a very quiet street and just a few blocks from the New Jersey PATH train station. We rode the train every day into New York City with ease. The apartment was comfortable and relaxing, and the bed we used was large and comfy. There is a binder in the kitchen with a wealth of information about fun things to do in Jersey City as well as New York City. The kitchen is fully stocked with dishes and cookware so you can make all your own meals if you wish. If you don’t want to go to the grocery store to buy groceries, no problem - the owner will get them ahead of time and have them waiting for you when you arrive! Just prepay and give her a list.
The owner was very helpful and answered all my questions promptly. She really cares about her place and accommodating her travelers.
Thank you so much for letting my family stay at your vacation home! We enjoyed every minute!
# 222964 Cocles, Limon, Costa Rica, Central America, 2 BR, 2 BA, VILLA
We loved this luxurious villa, inside and out!
12/05/2013 - If you’re planning the perfect Costa Rican vacation look no further than Geckoe’s Lodge, Casa Bromelia. This bear couple on their honeymoon was spoiled with luxury accommodations in a private rainforest paradise. We were greeted by our friendly hosts Tom and Zoe, who have spared no expense in creating an eco-friendly abode with views that will take your breath away. A thoughtful fruit basket with Costa Rican snacks and a delicious pineapple along with a bottle of champagne were set out to celebrate the occasion.
The impeccable attention to detail makes Casa Bromelia a true home away from home. A fully stocked kitchen, cell phone with necessary numbers, helpful travel guides and daily cleaning ensured we had a relaxing vacation. The hammocks also helped, it was amazing to see toucans and the beautiful blue morpho butterfly from the front porch. This beautiful, large, 2 bedroom home has an open concept layout that provides rainforest views at almost every turn. The master bedroom is absolutely perfect with a very comfortable bed, seating and a spacious bathroom.
The natural light peering through the windows started off our day as we explored the many beaches of the Caribbean coast, visited the Jaguar Rescue Center (baby howler monkeys crawling all over us!),a relaxing couples massage at Indulgence spa and shopped in Puerto Viejo. For a truly unforgettable meal visit La Pecora Nera which is a scenic little walk from the property. We enjoyed a perfectly seasoned and seasonal tasting menu in a romantic open air setting. After our active days we looked forward to arriving at the secluded oasis and taking a dip in the plunge pool.
There is so much to do, see and enjoy in this area that 6 days wasn’t enough and we’re already planning a return trip! I haven’t hesitated in recommending this home to my family and friends. This was the most memorable and relaxing vacation these bears could have ever hoped for.