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!
# 28318 South Bristol, Mid-Coast & Islands, Maine, USA, 5 BR, 2 BA, COTTAGE
Relaxing and taking in the fabulous view of McFarland Cove
10/21/2009 - When the Bear, his family and friends arrived at this quaint cottage home in South Bristol, Maine, we were immediately charmed by its idyllic location. The cottage was nestled above McFarland’s Cove, a secluded and tranquil cove which led out to the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by gorgeous trees dappled in autumn colors and a view of the bay that was postcard-perfect, the cottage was a real hidden gem! The cove and its calm turquoise waters were absolutely perfect for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. We truly enjoyed watching the local lobstermen coming in and out of the bay as they pulled up their catch of the day. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to flag down a boat for some fresh Maine lobster straight from the sea!
The cottage has a terrific deck overlooking the cove complete with plenty of comfy seating for relaxing and taking in the breathtaking views. We especially enjoyed watching the sunrise over the bay as there’s simply nothing as serene and as peaceful as an East Coast sunrise. The cottage’s interior was very cozy, with a great cabin feel and a warm fireplace to gather around with the family. The dining room boasted perfect bay views and was ideal for nightly dinner feasts as well as fun and games with family and friends. The rustic charm of the home included a fully stocked country kitchen and hotel grade beds… what more can a bear ask for?! The Bear had to pry himself from the luxuriousness of his bed to begin exploring Southern Maine.
We walked the leaf-strewn roads, explored the beautiful coves and frolicked in the leaves. We enjoyed the local fare of “lobsta”, “clam chowda”, steamed and fried clams. We stopped at a few wineries in the Maine area for tastings. Plus, we toured a few of the neighboring towns of Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta, Camden, Rockland, and Pemaquid. Whether it’s autumn, winter, spring or summer, a scenic drive is best for photographing the area’s vivid landscape. There was so much beauty to be seen in Maine, you cannot take a bad photo of the region’s ponds, rivers and hidden coves.
Overall, we enjoyed the beauty and history of the Pemaquid Lighthouse, historical homes, shops, and harbors. Maine’s motto tells it all… “Maine, the way life is supposed to be!”
The VRBO Bear
# 82301 Marblehead, North of Boston & Greater Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts, USA, 4 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Relaxing by the pond!
10/21/2009 - On our East Coast quest for New England adventure and autumn beauty (commonly known as “Leaf Peeping”), we were drawn to the town of Marblehead, MA. Marblehead was rich in seafaring history, colonial enchantment and coastal beauty. Our host - truly a bear lover- graciously received our company and provided a charming home complete with honey!
Nestled in a beautiful and quiet neighborhood, “The Pond House” provided a warm and cozy atmosphere during our vacation. Four bedrooms offered ample space for our needs. Living up to its name, the home’s location overlooking a pond filled us with peace and serenity. One can view the pond from both inside the home, as well as on the outside, expansive deck. Wishing to experience more of this charming neighborhood and its proximity to the sea, a two-minute walk brought us down to the shoreline. The diversity of rocky outcroppings and sandy shores was absolutely breathtaking!
Located just 40 minutes from Boston, this home is an ideal place to experience all that northern Massachusetts had to offer. The owners provided great suggestions for local restaurants and points of interest. They lived nearby and were available to answer any questions during our stay. During our visit, we drove to Salem to experience the Haunted Happenings Halloween Festival. Salem is only a short drive from Marblehead and offered plenty of local festivities and fun.
We fell in love with the local cuisine, the friendly people, and the colonial architecture during our Massachusetts trip. Marblehead is beautiful and recommended for anyone wanting to enjoy the history, beauty, and diversity of the New England coast.
The VRBO Bear
# 362 Majestic Beach Towers I & II, Long Beach, Panama City Beach Area, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Enjoying the sun and majestic views
10/19/2009 - During a recent cross-country trek, I stopped in Panama City Beach where I stayed in a terrific gulf-front condo rental at the Majestic Beach Towers Resort. The resort is in a central location on Front Beach Road near a number of restaurants and just down the road from the Pier Park shopping district. In addition to being right on the beach, Majestic Beach Towers also offers all of the amenities you could ask for during your beach vacation: An onsite restaurant, a movie theater, both indoor and outdoor pools, and a sundries shop (in case you forget your toothbrush).
Inside the condo unit itself, you’ll find brightly-colored walls, beachy décor, and all of the comforts of home. The best part of the condo is easily its view. Pulling back the curtains in the living area reveals a large window with a clear view of the gulf and the beaches below.
The unit’s master bedroom boasts a roomy king-size bed and a private bathroom, as well as a big cable tv with a wide selection of channels. The condo also has a smaller, bunk room with a private bathroom that is perfect for your cubs.
While I didn’t have much time to take in the sights during my time in Panama City Beach, I do think that September just might be the best time of year to visit. The weather was still very warm, traffic was light, and the beaches were not crowded at all-- plenty of room to wiggle my furry toes.
The VRBO Bear
# 159778 Glenwood Springs, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 7 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Relaxing by the beautiful fireplace
10/18/2009 - As we drove up the driveway, my companions and I were immediately impressed with the beautiful “Sunshine Ridge Guest House” that sits on 40 mountainside acres. As we entered this wonderful home, our visit only got better. The warm entryway led us into the expansive gourmet kitchen and dining area which also housed a wonderful fireplace. On the opposite side of the fireplace was a sitting area featuring an additional fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows and a large deck to show off the surrounding Glenwood Springs scenery. Every window that we looked out offered amazing views of the mountains, meadows, horses and wildlife.
This amazing home boasted seven bedrooms that were fabulously decorated and very inviting, as well as the large game room with a big screen TV and pool table. The large, professionally installed patio in the back featured plenty of furniture and a large grill. It was a great place to soak up the warm sun in the morning! We also had no problem parking four vehicles in the garage/driveway area with plenty of room to spare.
The seven bedrooms were located in the wings of the “Sunshine Ridge Guest House”. One upstairs wing included a master king bedroom and large master bathroom while the second upstairs wing included a king bedroom with a second bedroom that had a full sized bed and a twin bed. These two rooms shared a beautiful Jack-n-Jill bathroom. One downstairs wing featured a bedroom with a king bed with a bedroom that had two twin beds with another Jack-n-Jill bathroom connecting them. The second downstairs wing offered another king bedroom with another bathroom connecting it to a bedroom with a queen bed. When it was time to turn in for the night, we all felt cozy and warm given the abundant amounts of privacy the home’s floor plan provided.
My 15 companions and I enjoyed great family meals and conversation as we all sat together around the spacious dining room table. The large gourmet kitchen was equipped with everything we needed to cook any meal and allowed room for MORE than one cook. The recreation and game rooms downstairs were welcoming and well furnished. We watched football on the large screen TV and I beat everyone at several games of pool. The recreation room featured a futon couch and pull-out bed as an additional sleeping option. We also spent a lot of time outside hiking and exploring the beautiful acreage of conservation land around the Sunshine Ridge Guest House.
The “Sunshine Ridge Guest House” was conveniently located. It was only a 15-minute scenic drive to the house from the quaint shops in downtown Glenwood Springs, local restaurants, the Hot Springs Pool, and the Iron Mountain Tramway to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
A visit to this spectacular vacation home will not be a disappointment. Every moment you spend here will be a treasure trove of memories that will last a lifetime.
The VRBO Bear
# 110924 Nashville, Middle, Tennessee, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, COTTAGE
Breakfast in the garden patio
10/06/2009 - This 19th century restored carriage house had old-fashioned charm, but all the modern conveniences a bear could ask for! Within minutes of downtown Nashville, all that Music City had to offer was right at my fingertips. By day, I enjoyed the history and culture of the city and by night, I returned to the tranquil cottage to relax and get a good night’s rest on my plush bed.
The Mulberry House cottage was within minutes of downtown Nashville, where I visited the Grand Ole Opry and the Music City Hall of Fame. In addition to enjoying some local country and jazz music, I visited historic sites such as President Andrew Jackson’s estate.
Rumor has it that music stars and dignitaries from around the world have stayed at Mulberry House! Royalty, music and art lovers alike will thoroughly enjoy their stay at this cottage. The owners have decorated the house with art from around the world. Some pieces of the art and antique collection are available for purchase and guest receive preferred pricing.
I enjoyed seclusion and tranquility on my private patio where I could listen to the rain on the chimes on a misty morning or relax on the gazebo and enjoy the fall foliage. The owners left me treats galore, including locally made artisan bread, cheese, berries, drinks, jam, cookies and honey! I soaked in a lavender bubble bath in the claw foot tub and enjoyed listening to music on the state-of-the-art surround sound system
I had everything I needed during my visit. I had wireless internet access to find out reviews on local restaurants and also had the opportunity to visit with the homeowners nearby to ask them for suggestions on local hotspots. From plush linens to colorful textiles to delicious snacks, private parking and relaxing scenery, I was truly rejuvenated at this high end guest cottage called the Mulberry House!
The VRBO Bear
# 83699 Flagstaff, Canyon Country & Northeast, Arizona, USA, 4 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Bear gets a Peak View
10/06/2009 - This roomy, two-story "Peak View" home was the perfect “home away from home” for this bear’s Flagstaff vacation!
It was a “beary” comfortable home with a large kitchen and dining area. There was a spacious deck off the kitchen for outdoor dining. Both the deck and back yard had a spectacular view of the Peaks and the fully fenced yard included a wonderful play area for the little bear cubs in our clan.
The downstairs living room had space for relaxing, a game closet, many books and a flat screen TV. The room’s giant windows overlooked majestic views of the Peaks mountain range. Downstairs featured a large master bedroom, spacious closet, and full bath. Upstairs, there were three bedrooms and an extra bathroom with a futon in the loft for additional sleeping or playing.
Peak View was just off of Historic Route 66 and less than 10 minutes from NAU - Northern Arizona University. It’s perfect for any family who wishes to visit the campus and a good base for Northern Arizona sightseeing. The home is also a few short minutes from the Snowbowl ski area, biking & hiking trails, downtown Flagstaff and only an hour’s drive to the Grand Canyon.
The VRBO Bear
# 63821 Woodland Park, South Central, Colorado, USA, 5 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
I found a reading buddy at the top of the stairs
10/02/2009 - Sun Mountain Retreat is a delightful family getaway, especially when you have a passel of cubs to entertain. We had bearly parked before the entire brood was racing for the enormous play structure, tree house, game room and hot tub. The house is warm and inviting, and we immediately felt welcome and at home. The comfortable beds are perfect for hibernating. But you won’t want to spend all your time indoors, or you would miss out on the gorgeous vistas waiting just outside the door, including the deer that greeted us through our window one morning. Don’t pass up the kid-friendly comfort and adventure awaiting you at Sun Mountain Retreat.
# 247506 Boston, Greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 2 BR, 1 BA, TOWNHOME
I had my own top bunk!
09/30/2009 - “Wow,” is all that I can say. If you are a history buff, this is the place for you! Not only were we in the middle of the place that so many amazing Revolutionary War events occurred, but our vacation rental home was in the heart of it all. The owners have taken a compact space and made it a wonderful retreat which allowed us to savor everything around us as well as experience the architecture of the 1700’s. I was “beary” amazed to learn so much in just a few days.
The house dates all the way back to colonial times and has some interesting tales to tell. I learned all about it on the VRBO website. Phew – those family feuds go way back! I’m glad I’m a bear. I learned that the house was once called the Skinny House. Standing four stories tall, the house’s height makes it feel roomy. Each floor is one room and the owners have done an exceptional job in upgrading the home to feel very contemporary while still retaining its history. The original wood floors are polished to shine. The kitchen, bathroom and bedroom amenities are very modern. I even had my own top bunk!! My traveling companions enjoyed the queen bed and slept soundly.
Since the house was actually on the “Freedom Trail,” we could look out the front window and see the famous Copps Hill burial ground. From the front door, we were within walking distance to most of the historical sites and followed the red line through the downtown area. Right up the street was Old North Church, the place where Paul Revere rode through the town. There were restaurants galore and plenty of shopping at the Quincy Market. Riding on the shoulder of my companion I got a great “bear’s eye view.” The convenient location made this vacation home a perfect place to stay while enjoying the history of this great country.
The VRBO Bear
# 170130 La Jolla Shores, La Jolla, San Diego County, California, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Beautiful La Jolla Hacienda
09/28/2009 - As we approached the house from the outside, it really didn’t seem very big. However, after one of my friends opened the wooden courtyard doors, I realized that I was “beary” mistaken! The spacious courtyard with patio furniture and beautiful landscaping led us to the front door of a 2,900 square foot Spanish Hacienda.
This 4 bed, 3 bath two-story home was located only one home from the beach! There were beautiful beach views from two of the upstairs bedrooms. However, don’t worry if your room doesn’t have a view. You can open up numerous windows throughout the home to enjoy the salty ocean breezes and sounds of waves crashing ashore. The gourmet kitchen with granite countertops had plenty of room for all my jars of honey. The kitchen included all of the appliances and cookware you would need for cooking a gourmet dinner with friends. The entire home was decorated in Spanish décor, even the dishes!
If you would rather relax than cook, there are several eateries within walking distance from the hacienda. In the mood for more relaxation? Pour yourself a glass of wine at the wet bar and head upstairs for a bubble bath in the beautiful master bedroom’s claw foot bathtub.
If you are looking for a property close to the beach for your next vacation, look no further than the Spanish Hacienda. Plus, the San Diego weather is “beary” perfect!
The VRBO Bear
# 138908 Estes Park, Front Range, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 1 BA, HOUSE
Beautiful Wildlife in Your Own Front Yard
09/25/2009 - The “Whispering Pines Cabin in the Woods” was truly a perfect retreat for a family reunion. Sue, the owner, was a delight to work with- from the first time we spoke to her to after we returned home. The location offers the best of both worlds. It offers solitude, but is close to Estes Park’s wonderful shops, restaurants and “Fun City." During our stay we visited the art fair and walked through the town, taking in all the little shops to get souvenirs.
The moment we arrived, we realized the cabin was bigger than it looked in the photos. After walking in the front door, there’s a large combination dining area/living room, with a huge stone fireplace and hearth. The living room features a flat screen television VHS/DVD player with an assortment of videos and DVDs. Readers enjoyed browsing a nice collection of books. The Wi-Fi connection was great and we used it to research local activities and restaurants. The dining room had a large table that comfortably sat everyone in our group (ten people) for meals and board game evenings. There was a gas fireplace that keeps the place warm and toasty. The cabin’s craftsman style décor and lodge furnishings made the interior feel very cozy and quaint. The kitchen included all the dishes and utensils one needed for cooking and cleaning up. There was even a washer and dryer, which made it convenient for doing a load of our dirty clothes.
The cabin had lots of room to spread out. The bedrooms were comfortable with rustic décor. There was another bedroom called the “Maid’s Room.” It boasted a futon, half bath, and TV/DVD player. The cubs enjoyed watching their shows and videos in the Maid’s Room. However, the claw foot bathtub was a favorite for all. The claw foot bathtub bathroom served three bedrooms. There was another bathroom with tub and shower off the kitchen. There were plenty of towels, soaps, lotions, hair dryers and toiletries for everyone in our group.
We all loved the glassed-in front porch for reading and drinking a cup of coffee. One morning, we had the pleasure of watching a huge bull elk scraping his antlers on a tree in the front yard. The front porch was a great place for relaxing and watching the cubs playing on the swing in the front yard or having fun with a game of horseshoes. Our group enjoyed many games together in the front yard and will treasure the memories. It was a weekend we will always cherish and hope to return to again and again. During our visit, we celebrated two birthdays and we couldn’t have imagined a better place to pass the good times. You will love this cozy and warm “Cabin in the Woods.” I know this Bear had a wonderful time!
The VRBO Bear
# 183993 Private Homes, Silverthorne, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, TOWNHOME
Saddle up, move ‘em out ...
09/23/2009 - A 1 hour and 15 minute drive from Denver puts you in the heart of Summit County. If you’re a ski buff, Silverthorne is the place for you since it’s convenient to 3 popular ski resorts. It’s only 10 minutes to Keystone, 15 minutes to Copper Mountain and 25 minutes to Breckenridge.
Tucked into the wooded hills of Silverthorne, this lovely townhome was a delightful retreat. Each of the 4 bedrooms included a large flat screen TV. With many cable programs to choose from, the kids enjoyed their programs in their own room while the adults watched their favorite shows. Best of all, the townhome featured comfy king size beds and private baths. So bring the entire family- there’s room for everyone!
We felt right at home with the well-crafted log furniture such as dining chairs and log hewn beds. Plus, we got a kick out of the leather saddle bar stools at the kitchen counter. Everything is well built and sturdy enough for even Goldilocks and don’t forget to bring Baby Bear. He’ll have his very own crib to sleep in. From hairdryers in every bathroom to plenty of kitchen appliances and cookware, this place has everything for the perfect family mountain getaway.
Come enjoy the Colorado Rockies – you’ll feel like a native in this cozy home away from home.
The VRBO Bear
# 224454 Private Homes, Baldy Mountain, Breckenridge, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Sitting outside enjoying the beautiful landscaping
09/15/2009 - Amazing is the best word to describe this beautiful Breckenridge home. The pictures don’t do it justice. We knew the minute we pulled up to the house that we were going to have an amazing stay. The magnificence of this house is evident from the moment we walked into the home and first noticed the pine tree chandelier hanging from the 25-foot foyer. From the foyer, you can expore one of the three bedrooms on the main floor or head upstairs to the loft (which sleeps four comfortably). The master bedroom had a large bath with a glass shower overlooking the breathtaking mountain vistas.
A grand log staircase descended to the main living area and the spacious bay windows brought spectacular views of the surrounding mountain scenery. We especially liked the flagstone floor throughout the house, making it a truly unique architectural feature. We loved the large theater room which seat 8+ guests on comfortable couches and enjoyed a selection of over 150 movies. The theater had 2 Murphy beds which slept 4 additional guests.
The kitchen was a chef’s dream-come-true featuring double ovens, cooking sink, and high-end appliances. With 2 dishwashers, cupboards full of plates/bowls, plenty of silverware drawers, and a whole pantry full of extra appliances, this would make the perfect house for a reunion, party, or large gathering.
Every evening, we enjoyed sitting in front of the magnificent floor-to-ceiling gas fireplace or relaxing outside in the hot tub listening to the waterfall. The exterior of the home was just as amazing as the interior with its beautiful landscaping, wild flowers, amazing views, and flagstone patio. Drinking coffee on the patio deck overlooking Breckenridge every morning was another favorite memory of ours.
The house was just 3 miles from town on a private, well-manicured drive. We loved that the location was very secluded and yet close-to-town. We could have stayed at the house our whole trip, but then we would have missed out on everything Breckenridge had to offer. It seemed there was an event happening every weekend in this neat mountain town. I would definitely recommend coming and staying at Rubywood. You won’t be disappointed!
The VRBO Bear
# 221320 Bainbridge Island, Puget Sound North, Puget Sound, Washington State, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, COTTAGE
Relaxing dockside after a kayak ride
09/04/2009 - “Beary”convenient to Seattle’s Pike Place Market city sights, but a world away from the tourist hustle-and-bustle you’ll discover idyllic Bainbridge Island. To reach Fletcher Bay Landing from Seattle, simply hop on the 35 minute ferry to Bainbridge Island from Pier 52. Enjoy the panoramic city skyline views from the ferry’s open-air top viewing deck as you make your way to the island. Arriving at Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor ferry landing, it’s a scenic five minute drive to Fletcher Bay Landing through fragrant pine tree forests with peek-a-boo views of Puget Sound.
From the moment I stepped through front door, the cottage was breath of fresh air. Through the spacious bay windows, light bathed the living room in warmth and the dining room table featured a glass vase of hand-cut flowers. Thoughtful and personal touches make this vacation rental truly standout. There’s a worldwide map on the wall and guests are invited to pinpoint their hometown with a push pin. To experience the island through a local’s point of view, owners Larry & Sandy provide a custom map highlighting their favorite sights and restaurants. On the coffee table, there’s plenty of area magazines, a book of the island’s history and a big white binder of activity brochures for added inspiration on things to see and do.
The cottage’s interior was designed with comfort-in-mind. Lounging is encouraged on the living room’s brown leather sofa. The master bedroom’s cozy cotton sheets and extra soft blankets are great for snuggling with that someone special. The bathroom features amenities you’d find at luxury boutique hotel- an abundant supply of plush towels, an Aveda shampoo/conditioner dispenser in the shower and organic hand lotion sink side.
Fletcher Bay Landing’s serene sheltered cove location set the mood for relaxation, romance and recreation. A beautifully landscaped stone path led to two separate terraces overlooking the waterfront. It was the perfect place for a leisurely afternoon of reading and sipping a glass of wine by moonlight around the outdoor gas fireplace. The ramp leading down to an on-site private dock was bordered by seasonal blackberry bushes (ripe for the picking). Guests are welcome to use four kayaks and a canoe (free of charge) to explore the island’s coastline with breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountain range. During a sunset kayak outing, I spotted brightly colorful starfish, a family of otters swimming out to sea and blue herons soaring above the shore.
You can buy the “bear essentials” for cooking up a homemade dinner at nearby Town & Country Market, a local grocery store that’s well-stocked with a wide variety of wine, produce and organic food. If you prefer to dine out, try Four Swallows, a fine dining seafood bistro. Don’t forget to swing by Blackbird Bakery for lavender caramel tarts and a café latte to start off your morning.
Whether you’re seeking a romantic weekend for two or small family getaway to reconnect with nature, Fletcher Bay Landing is the perfect vacation prescription!
The VRBO Bear
# 156356 Heart of Telluride Condominium, Telluride, Telluride Area, Southwest, Colorado, USA, 1 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
The is much better than home!
09/02/2009 - The “Heart of Telluride” is certainly descriptive of this luxury condo located in the middle of Main Street in Telluride. Restaurants, shopping, and the quaint town of Telluride are just steps away from the front door.
Upon arriving, we were surprised at the beauty of our vacation rental. You feel like you just stepped into a “show home”. The attention to detail in the design and decorations was spectacular. From the stone walls, original artwork, and unique lighting, there was much to admire and enjoy. To our surprise, we were also welcomed with a beautiful gift basket.
The bedroom featured a stone wall, fireplace, flat screen TV, and luxurious linens. The curtains provided complete darkness for a very restful night of sleep. We had our choice of either bathroom to use for getting ready in the morning. Both were beautifully decorated with glass tile, richly-colored painted walls, and granite countertops. Included were organic, handmade soaps, shampoo and lotions by a local business in Telluride. The steam shower was certainly enjoyable after a long day of playing in the mountains.
While in Telluride we had plenty to keep us busy. Our hosts provided us with a list of recommended restaurants and activities when we made the reservation. If you are looking for additional advice, the on-site caretaker is always nearby. Telluride is tucked away in the spectacular, towering San Juan Mountains and offers a wide range of activities: hiking, mountain biking, golf, art, shopping, and dining. The gondola, which takes you up the mountain and to Mountain Village, is a short walk from the property. It is free and runs from early morning until midnight.
We would certainly choose this vacation rental again. It was so relaxing and enjoyable!! It’s a great place to stay anytime of year and the hosts ensure you love your stay.
The VRBO Bear
# 213738 Denver Area, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 6 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying the spectacular pool and hot tub
09/01/2009 - This luxury urban retreat was pleasantly situated in a quiet, upscale neighborhood. The owner met me at the door and gave us the grand tour of this beautiful custom Georgian Manor home which he also designed and built himself. His passion for the home’s architecture and craftsmanship was evident in every detail of the home.
The elevator was a nice surprise - no schlepping bags up a long flight of stairs! All the bedrooms were located on the 2nd floor. There were three roomy guest bedrooms on one wing, each with their own private bath. The other wing included a spacious master suite bedroom with its own balcony, sitting room, flat screen TV and fireplace. The luxurious master bath featuring marble countertops and inlaid tile floor made us feel like we were vacationing in the lap of luxury. Don’t forget to set aside some time for a tranquil bath in the jetted tub or a soothing steam shower for true pampering!
The home’s location was convenient to dining, shopping and downtown, yet it offered a relaxing retreat for unwinding after an eventful day. I treated myself to a leisurely soak in the hot tub and rejuvenating dip in the pool. Afterwards, we grilled some steaks on the barbeque and enjoyed poolside dining at sunset.
This family-friendly vacation home has room for everyone. The finished basement provides an exercise room and comfortable seating for playing games along with a pool table. Billiards anyone? Parents can rest easy with a high tech security system that alerts you if a child opens a door to the backyard pool or accesses the front street.
Ideal for a group event or family getaway…this custom home has it all. Whether you want to shop ‘til you drop, watch a sporting event or visit the nearby museums, theater and art galleries, you’ll enjoy this spacious retreat to return ‘home’ to after a day of sightseeing. It was a special treat to find this truly unique home and hidden gem in the Mile High city.
The VRBO Bear
# 197737 Na Hale O Keauhou, Keauhou, Kona Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, CONDO
Surrounded by gorgeous Hawaiian landscaping
08/27/2009 - Ideally located in the south Kona area of Keauhou, we arrived at our vacation rental within minutes after landing in Kona. Driving into this gated resort, we were welcomed by the beautifully landscaped grounds. The flowers, trees and grass area were very well manicured, a setting you would expect to find at a high-end resort. We loved the nice pool and big hot tub area, as well as the shallow pool for the kids.
This unit is located at the end of the complex, providing quiet and privacy. It’s secluded with both ocean views and a natural preserve area behind the townhome. We enjoyed our morning cup of Kona coffee on the balcony off of our master suite, with a view of the ocean. The covered patio was a great spot for our dinner cookout, with a nice grill and patio furniture.
Our stay at this spacious two story townhouse gave everyone their own room to relax. All three bedrooms (king, king and two singles) had their own flat screen tv and private bathroom. Air conditioning was a big plus for the warmer Hawaiian days. Our ipod sounded great on this impressive sound system. Wireless internet kept us as connected as we wanted to be! And Carol, our host, made sure we had everything we needed for our stay. The comforts of this home made us think about coming back and staying for an extended period of time.
We frequented the snorkeling beach just down the street from the townhouse, where we saw sea turtles each time we snorkeled there! We found this townhouse was the perfect place to come back to after our days of exploring the Big Island of Hawaii.
The VRBO Bear
# 205608 Kihei Beachfront Resort, Central Kihei, Kihei, South Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Watching the sunset from the lanai
08/27/2009 - This oceanfront villa is one of the premier properties in Maui. It is right on the beach and enjoys some of the best panoramic views on the island. We were immediately captivated with the views of the ocean windsurfers who were 20 feet or higher in the air right behind the house!
This home is a most luxurious and sophisticated property in Kihei - from the hardwood floors to the granite countertops. Top of the line amenities have been included. Right outside your front door there is a beautiful private salt water pool .
You will feel safe and sound with 2 security gates around the property; one for your car - then another when you enter the property.
The owner has provided all the comforts of home and included additional well-appointed touches everywhere. The beds are so comfortable, and of course the Egyptian cotton sheets and lots of pillows on every bed give it that extra special touch. Since the 3 bedrooms each have their own bathroom, traveling with a larger group is possible and very comfortable.
The last night of our trip we were pleased to end the evening with a glorious sunset view from the comfort of the lounge chairs on the back porch!
The VRBO Bear
# 168910 Private Homes, Keystone, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 8 BR, 6 BA, HOUSE
Your own mountain right in the backyard!
08/21/2009 - This bear never gets tired of the Colorado Mountains! I was overwhelmed at the all the extra special touches this Keystone house offers its guests. The owners of this magnificent house have made every effort to make you feel like you are at home.
There were 4 master bedrooms with the most comfortable king sized beds. Each master bedroom had a private bath- a truly nice feature when adults are traveling together. The owners took extra care in choosing beautiful tile and fixtures for all of the bathrooms. There were additional rooms upstairs for the kids and bunks in the basement, also. With so many beds it was easy for everyone to have their own space and privacy.
The kitchen was packed with top-of-the-line amenities such as a huge stainless steel gas stove and refrigerator. There were two dishwashers, which turned out to be a big help with all the cooking we did! Plus, granite counter tops made after-dinner clean up easy.
This house backed up to a mountainside and when we sat on the porch or relaxed in the hot tub at night, we felt like we were the only ones around. Stargazing was our favorite pastime at night and there were plenty of shooting stars and constellations to see in Keystone. At 9,000 feet, the sky was so much bigger and brighter.
During our stay, we made time to shop at the Silverthorne Outlet Mall and found some amazing deals. The Oulet Mall was only a 7 minute drive from the home.
We thoroughly enjoyed our summer stay in Keystone and plan to go back for some skiing in the winter. The home’s mud room provided plenty of space to hold ski and snowboard gear and the location can’t be beat. It’s only a short drive to 3 major ski areas!
The VRBO Bear
# 255012 Claimjumper, North Breckenridge, Breckenridge, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 3 BR, 4 BA, TOWNHOME
Beautiful view from the back patio!
08/19/2009 - The Skier’s Den is “beary” spacious and has it all! Spanning three-floors above ground, the home has 3 bedrooms including TWO “masters” with their own fireplaces. All bedrooms are situated on the second and third floors and have very comfortable beds for a good night’s sleep. The living room/dining room area has room for the entire family and a cozy fireplace for those cool nights. The kitchen is equipped with everything a cook would need. The townhome features a brand new propane grill for an evening BBQ and a private sauna for your relaxation after a long day of hiking or hitting the slopes in winter.
The recreation center is just a few steps away and offers a heated indoor/outdoor pool as well as two hot tubs- one indoor and one outdoor. I enjoyed sitting with my bear friends in the outdoor hot tub under the stars in the beautiful mountain setting! This townhome offers a convenient location, also. It’s close to a grocery store, a library and the Summit Stage bus stop provides easy access to the town of Breckenridge, Breckenridge Ski Resort, and many other local attractions.
This Bear and his friends enjoyed our stay and hope to return next season. Come and enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains!
The VRBO Bear
# 204010 Casa del Mar Resort, Los Cabos Corridor, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Enjoying views of the Sea of Cortez
08/17/2009 - When I arrived at Casa Del Mar, I couldn’t believe my eyes. You can see straight through from the open-air lobby to the ocean and mountains just beyond the pools. I could hardly wait to explore!
Once I could tear myself away from the incredible view from the spacious balcony at our condo, I headed poolside. My favorite pool was the one built right into the sand. Bear in mind, my fur keeps me pretty warm so I certainly appreciated the ocean breezes that kept me cool while I relaxed in a lounge chair shaded by a colorful umbrella. I have to confess I’m not much of a drinker, but I thoroughly enjoyed my pina colada at the swim-up bar. What a refreshing treat!
The condo also offered some great amenities that I was “beary” excited to take advantage of. I don’t speak much Spanish, but I was able to keep up with all my favorite shows thanks to the TV satellite that broadcast US channels. I loved the iPod docking stations in the bedrooms and I listened to my favorite songs as I got ready for a night on the town.
Cabo San Lucas offers plenty of entertainment for social bears. With all the restaurants and bars along the marina, it was hard to decide where to go each night. We also enjoyed renting jet skis at Medano Beach and snorkeling to Santa Maria Cove. Although I was a bit scared of the waves at first, I decided to grin and bear it and I was truly glad I did. The views from the jet skis and the catamaran for our snorkeling trip were too good to miss!
My trip to Cabo was one of my favorite vacations. I would recommend it to any bear looking to practice his golf swing, test out his snorkel gear or just work on his tan!
The VRBO Bear
# 185433 San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, Caribbean, 3 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Relaxing by the pool after a full day of diving!
08/17/2009 - If you're looking for adventure, Belize is the place to be and Adagio Villa is the ultimate home base. Located just north of the bustling village of San Pedro, it's close to all the restaurants, shops, and activities this little town offers.
This is the type of home celebrities would stay in while on vacation. Each guest is provided with an embroidered bathrobe and slippers to take home, along with a remarkable selection of bath and beauty products. With bikes, kayaks, fishing poles, a large pool and a beach, you never need to leave the villa! Just tell staff members Ernesto or Francisco what you want to do and they’ll pamper you.
In addition to the amenities already mentioned, this luxury villa features a gourmet kitchen with an outdoor grilling palapa (thatched hut). If you don't want to cook, Martha, another member of the villa staff will gladly prepare local specialties on a per meal basis. On our final night, we thoroughly enjoyed black beans, rice, fried plantains, Belizean potato salad, chicken, steak, and grilled barracuda. It was a meal to remember and we all wanted to hibernate afterwards!
Since the focus of my trip was scuba diving the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, I spent a lot of my time in the water. I could see the waves breaking on the reef a ½ mile offshore from the villa. In addition to world-class scuba diving and fishing, there are extensive archaeological wonders from the Mayan civilization as well as jungle and wildlife eco-tourism adventures.
Belize is a lovely county just two hours from most US airport gateways and San Pedro is a 15 minute flight or a 1 ½ hour boat ride from Belize City. Belize is a former British colony and still maintains membership in the Commonwealth. Unlike other nearby countries, visitors don't need to worry about the water or a language barrier.
Dennis, the owner has seen to every aspect of the experience a guest would expect from a property of this class. As a guest, you can expect very informative emails from Dennis at regular intervals leading up to your departure. He prepared us for our journey, responded quickly to any questions we had and his staff took care of all the details of our stay. While there, we even had a taxi waiting for us at the ferry terminal upon our return. Expect to be beary, beary, beary pampered at Adagio Villa.
The VRBO Bear
# 180429 Bird Rock, La Jolla, San Diego County, California, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
The best part of my vacation!
07/30/2009 - Greetings from a very relaxed VRBO Bear! I just had a wonderful vacation in the charming seaside town of La Jolla in San Diego, California. The best part of my vacation was this amazing house with a pool. The private pool and private Jacuzzi were the highlight of my stay. You will have a hard time finding a vacation home so jam packed with comfort, style and relaxation.
The host of this lovely vacation property has thought of all the comforts of home, plus many added luxuries for your enjoyment. Each evening, I had a beautiful ocean view from the balcony, where I relaxed on the comfortable patio furniture. The wonderful master suite on the top floor offered sights and sounds of the ocean from the windows facing the coast. The feather beds, memory foam mattress and feather pillows guaranteed a good night’s sleep. The gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, gas stove and granite counter top complimented the stylish modern décor.
The owner provided all the beach accessories one would want for the ideal beach vacation- boogie boards, bikes, beach chairs and a beach umbrella. Access to the scenic Bird Rock coastline of La Jolla was super convenient- just a few blocks away. After a day of sightseeing and hanging out at the beach, it was nice to return home for a full body massage in a leather recliner chair while sitting in front of the big flat screen TV. As a plus, Wi-Fi was provided, which no Bear can live without these days!
There is so much that I could see and do here in San Diego! I have to admit that although I love to travel and see new places, this is one vacation home I would return to over and over again.
The VRBO Bear
# 18977 Pacific Beach, San Diego County, California, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, CONDO
Just a few steps from the water’s edge
07/30/2009 - Greetings from sunny San Diego, California! I was looking for a great place to stay and had a lovely time at Nancy’s Mission Bay condo.
This property couldn’t have been in a better location. It overlooks beautiful Sail Bay and is situated right on the sand—just a few steps from the water’s edge. The views from the large condo windows facing the beautiful Bay were simply amazing! When the slider doors were fully open (up to 8 feet!), I felt like I was right outside on the water. This was especially enjoyable in the evenings after catching the sunset.
There’s so much to do on the Bay and the condo was only a short walk to the ocean! I especially had fun riding around the Bay bike paths with the bicycles Nancy provided. Plus, there were beach chairs, sand toys, a beach umbrella and beach towels for use during my stay. The Bay was perfect for swimming, sun bathing and for play. Who wouldn’t love to relax in front of the fire place, watch multiple flat screen TVs or enjoy the use of the Wi-Fi after a day of fun?
With all the conveniences of home and many added luxuries, I had such a lovely vacation staying in Nancy’s condo. You would be missing out if you didn’t visit Mission Bay, and specifically this condo right off Sail Bay. If this one is already booked, you’ll be sure to enjoy professional, quality service when you stay at one of Nancy’s many other properties!
The VRBO Bear
# 170825 Hali'i Kai, Waikoloa Beach Resort, Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Hangin’ Loose on the Big Island!
07/17/2009 - Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii!
The fragrance of plumeria drifted across our lanai as I listened to the palm trees rustled by the trade winds. This Bear adventure brought us to the Hali’i Kai neighborhood located in Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast.
The moment we stepped inside this beautiful condo, my Bear family and friends felt the luxurious comforts of our “home away from home”. There were two full bedrooms and bathrooms (plus, extra sleeping on the pull-out sofa). The beds in this home were so comfortable, this bear wanted to sleep in most days! Each room had fans, but the cross winds kept everything at very comfortable temperatures. The kitchen was fully appointed to allow cooking a large meal, a quick snack, or just enjoying early morning coffee out on the lanai. Also, each room featured a flat screen TV for entertainment. However, with so many things to do in this incredible location, we found ourselves enjoying the outdoors most of the day.
The owners provided a closet of beach towels, chairs and coolers. Simply bring your snorkel gear and head north to one of the islands greatest snorkel spots at “Hapuna Beach” for a day of boogie boarding, snorkeling and frolicking in the crystal clear water. My bear family and friends did much sightseeing during our vacation. We snorkeled at several beaches and recommend Kealakekua Bay, kayaking to Cooks Monument and the black sand beaches of Punalu’u. We drove around the Island to Hilo, explored the Volcano Park, walked through the giant lava tube, & hiked a few of the many trails. Enjoy golfing and tennis? There are 3 Waikoloa golf courses and tennis courts located right near Hali’i Kai! Plus, a wide variety of great restaurants and shops were located right in the Hali’i Kai resort area. We ventured out a few nights to sample some authentic Hawaiian cuisine.
This condo combined the true elegance of Hawaiian style and convenience of modern life. It had everything we needed for the “beary” best vacation. There was so much history, culture and adventure nearby and this condo was the perfect place to start from for all we wanted to see!
The VRBO Bear
# 48330 Ekahi Village, Wailea, South Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 1 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Maui noka‘oi" - Maui is the Best!
07/17/2009 - The living area was very comfortable with the flavor of Hawaiian furnishings, which provided a welcome, relaxing end to action-packed days! The bedroom, (with king bed) also had a private lanai for reading or just relaxing.
The condo was just a few steps from one of the pools within the Wailea Ekahi Village, making an energizing early morning (or a refreshing late afternoon) swim very convenient! Additionally, this property was a quick 5 minute walk right out the front door to “Keawakapu Beach”, one of Maui’s most beautiful beaches. A 3 minute stroll to “Mokapu Beach” or “Ulua Beach” brought us to some of the very best snorkeling spots Maui has to offer. No need to drive to the beach, when the ocean is literally right there! If you want to get in a few rounds of golf, check out the gorgeous courses nearby the village.
About 15 miles from the airport but worlds away from the city, the condo was truly a great location for Maui sightseeing and some “beary” good day trips. While staying in this condo, getting to all of Maui’s wonderful places was a breeze! While I relaxed on the beach, my friends drove up to Lahaina to explore the sights. The historic “Iao Needle” was just 16 miles away. You can drive 44 miles to see the sunrise at Haleakala or enjoy an amazingly beautiful 63 mile drive on the “Road to Hana” highway. For a great stroll along the shoreline, don’t forget to check out the beachside path- just down the beach from the condo!
The VRBO Bear
# 179390 Gold Coast, Near North, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
Enjoying the city view at Navy Pier
07/06/2009 - Just off Lake Shore Drive on East Cedar Street, this Bear discovered a sophisticated city den in the heart of Chicago. I was impressed when we stepped inside this 1 bedroom, 1 bath brownstone historical landmark national treasure. The interior featured warm gold colors and rich red walls that combined classical 19th century décor with modern day touches. Why settle for a hotel mini bar fridge when you can have stainless steel kitchen appliances and custom cabinetry? The living room was well-lit by big, beautiful bay windows and provided ample seating with two club chairs and a leather convertible sofa you could sink into after a long day of sightseeing. We watched a movie on the luxury HD flat screen TV in true comfort.
The brownstone’s location offers variety no matter what brings you to the city. Bring your suit and visit Oak Street Beach, only a block away. Comfortable shoes will take you along a pedestrian walkway to Navy Pier, a local tourist attraction, where you will find shops, rides and fun for all ages. Dining nearby is plentiful, from elegant to casual (for Chicago-style deep dish pizza, check out Gino's East Pizzeria). We dined in with family and our bear friends a few times during our visit and we were “beary” glad that Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods were a short distance away for picking up ingredients for brunch.
Extravagant shopping is found only two blocks away along the legendary Magnificent Mile. Shop till you drop but not before enjoying chocolate at Ghirardelli's (try the World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae!). A variety of museums and theaters attract those fond of the arts (the Harry Potter Exhibition is fascinating). City streets host historical churches and parks galore. And if you’re feeling romantic, you can take a horse-drawn carriage for a ride through the city’s moonlit leafy-treed avenues.
To accommodate our bear family and friends, we were able to experience two bedroom apartments #2 (Listing #179390) and #3 (Listing #177026) in this brownstone, each with its own originality and flair. If you’re staying in the city for pleasure or business, look no further than this charming brownstone a few blocks away from the Lake Michigan shoreline and all of Chicago’s best attractions.
The VRBO Bear
# 177026 Gold Coast, Near North, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1 BR, 1 BA, CONDO
Beautiful stained glass windows in the living room
07/01/2009 - Our recent bear travels brought us to the lovely Gold Coast neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. We experienced the culture firsthand in this beautiful Victorian Brownstone, amidst a quiet tree-lined picturesque street. What a delight!
This prime location offers an array of activities within close proximity. The famous Magnificent Mile can be found a few blocks away, where you will find every kind of shop imaginable for the seasoned shopper to the shopping browser. Elegant and casual dining can be found within a short scenic walk. Enjoy the historical churches and buildings that align the perfectly manicured Michigan Avenue. Stroll along the paved pedestrian walkway to Navy Pier where you will find shops, rides and fun for all ages at this local tourist attraction. An assortment of elegant and casual dining can be found a few scenic blocks away. Attend a variety of theaters and museums throughout the city, which are easily accessible by public transportation.
The owners were accommodating and hospitable, creating an enjoyable stay from the start. We loved the brownstone’s ideal location and the brownstone’s interior was equally charming. We were impressed with a private entryway and winding staircase leading us up to the third floor apartment. We found it roomy and sophisticated yet it was comfortably equipped with all the necessities of home. The stained glass windows in the living room added to the tasteful décor. Beautiful hardwood and granite flooring throughout, an updated kitchen and an elegant bedroom gave us the Victorian ambiance and antique charm we were hoping to experience!
We were delighted to experience Chicago by staying in this fabulous brownstone apartment nestled in a quaint neighborhood and are sure you will as well!
The VRBO Bear
# 40954 Private Homes, Historic District, Breckenridge, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Fun ski lift swing in the backyard!
06/22/2009 - I felt right at home in this spacious house in Breckenridge! Before unloading the car, we all explored every room in this warm and inviting house, and we explored the fenced backyard. I enjoyed the freedom of frolicking in the yard with the two four-legged friends that accompanied us for our long weekend getaway at this pet friendly Breckenridge home!
Our initial tour of the home revealed many surprises! The living room has one of the largest fireplaces I’ve ever seen. Off the living room, we found the master bedroom with en suite bath, wood-burning stove, and sliding doors to the backyard and deck. The view of the mountains from every window in the front of the house is amazing! Through the dining room, large kitchen, and down the hall, there is a second master bedroom with en suite bathroom and one more bedroom with two twin beds. Off this second master bedroom is the sunroom with a pool table, which was a huge hit for this fun-loving family of six.
Hold on to your bearskin rugs – there’s more! On the lower level, we discovered a family room, three more bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a sauna! We had the best of both worlds with room to spread out and find privacy as well as opportunities for family togetherness. We found lots to do among many board games, playing cards and poker chips.
The house is just a short walk away from the town of Breckenridge and practically right around the corner from the gondola. While the kitchen has all you need to cook a gourmet meal, there are restaurants of almost every cuisine imaginable right in town. After strolling Main Street, hiking, or skiing, a nice soak in the hot tub is the perfect way to relax!
This is the perfect house for a weekend getaway, a whole vacation, or even a small reunion. I would definitely choose to stay at the Briar Rose in historic Breckenridge again!
The VRBO Bear
# 113264 Wailea Beach Villas, Wailea, South Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Enjoying beautiful views at Wailea Beach Villas
06/11/2009 - If you want to be pampered, stay at this beautifully furnished "penthouse villa" at Wailea Beach Villas, located right on Wailea Beach in heart of Wailea. This villa comes equipped with everything a bear needs for serious relaxing!
After a traditional lei greeting when we arrived, the staff took care of getting our bear luggage to our villa and parked the car for us. Speaking of parking, you will love the cool underground parking featuring an elevator that takes you within a few steps of the villa front door.
The fully equipped kitchen is fabulous and has everything a bear might need to whip up a gourmet meal. However, I confess that most evenings we just took a leisurely bear stroll to one of the many fine restaurants nearby. Dining was so convenient; I didn’t have to use the car.
My human friends enjoyed the nearby shopping too. As for me, I spent most of my time soaking in the sun by the pool or on the beach. While snorkeling, I saw four of the biggest sea turtles I've ever seen on the reef area just to the right of the resort. According to the resort staff, during migration season (winter months), whales are visible right from the shore every day!
There are numerous amenities that make this place so convenient. Features included big flat panel TVs, free Wi-Fi, a private lanai with stainless steel BBQ, washer and dryer in the villa as well as cooling A/C and ceiling fans. Plus, the villa was an easy walk to the workout room, pool and hot tub. There's even a pool table in the clubhouse room upstairs.
I could “bearly” get my human friends to start packing when our stay was over. They didn't want to leave, and neither did I!
The VRBO Bear
# 138084 Capistrano Beach, Orange County, California, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Soaking up the Sun in Capo Beach!
06/08/2009 - The Blue Eyed Bear Soaks up the Sun!
My most recent vacation adventure brought me to beautiful Capistrano Beach in Southern California’s Orange County. When I stepped out onto the vacation home’s very private beach to soak up the sun, I discovered the delightful sand under my paws.
My human friends cooked up a fabulous dinner in the fully equipped kitchen while I sat out on the upper deck to watch the sunset. As the sun sank into the ocean, my companions built a bonfire on our private beach. We roasted marshmallows and counted the stars under the bright moonlit sky.
There were two large bedrooms on the lower level of this home offering plenty of accommodations for my whole clan (the house sleeps 12!). The garage had surf toys, including games to keep everyone in my party occupied. We played air hockey, foosball and ping pong!
In addition to the two downstairs bedrooms, the upstairs of this beach house featured a large room for relaxing, fixing a snack, playing games, watching TV, or just listening to the sound of the surf only a stones throw away. This room was absolutely fantastic!
Each morning we enjoyed our freshly brewed coffee out on the sand, as we made our plans for the day. There were so many local activities within a short drive - the only question was… what aren’t we going to do?
Ideally located between Dana Point Harbor and beautiful San Clemente, the home was convenient to movie theaters, shopping, and wine tasting. Just 10 minutes north, we visited The Historic Mission and quaint town of San Juan Capistrano where the “famous “ swallows return each year!
If you’re seeking Southern California sunshine, beachfront bliss, and culture, this is the perfect vacation home for you.
The VRBO Bear
# 229319 Honua Kai, Kaanapali, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, CONDO
A picture perfect view from the lanai.
06/08/2009 - When you come to this beautiful vacation rental located in the newly developed Houna Kai Resort, be sure to pack your swimsuit and be prepared to enjoy the perfect Maui weather. If you are looking for the privacy and comfort of a vacation rental combined with the luxuries of an upscale resort (i.e. cocktail service at the pool), then look no further.
The Honua Kai Resort was ideally located along the shore of Kaanapali Beach. As you can see from my photo, we enjoyed the picture-perfect view of the ocean from the lanai. The location created the ideal environment - not too hot, not too cool, but just right. The folding glass wall feature was just plain cool. First thing in the morning, we'd open the glass wall to enjoy the Maui salt-water breezes inside the rental.
Speaking of the rental - WOW! The owners spared no expense finishing and furnishing their property. The kitchen was fit for a professional chef with high-end Viking appliances. The bedrooms were spacious and the beds were not too soft, not too hard, but offered the perfect level of comfort. To top it off, the bathrooms were incredibly spacious and featured spa-like luxuries.
Although the comforts of the rental made it difficult to leave, we managed to make it out the front door. The pool didn't let us down. There was a large infinity pool with an attached kiddie pool and two hot tubs. The water temp was not too hot, not too... (you know where I'm headed)... but, perfect. If you find yourself getting thirsty, don't fear- every 15 minutes the wait staff comes to take your order, so there's no need to leave the comfort of the pool. If you seek even more pampering, private cabanas are available to rent. Plus, they are building an additional pool that will have a slide and water features for the whole family to enjoy!
The beach was footsteps away from the pool. The kids enjoyed building sand castles and playing in the water. Papa enjoyed burying the kids and mama in the sand. After wearing ourselves out, we washed off in the showers and headed back to the pool and BBQ'd some lunch.
Given the rental's prime location, we took advantage of sightseeing around Maui. Lahania was a convenient 5-10 minute drive down the coast where we took a boat tour, enjoyed shopping and went out to dinner. We also visited the "Baby Beach" which is ideal for toddlers because it has no waves. Mama and Papa managed to slip away from the kids for a day and enjoyed the adventure of zip-lining through the hills of Maui.
We wish we could have enjoyed all the activities Maui had to offer (golfing, surfing, helicopter tours, volcanos, waterfalls, etc.), but we ran out of time. If you stay at this rental, you’re central to everything. Best of all, the gracious hosts ensure you are comfortable and help you plan to get the most out of your Maui vacation.
The VRBO Bear
# 178660 Hawi, Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, BUNGALOW
Every bear should have a day bed like this for lounging!
06/08/2009 - For a welcome tonic from urban life, come and stay at this scenic and peaceful property on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast. It’s the perfect place for relaxing with a good book, splashing lazily in the water during the heat of the day, or just enjoying the breezes and doing nothing.
Puakea Ranch covers multiple acres, so we had all the privacy and space a bear could want. The working ranch featured two horses, free-ranging chickens, and two of the friendliest dogs you could meet. A special treat was picking up fresh eggs from the chicken coop. Between the animals, the pool, the hammock, and the tree swing, there was plenty of built-in entertainment for all of us.
Originally built in 1949, the house was clearly designed with tropical living in mind. The elevated living space as well as the window and doors on every side of the home provided maximum cross-ventilation. The house was set far enough away from the main road that the infrequent traffic is barely unnoticeable, and yet near enough to the ocean to take in the nice view and ocean breezes.
The owner’s attention to detail was evident throughout the property. Bathrooms were supplied with locally-made soaps. The garage was generously provisioned with beach chairs, floaties, and other beach toys. The house was well-stocked with books for both adult and children. A drawer was filled with a first-aid kit, hydrocortisone, sunscreen, aloe for sunburns — everything we might need on vacation. The kitchen even had child-size utensils. This home takes the “family-friendly” label seriously!
Furnishings were high quality and in keeping with the historic nature of the house. Our bed was so lovely we would have happily brought it back to our own home if we could! There were also abundant seating options both inside and out. Our favorite was the large daybed with great views of the horses and the ocean. For adult pampering, the separate bath house provided a huge soaking tub and a shower with multiple shower heads. The spa-like environment was the perfect place to relax after the cub was put to bed.
If you need provisions (as bears do, sometimes), Puakea Ranch is just 2 miles south of Hawi Town. Hawi Town is small but has all the basics including a grocery store, ice-cream and coffee shop, and several nice restaurants. Be sure to pick up 100% Kona coffee at the Kohala Coffee Mill in town!
From the house, the famous white sand beaches at Mauna Kea and Hapuna Beach were an easy drive south. On the way, stop by Kawaihae Harbor for yummy (and affordable) eats.
This rental had so many wonderful features we couldn’t fit them all in this review. Come and experience them for yourself!
The VRBO Bear
# 227111 Private Homes, Poipu, South Shore, Kauai, Hawaii, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Aloha from the sunny south shores of Kauai!
05/29/2009 - This home was uniquely architected by the owner’s father to take full advantage of the incredible ocean views. You can hear the waves crashing upon the shore from every room throughout the home. The open living room features lots of windows and a large seating capacity to comfortably admire the awe-inspiring surroundings.
Whether you’re traveling as a bear family of four or with a larger group, this home features four bedrooms to accommodate eight guests. The three full bathrooms gave everyone in our group privacy they needed in the mornings while getting ready.
If you’re traveling with a gourmet chef bear or simply someone who has a passion for cooking, the fully-equipped kitchen has everything you’d need. The large table and benches made of “monkeypod” wood in the spacious dining area were perfect for entertaining during the evenings we opted to dine in. Plus, the outdoor gas grill was great for cooking up a Hawaiian-style BBQ.
The beauty of this home is evident inside and out. Both the lanai and luxurious hot tub on the deck overlook the blue Pacific Ocean. After an active day of sightseeing, this bear relaxed in the hot tub which had a soothing underwater light show with changing colors. The beautiful landscaped yard lush with tropical flowers featured a refreshing outdoor shower. It was perfect after a long soak in the hot tub or a swim in the ocean.
Did I mention this home is located just a stone’s throw away from the beach? While playing at the beach, VRBO’s bear friends saw sea turtles and dolphins! The home is also in close proximity to fine and casual dining, golf, shopping, snorkeling, etc. Just a block away from the home we discovered “Brenecke’s”, one of our favorite restaurants on the island!
Kauai, the “garden island” is not as touristy as some of the other Hawaiian Islands yet there are so many attractions to see! We enjoyed a train ride around the sugar cane plantation, a bird-eye’s view of the island by helicopter, a round of golf at the Kiahuna Golf Course and an evening luau.
The VRBO bear and his friends loved their stay at Hale Hali'a and hope to make our Hawaii vacation a tradition for years to come!
Aloha and Mahalo,
The VRBO Bear
# 132794 Poinsettia Heights, Fort Lauderdale, Florida South East, Florida, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, VILLA
Just enjoying the shade.
05/14/2009 - Upon my arrival, I was stunned by the breathtaking beauty of this tropical villa. The front yard was abundant with vibrant flowers and palm trees which perfectly accentuated the beautiful, yellow home. The owner kindly met me at the villa. He provided a tour of the property and explained how to use certain features of the house such as the inside/outside speaker system, TV/DVD, etc. Plus, he gave me brochures, great restaurant recommendations and suggestions of exciting places to see in the area which came in handy during my stay!
The home’s interior was just as meticulous as the exterior. It was well decorated with a modern tropical theme and the furnishings were very comfortable. Each night was like sleeping on a cloud as all of the beds had Sealy Posturepedic pillow top mattresses!
The backyard was simply gorgeous. It was beautifully landscaped with colorful flowers, palm trees and many other plants. Each evening, the villa’s landscape lighting created a relaxing, romantic mood. While cooking up a nice meal using the poolside grill, lounging on the outside patio furniture or taking a dip in the heated saltwater pool, the plentiful tall trees and plants provided lots of shade and privacy. Being a furry bear in such a warm city, the villa was the perfect place for cooling off. Everyday, I dipped my paws in the pool.
I greatly enjoyed my stay at this wonderful villa nestled in a tropical paradise. And with such a convenient location - just 5 minutes from the beach - you will want stay for a visit, too. It was hard to bring myself to leave!
The VRBO Bear
# 53580 Seagrove Beach West, Seagrove Beach, Beaches of South Walton, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 6 BR, 6 BA, HOUSE
The front entrance was so inviting!
05/14/2009 - A little sea bird told me about this great place! The home is perfectly situated on the beach and within walking distance of the much desired town of Seaside. Upon arrival, it was love at first sight. I entered through the wrought iron gate, framed by a vine covered, lattice arch, which led me to this beautiful Seagrove Beach home. I knew my stay here would be enchanting!
I was eager to explore all the amenities I had read about prior to my arrival - from the exceptionally well-equipped, modern kitchen to the entertainment room with a pool table and jukebox. An eclectic mix of furnishings and personalized décor gave this home a distinctive “at home” feeling. The large, glass dining table was perfectly placed for enjoying the ocean views and the company of family and friends.
Upstairs , the huge master retreat is comparable to none other. Floor-to-ceiling windows from one end of the room to the other frame the breathtaking views of the Gulf. The room is complete with a king-sized, four-poster canopied bed, and a seating area including a couch, chairs and ottomans. There are two master baths and one features a steam shower! Mix up your favorite drink right there in the room at your own mini bar and watch your favorite movie on the ceiling mounted wide screen plasma TV.
The back patio offers an oceanfront, saltwater pool and a hot tub - another ideal location to relax and unwind. To complete the ambiance, an outdoor sound system is wired to listen to your favorite tunes. Grill “the catch of the day” and enjoy your meal under the pergola, while watching a beautiful sunset. If you prefer beach bathing, there are beach chairs and towels available for your use. To cool off, row out in the waves aboard the two person kayak or take a dip in the beautiful, crystal blue water. There are miles of bike paths so make sure and take advantage of the bicycles to explore the area’s scenery and attractions. You'll find many shops and cafes in nearby Seaside.
After spending your vacation in Seagrove Beach, I'll guarantee you’ll leave having a deep connection to this beachfront home and you’ll wish to return time and time again.
The VRBO Bear
# 228911 Rosedale, Austin, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Luxury and charm in central Austin
05/14/2009 - My bear family and I stayed in this central Austin home for a long weekend. We really enjoyed this tastefully decorated home with artwork and mementos from London. The house has been newly refurbished with every attention to detail - from the clever lighting to the designer touches throughout. The stylish, well-equipped kitchen allowed us to whip up breakfast in the mornings and the grill outside made dinner a pleasure as we could sit and put our paws up in the quiet neighborhood.
We were minutes away from the Central Market shopping center which made it easy to stock up our fridge and downtown Austin was only a short drive away. The house had a comprehensive guide of all the sights to see, which was very helpful. We, however, decided to enjoy the comforts of this home. The cubs enjoyed the garden and the porch out back, whilst we relaxed in the shower/steam room in the ultra-modern bathroom.
A beary comfortable stay together with the warm welcome we received from our hosts Cindy and Aram, made it a true home away from home experience.
The VRBO Bear
# 222138 Waimanalo Beach, East Oahu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Getting some sun on Waimanalo Beach
05/13/2009 - This house is a water-loving bear's beach vacation paradise because the house sits on one of the finest swimming beaches anywhere! It allows easy beach access and comes stocked with boogie boards, fins, snorkels and beach towels. Outdoor showers and a beach-facing lanai ensured that this Bear could wash off all the beach sand before enjoying the nicely tiled and carpeted interior of the house.
Every room faces the beach, so you are guaranteed a beautiful view no matter where you are in the house. Plus, each bedroom has its own bathroom ensuring privacy for all guests. I woke up to a gorgeous sunrise on Waimanalo Beach. I took sunrise pictures from the lanai before brewing a pot of Kona coffee and cooking breakfast in the well-equipped kitchen. While I ate my breakfast, I watched cardinals and myna birds feed in the yard. My bear friends and I spent our days soaking up the sun and playing in the sand and waves.
Waimanalo is a small town so we did most of our grocery shopping and much of our dining in the nearby town of Kailua. Kailua is about a 15 minute drive from Waimanalo and it offers numerous restaurants, many with a uniquely island feel and Hawaiian cuisine. No matter what your appetite is Kailua has a restaurant to satisfy your hunger- pizza, burgers, Mexican food, Italian food and much more. In the mood for shopping? Kailua has everything from clothing stores to gifts shops.
Beach views, great swimming, snorkeling and comfy beds for a group of eight or ten bears make this a perfect place for a relaxing beach vacation!
The VRBO Bear
# 219993 Downtown, Austin, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 0 BR, 1 BA, CONDO
Enjoying the weather in the private courtyard
05/13/2009 - This vacation rental is ideal for those traveling by themselves or with a spouse. You get the comforts of home in an ideal central location for the same price as a mid-grade hotel! The tasteful, contemporary furniture and finishes provided a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Thanks to the hosts' attention to detail like fresh cut flowers on the table and comfortable bath towels, I settled in nicely and had an enjoyable stay.
Austin is known for its fun, hip atmosphere and this vacation rental is in the heart of it all on historic West 6th Street. Walk down the driveway for a wonderful Southwestern meal and margarita at ‘Z Tejas. For breakfast or lunch, try the hip Portabla Café which is a few blocks away. In fact, CitySearch selected Portabla as the #2 lunch spot in Austin. If eating-in sounds more appealing, stroll down the street to Whole Foods and pick-up some gourmet food to cook in the vacation rental kitchen. The kitchen is stocked with spices and everything else you need to prepare a home cooked meal.
Although this property is a studio by definition, you'll find the term doesn't do it justice. The thoughtful floor plan creates an excellent division of space. The private courtyard featuring a nice patio table and colorful umbrella also adds to the living space.
If you are looking to travel to Austin, TX, don't pass up this rental! You won't find a better value for the price.
The VRBO Bear
# 6989 Lanikai, East Oahu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Another beautiful day on Lanikai Beach
05/13/2009 - When my Bear family and friends chose to stay in “John Walker’s Beach House” located on Lanikai Beach, we couldn’t have picked a better place to spend the week. We were welcomed by our host with a basket of fresh fruit and beautiful flowers.
This house was built in the 1930’s, but had all of the modern conveniences you want when you are on vacation. The kitchen was fully stocked with everything we needed in order to prepare our meals.
The main house included 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The bedrooms were good-sized and the beds were wonderful to sleep in after our long days spent on Lanikai Beach. Have a group larger than 6 guests? In addition to the main house, you can also rent a guesthouse and boat house on the property.
Every morning we woke up early to view the beautiful sunrises and walk along the beach. The water was very calm due to the offshore reef, making it the perfect beach for families with children. During low tide, we enjoyed snorkeling as well as beachcombing for beach glass and shells. Plus, we had a great time going kayaking in the bay and even paddled out to the nearby Mokulua Islands.
Kailua Town was a 5 minute drive from Lanikai which made it convenient for grocery, clothes and souvenir shopping. If you don’t feel like cooking, Kailua offered a variety of restaurants including Mexican food, Chinese food, pizza, burgers and more. If you’re seeking even more shopping, eating and sightseeing opportunities, Honolulu is only a 30 minute drive. However, it’s hard to tear yourself away from beautiful Lanikai Beach!
If you are looking for a great beach getaway, this Bear says to look no further. “John Walker’s Beach House” is the perfect place to stay!
The VRBO Bear
# 22603 Estes Park, Front Range, Colorado, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying Snowed Inn Estes with my bear-y good friend
04/27/2009 - Snowed Inn Estes was a great place to stay! While we were still unpacking the car, we were treated to the sight of a dozen elk coming down the hill behind the cabin. When we went inside, we were immediately impressed with the lovely rooms, each with those extra little decorating touches that added warmth and beauty to make us feel very much at home. It was very apparent that the owners love this home and want their guests to enjoy it as much as they do.
The kitchen was fully equipped with excellent cookware as well as many spices and condiments. All of the beds were extremely comfortable, ensuring a good night’s sleep. The open floor plan perfectly accommodated the dining and entertainment needs of our large group. Weather permitting, we recommend starting your day eating breakfast outside on the front porch.
The guest house offered the perfect solution for additional space if you’re traveling with a larger group. The guest house featured charming décor, a queen bed and a luxurious jetted tub! Again, the owners have truly gone out of their way to make this a special place.
Snowed Inn Estes is convenient to Rocky Mountain National Park and a variety of activities including hiking, biking, rafting, and more. It’s an ideal location to seek peace and quiet in the outdoors, but it’s also nearby to downtown Estes Park with its many shops, excellent restaurants, library, and movie theater. Remember to buy some salt water taffy at The Taffy Shop!
This comfortable, inviting home had everything we needed in a vacation home and more. Try Snowed Inn Estes for an outstanding mountain getaway destination.
The VRBO Bear
# 64767 Lakehead, Shasta Lake, Shasta Cascade, California, USA, 5 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying a book and a cup of coffee on the back deck
04/27/2009 - We knew we had chosen the perfect place for our long weekend getaway the moment we first saw The Castle in Lake Head, California. Walking through the door, our first impression was the attention to detail. The Castle was beautifully decorated as one would expect a castle would be. The home masterfully balanced new modern conveniences with beautiful old world antiques. Marc, the owner was a very gracious host and ensured everything was perfect for our arrival. Plus, he made himself available for any questions or concerns during our stay.
Upon our arrival, we enjoyed exploring The Castle. The property featured little areas tucked away within the structure that provided something new to look at and discover around every corner. After exploring the whole house, I chose the master bedroom as my favorite out of the five bedrooms. The decision was hard since four of the five bedrooms have wall mounted flat screen TVs! The master bedroom featured a king sized bed, comfy mattress and little window seat that overlooked the valley. It was the ideal place for me to sit and read my favorite novel. The master bedroom also included a large soaking tub with a variety of bubble baths, bath salts and soaps to pamper myself.
The kitchen was a cook’s dream with granite countertops, a double oven, large refrigerator, dishwasher, and lots of pots and pans for whipping up the perfect meal. The kitchen even featured a wall mounted TV to listen to while we cooked.
While staying at The Castle, there were a variety of activities to keep us busy. Inside the house, we had fun playing ping pong, Foosball, card games and more. We spent a lazy morning sunning ourselves on deck chairs from the home’s large deck featuring scenic Shasta Lake views. Most afternoons, we headed down the hill to Shasta Lake for swimming and fishing. If you have a boat, there’s nearby places to dock and launch it close by The Castle. Additionally, Shasta Lake National Park provided opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, picnicking and hunting.
In addition to many outdoor activities, the city of Redding was only a short drive away. In Redding, we visited many of the local attractions including the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay, Shasta Dam and local gardens. We shopped and enjoyed a wide variety of restaurants. After a long day in Redding, we enjoyed returning to The Castle and soaking our tired paws in the hot tub as we watched the sunset.
Overall, The Castle was a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. It’s the perfect place to relax and make lasting memories for any family large or small.
The VRBO Bear
# 2513 Cayucos, Central Coast, California, USA, 8 BR, 6 BA, CHATEAU_/_COUNTRY_HOUSE
Enjoying the view at the Cottontail Creek Ranch
04/24/2009 - When my bear family and I arrived at the Cottontail Creek Ranch, we instantly felt at home!
This luxury ranch retreat is nestled among some of California’s most breathtaking rolling hills. The location beckons you to enjoy the outdoors and everything the Central Coast has to offer. Whether you like to hike, fish, horseback ride, surf, or just simply hang out and enjoy some of the most awe inspiring views this home has to offer, this is the place for you!
Our gracious hosts, Roger and Susan, made our arrival special in so many ways. From the beautiful fresh cut flowers in every bedroom to the delicious fresh fruit picked right from the ranch orchards to the awesome homemade cookies, no detail was overlooked. They took us on a tour of their 850 acre working ranch and we marveled at the incredible view overlooking the Estero Bay. The fresh air carried the fabulous scent of their orange orchards and flowers blossoming throughout the property. Plus, we were free to eat anything that was ripe and ready for picking on the grounds. We enjoyed lemons, oranges, avocados and fresh herbs. It was simply amazing! The fabulous surroundings, wide open spaces and views truly recharged our spirits.
The home itself rivaled the ranch’s outside surroundings. From the historical Monterey pine floors to the custom woodwork, this home really showcased the owners’ personality and artistic flair. Susan’s whimsical artwork and Roger’s intricate woodwork throughout the home exuded warmth. They truly put their hearts and hands into making sure that we felt right at home.
Cottontail Creek Ranch featured 5 luxurious bedrooms, each with their own personal baths. Everyone had their own personal space to retreat to and relax. The home’s floor plan was perfect for togetherness and included great family gathering spots like a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, spacious dining room as well as the large living room with its massive rock fireplace. Every room had an incredible view to enjoy. We spent evenings around the great fire pit or soaking in the steaming spa reminiscing about the day’s adventures. It was the perfect home for a reunion or celebration!
If you must venture away from this private paradise, Cottontail Creek Ranch is in close proximity to the vineyards of Paso Robles, fabulous seafood in Morro Bay, and the quaint coastal town of Cayucos. It’s also a convenient home base to launch an excursion up the coast to visit Hearst Castle or explore the craggy coast of Big Sur. We have not stopped talking about our visit to the California Central Coast and the Cottontail Creek Ranch.
Thanks Roger and Susan for a great stay!
The VRBO Bear
# 170618 Hacienda de Mita, Punta de Mita (Punta Mita), Nayarit, Mexican Riviera, Mexico, 4 BR, 4 BA, CONDO
Stunning beachfront condo in beautiful Punta Mita
04/16/2009 - My bear family & I stayed at this stunning beachfront condo for a week in March.
From start to finish, everything was first class. This third floor luxury condo was ‘beary’ spacious, beautifully decorated, comfortably furnished and totally equipped. The main living area had a breezy, open floor plan which included a gourmet kitchen, family room and dining area. The largest wall was made up of floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors that opened out onto an expansive deck. From the deck, the view of the beach and ocean was spectacular. The interior surroundings and oceanfront scenery were the perfect setting for relaxation. This bear family slept very comfortably in the large and stylishly furnished bedrooms which featured marble bathrooms.
The condo building was located in a private setting inside of the gates of the exclusive Punta Mita Resort. We stayed here in Four Seasons’ style for a fraction of the cost and had direct access to a beautiful beach. The location was so ideal that we reached the beach and private pools within 60 seconds of leaving the front door.
Punta Mita was the perfect place for a family vacation and the condo’s convenient location makes the most of everything that the neighborhood has to offer. The town of Punta Mita and a variety of excellent restaurants were less than a 5 minute walk away. We enjoyed relaxed, local dining at a string of superb restaurants on the beach in the town of Punta Mita. Our favorite places to eat included Sufi and Café des Artistes.
Owner Kim Henrie was super helpful and friendly. He made us feel very welcome at this outstanding property and offered great advice on the best places to visit during our vacation. As part of our stay, we had access to a full concierge service that helped us organize terrific excursions including horseback riding, snorkeling and whale watching. It was very exciting to see a couple of humpback whales close up from our boat! Our condo stay also included residence club membership privileges and we indulged in a range of sensibly priced, relaxing spa services, all in a comfortable and private beach setting.
The climate here was unbeatable. The weather in March was absolutely perfect with blue sunny skies and highs in the 80’s everyday. We had a fantastic time and hope to return again soon!
The VRBO Bear
# 23541 Paris Arrondissement 7, Paris, Ile-de-France (Paris Area), France, Europe, 1 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
Enjoying a quiet morning in the garden patio!
04/14/2009 - It was a pleasure returning to London, one of my 'beary' favorite cities in the world. This lovely apartment is close to all of central London but provided an exceptionally quiet place to decompress on our journey back from India. A short Tube ride took us to Harrods and the shops of Knightsbridge, one of the city's premier shopping districts. We also spent a interesting evening at the Tower of London to experience the Ceremony of the Keys. Each night, as has happened every night for over 700 years, there is a ceremony as they officially lock up the Tower. It's well worth arranging the free tickets online.
Madelyn and Phillipe, the owners are very gracious hosts and in addition to being available to answer our questions about the apartment and the city, they have a very wide selection of London and UK guide books for guests to use. As mentioned before, the apartment is on a quiet street in a beautifully restored neighborhood originally built as homes for Queen Victoria's staff. Each home on the block has a colorful garden in front and this apartment also has a beautiful, tranquil garden patio directly behind. It is a great place to spend a summer morning having a cup of coffee and reading the Times of London or the latest Jeffrey Archer novel.
I particularly liked the art in the apartment. There are several original paintings, including one of the exterior of the home, as well as a stone bas-relief of an ancient chariot and team of horses. Another similar piece can be found high on the wall in the garden patio. I also loved the marble fireplace mantel in the living room. In a word, this apartment is elegant and very well-appointed.
If your travel plans call for time in London, this apartment will provide a most memorable stay in the heart of everything you'll want to do.
The VRBO Bear
# 215259 Paradise Valley, Greater Phoenix Area, Arizona, USA, 8 BR, 9 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying the amazing pool & hot tub!
04/10/2009 - Once you step inside this grand Tuscan-style home, you’ve entered your own private oasis. It’s a luxurious, inviting environment with privacy and elegance. I thought I had checked into one of Scottsdale’s premier spas! Professionally decorated with the finest materials and craftsmanship, this is an impressive estate.
The royal master suite took my breath away. It featured a gas fireplace, flat screen TV in the bedroom and master bath, jetted tub, shower/steam room, 2 separate dressing areas, sitting area with coffee bar and the most comfortable bed ever! If you want to get pampered, this is the room for you. Each bedroom was beautifully appointed with luxurious furnishings, bedding and linens. I enjoyed the convenience of having surround sound stereo throughout the home. All I had to do was select the music I loved and sit back and relax in any room. The home’s 12 flat screen TVs also provided plenty of entertainment.
My group enjoyed the spectacular outdoor living area. By day, spray misters cooled us off under the covered patio. For the cool evenings, the outdoor fireplace provided a cozy atmosphere and warmth. We ate many of our meals outdoors and watching March Madness games on the large flat screen TV. Don’t miss the photos of the beautifully landscaped pool with waterfall and great hot tub. On the grounds, we also discovered a playground area for the kids, grass and horseshoe pit.
We truly received the royal treatment by Diane, the VRBO vacation rental owner of this luxurious Tuscan home. The hospitality extended by our host far exceeded our expectations! When you book a vacation at Diane’s place, she’ll make sure your stay is unforgettable! From getting a massage in your room to hiring a personal chef, Diane will help make your vacation dreams a reality. One member of our group had a 50th birthday while we visited the Scottsdale area and Diane made arrangements for her personal chef to provide a big “5-0” cake. For your special occasion, Diane will arrange to make it memorable.
The amazing thing about this incredible estate is its close proximity to the conveniences of restaurants and shopping, yet the home offers so much privacy and security that you feel you’ve escaped the city. Once we arrived, we found that we didn’t want to leave these lavish amenities.
Spoil yourself at this one-of-a-kind, stunning retreat in Paradise Valley!
The VRBO Bear
# 23502 La Jolla Shores, La Jolla, San Diego County, California, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Walk to the Beach and enjoy the waves
04/06/2009 - When I stepped into The Dunleavey, I was welcomed by the bright rays of sunshine and beautiful view through the numerous windows facing the ocean. Upstairs, I enjoyed the spacious den and the wide open kitchen which was equipped with top-of-the-line appliances and all the “bear” necessities. I was excited about the upstairs master bedroom where I could relax in the king size bed and listen to the waves crashing on the beach. I had my very own private bathroom, including two sinks, a large shower and a walk-in closet. The large windows and sliding glass door that opened to the perfect view of the beach was my favorite feature of the master bedroom. Downstairs, I had the choice of staying in one of three bedrooms, all wonderfully furnished with lots of room to invite my bear friends. In the morning, I was able to enjoy a breakfast out on the deck in the sunny La Jolla weather.
Outside of the home, I loved being able to walk to the beach and spend time surfing or just dipping my paws in the soft, warm sand. While in La Jolla, I favored the small shops and delectable restaurants, which were all in walking distance of The Dunleavey! I was even able to visit some of my friends at The Wild Animal Park and the world famous San Diego Zoo which were within a short drive. Overall, The Dunleavey is a very relaxing beach home for a family large or small!
The VRBO Bear
# 161641 Flagstaff, Canyon Country & Northeast, Arizona, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Had snow much fun in Flagstaff!
04/06/2009 - A family gathering brought me to beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona for a stay at the spectacular Timberloft which was nestled among the Ponderosa Pines.
We entered this tri-level “lodge style” home on the main level featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. I immediately noticed the warm elegance and attention to detail starting with the large open kitchen, the dining area (table set for 10 plus bar dining area!), wide roomy living area and the inviting natural stone fireplace.
The main level featured three bedrooms complete with three full bathrooms. The master suite was exceptionally luxurious with a Jacuzzi tub and flat screen tv! The loft area included additional sleeping areas and the lower level of this home had another full bedroom, with its own bathroom and private patio. There was plenty of room for everyone in our group! For family entertainment, the spacious upper level loft area featured a cozy fireplace, game room with card table, billiards and an authentic pinball machine.
No detail was forgotten in this spacious home. There are several flat screen TVs and WiFi coverage throughout the entire home. After spending the morning on the golf course and an afternoon of fun and games, my human companions cooked up a delicious gourmet dinner in the well-equipped kitchen. Later, we enjoyed a soak in the Jacuzzi with mugs of hot cocoa and watched the tree tops sparkle in the night as the snow drifted down onto the pines.
The Timberloft’s sublime location was private and quiet, yet close to many of the area’s most popular attractions. Flagstaff is on Historic Route 66 and just a few minutes to the campus of NAU and skiing at the Arizona Snowbowl. Plus, the Grand Canyon, Winslow, Sedona, Williams, or Prescott are a short day trip away! This is a perfect year-round destination for hiking, biking, horseback riding and exploration.
Whether you are looking for a cozy hibernation with your own bear clan, a romantic getaway, or sightseeing adventures, the Timberloft lodge is a first class home away from home!
The VRBO Bear
# 223439 Telemark, Winter Park, Winter Park Area, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, TOWNHOME
An amazing kitchen with everything you need
04/02/2009 - Nestled in the pines of Winter Park, Colorado our family was in bear heaven in this luxurious, yet comfortable townhome. The friendly management team gave us a warm welcome for our long weekend getaway! Upon our arrival, we found a thoughtful gift basket awaiting us.
All five levels of the townhome were accessorized with charming décor and we discovered attention to detail in every room. Being an end unit, the countless windows offered us majestic views of the beautiful pine trees and mountain peaks. It was the perfect amount of privacy and scenery!
After a busy day of adventure, unloading and loading the car was a bearable chore with the convenience of having our own private garage that led right into the townhome. The main living room was warm and inviting with a gas fireplace, HDTV and comfy furniture to lounge around in. Featuring upgraded appliances, the classy kitchen was amazing and was equipped with every cooking apparatus imaginable! Plus, the open floor plan made for easy conversation with the cook.
The roomy bedrooms were separated on each of the three main levels, each with its own full bathroom. Off the main level, the second bedroom was perfect for toddler bear who loved sleeping in the trundle bed. The upper level featured a second living room loft with a third bedroom. The older bear cubs retreated to this cozy nook to watch movies on the big screen. The lower level master bedroom included a walkout patio with a Jacuzzi that overlooked Telemark Pond. The ambiance of the light snow and fog off the pond took our breath away!
Winter Park is truly a winter wonderland. The townhome is on the free shuttle service route to the ski resort and only a few miles away if you want to drive or walk. Gather around the fire pit with a cup of hot cocoa after ice skating in the town square or shop the boutiques after dining out in one of the town’s unique restaurants. Our family discovered a tubing hill located minutes away from the townhome. We had hours of fun playing in the snow before returning to our weekend retreat to eat and relax. Locals told us Winter Park is full of spring wildlife sightings as well as summertime activities; we can hardly wait to return to experience another season of fun!
The VRBO Bear
# 83158 Silverado Ranch, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 10 BR, 11 BA, CASTLE
Relaxing in the lap of luxury
03/31/2009 - As soon as my bear family and I arrived at the “Las Vegas Mini-Castle,” we instantly knew we could look forward to a weekend of being treated like royalty. This home was an entertainer’s dream! With 10 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, it truly lived up to the “Castle” name.
Throughout the castle’s spacious 8,750 square foot floor plan, we discovered beautiful architectural & decorating details in every room. It was breath-taking, from the majestic stonework arches to the custom marble flooring to the grand piano. This home featured high end finishes throughout, including marble tile, glistening hardwood floors, granite countertops, jacuzzi tubs, beautiful cabinetry and more. As we stepped into each room, we walked through pure luxury.
On the Castle’s second floor, the game room boasted a fantastic pool table, wet bar, TV, stereo, gaming tables and even slot machines! Adjoining the game room was a fabulous patio, featuring a beautiful view of the Las Vegas strip. However, the most enjoyable feature was the outside entertainment area where my bear family & I played each day until the sun went down. It featured a state-of-the art barbeque, granite counter top bar and outdoor kitchen area that were phenomenal! My personal favorite was the wonderfully refreshing pool with a cascading waterfall and Jacuzzi. Off the pool area, there was a fully-equipped guest house, with two additional bedrooms and one bathroom. It’s perfect for guests that prefer even more privacy.
The home’s location was very convenient and close by the Las Vegas Strip and the Las Vegas airport. Situated within a gated community that is made up of four mini castles, the Castle also prides itself on being extremely private and secure. If you are looking to entertain a large group of friends/family or plan a business getaway, then look no further! I highly recommend a stay at any one of the Las Vegas mini-castles. They are top notch accommodations with no detail overlooked.
The VRBO Bear
# 83442 Laguna Beach, Orange County, California, USA, 6 BR, 4 BA, ESTATE
Playing a game of pool
03/19/2009 - Upon entering this beautiful home, I was greeted by amazing ocean views off the spacious main living area. The warm breeze flowed through the entire house. With three different levels, this home was perfect for multiple families traveling together. Throughout the home, the large windows and sliding glass doors offered a beautiful ocean view from every room.
The large master suite had a wall of windows and opened up to a large patio deck where we enjoyed the views and sounds of the ocean. The suite also contained a beautiful pool table that provided hours of entertainment. The very large master bathroom included a luxurious spa tub, an oversized shower with six shower heads, and a steam sauna. It was perfect after a nice relaxing day at the beach!
Laguna Beach offered many opportunities for shopping, dining, visiting art galleries and much more. In town, my friends and I enjoyed a fantastic meal at The Crab Zone, which served the most delicious crab cakes we had ever tasted! It was just one of the many restaurants this friendly town had to offer.
We had an amazing time and will not forget this wonderful trip!
The VRBO Bear