Beautiful and Spacious Riverfront Retreat w/fenced back yard. KAYAKS INCLUDED!
Gary and Joanne Bartell
About Gary and Joanne Bartell
We'd like to introduce ourselves. We are Gary and Joanne Bartell and we are the property managers for Halls River Retreat. We moved to Homosassa in 1988 to raise our family and quickly got involved with local politics to help shape the future of our community. Gary served as a County Commissioner from 1990 to 2010 and was chairman of the Tourist Development Council for 14 years. Joanne was a founding board member of the Nature Coast Envirothon, a high school environmental education and scholarship program. We both enjoyed spending countless hours over the years educating the youth of the community about the rare and precious natural resources found in this area. Our vision has always been to protect and preserve these amazing natural resources for generations to come. We are delighted with the opportunity to share this home and the beautiful surrounding area with you.
Gary and Joanne Bartell purchased this House in 2018
What makes this House unique
The Halls River is a rare piece of Old Florida. Largely undeveloped, the river is a birder's paradise, a fisherman's delight, and a photographer's dream. Blue Crab, Turtles, Bass, Redfish, Snook, Trout, Ladyfish, Mullet, Bream, Sunfish, and various other species of fish can all be seen swimming about in the Halls River. In the sky above you will find Bald Eagles, Green Herons, White Pelicans, Wood Storks, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills and many more species of fabulous waterbirds. Along the river you may find dolphin chasing mullet, experience a manatee nursing a newborn calf, or take delight in watching an ever playful family of river otter. Along the shore you will enjoy the antics of a family of emus and a flock of Welsh Harlequin ducks that free range along the shoreline and swim in the river. Most days the morning sunrises and evening sunsets are aglow with brilliant colors that will take your breath away. For the adventurous, night time kayaking reveals brilliant stars and planets above - and - with a flashlight shone on the water the surface appears as a sheet of glass and you can see fish, turtles, and other creatures underwater as if you are watching them through a window. Amazing, breathtaking, and captivating moments and memories await you at Halls River Retreat in Homosassa Florida.
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
Smoking outdoors only. Must pick up butts.
Minimum age of primary renter:25
Max guests:6 (sleeps up to 6 adults)
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Family Get Away
Great location on the river. Rental included kayaks which we used everyday. Joanne and Gary were a joy to work with. They gave us several recommendations for restaurants and a company for excursions that we wanted to do. Overall a great stay ! We will definitely be back.
The house is beautiful and sits on the water, equipped with kayaks. It is warm and inviting, beautifully decorated and well stocked. There are great nearby restaurants and activities for nature lovers. We kayaked right from the backyard and saw several manatees. It was heavenly. Joanne goes above and beyond to make it special and you see that the moment you open the front door. Highly recommend.
Great family vacation
This was our first trip to Homosassa. We had the best time ever. We had a momma and baby manatee swim by the home and we got a chance to pet it, a little bit. We also had an otter pay a visit.
We got to enjoy some fishing, great food, and of course we got a chance to swim with the manatees!
My wife and kids loved it. We hope to come back again, really soon.
Gary and Joanne are the best. We couldn't have found anyone better to rent from.
Wes, Jaime, Tad, Jacey, & Cade
Great access to nature, manatess, kayaking, etc.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Homosassa, we went to crystal springs and swam with the Manatess (birds Underwater is the best operator), kayaking was beautiful. If your coming for the nature this is a great base camp.
The folks who managed the home were very helpful and will respond to any concerns immediately.
Overall a good location, beautiful beaches are about an hour away and all the nature you want is just outside your door.
The home would best be described as rustic.
The layout of the house is different, there are two bedrooms close to each other with a bath in-between and the second bath is off by itself.
Their was an odd smell when we came in and the diffuser was running which seemed to cover something up, maybe smokers? the house could use some TLC; tiles missing in shower, cigarette butts in kayaks, a lock by the washroom that wasn't working properly, small brush pile by the kayaks, etc.
Overall nice place but not five stars.
Hi Patrick. Thank you for your review. It really is such a beautiful area. A rare piece of Old Florida. We are sorry that you didn't care for the house. I wish you had said something when I greeted you at the house shortly after you arrived. We would have worked with you to find some place more suitable to your tastes, though it is hard to find a waterfront home in this area in the same price range as Halls River Retreat. It is important to us to note for future guests that we give tender loving care to the home for each and every arrival and stage the home for the ambiance when guests arrive. Many of the reviews from past guests mention this, including the review from the couple who left the morning of your arrival. So future guests know, the diffuser is a night light and we only use very light scented natural essential oils in it. We turn it on along with the peaceful music and nature scenes on the large screen television for guests to enjoy when they arrive. We've only ever had compliments from guests about it but we realize that not everyone enjoys the same things. It turns off very easily. The washroom door you referenced has a second lock; and as you know, the piece of tile you mentioned was a very small trim piece.... it was fixed right after Thanksgiving.
Our housekeeper did tell me that after your checkout she found cigarette butts in a few odd places outside and she was sure they had not been there when she cleaned the day of your arrival. She presumed it was someone in your party that was the smoker, but we left you a 5-star guest review because they were outside away from the house and were left in containers and not on the ground.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season. If you all ever want to return to this area we would be happy to give you referrals for some of the newer waterfront homes in the area that are available for a vacation rental.
Great place in nature
We loved our short stay. We were only there for one full day, but fell in love with the location and the property. Our dog loved the fenced backyard, and he spent a lot of time exploring it. The owners are super, and were great about getting back to us when we had questions, even though several of our questions weren't about the property.
Hi Kent and Diane, Thank you so much for the very nice review. I don’t know why it’s showing up as Anonymous but we know who you are and look forward to having you back in the future, hopefully for a longer stay!
We really loved staying here! The water canal off the back yard and the kayaks offered so much entertainment for us. Our boys spent countless hours fishing and trying to catch crabs. We even got to see a mama and baby manatee twice, just a short kayak down the river. The house was as advertised and was clean and cared for. Our only complaint is the traffic noise. The house is hidden down a quiet street and offers great access to nature and you don't feel like you're anywhere near civilization. What we didn't realize when we booked was how busy and loud the nearby highway is. But all in all, we still loved it.
Minutes from Homosasssa Springs State Wildlife Park and 3 Sisters Sorings in Crystal River.