VRBO Bear Stay property reviews
Read about vacation rentals where VRBO employees have stayed.
At HomeAway and VRBO, we love vacation rentals—and we love to stay in them, too! Since 2003, our employees have been enjoying the amazing properties listed on our site with their families, friends--and the VRBO bear. When they get back from their vacations, they love to tell us all about their stay. Read on to get the inside scoop from employees who share your love of travel.
# 91050 Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Central America, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying the tropical breeze!
03/16/2015 - I had a phenomenal time in Costa Rica at Casa Baula!
Where to begin? The beach is big, beautiful and pristine; a quiet beach where it feels like you have it all to yourself. The home is close to several restaurant options, ranging from fine dining to tasty local fare. The beach is big, beautiful and pristine; a quiet beach where it feels like you have it all to yourself. The home is close to several restaurant options, ranging from fine dining to tasty local fare.
The house was spacious and comfortable. The kitchen had everything we needed. The living area opens out to a beautiful patio. Annette and Dennis (who were super helpful in getting us set up)and the property manager (a phenomenal chef whose services are available for at-home dining)
We loved the days where we just stayed near the house, but also found that the area is perfect for exploring. Adventure tour with horseback riding and whitewater tubing? Yes, please. Hot springs with mud bath? Certainly! Surfing lessons? You bet. And the great thing is that all of these options can be arranged for you – just ask.
# 330638 Townsite, Oceanside, San Diego County, California, USA, 4 BR, 5 BA, HOUSE
Just steps from the ocean!
03/08/2015 - The moment I stepped into the Oceanside Dolphin Villa, I knew I would find peace and relaxation. I was greeted with the gentle breeze of the ocean as it wafted through the expansive downstairs. With a large dining table, and a quaint breakfast nook, I envisioned myself preparing a delicious breakfast for all my bear friends. I knew the downstairs master bedroom would be perfect for my parents. With a large 4-poster bed and a 3-piece bath set, I knew they would be comfy.
I found my space in the large master bedroom on the second floor. With his and her baths, a built in fireplace, king size bed and large balcony that looks over the ocean, I knew I could find time to relax in the modern day comforts. Just down the hall, I found a cute bedroom built just for the bear cubs. It had built-in bunk beds, video games, and a bathroom just across the hall.
A large door at the end of the hall opened onto a small patio with another door on the other side. Curious, I discovered an entire apartment (or casita) as they like to call it around here. Complete with a living room, futon, breakfast table, wet bar and a separate bedroom, (including a queen size bed and 3- piece bathroom) one could disappear back here for some peace and quiet.
Back in the main house, I marveled at the immense space we would occupy. It was then that I discovered yet another flight of stairs. Being the bear that I am, I explored a little bit more. Opening the door at the top of the stairs, I was nearly knocked off my paws. The entire roof was a rooftop oasis, complete with a state of the art gas stove, Jacuzzi tub, fire-pit and seating for the whole family! The gentle sea breeze blew through my fur. With expansive views of the beach and the Oceanside pier, I knew I would enjoy sipping coffee and watching the waves roll in for hours.
Just a short walk across the street and I found myself dipping my toes in the warm sands of Oceanside Beach. I strolled along the beach for hours, looking for seashells, and went down to the pier where I enjoyed delicious food at Ruby’s Diner. With all the amenities of a modern day town, and just a quick drive to big cities like San Diego, I was quite pleased with my selected locale.
It was wonderful to be so close to the water, and we took advantage of the boogie boards and beach chairs. When the nights cooled down, we moved to the roof to sit around the fire and listen to the waves. The Oceanside Dolphin Villa was everything I imagined and more.
# 31843 Mountain House, Liftside, Keystone, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
You can walk to the ski lifts.
02/26/2015 - It was time to grow a thicker winter bear coat, so I decided to go on an alpine ski adventure to Keystone, Colorado. Imagine my luck at finding Gary, who is an incredibly attentive, responsive, and helpful vacation rental owner with a spacious condo within walking distance to the ski-lift. Gary responded to my request to stay at his condo within 30 minutes, and was very helpful throughout the booking process.
Once I arrived in Keystone, I used the Mobile Hospitality cellphone application that Gary provided to find the key pickup location and directions to the condo. When we drove up to the condo it was blanketed in sparkling snow, and it felt like a winter wonderland. There was plenty of parking available and we were able to unload our car using both the condo entrance, and the outside entrance to the condo. When we walked into the condo we immediately noticed how large the condo was, and it was the perfect setup for either a family or 2 couples as each bedroom has its own adjacent bathroom. The vaulted ceilings and wood fireplace were our favorite aspect of the central living area.
The next morning we headed to the ski hill and picked up our skis at the conveniently located ski-locker outside the door. We took a short walk to the chair lift on shoveled sidewalks and over a little bridge that crosses a freshwater spring—it was beautiful and enjoyable. After a day of skiing we headed back to the condo, and were happy that the hot tub is literally right across the sidewalk from the condo, 5 seconds from door to door. For dinner, the kitchen was well stocked for us to make a hearty meal after a long day of skiing. Meanwhile the wood fireplace added warmth and coziness.
# 352344 Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America, 2 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Sitting next to the refreshing pool!
02/14/2015 - Do I start with the beautiful swimming pool, the amazing location, or the thoughtful property manager, Kelie?
I’ll go ahead and announce to the world that this was the best vacation I have ever been on, and it all starts with this beautiful, well-appointed property. We arrived to an amazingly clean, very well lit and welcoming home situated at the foothills of some of the prettiest country you’ll ever see.
Looking around the house, your eyes are first drawn to the beautiful local craftsmanship of the property. The ceilings had us mesmerized throughout the trip. The house is set up in a way to let the air flow freely. Every window opens, as does every door. The bedrooms are HUGE, with comfy beds and nice linens. Each bedroom has its own bathroom with high ceilings and rain tyle shower heads. If the ceilings are not high enough, step outside, there is an outdoor shower with no ceiling! The living room was very comfortable with leather love seats. Although we didn’t watch any TV, there was a nice flat screen available. The living room really was comfortable, and we had no need to run the air conditioner. We kept the house open with the ceiling fans on, and were just fine.
The kitchen was stocked with everything necessary to produce a fabulous meal. Pots, pans, and some sharp knives were plentiful, as were dishes and drink ware. In addition, the tap water was exquisite. Honestly, it was some of the best water I have ever had. We wanted to bottle it up and bring it home with us.
We probably swam in the pool 3 times a day! The water is clean and the perfect temperature to cool off. We would come home from a morning hike or an afternoon beach trip, rinse off in the outdoor shower and ease in to the refreshing pool!
Everything about this property is well thought out. We could really tell that Kelie loves the house and wants her guests to love it as much as she does. Kelie is pretty much the best property manager ever. Kelie showed up about 30 minutes after we got settled in and went over some of the house details. She also provided us with a very handy map along with some great tips on where to buy things (Auto Mercado is a must) and pointed us in the direction of really good ceviche and a place to buy fresh fish to put on the grill. My recommendation to you, the reader of this review, is to pay attention to the glorious list Kelie provides. EVERYTHING we did on the list lived up to its review and then some. We were very impressed.
# 169762 Other Park City Properties, Park City, Utah, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Amazing kitchen with pine cabinets!
02/10/2015 - I decided to take a trip with some friends out to friendly Park City, Utah for some much needed time on the slopes. The empire house was the perfect place for us to stay on our trip! It was such an easy walk from our front door to the lifts at Park City Mountain Resort, from the time we put on our jackets and boots to the riding up a chair took less than 10 minutes!
The house had everything we could ask for and more. All of the bedrooms were nicely appointed, the kitchen was fresh and modern, and there was plenty of seating space for all of us to kick back and relax after a tiring day. The brand new spa in the back of the house was icing on the cake that made this house a perfect place to retire after the last run down the mountain. Once we were all refreshed, the kitchen was plenty large enough to cook up some tasty food for 8-10 people without any issues. The nights I was too tired to whip up a meal for everyone, the main Park City downtown full of shops and restaurants was only a ten minute walk away.
I wish I could have stayed at this vacation rental in Park City longer, and would highly suggest anyone visiting to book this house. You won't be disappointed!
# 347804 Racquet Club Estates, Palm Springs, North, Palm Springs, Deserts, California, USA, 3 BR, 0 BA, HOUSE
The perfect place to stay on vacation.
02/01/2015 - This beautiful mid-century modern home is perfect for a getaway with friends! It has wonderful common areas, both inside and outside the home. The open floor plan makes it perfect for hanging out in the kitchen, dining room or living room. The outdoor space is simply amazing with its saltwater pool, spa, fire pits and dining area (including grill). The kitchen was well stocked and all three bedrooms were very comfortable.
The house was near downtown where we were able to enjoy shopping, dining and strolling. It is a 45 minute drive to Joshua Tree National Park. This house is just minutes from the airport, easy to find and sits in a lovely, quiet neighborhood.
We had a wonderful, relaxing weekend with old friends in this beautiful home and couldn’t have found a more perfect spot for our group!
# 44224 Base 9 Condos, Warrior's Mark, Warrior's Mark West, Breckenridge, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Enjoy the hot tub after a day of skiing!
01/31/2015 - This January, four friends and I had a blast during our stay in Breckenridge. The location of Base 9 is perfect for experiencing all that Breckenridge has to offer. Every morning we took a quick, 5 minute walk down to Quicksilver and were up the mountain before we knew it. At the end of the day, we would regroup for an après-ski at the brand new outdoor hot tub just around the corner from the condo. In the evening, we would all head out to enjoy the entertainment and shopping on Main Street. Some of Breck’s best bars and restaurants (Mi Casa, Ollie’s, Breckenridge Brewery, La Francaise, and Crepes a la Cart to name a few) are within a leisurely 10 minute walk. It was really nice to be able to explore the town on foot.
We also were lucky enough to see the International Snow Sculpture Championship during our stay. It was fascinating to track the progress that the competitors made on their sculptures during our daily walks around town. Events like this are happening in Breckenridge all the time, and staying at Base 9 made it easy to be a part of the festivities.
On the nights that we stayed in, the condo had everything we needed to prepare our meals and entertain ourselves. The oven, grill, and stove were great for cooking breakfast and dinner. We watched movies on the big-screen TV, played games in the dining room, and lounged in the living room when we were too tired to go out. The floor plan was great because the two bedrooms were across the condo from each other. This gave us all plenty of privacy, and I didn’t have to worry about waking everyone up on the mornings that I got up early.
One of the best parts of our trip was working with the property’s owner, Gary. I had no trouble reaching Gary by email or phone whenever I had a question about the property. In addition to being available for questions, Gary set up the HomeAway mobile app with all of the information that we needed during our stay.
If you are looking for a relaxing vacation in Breckenridge, I highly recommend booking with Gary at Base 9!
# 373284 Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte Area, Southwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Blue sky and great skiing in Colorado!
01/28/2015 - This spacious 4 bed 4.5 bath home far exceeded my expectations. The home is located at the bottom of Prospect Lift on Mount Crested Butte, perfect for our six day ski trip.
The home was stocked with more than enough beds, extra mattresses, and bedding to accommodate my guests. In total we were able to host fifteen people! Each day started early, waking up to a gorgeous Colorado sunrise provided through the oversized east facing windows. We cooked nearly every meal in the spacious upstairs kitchen and dining area. There were plenty of serving dishes, utensils, and cooking accessories to prepare various meals for all fifteen guests: chili beans, meatballs, salads, spiked apple cider, fajitas, the works! For my friends who skied, we took less than a five minute hike to the slopes. The home was close enough to the lift that we could even ski home to make a sandwich for lunch.
For my friends who did not ski, they enjoyed watching movies on the big screen TV and catching up on a little R&R. They played games and built a puzzle provided in the home. A few of them took the shuttle that’s located at the end of the drive into the town of Crested Butte and enjoyed pizza from a local restaurant, and an oxygen treatment at an oxygen bar. The shuttle service ran every hour from morning until late night, making it perfect for all of my friends to come and leave as they pleased.
This home couldn’t have been more perfect. The town of Crested Butte is a true mountain town, and was the perfect getaway. Dorothee, the property owner was more than accommodating. She quickly responded to any questions we had before, during, and after the trip.
I highly recommend this spacious mountain home in Crested Butte, CO, the various activities are endless!
# 136165 Meyers, South Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe South Shore CA, Lake Tahoe California, California, USA, 4 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Everything you could want and more in Lake Tahoe!
01/12/2015 - I cannot say enough wonderful things about this location, home, and the owner!
Lake Tahoe is a beautiful, scenic area with many outdoor activities. The home is just 15 minutes away from Heavenly Valley which offers skiing and snowboarding, 20 minutes from the casino, and just a couple minutes from the grocery store and good local dining.
The home is very spacious, and it easily accommodated a large group of 11. There are games, supplies, and extras (hot tub, bicycles, pool table, etc.) galore! Everything we could possibly need is available – towels, extra bedding/blankets, kitchen items, toiletries, and entertainment. The atmosphere is very warm, welcoming, and cozy. It is a great place for family and friends to stay together.
The owner, Lora, is extremely responsive and helpful. She provided quick answers and made sure we were doing well during our stay. I highly recommend this home for anyone traveling to South Lake Tahoe. You won’t regret it!
# 293931 Kingsland, Lake LBJ, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 5 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
A great place to stay with friends and family!
12/30/2014 - This waterfront home on Lake LBJ was the perfect get-away for our extended family. There were plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms for all 10 of us to stay comfortably and spread out, while the great room and living room provided space for us to all spend time together, too. In the evenings, we enjoyed preparing dinner in the well-equipped kitchen.
When we arrived, the house was warmly set with music playing to greet us, and everything was spotless and ready for us. We each took a turn on the bongo drums! They also gave us a fun way to rouse the sleepyheads in the mornings.
The waterfront view of the lake and the wooded area across was truly breathtaking. The large windows all along the back of the house enabled us to enjoy the lake from the cozy inside on days when it was too cold to spend a lot of time out on the deck. When the sun did come out, the kids enjoyed canoeing and kayaking on the still, clear water while mom and grandma watched from the back patio.
This house would be a great place for a couples' or ladies' retreat. Next time, we'll try out the huge tub built for two and the wet bar!
# 804849 West Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Area, Central Coast, California, USA, 1 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Close to everything in Santa Barbara
12/29/2014 - I felt right at home when I first entered this modern Santa Barbara condo. The Property Manager was extremely helpful and the phone app they had me download gave me all of the information that I needed to know about my stay including garage and door access codes. I was welcomed with a basket of goodies when I first arrived (bears like goodies). The large rooms with high ceilings, wide balcony and private outdoor patio with gas grille were lovely, and gave the condo a spacious and homey feeling. The property was spotless and well maintained and the modern kitchen was stocked with all of the basics I needed.
# 293953 Marble Falls, Lake Marble Falls, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Ahhhh, enjoying the views from the deck.
12/28/2014 - The pictures had me sold! A cozy lake house overlooking the water with all of the amenities you will ever need. I made myself at home as soon as I arrived. Big comfy bed? Check. Clean bathrooms? Check. Large kitchen? CHECK! I quickly unpacked my things and got right to cooking. All the cooking utensils I could think of were already there in the house. With my choice of THREE barbeque grills, I was able to cook up some fajita and sides in no time. Once dinner was served, I retreated to the small balcony overlooking the cool, calm, water as the sun went down.
Instead of a taking a nap on the large king bed, I went to the living room where a large TV with satellite awaited me. I figured I could chill on these beautiful leather couches before exploring the town, just right across the river. Since the lake house is centrally located within Marble Falls, I was able to enjoy the city and the surrounding area with ease. I decided to take in the sights and enjoy wine from the local wineries, none further than 20 minutes from the house. After that, a delicious meal at Francesco’s Italian Restaurant where I was able to bring in the wine I brought from nearby wineries. What could be better?
During my stay, the host kept in touch with me to ensure the home had everything I needed. It sure did! I enjoyed every bit of my stay. Thanks to the host for allowing me to stay in your home!
# 411913 Oxnard, Central Coast, California, USA, 3 BR, 1 BA, HOUSE
Incredible Beachfront Location!
12/27/2014 - This winter, the VRBO Bear & family decided to forgo hibernation in favor of the stunning Windy Gables and its incredible beachfront location. All of the family agrees: it was the best decision ever!
Upon entering the property, we were welcomed with a note and a crate of locally grown strawberries left by the owners, Jay & Ceci. Their thoughtful gesture, coupled with the cozy, yet beautiful decor of the house, made my family feel right at home. The kitchen was fully stocked with everything we needed to prepare meals, the rooms were spacious enough to sleep our group of 15, and the views of the California coast from the kitchen, living room, and dining room were absolutely breathtaking.
Santa Barbara is less than an hour away, but Oxnard's beautiful weather (65°F and sunny in December!) and Hollywood Beach makes it hard to leave. It's hard to stick to planned activities when the beach is your back yard. The seemingly private beach allowed my family and I to enjoy a variety of simple, but fun, activities (wave watching, beach volleyball, etc) together. We dined at a local restaurant down the street, Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine, which we highly recommend to anyone who has an appetite for generous portions of traditional Brazilian food.
Windy Gables is the ideal beach getaway for families. The VRBO Bear & family thanks Jay & Ceci for having us in their home, responding to all of our questions in a timely manner, and providing us with an opportunity to share a wonderful experience that will forever be cemented in our memories.
# 125304 Pacific Beach, San Diego County, California, USA, 2 BR, 1 BA, CONDO
Close to Sea World, the Zoo and Legoland.
12/22/2014 - We had a wonderful stay in this house located in Pacific Beach. The house was very clean and well-arranged. For our stay in December, we found a lush Christmas red poinsettia plant on the table -a perfect way to celebrate our holiday vacation. A bay playground is a couple of blocks away, so great for those traveling with kids. The owner provided bikes and sand toys which my daughters used with their niece and nephew. The owner were very kind and responsive to all our requests. We asked for a pack n play and additional blankets, which they provided. The house is so close to Sea World and not too far away from the San Diego Zoo and Legoland.
This home is a great place to spend your vacation!
# 373831 Jaco, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America, 4 BR, 4 BA, CONDO
Breathtaking views from the penthouse paradise.
12/21/2014 - The Bear feels lucky to have stayed in this fabulous penthouse condo in Jaco, Costa Rica, and provides a 10 out of 10 rating on both the experience and location. The Bear arrived late at night after flying and driving from San Jose airport, and was greeted by the security guard as well as a kitchen stocked for a quick snack. The Bear and friends then slept comfortably in each of the four private bedrooms, all of which have their own bathroom. It wasn’t until the the next morning that he realized how “BEARY” special this place is indeed – the views literally took the Bear’s breath away, from EVERY room and on EVERY balcony of this 9th floor “palace”.
The Bear loved walking down to the beach, dining in open air ocean-front restaurants, riding waves on boogie boards and surfboards, and strolling and shopping through Jaco. When the Bear wanted to just relax in the condo, there was no shortage of fun to be had there either – playing dominoes on the balcony, shooting pool, eating a private chef-cooked meal, watching movies on the big flat screen TV, and catching sunsets. It was also a special treat to visit nearby attractions like the Manuel Antonio National Park and nearby Playa Hermosa’s surfing competition.
Lastly, part of a great vacation is knowing what to do and being able to tap into resources that can help facilitate activities if you need it; the concierge office on the same street provides just that and more. Many many thanks to Phil, Evelyn, and the DayStar property management group for a stay to remember – Pura Vida!
# 145930 Carnelian Bay, Lake Tahoe North Shore CA, Lake Tahoe California, California, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
A restful, relaxing place in Lake Tahoe!
12/20/2014 - This cabin was perfect for our ski vacation! Nestled in the woods of north Lake Tahoe, this beautiful property had everything we needed for a great stay.
When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was the spacious living area with high ceilings. The fireplace was right there, very easy to light a fire at the push of a button and spend time with loved ones.
We all found ourselves in love with the kitchen here! A wonderful space for us to make meals together and dine as one happy family. Gas stoves were perfect for whipping up dinner in a jiffy, and this property had everything we needed for that. Coffee in the morning is a personal favorite, and this particular property had a coffee maker and filters ready and waiting for us.
After a long day of skiing, it’s especially awesome to have a great bed to sleep in. The beds were amazingly warm and comfortable. If any of us had a request to change the temperature… it was easy! This property had a Nest thermostat, really easy to use when things got a bit chilly. Also, the garage was perfect for storing our gear and loading it up in the car before heading up to the mountain.
We couldn’t say enough about the location. The trees outside the property were plentiful, which provided us with a picturesque view. Getting to the slopes was a pretty snappy drive, just a trip around the lake. We also heard this area was wonderful in the summertime. This property has a grill and everything you’d need to have a great summer getaway.
We had a wonderful time visiting Lake Tahoe and staying at this property. We’d love to come back in the summertime!
# 108399 Aina Nalu, Lahaina, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Great location, great amenities, & perfect for families.
12/19/2014 - The booking experience with Coconut Condos was top notch. They laid out the timeline of communications during the booking process. I had the access code to the condo well before our trip and they sent me several emails during my stay to make sure we had everything we needed.
The pictures reflect exactly what you are getting in the condo. Yes, the bathrooms are just as nice as they look in the pictures. The slate tiles in the shower make you feel like you are at a 5 star hotel.
The condo is in the center of everything at Lahaina. Front street and the water is a short two block walk. Anything else in Lahaina is within blocks and is an enjoyable walk. You won’t need a car unless you want to explore the island or go to the baby beach (about a 1 mile walk).
The complex has two pools, two gas BBQ’s and one hot tub. There is a nice outdoor space with a TV next to the main pool. This was a favorite spot for us to hang out in the afternoon and we met several families with kids in the same age group from around the world. We used the onsite concierge to book a dinner cruise, helicopter tour, and whale watching excursion. You get all of the amenities you would expect at a luxury resort with a fraction of the cost.
I met fellow vacationers that have been coming to the same complex for 5+ years and I certainly understand why. I will be coming back here again the next time we come to Maui.
# 450120 Keystone Village, Homestead, Keystone, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Get ready to hit the slopes!
12/18/2014 - This condo was perfect! When I arrived, I walked into this condo, plopped down and felt right at home. The entire condo was spacious and cozy. When I awoke in the morning and finally got out of bed (talk about a comfy bed), I walked into the living room to find the big windows facing the picturesque winter mountains. The condo faces the side of the mountains where the Keystone Ski Resort is located. At night the resort actually lights up the silhouette of the mountains around. It was nice and very peaceful.
The condo itself was great. The beds were perfectly made and very comfortable. The kitchen was roomy and stocked with everything I needed. Getting connected to the internet was easy as pie. Upon my return from a long day riding my board, the fireplace kept me warm and the big screen TV kept me entertained.
The location was great! The condo sits right on the route for the free shuttle, so my trip to the ski slope was really quick, and really easy. The shuttle runs late into the night so I did not have to drive anywhere.
The condo's owner came by and left me a nice care package while I hit the slopes at Keystone that day. She could not have been nicer! If I needed her, she was there without hesitation. Before my arrival she was very on point with any information I needed. I definitely plan on staying here again the next time I decide to forego my hibernation and hit the slopes at Keystone!
# 165586 Duomo, Florence, Firenze (Florence) Province, Tuscany, Italy, Europe, 3 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
Stay right in the heart of Florence!!!
12/12/2014 - I cannot say enough about how thoughtful our host, Claudia, and her staff were. When we arrived, we were greeted with a welcome basket of treats. We were greeted with other surprises as well, but I won’t give away all of their secrets.
The layout of this apartment was more spacious than we had anticipated. It was decorated with festive, tasteful holiday fare (Christmas season), which was a nice touch. The apartment and each room seemed larger than the online pictures. The gem for us was the hidden, upstairs loft-style sunroom. We spent a lot of our down time there relaxing and talking about the day’s sights and adventures, as well as reading and doing some online activities. The loft was cozy, but still had plenty of space for us to relax and unwind.
During our stay, our hosts loaned us a cell phone to use for local calls. A Europe converter plus was available for our electronics to charge, so we didn’t have to bring or purchase a converter. The wi-fi connection in the apartment was strong.
The apartment is located exactly in the heart of everything that we wanted to experience in Florence. There is an excellent restaurant across the street, and a local mart literally right next door. This apartment was close to the shopping district, as well as several restaurants, bakeries, gelato shops and other eateries. Museums, water canals, and the awesome Il Duomo di Firenze were nearby, all within a 10-15 minute walk from the apartment. A low-fee credit union ATM was 3 minutes away, too, which was a huge value add for us. The train station was in walking distance, which allowed us to avoid taxi fees.
All in all, we completely enjoyed this stay. Our hosts could not have been more helpful -thank you so much!
# 484410 Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, Caribbean, 2 BR, 2 BA, BUNGALOW
Having a grand time on Grand Turk!!!
12/10/2014 - Beachside Bungalow on Grand Turk is the perfect place for an idyllic tropical getaway. The house sits directly on a secluded beach with the Caribbean as a backyard. As soon as we walked into the house, we knew this would be the perfect pre-Christmas vacation.
We enjoyed watching the sunset each evening while lying in the hammock or sipping cocktails on the patio couch. The spacious master bedroom opens directly out onto the patio with perfect views of the beach. I can't think of a more relaxing way to fall asleep each night, listening to the waves, or to wake up each morning greeted by the sun and crystal blue water.
The large, well-appointed kitchen and market within walking distance made preparing meals easy. There are also a number of local spots for daily meals and drinks. The two cruiser bikes that came with the house made getting around the island even more enjoyable.
The house also has beach chairs, games and snorkel gear. The reef is just out the back door and is full of interesting sea life. The island is fairly quiet and the locals are very friendly and accommodating. The cruise ship port is at the other end of the island so you can choose to mingle with the passengers or enjoy the peace and quiet.
Drew was easy to work with and booking the house was a breeze. Arelys, the local property manager was very helpful and answered any questions that arose. There is plenty of information about the island in an easily accessible binder and the local cell phone provided was pre-loaded with minutes.
If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing beach vacation, this is a great spot to get away and unwind.
# 222730 Waterside Village, Steamboat Springs, Northwest, Colorado, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, TOWNHOME
Shops, restaurants and slopes are just minutes away.
12/05/2014 - A great mountain getaway! The condo is ideally situated in the downtown area and the first stop on the shuttle from the airport. The unit was fully stocked as a home away from home. The views of the mountains and river are accessible from every room. All shops and restaurants are just a few steps away and it is great to have a natural food store in the same building. The slopes are a short 10 minute free bus ride away without having to park a car. The springs pool is within walking distance and a great way to relax at the end of the day. The owners have paid a great deal of attention in providing a comfortable stay.
# 122290 San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, Caribbean, 6 BR, 5 BA, VILLA
Ready for an adventure!
12/02/2014 - It’s true that some bears hibernate for the winter, but the VRBO bear enjoyed his December vacation in the western Caribbean at Villa Incommunicada, snorkeling and swimming off the coast of Ambergis Caye.
This villa is amazing. Three floors of very comfortable and well appointed rooms, with full kitchens stocked on request with all sorts of delicious foods. Sunrise views from patios, porches, and especially the roof top deck will greet you every morning. Watching the sunset from the cabana at the end of the dock over local rum with friends is one of the best ways to spend the beginning of an evening.
Each day brought another adventure, all organized by the concierge who lives on the property. Waking up in the morning to a delicious, prepared breakfast followed by walking the 70 or so feet to a private boat dock and immediately being able to board for snorkeling at the Hol Chan marine reserve or Shark Ray Alley is simply amazing. While bears prefer snorkeling with tropical fish, some of their friends enjoyed spending a day boating out to the Great Blue Hole for some advanced scuba diving. When you return, you’ll have your own pool to wash off the salt and sea.
While the concierge and his wife can provide you excellent meals (I recommend the Belizian stewed chicken) I also suggest making use of the outdoor grill or the three full kitchens you’ll find. With the ocean so close, it’s an easy day trip to fish or perhaps dive for lobster and conch and prepare yourself an excellent meal. Sandy beaches with picnics of fresh ceviche and fruit juices and rum are all within a short boat ride.
When you travel into town for evening fun, shopping, or the boat festival, please stop by Waruguma and enjoy some of the best pupusas this bear has ever enjoyed.
# 337680 Long Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, Caribbean, 3 BR, 1 BA, COTTAGE
Enjoying the lounge bed on the secluded beach!
11/27/2014 - This Thanksgiving, the VRBO Bear decided the best place to spend the holiday was on a quiet, secluded beach on Providenciales, rather than watching football while stuffed with desserts. What a terrific decision!! As soon as we arrived, we were overtaken by the serenity and beauty of Long Bay. The house sits on a lot directly on the beach. There is another house next door, but still plenty of privacy.
We walked into a very clean, comfortable, and tasteful home. The first thing we did was kick off our shoes and walk out the patio door right to the beach. The beach was very clean and manicured nearly every day. There are many amenities available on the beach including kayaks, beach chairs, fire pit, and our favorite, the lounge bed. We brought our own snorkeling gear and had great diving. It’s a gentle beach, shallow, but still teeming with fish and wildlife. Many hours each day were filled by lounging beachside at Silver Palms, especially in the lounge bed!
The house has a kitchen which enabled us to cook most of our meals. We brought our own food and spices/seasonings, which is highly recommended. We bought fresh fish and cooked it on the grill located beachside as we sat next to our bonfire. Paradise!
Another huge benefit of Silver Palms Cottage is the location. This truly is a property for those that want to get away and have seclusion. That being said, it’s just a short drive to the tourist part of the island, Grace Bay, and all the restaurants and shops located on that side of the island. Because the house is on Long Bay, there is not any traffic and it’s very quiet, making it easy to melt away into full-on relaxation.
The owners are very friendly and easy to work with. If you are looking for a quiet and quaint cottage on the beach that is away from the tourists, this is a great spot for you. If you’re typically the ‘resort type’, consider this home if you want seclusion with peace and privacy. We found Silver Palms to be inviting and romantic, which was exactly what we wanted.
# 84068 Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Enjoy the grounds or walk to the beach.
11/19/2014 - We loved our stay at this spacious property with stunning ocean views from the balcony and master bedroom. The community is very kid-friendly with lots of onsite activities (the swimming pool, children’s park, turtle-watching, and beach toys were all hits with our kids). The condo is walking distance from the beach, although the dragon swimming pool (with an ocean view) is where we spent most of our time.
Ramon was very welcoming, and met us at the car rental office so he could lead us on the 1-hour drive to the property. That was helpful, since driving directions in that area can be confusing. Throughout our stay, Ramon and Evelyn were very responsive to our questions. They even came by one evening (at our request) to show us how to work the electronic/electrical appliances as we were settling in. Evelyn provided all the information that was necessary, including information about a baby-sitter.
The location, Humacao, is an hour’s driving distance from all the popular tourist destinations (El Yunque, San Juan, ferry ride to Flamenco Beach). So if you are looking to be away from the crowds, this is the place for you. The community is gated and very safe.
Groceries are available at a WalMart supercenter that is 4 exits away from the property. We chose to cook at home often. The kitchen was clean and well equipped with all the appliances we needed. It also saved a lot of money for us.
The condo is in fabulous condition. The basket of treats and snacks was very useful and thoughtful, and the coloring activity books were a hit. The views from the bedroom and balcony are awesome. We saw the sunrise each day from our bed. Vieques Island can be seen on the horizon, along with a beach chock-full of coconut palms.
All amenities/appliances are available, beds comfortable, beautiful interior décor (modern themed.) Thank you Evelyn and Ramon for an excellent vacation home. We couldn’t have asked for more, 5 stars!
# 29796 Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, 3 BR, 2 BA, VILLA
A Puerto Rican vacation paradise.
11/18/2014 - I decided a tropical Puerto Rican vacation was just what this Bear needed most in November. When I arrived at this hidden paradise I knew it would be difficult for me to ever want to leave. The drive from the San Juan airport to the house was as easy as could be and as I pulled up to the gated driveway I was anxious to explore the well-manicured grounds and take a dip in the luxurious, pristine pool.
The expansive, incredibly gorgeous views from the house took my breath away. It felt like I was on top of the world with such a spectacular panorama of the ocean. I could even see many of the smaller islands off in the distance. At night I was spoiled by bright stars and twinkling lights from the nearby towns. Being away from the hustle and bustle, but still just a short drive away to beaches and activities (such as El Yunque National Rain Forest,) this home had the best of both worlds.
The house itself was lovely with plenty of room for me and my Bear friends. The bedrooms were spacious and we all hibernated for many hours every night in the very comfortable beds. During much of our stay we took advantage of the gourmet kitchen amenities. I sure wish all my meals could have such a magnificent ocean backdrop!
The balcony was where we spent most of our time enjoying mugs of Puerto Rican coffee in the mornings and tropical cocktails in the evenings. We loved listening to the delightful songs of the coquis welcoming us to the island.
I can’t say enough how much this Bear enjoyed his stay on the island and we want to give a Big Bear Hug to Monica. Thank you for opening up your wonderful home to us. It truly was paradise!
# 278745 Mission Bay, San Diego County, California, USA, 3 BR, 1 BA, BUNGALOW
Beautiful views and weather to match.
11/10/2014 - What a wonderful getaway weekend we had at Bungalow by the Bay! Terri was a pleasure to work with, and the home was perfect. From the moment we pulled up to see the mini beach with chairs in the front yard overlooking the bay, to the time we left, we had a great experience.
The home was stocked with everything one could need and more. The weather was beautiful, and the home lent itself nicely to enjoying the breezes with plenty of windows and doors overlooking the bay or backyard hideaway. We enjoyed several sunsets from the comfort of the front yard utilizing the mini beach setup and chairs. There is such an amazing view of the bay, cars traveling on the street frequently slow down or stop to take photos! Just a few steps away from the front door are stairs to experience the beautiful views directly on the beach.
We chose exploring by foot rather than renting a car. There were a ton of great restaurants and beach activities within a mile or two of the home. When we wanted to relax, we were able to enjoy the home amenities such as the cozy hot tub when the evening temperatures were just right. We also loved sitting on the back porch soaking in the amazing weather. Downtown was a short 15 minute cab ride. The beds were very comfortable, and the shower always had plenty of hot water. The bathroom was also well supplied with essentials.
I fell in love with San Diego and this lovely home.
# 425608 Nashville, Middle, Tennessee, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying the morning air from the porch.
11/09/2014 - My buddies and I spent our vacation in Nashville. We selected this house based on its location and size. We received all of the information in advance and the keyless locks worked like a charm. Once inside it was a great setup. Each of us had our own bedroom and all were equally nice. The house was nicely decorated nicely with a warm, comfortable feel. The home was spotlessly clean.
The owners had some personal, welcoming touches. They left my buddies and I a note on the fridge as well as suggestions for activities in the area. The kitchen was stocked with more than the basics – sodas, beer, water, snacks – all in addition to more standard food items like coffee and milk. There were also games and easy directions for wifi, tv and other amenities.
The location was near Edwin Warner and Percy Warner Parks; we had great morning runs and beautiful fall views. We enjoyed the fact that we could get to the heart of Nashville in 20 minutes as well as enjoy the bucolic area.
I highly recommend staying at this house when you’re in Nashville. This place worked well for a “guy’s weekend” and I could see it work even better for a family or a few couples that wanted to travel together.
# 209238 Hale Ili Ili, South Kihei (Kamaole I & II Beaches Area), Kihei, South Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Steps away from the ocean and what a view!
11/08/2014 - While some bears hibernate in the winter, this VRBO Bear goes to Hawaii! Upon arrival, we were greeted by Kathy, the owner of this unit and business owner of Rentals Maui, Inc. She gave us a personal tour of the unit, the surrounding property, and all of the amenities. After the usual stress of air travel, it was so nice to receive such individual attention!
So.... where to begin?! The unit itself is on the second/top floor of this small, 4-unit property. It is very quiet as it's on a small side street (Ili Ili Rd.) off of the main S. Kihei Rd., and of course, right on the ocean. The building must be fairly new because it is in very good shape, both inside and out. You can see beautiful sunsets from the lanai and hear the soft surf at night. It's perfectly situated to see the green flash, which this bear has seen several times! Hint: an elevated position (not the ocean's edge) has a better advantage!
Leaving a towel and flip-flops ("slippers" in Hawaiian!) by the pool each morning, Mrs. Bear and I walked the short distance across grass and sand to the beach with mask, snorkel, and fins in hand. Within moments, we were at the reef in front of this unit swimming with tropical fish and turtles. Yes, you can drive to lots of beautiful beaches on this island, but it sure is nice to have one right in your backyard! In fact, you can see turtles poke their heads up to breathe from the lanai! And after a swim, what's more convenient than an outdoor shower just outside the gate to the pool! Not just a showerhead, but two additional faucets to rinse your gear and feet!
The list of amenities is long for this unit (see main description) and there's not one thing we found missing or needed. Only fresh or personal items (e.g. food and the aforementioned snorkel gear) are things that you will want to get on your first day. After breakfast and morning swim, get out and see this lovely island. If you need suggestions for places to go, restaurants, or services, just ask Kathy or any of the helpful staff at Rentals Maui! Thanks to all of them, we had the perfect vacation! Mahalo!
# 308262 Pittsburg, East Texas, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, CABIN
Enjoying the Fall beauty from the porch.
11/07/2014 - When my travel companions and I arrived at the cabin on the lake, we were amazed by its natural beauty. Our first moments were spent walking out to the pier and enjoying a drink on the deck, watching the moon play on the calm lake waters, enjoying the stars and sounds of nature.
The bedrooms were comfortable and inviting. The heavy quilts were perfect to keep us warm on the cool nights. We fell into a peaceful sleep to the sounds of nature. We awoke early to watch the sunrise over the lake and even spotted some turtles swimming in the water. The comfy beds did allow us to sleep in a number of mornings, but the first one was special and we wanted to get started on enjoying our amazing property.
Late in the fall for East Texas, the trees were changing color still and beautifully stood out against the lake. We enjoyed watching the birds from the house decks and the hot tub. Late at night, we even spotted a raccoon! It was a treat to see so many animals we don’t typically find in the city.
On the few rainy days we kept ourselves entertained with the board game collection and watching old movies on the couch.
The cabin is very well kept and treasured. We found special touches throughout the cabin, small touches which made it truly feel like a home away from home.
# 339330 San Luis Pass, Gulf Coast, Texas, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Just steps from the ocean!
10/27/2014 - What a relaxing beach getaway! As soon as I arrived, I walked up the stairs to take in the incredible views of the beach at sunset. The sound of the ocean waves, the setting sun across the ocean, and a drink in hand, this was the life for me!
The beach house was roomy, with more than enough space for our family of 8 (it could have easily accommodated 4 more bears). We enjoyed the huge family room and ample sized kitchen with views of the ocean; it was like being on a ship. We cooked a lovely meal with family all gathered around and even had a drink station set up without anyone stepping on any paws. We never felt crowded. After dinner, we gathered outside on the wrap around balcony to admire the stars glistening in the night sky. We even saw a few bears night fishing and hunting for crabs on the beach.
The bedrooms were roomy, with comfortable, inviting beds. I loved the fireplace and balcony off the upstairs bedroom. There was even a chiminea on the balcony for cool breezy evenings. I awoke to a beautiful sunrise and after a breakfast I ran right out onto the secluded beach, very clean and full of little shells to gather. I saw dolphins jumping, pelicans soaring, and fisherman casting their lines into the ocean. The little cubs joined me on the beach and we all played and sat for hours with hardly a soul around. The cubs loved running along the clean, sandy beach and wading in the shallow waters. It was perfect!
After a day on the beach, we came back to our great entertaining house, where we had fun sitting at the game table, playing one of the many games. We even got to brush up on our pool shark skills with the billard table upstairs.
# 378091 Belltown, Downtown, Seattle, Puget Sound, Washington State, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Beautiful condo with a beautiful view!
10/27/2014 - When my travel companions and I arrived at the entrance to the Harbor Steps, we were taken aback by the beautiful modern design and luxurious allure of the building’s façade. We knew immediately that we had made the right choice in selecting this condo for our stay in downtown Seattle. Upon entering the lobby, we were greeted by a friendly concierge who provided the keys to our unit. We made our way to the elevator where I eagerly hit the button for our floor, waiting in anticipation to feast my eyes on what would be our new home for the next week. As we reached the door, I slid the key into the lock, turned it quickly and swung the door open wide (with some help from my companions, of course). They say first impressions are everything, and let me tell you, this property made quite the impression indeed.
The entry way alone made it clear that we had stumbled into something special. A few steps into the living area revealed a breathtaking, unobstructed view of Elliot Bay through the huge corner window. Ferries and barges floated by purposefully, unaware of their new admirers. The spacious room was flanked by a cozy bedroom and large bathroom (complete with washer and dryer) on the left and a grand dining area on the right. The table was set for six with exquisite dinnerware and a centerpiece that exuded elegance. Just past the dining area was a door leading out onto the patio where a cool, crisp breeze could be felt coming off the water. My companions excitedly made their way to the kitchen to investigate what they believe to be the most important room in a home. It was fully equipped with various appliances, utensils, dishes and sundries that would make short work of preparing a satisfying vacation dinner. They were ecstatic to also find a gift bag with assorted treats to help ease the tension from a long day of traveling.
The next stop was the master bedroom. I threw myself onto the giant bed and knew right away that this would be the best night’s sleep I had ever gotten away from home (which would later prove to be entirely accurate). The large dresser and closets on the opposite wall provided plenty of room for unpacking, leading to a feeling of belonging not afforded by living out of a suitcase. The attached master bathroom was equally large and the standing shower provided the perfect temperature and water pressure for a truly relaxing experience. I returned to the living room and curled up on the couch with my companions as we sat contented and comfortable, contemplating the courteous and creative custodians that concocted these conditions. We planned the following day’s excursions to Pike’s Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum and the Aquarium, all reachable with a 5 minute walk. This was a vacation we would not soon forget…
# 387959 Rockport, Gulf Coast, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 1 BA, HOUSE
Enjoying time outdoors!
10/20/2014 - The sound of the ocean waves, the setting sun across the ocean, and a drink in hand, this was the life for us!
The beach house was roomy, with more than enough space for two of us (it could have easily accommodated 6 more bears). The Bear and his new wife stayed at Zelma's place for their honeymoon. This house is amazing, perfect to relax and unwind. We were truly fortunate because the new bride always felt that she needed to do something, but Zelma's place beckoned her to sleep in and take it easy. After the second day we were soothed into a state of honeymoon bliss.
The bedrooms were roomy, with comfortable, inviting beds. We loved the living room and the outdoor hammock and porch. The kitchen had lots of plates, cups, accessories and even a blender which made daiquiris a breeze. After our days on the beach, we came back to our great entertaining house, where we had fun sitting outside on the beautiful porch, playing one of the many games. We enjoyed watching television on a big flat screen with loads of channels.
Zelma's place is walking distance from tons of wonderful Rockport shopping and a skip from the beach. We went to the beach every day where the bear taught his new wife to fly a kite! We saw dolphins jumping, pelicans soaring, and fisherman casting their lines into the ocean. We passed the hours at many of the close restaurants and local bars. The lady bear loved running along the clean, sandy beach and wading in the shallow waters. This was the perfect getaway.
Thank you for allowing us to stay at your amazing house, we will definitely stay again!
# 52692 Bailey Island, Portland & Casco Bay, Maine, USA, 2 BR, 1 BA, HOUSE
Just steps from the ocean.
10/06/2014 - Eager to return to New England with fall colors setting in, this bear was rewarded ten-fold with this Oceanside cottage on Potts Point, finally finding a relaxing retreat to view nature’s splendid beauty.
The house is amazing - situated only a few steps away from the ocean. With provided kayaks and canoes, the water front became a paradise for beachcombing, allowing access to the sometimes peninsula that appears during low tide.
Ardell greeted me with a special handwritten note, a move I found to be most touching, an invitation to enjoy the house and the full comfort of the amenities provided. The kitchen pantry was amply supplied for this amateur chef’s needs.
The sunroom provided unparalleled views for watching the sunset over the ocean and for the adventurous folks in our party, the map room and well-curated guide book provided all the staging tools needed for discovering the additional beauties of the surrounding area.
I was able to witness the history of the house by viewing photos from days gone by at the lobster pound just a few hundred feet across the causeway. Needless to say, this bear is ready to make a return to this oceanside wonder and explore more of the natural wonders that await!
# 353194 Uptown-Carrollton, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 4 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
Enjoy beautiful landscaping right from the porch!
09/29/2014 - The Oulala House in the Garden District of New Orleans is absolutely magnificent. Michelle, the host, was equally great. We were greeted by her upon our arrival and given a tour of the historic house, which was beautiful and spotlessly clean. We had 12 travelers on our trip and everyone stayed comfortably. There are plenty of bathrooms and beds to be able to sleep a large number of people.
The backyard is incredibly well kept with beautiful landscaping and the pool was clean and inviting. It was a great relief from the humidity and nice to come home to each day. Michelle has provided several binders with a great amount of information on local restaurants, bars and attractions in the city, which made it easy to figure out exactly where we wanted to eat and find interesting places in the city to check out.
The house is very conveniently located, right by the trolley tracks. For around $1, you can take a 30 minute trolley ride to Canal Street, which puts you near all of the big attractions and famous restaurants in the city.
# 147152 Uptown, Far North, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Warm and cozy!!!
09/18/2014 - What a treat it was to stay at this spacious yet cozy Chicago condo! As soon as my paw stepped inside the front door and left the hustle and bustle of the street, I felt relaxed and at home.
I was greeted by the lovely woman who owns the place, Andrea. She was very helpful and hospitable and gave me some great restaurant recommendations. As she showed me around I started getting more and more excited about my stay. The master bedroom was comfortable with plenty of closet space. The attached master bathroom was well lit with a big jacuzzi bath in between his and her sinks! The two other bedrooms had plenty of space and each had a queen size bed. The second bathroom had a large double sink vanity and a great shower. As she showed me the main living area I was pleased by how spacious it felt! I was delighted by the wall-to-wall windows and large comfortable wrap around couch. All of which was overlooked by a clean, modern kitchen stocked with free coffee and tea, and good enough for any chef looking to make a meal.
Each day when I went I went out to explore the city, it was a breeze to get downtown because the condo is right next to Lake Shore Drive. I had many great adventures shopping on the Magnificent Mile, sunning in Millennium Park, throwing pennies into Buckingham Fountain, walking along the lake, riding the ferris wheel at Navy Peer and so much more. But every day I looked forward to heading home, taking a hot shower in my clean bathroom and making some tea in the tea kettle before plopping down on the comfortable sofa in my Chicago oasis. Every morning I woke up so refreshed that I thought I had been hibernating! The beds were comfortable, and the rooms were quiet and peaceful, they were just right.
I can't say enough good things about my experience here. It was clean, well stocked, well lit and really felt like a home away from home. I'm definitely going to stay here next time I visit the windy city. Thanks Andrea!
# 326077 Padova, Veneto, Italy, Europe, 4 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Enjoying the panoramic view!
09/13/2014 - Ca’Contea is an impeccably designed countryside villa amidst the picturesque backdrop of the tranquil Veneto Region. I recommend booking Ca’Contea if you are interested in living like a local bear of Teolo nestled in the dramatic yet serene Euganean Hills, but want a relaxing sanctuary that’s still in paw’s reach from the more popular and busy destinations like Venice, Verona, Padova, Montegrotto and Abano Terme Hot Springs, and Vicenza.
Upon arriving at our private gated property, we found ourselves in awe of the blooming rose bushes, the fruit trees (fig, pomegranate, apple, plum, etc.) and the 12 acres of vineyards. The panoramic view from the villa allowed us to escape from our hustle-bustle city lifestyle and get immersed with the calming Euganean scenery. There was even an outdoor brick oven that overwhelmed us with the sense that we were in the true heart of rustic Italy.
The historic countryside villa was completely modernized inside with a fully functioning kitchen, complete with local spices and cooking necessities. Next to the kitchen, a dramatic formal dining room was dressed to comfortably seat up to 14 bears – great for family gatherings or holiday meals.
On the lower level, there were 2 spacious living rooms full of eye-catching décor and all the comforts of home. Books, guides, maps, recommendations, comfortable sitting areas, wifi, games, and a big flat screen TV were all easily accessible.
Upon walking up the large brick stairs to the second floor, we noticed all the eclectic artwork and tastefully decorated interior as we approached 4 large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a huge office – all with gorgeous views of the land.
Altogether, we are applauding Ca’Contea and we want to give Cristina a big bear hug for such a memorable lifetime experience. Thank you so much. We would love to return!
# 381655 Kukuihaele, Hamakua Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Awesome view from the dining table on the lanai.
09/06/2014 - The sun was setting on Waipio Bay in a hundred different shades of pink and purple. Tree frogs were singing to one another all around us as a cool breeze blew through the house from a multitude of screened windows and doors as the VRBO Bear and his family arrived at our vacation rental Hale Io. The house was filled with traditional Hawaiian music.
Of course, since we are a family of bears, we immediately had to check out the beds! We roved excitedly all around the house and found that every room has a queen bed or bigger, each with plump pillows and a gorgeous view to wake up to. This house sleeps 10 in comfort and splendor. You have no idea how stunned you will be when you wake up in the middle of the night and see thousands of stars twinkling in the night sky!
We found the kitchen amply stocked with high quality pots, pans, utensils, dishes and knives. The pantry was stuffed with spices and the big butcher block counter invited us to make meals there. As a bonus, the grounds will provide (when in season) fresh guava, lilikoi, coconut, and grapefruit to add local flavor to your meals. But if you’re not the cook-it-yourself type, no worries! Honokaa is a 10-minute drive away and offers some great little restaurants. Whether it’s the peaceful lanai and organic ingredients at Green Market and Café or karaoke by talented locals at The Landing, the town has a little something for everyone.
The house sits on sprawling grounds with amazing views of the Waipio Bay, the black sand beach at the foot of the Waipio Valley, and Maui in the distance. Since bears are nature lovers, we hiked down to the Waipio Valley and spent a gorgeous morning on the beach. You can enjoy sitting on the beach listening to the surf, or you can go clambering over rocks to secluded overlooks. If you’re not a strong enough swimmer to brave the complex current where the river meets the ocean, you can just soak in the cool river a little upstream. It looks swifter than it is, and I can attest that sitting up to your neck in the cool river water and laying your head back on the sand is absolute bliss. The hike back to the top was tough, but there are paid shuttle vans that do the round-trip down and up from a little art gallery near Hale Io.
Hale Io genuinely feels like a home, with art on the walls and good books on the shelves and everything you could possibly need in the kitchen. The house has books and board games, a comfy pune’ to nap on, a luxurious pool and a hot tub to soak in. There are towels to take with you to the beach, bocce balls and beanbag toss games to play in the back yard, a waterslide, and outdoor showers.
Honokaa town has everything you need - a supermarket, a farmer’s market, a butcher shop, a friendly pharmacy, and a handful each of bars, restaurants and shops. We were impressed with how friendly everyone in town is, and how they all know each other by name. This town is the true essence of Aloha. It’s an hour or less to Hilo, Akaka Falls, or Kona! The Big Island is not that big, really, so Hale Io is just far enough away that you’re not living in the tourist mainstream bustle, but close enough that you can still easily get to all the sights and activities.
# 501529 Pointe West, Galveston, Gulf Coast, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 3 BA, COTTAGE
What a beautiful view!
09/05/2014 - What can I say? The VRBO Bear had a great time in Galveston thanks to this beautiful property that had everything we needed! With 6 adults and 3 kids we had plenty of room and felt right at home. We had a great time making breakfast in the kitchen every morning and dinner every night. The kitchen was lovely and had spices and pantry items already stocked. There were also many pots and pans, utensils, plates and glasses to use, we didn’t need anything else!
Access to the beach walkway is directly across the street from the house which was so convenient. It was perfect being so close to the beach and being able to walk over whenever we wanted – especially with 3 kids in tow and lots of sand toys to carry! We also went over to the Beach Club to enjoy the pool and views. It was absolutely beautiful and there was plenty of space without feeling overcrowded.
The home has a grill, which we did not use, but it was nice that it was provided just in case. There is also an outdoor shower on the back of the house which was VERY useful and we used it many times to wash off the sand from our feet after being at the beach. There are also beautiful views of the bay from the balconies on the back of the house and we got to see some beautiful sunsets.
Timo was very responsive and helpful in providing all the information we needed prior to our stay. He even sent an activity guide he created for things to do or restaurants he recommended. This beach cottage was the perfect place to get away from it all and relax on the beaches of Galveston! We had a great time and would love to go back!
# 346843 Palazzo, Gulf Resort Beach, Panama City Beach Area, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 1 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
The balcony views and breezes can't be beat.
09/04/2014 - This was our first time in Panama City and we came here to celebrate our marriage anniversary. We stayed here for 5 nights and loved every bit of it. The condo was beautiful and we enjoyed our stay here. The time we spent on the beach was unsurpassed.
The condo was well stocked and Kathy took care of even the smallest details to make sure we were comfortable and well cared for. We were pleasantly surprised to see fresh flowers awaiting us when we arrived. She even called us up to make sure we were comfortable and didn't need anything extra.
We spent hours on the balcony, enjoying the breezes and the view. We spotted dolphins, stingrays and a shark during our stay and one thing that stands out of all is the amazing view from the balcony.
The listing pictures don't do this place justice. Kathy, you have a beautiful beach condo - thank you for sharing it with us.
# 553661 Pointe West, Galveston, Gulf Coast, Texas, USA, 3 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
What a spectacular view...Galveston at its best!
08/24/2014 - I love Pointe West, La Sirena, and Clem and Tre! The pictures do not convey the beauty and size of the unit and the spectacular view. The second I walked in the unit I gasped at the view and ran right over to the huge balcony and the view took my breath away! I have been to Galveston several times in my life and there is no place like it!
The beach was well manicured and the infinity pool and beach club made us feel like we were at a true beach resort. The amenities inside the unit were impeccable from the Henkel knife set to the Calphalon pots and pans. The unit is so spacious (much bigger than what the pictures convey) and comfortable. There was plenty for the Bear cubs to do - from the beach, to the pool, and they met other cubs to play with and ride bikes. We felt very safe and secure.
Beach toys, floats, and much more were provided. I can’t say enough how much we enjoyed our stay and how helpful Clem and Tre were with directions, arrival, and all the questions we had while we were there. We will be back next year! In my opinion if you go to Galveston this is the only place to stay!
# 281128 North Shore Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, South Pacific, 3 BR, 3 BA, VILLA
Check out the harbor views!
08/23/2014 - This house was fantastic, especially the wide panoramic view of the harbor. The entire back of this house is VIEW, VIEW, VIEW. You can see the glimmering ocean in almost every window. It is stunningly beautiful and made me realize what a pretty city Sydney is.
The rest of the house is quite nice as well. There is a large commercial stove in the kitchen that would make even the most serious chef happy. The living room is open and spacious with nice clean comfortable couches and an entertainment /music system anyone would love. We did not watch too much of the huge 60+ inch TV, though, because the view was outstanding and the beach was just took a short walk down the road. While we were down at the beach we noticed several nice restaurants along the shore. All are good but the Bathhouse restaurant on the ocean was our favorite.
But this review is about the house. When you go downstairs there is a kids’ room with 3 beds, a bath, a big 60 inch TV, Xbox360 and plenty of built in toys to play with. You may have a hard time getting your kids out of the house but the beach down the road usually did the trick for us.
I have saved the best for last. The owners’ retreat is fantastic and includes a reading lounge, a clean open dressing area with large closets, and a truly breathtaking view. The furnishings are nice and the bed is quite comfortable, but the view is simply historic. We found ourselves waking up slower each day just so we could lie in bed a little longer and enjoy the fantastic view.
There are many other items to mention as well - the private pool, the fantastic indoor- outdoor dining area, and the top notch furnishings.
Everything about the house was professional and easy. The property agent was fantastic and a pleasure to deal with. Mosman was an easy ferry ride into the CBD of Sydney. Close to the beach. Close to the zoo. Great neighborhood. We will certainly be looking forward to staying here again.
We very much enjoyed our stay. The house is the best vacation rental we have stayed in.
# 67476 Truman Annex, Key West, Key West Area, Florida Keys, Florida, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Key West equals Key Fun!!!!
08/23/2014 - This was our first visit to Key West and what an amazing trip it was! We arrived at this large, beautiful condominium completely stocked with amenities that made us feel right at home. Our first relaxing view of Key West was from our second floor balcony overlooking a tropical and lush flora and fauna surrounding a heated pool. Right from the beginning we knew this trip was going to be a success.
The location of our Truman Annex condo could not have been better. The central location of our unit was perfect - we were in walking distance of the most popular and beautiful attractions in Key West. The unit is a VERY short walk to Fort Zachary Taylor which had some of the best and easiest beach access in all of Key West. Staying at Mike’s beautiful unit gave us the chance to explore Key West without having to worry about a vehicle, since with this great location we could easily walk to all popular restaurants, museums, and even the most southern point of the USA!
The interior of the unit was very tropical and Florida at heart. The grill provided on the balcony gave us the chance to cook up some locally caught fish and have a more intimate dinner on the balcony. The kitchen was very spacious with plenty of amenities to help with cooking and prepping food. The unit also provided our very own blender to spice up our night with margaritas!
Mike, the owner of the unit, made himself available at all times for any questions we had about the unit or nearby attractions. He was very helpful making sure we were able to find the complex and unit when we arrived. When we come back again Mike’s unit in the Truman Annex will DEFINITELY be our number one choice to stay at. We’d like to thank Mike and his family for hosting the VRBO Bear and providing unforgettable memories that we’ll share for a long time.
# 407415 French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 0 BR, 1 BA, STUDIO
A quiet oasis at the end of Bourbon Street.
08/22/2014 - The condo was a quaint little spot that was conveniently located at the very end of Bourbon Street which made it easy to walk to everything, whether it be history or nightlife! A perfect place for two people with a lot of privacy from neighbors and any outside noise. The condo was on a really beautiful street with lots of trees and pretty houses, and made us feel right at home.
We really enjoyed the security of the building. The apartment being inside the building made us feel very secure and stowed away from the high energy of New Orleans. It was a great place to settle after a long day of great food, live music, and taking in the city with my best friend. The bed was big enough for two and the kitchen was perfect to store all of our yummy leftovers. Cindy was very helpful with the rental information, had really good nearby recommendations, and was easy to reach for questions. Definitely would stay here again!
# 458848 Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte Area, Southwest, Colorado, USA, 4 BR, 5 BA, HOUSE
Ahhhh, mountains and meadows. You can't beat the great outdoors!
08/16/2014 - The Alpenglow Chalet was the perfect place for the bear and her family to spend a week exploring the mountains. Our favorite thing about the house was the proximity to some of the most beautiful hiking trails we’ve been on. Crested Butte definitely lives up to its reputation as Colorado’s wildflower capital of Colorado. We loved Cary and Regina’s suggestions for hikes and made good use of the many hiking guides they keep in the house.
Returning to the fully stocked kitchen, outdoor fireplaces and hot tub after hiking was just what we needed after long days on the trails. We continued to enjoy beautiful views of the mountains from the comfort of the home, as the place is surrounded by them. There is nothing like watching the sun set over the mountains from the front deck! I would highly recommend this house to friends and family and would love to return someday.
# 305364 Paris Arrondissement 5, Paris, Ile-de-France (Paris Area), France, Europe, 2 BR, 1 BA, APARTMENT
Enjoying this charming apartment!
08/10/2014 - The moment we walked into this charming apartment we knew we were right at home. The pictures do not even do it justice. It was much larger than we expected and had an amazing view. It was nice opening up the windows and seeing all the people below but also nice to be able to close them and enjoy the quiet when needed. The building itself had an old charm that really made us feel that we were living like true Parisians. The location was absolutely perfect. There were so many great attractions and restaurants within walking distance and the metro was just around the corner. Alexandre left some great restaurant and local attraction recommendations, which we were very pleased with! We will definitely stay here again when we return to Paris in the future.
# 7511 Crystal Beach, Scenic Gulf Drive West, Destin Area, Florida North West, Florida, USA, 5 BR, 4 BA, HOUSE
Relaxing is style!
08/09/2014 - Upon our arrival to this vacation home in Destin, FL, we walked on to a wraparound porch and into the beach house called Sunny D. While we knew we had made a good choice early on, we immediately realized the pictures of the property just didn’t do this place justice. The bunk room with its Xbox 360 was a hit with the boy cubs. The tower room was perfect for our princess cub who wanted to get away from her little brothers. Papa and Nana Bear had their own separate casita to retire to for the night.
We enjoyed having the outdoor shower to clean up before we came inside. The wraparound porch was perfect for eating ice cream in the evenings. The bedding was heavenly.
Best of all the gear! This place is set up for a family with plenty of bear cubs. Strollers, pack n play, sand chairs, umbrellas, lots of sand toys, and even an awesome cart to tote it all down to the beach. The beach cruiser bikes were a delight to ride a block to the white sandy beaches. The place was professionally decorated but still felt like our home away from home! Everything was cub friendly which we appreciated even more since we were able to relax.
# 464676 Magens Bay, Northside, USVI - St. Thomas, Caribbean, 4 BR, 4 BA, VILLA
You just can't beat Caribbean views like this!
08/09/2014 - VRBO Bear reporting for duty! It has been a while since I’ve been to the Caribbean, and as I was browsing and daydreaming of the beach, I came across the Villa Bijoux Bleu listing and I knew I had to see this place for myself! A few quick emails with Kelle, and I had everything booked.
My travel companions and I were greeted by Shary, who led us to grab some groceries (gotta have plenty of honey and salmon around, of course) and took us to the villa. The pictures are accurate, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. The patio and courtyard are beautiful, with lush landscaping. The pool is luxurious and includes a waterfall and grotto. The outdoor kitchen is fully stocked, and we made full use of the Green Egg smoker!
The inside of the house is just as beautiful and inviting as the outside. The house is not only decorated wonderfully, but they have provided everything you could need. From towels, to cooking utensils, to coolers and beach stuff, it was all there for us to use. We spent several evenings cooking and relaxing by the pool, and it seemed like being at home, with a beautiful view of course! Speaking of the view, the entire back side of the house is a patio balcony with an amazing view of the ocean. It was easy to spend hours on the balcony, lounging in a hammock, cooled by the breeze.
We were given a packet with information about the house, and most importantly, suggestions on restaurants and activities. All of the suggestions were great. We checked out some snorkeling spots, a few beaches and as many restaurants as we could fit in. A few places of note: there is a convenience store within a short walk, a great restaurant called Thirteen just down the road from that, and Magen’s Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is less than 10 minutes’ drive away! All of the recommendations were outstanding.
Kelle, Alfred and Shary were amazing hosts. We arrived the day after a tropical storm, and there were slight interruptions in power across the island. I was in constant communication with one of the team about status and schedules. They made us feel very comfortable and it was only a very minor inconvenience.
Overall, the house is wonderful, the staff treats you like a VIP, and the location is fabulous. I cannot recommend Villa Bijoux Bleu enough!
# 103436 Kaanapali Royal, Kaanapali, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA, 2 BR, 2 BA, CONDO
Wow, what a view!
08/07/2014 - Wow, were the first words out of our mouths when we walked into the condo. What a view through the living room window past the Lanai and overlooking the golf course out to the Pacific Ocean; natural beauty everywhere! My son instantly ran upstairs and squealed with delight at the view from the upstairs bedroom. The condo was huge and had everything we needed and more. The King size beds were so comfy after the long plane ride. We slept like babies. The mornings were peaceful and I enjoyed my coffee every morning on the lanai overlooking the gardens while listening to the birds and the sound of the trees swaying in the wind. I haven’t been this relaxed in a very long time.
You can take a quick stroll to the beach or hop on the green trolley to Whalers Village, Kaanapali Beach or Black Rock in minutes. There are also several Luau’s to choose from just a trolley ride away or you can walk to Eco-Skyline next door and head to the mountains for Ziplining.
We like to stay active and explore and were delighted on how close this home is to everything we wanted to do. We didn’t have to spend a lot of time in the car going place to place. It was a short drive to Front Street shopping, the Maalaea Harbor, and all the natural wonders of the Island. You have to check out the Nakalele Pt Blow Hole and the Tide pools near Poelua Bay. After our long days of having fun, the condo was the perfect place to kick back, enjoy a home cooked meal and the beautiful sunsets. Whether you want to snorkel with the turtles, jump from the rocks, play in the surf, shop till you drop or RELAX, this is the Greatest Place to Escape.
# 421500 Northwest Hills, Austin, Hill Country, Texas, USA, 7 BR, 5 BA, HOUSE
A restful relaxing place for everyone!
08/02/2014 - From the moment you walk in the door of this palace and take your first glimpse of the breathtaking view, you have the distinct impression that you are now Master of the Texas Hill Country. When it was built, it was the home with the highest elevation in all of Austin and there is no doubt that this point of pride permeates the mansion and everyone who is lucky enough to stay in it.
When we arranged a friend reunion, we had no idea that such a perfect location was within our reach. Ryan, playing the role of owner-extraordinaire, was more than accommodating, communicative and genuinely welcoming to me and my friends.
Having friends in from all over the country with age ranges from 1-70 years, everyone felt at home. There was enough room for everyone to sit, eat, chat, play and relax. The kids had a blast playing in the overwhelmingly well stocked play room (puppet show, anyone?) The ping pong table was a big hit and the large natural gas grill kept our bellies full! The huge hot tub and plush patio furniture kept everyone relaxed while enjoying the indescribable Texas sunset.
Exploring and enjoying the innumerable amenities made for a treasure hunt of delight. There was something amazing to experience in every inch of this well cared for and surprisingly accessible home. Overnight accommodations were comfortably spaced for each family to relax and the living, dining and play areas made for great fellowship among the large group. This gorgeous and refined estate is without a doubt exactly where you want to stay with your family and friends on your next trip to Austin.
# 373921 Anaheim, Anaheim Area, Orange County, California, USA, 6 BR, 3 BA, HOUSE
It's like Disneyland at home!
08/01/2014 - The Bear family goes to Disneyland!
From the moment we entered the door and our little cub went running from room to room yelling “This is so awesome!” we knew we had picked the right home for our Disneyland vacation. This beautiful home is spacious, well decorated, beautifully furnished, 100% cub-friendly, and just minutes away from Disneyland.
Each bedroom is themed to a Disney movie or character with wall decorations, murals, and bedding. There is a fantastic room we named the “Toy Room” because of its Toy Story theme and HUGE box full of stuffed animal characters. The little cubs had such a great time playing. They also really loved the collection of Disney DVDs!
As for us adult Bears, we were pleasantly surprised to find everything we needed for our stay. The very well thought-out welcome packet taught us everything we needed to know about the house and the surrounding area. The kitchen was stocked with everything we needed to cook meals for our 5 day visit. The strollers, pack-n-play, and other very practical amenities (wifi, computer, children's books, etc.) were tremendously appreciated and made for much lighter travel.
There was so much to do in the area and when we weren’t at Disneyland we were visiting the Discover Science Center, the beach, and visiting family in a nearby city. The provided notes about nearby stores and fun places to go were quite helpful.
Owners, thank you so much for making this amazing home available to us on our vacation. Oh, and each night our Bear family loved watching the spectacular firework show!