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 Post subject: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:50 pm 
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I just saw a unit like the one I am getting at Sand Dunes, 3BR/2BA for about 600 less. They say the price includes 11% tax and cleaning. It's the lowest price I've seen. This year they are almost available for the week I need, except I need Mon to Sun and the unit is only open Sat to Fri, so I'd waste Sunday night and lose Friday night.

I'm thinking about checking it out for next year. I am thinking of emailing the owner and asking if I can see it this time when we are down. What are the pros and cons of VBRO?

I'm afraid to pay my money in advance to a stranger. Do you get maid service each day? Clean towels? What if the washer breaks, or the a/c breaks, or the toilet or tub are clogged? Does the hotel staff help, or are you on the hook to the owner who might be hundreds of miles away?

My price that is $600 more includes buffet breakfast for 6 for 6 days. That's $9 each plus tax per day, so 36 breakfasts is worth about $360. If I deduct that from my total (after taxes and fees) I'd still save $250 w/ VBRO, and I might not even use all the breakfasts. BUT I like having my bed made, floor vacuumed, tub cleaned and fresh towels daily. I'm on vacation! So, do most VBRO units have maid service?

If we were golfers and not beach people the maid would be less important, but with all that sand.....


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:35 pm 
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I have not rented from VRBO, but from what I understand daily maid service is generally NOT included. In some cases, you may be able to pay extra for it. Generally just a departure clean is included.

As far as any needed repairs - definitely email and ask that of the owner. Some have a management company that you would contact. Very important question to have hammered out before you would sign a contract!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:50 am
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Location: Pennsylvania
We have rented thru VRBO for many years.. we never had a problem.. the unit that you see pictured.. is the unit you get..

I always get a contract.. read it carefully before signing..we do not get maid service...we as a family keep the condo neat .. as we would our own home..

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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:20 pm
Posts: 321
Location: southwestern PA
If anybody is interested, we just reserved a room at the Sands Ocean Club thru VRBO. June 30-July 10. Cost for 10 nights was 945.00 total. Rate was 105.00 per night, if you stay at least 6 nights get 1 night free. Now it is ocean front, efficiency unit with washer/dryer. Sleeps 4 people. A studio room which is fine for just us 2. If anyone needs more info, email me. I thought this was a great rate. Cathy

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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:57 pm 
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I have been looking at several units listed on VRBO. I've never rented this way before and I'm rather nervous about trying it. I found a unit at Coral Beach that would only cost $800 for our 8 nights. It looks OK in the photos but I have read that the resort is great if you are a beer drinkin' partier....we are not, we are a quiet family of 4. Anyone have any insite on this resort? I would really love to book it and save myself about $400 over the hotel that I booked.

Also, when renting through VRBO do you pay a deposit upfront or the whole thing? How does this usually work?

Thanks.... :wav:


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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 9:23 pm
Posts: 86
Location: AZ & VA
A general search on this message board using the words Coral Beach should provide all my trip reports. Although I am now doing a quarterly summer house rental, I am still very fond of Coral Beach (12+ years) and would not trade it for any other resort. It's just my preference, and while I do not appreciate the drunks at 1am singing their hearts out at the beach bar, I remind myself that these folks are on their vacation too. Eventually they all pass out and the mornings are so quiet you can hear a pin drop. I love it, I love it. If you decide on Coral Beach, I STRONGLY encourage you to book directly through the hotel, not through VRBO. Their privately held units work a little bit differently than those at other hotels. For your 1st stay, book directly through the hotel.


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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:16 pm
Posts: 4
Location: NC
If you're worried about renting through VRBO or any of the HomeAway network of rental sites, click on the rental guarantee at the top of each ad. They will guarantee any stay up to $10,000, at any of their rental sites for a fee (rental insurance). The original poster's fee would have been $21 for the insurance.

http://guarantee.homeaway.com/tac


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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:01 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Pittsburgh
We've gone through both VRBO and Rental agents for years. Some years we've done both depending on how many of us end up coming on vacation.

Anyway I'd have to say we've never had a bad experience other than the one time we stayed at Myrtle Beach Resort and our condo was really dirty when we checked in. We've not been back for years and typically stay at the Surfmaster now through Garden City Realty. The bonus for VRBO is that you often save a lot of the associated fees and you can bargain with the owners over the cost to some degree. I think the best advice is ask a lot of questions and try to rent places on VRBO that have had positive reviews.

Just my two cents!

Is it Labor Day Yet???? I need my vacation!


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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:29 pm 
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We have used VRBO in the past and never had a problem. If you check with the owner, depending on what type of unit you are renting, daily maid service may be included in the price. I would highly recommend using it because as you have already pointed out, you can save a small fortune by dealing straight with the owner. For instance, a condo that we stayed at last year for a week would have wound up costing us almost twice what we paid for the same type unit through vrbo, if we would have booked through the resort directly (either online or on the phone). There are plenty of deals on vrbo if you catch them early enough, the only thing you will run into is that most owners will usually have their calendar full early in the year for the summer months.

We are actually getting ready to book a two week stay in MB beach for next summer, and again, for about half of what we would pay if we were to go through the hotels online booking.


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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Posts: 141
I've been looking at different hotel room options for next year and heard about VRBO from this forum, so I looked it up.

I've never rented or stayed (with family as a youngster) in a condo, and looking at cost, many 2 bedroom oceanfront condos through VRBO are just as cheap (or close enough) as many of the efficiency 2 queen bed single rooms at a hotel that I am looking at.

I see many listed as "linens included" and was wondering about the towel thing that was asked in the first post of this thread. Are towels generally provided and how would that work? If provided, is there some type of linen closet for the bathrooms that have a sufficient amount of towels? Do you have to bring your own towels?

My wife is very against doing laundry while on vacation, but really how difficult would it be? I could probably pack half as many clothes and/or replace with half a week worth of bath towels and do just 1 load of laundry halfway through the week. That would save a lot of much needed space in the car.

Daily maid service is nice to have in a hotel, but really it's not completely necessary. Looking at the pictures of 2 bedroom condos compared to normal efficiency hotel rooms, it is becoming more and more of a no-brainer idea to me. It may cost me an additional $200 going by some that I am looking at on VRBO, but these condos are larger than my house (I have 1007 sq. ft, very VERY small.) For $200 more, having a vacation stay somewhere bigger than my house sure seems like a deal compared to saving the $200 and having a stay somewhere that is barely larger than my living room.

So, how about the bath towels issue? Are they generally provided and enough for a week stay (or even half a week to do laundry once) or is it generally necessary to bring your own towels?

My vacation experience aside from when I was a kid is, we stayed at a Value Resort in Disneyworld this past June and didn't even have room to breathe. Opening the door to leave in the early morning to roam around with my camera I nearly had to bang the door into my wife's head, that's how close and tight everything was in that room. Ocean City was different as the place was a dump because it was an absolute last minute thing with booking during the week for the weekend. Thus, these VRBO condos really look intriguing.


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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 7:48 am
Posts: 52
Location: Tennessee
My wife and I are renting a 1-bedroom condo through VRBO for a week next month. This is our first time getting accommodations directly from an owner.

Our owner provides towels (bath, hand and wash cloth) for 4 guests, but she said if we think we will need more for the week she will be happy to leave extras at no cost. She also provides beach towels which is a nice perk. The four towels should be plenty for us -- provided we don't toss a once-used towel on the bathroom floor like we might at a hotel with daily maid service.

The place where we're staying has laundry facilities but we'd probably just buy a couple of cheap towels if during the week we needed more, rather wasting valuable vacation time downstairs doing laundry. Some of the larger condos on VRBO have washers and dryers which could be handy if you ended up short of towels.

I'll report back in a few weeks as to how our VRBO rental turns out.

Jack


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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:27 pm
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Location: Tennessee
mrodgers,

We have been staying in condo's (through VRBO for the first time this past July) basically for the past 20 years and would not go back to an efficiency for anything. You are exactly right that you can get a condo for basically the same price you can get an efficiency. The only drawback to the condo is that most do not have a resort atmosphere. We like to stay at Windy Hill Dunes in North Myrtle and it has a good size pool, lazy river & small kiddie pool. No outdoor refreshments, etc.

Regarding the towels/sheets most condos have several different options:

. If renting through a realtor and linens are included there will be enough towels for the approximate number of occupants your
condo will accommodate. For example if your condo sleeps 6 you will have 6 towels. So to answer your question of doing
laundry I would think that you would have to wash towels throughout the week. This has never been an issue for us we just
throw a load in as we head out to dinner and throw them in the dryer when we get back and they are ready for the next day.

. If you are renting through VRBO most owners have a locked closet (they will send you the key if you use this option) and you can
use their linens. They just have to be washed and put back into the closet when you leave. Washing everything can be a pain,
especially if you head out early on checkout day. Again, I doubt you would make it the entire week without washing a load.

. You can rent linens from Merry Maids for a fee. They will be waiting in the condo when you arrive.

. You can bring your own.

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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
Another potential "gotcha" with VRBO is access to all of the resort amenities, so make sure you verify with the owner if there are any limitations. Have read about certain pool areas or other spots off-limits to folks not booking through the central office.

We did a VRBO last year and had no problems, until it was time to get the security deposit back and they claimed all sorts of "damage". I swore at myself for not taking pictures when we left. Fortunately we disputed everything (we left the unit spotless) and after ~10 days they admitted confusing us with another unit they owned.

No maid service, but they provided towels/linens which we did not have to leave clean. Fortunately the unit did have a washer/dryer.

Another bonus was one of the bedroom closets had beach chairs, boogie boards and other sand toys !

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 Post subject: Re: VRBO or direct?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:58 pm
Posts: 141
KirkG wrote:
We did a VRBO last year and had no problems, until it was time to get the security deposit back and they claimed all sorts of "damage". I swore at myself for not taking pictures when we left. Fortunately we disputed everything (we left the unit spotless) and after ~10 days they admitted confusing us with another unit they owned.

Oh, great suggestion there. I would have never thought of taking pictures of the place of stay (no matter what it was) for future insurance over non-existent damage.


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