This isn't a typical cookie cutter rental, but the actual second home of a best-selling author and chef and her architectural designer husband. "It's like staying at a good friend's beach house," is the phrase we hear again and again.
Our large yet comfy single-level home is situated ideally close to the beach in a quiet neighborhood in Holmes Beach. Four bedrooms with optional fifth offers plenty of space for extended families, two families sharing or friends retreat. We're set up for infants & kids, well equipped kitchen, big deck with brand new gas BBQ, plus a gorgeous 12 feet x 24 feet heated pool with a real rock grotto waterfall surrounded by lush palms and exotic flowers.
The house has been tastefully decorated and carefully updated for a comfortable, yet casual beach feel. On beds, we've got two kings, a queen, a full and a daybed with pop-up trundle that can be two twins or a king plus a folding crib and toddler cot.
This is really our home, so you'll find spices and herbs in the cupboards, quality linens and lots of small personal touches.
Please note: Because this is our home and not just a rental, we're a bit particular who we rent to. As a result, we require a minimum age for rental (25) and the individual booking our home must be on site. No exceptions, sorry.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. How close is the beach?
A. We are at 71st Street and Palm Drive, about a four-minute stroll to the beach. We have a beach buggy to roll stuff back and forth, plus umbrellas, beach chairs and loads o' beach toys.
Q. How many does it sleep? How many beds?
A. The house comfortably sleeps four couples and a single adult, or up to 10 total with children under age 12. Infants and toddlers under three and younger are not included in occupancy.
There are five beds: 2 kings, 1 queen, 1 double, plus a daybed twin with twin trundle which can be made into a king or used as two twins. The full/double is in the smallest room (Hemingway) and is best suited to a single adult/teen or two children. We also have a folding crib and a toddler's cot plus kids linens. We also have a baby monitoring system.
Q. How big is the pool?
A. Our pool was installed in 2014 and it's included in the portfolio as a showcase pool by our designer. It is a custom 12x24 feet (4x6 meters) lagoon kidney shape with real rock coping and custom rock grotto waterfall. We keep it at 86 degrees or warmer year-round. We have it serviced twice a week for optimal cleanliness. We have seating for ten adults around the pool, plus a kids table and four kid chairs.
Q. Is it in a quiet neighborhood?
A. Yes! We are in a sought-after residential neighborhood just minutes directly between businesses of Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. There is only one other rental home near us. For this reason, we do ask that you sign a "Quiet Hours" agreement to observe quiet hours and be respectful to the neighbors. (We are not the right property for a group of college-age spring breakers. Sorry.)
Q. How do we get the keys?
A. No keys! to pick up or misplace! We use high-tech coded locks with a unique code for each guest. You will be sent a code for your week.
Q. Is it near the free trolley?
A. Yes, a Northbound stop is right at the corner of our street!
Q. Are linens included?
A. Yes, lots of beach towels, indoor towels and hotel-quality sheets. Each bed has an option of new summer-weight quilts or heavier down/down alternative duvets for each bed. All of our sheets are 400+ thread count. We replace our towels and sheets annually.
*The Captain's Quarters (King bed) is the largest bedroom
* Waterfall (California King) is located next to the waterfall grotto
* Starfish (Queen bed) is the quietest room
* Hemingway (Full bed) is located in its own corner of the house.
* Lido can be used as an optional fifth bedroom. It has doors that open directly onto the pool and a new set of custom set of sliding doors that convert it into a small bedroom for privacy. Located off the kitchen/living area, we use this as an additional hangout area if not needed for a bedroom at night. It features a carved palm wood daybed with pop-up trundle that converts into a king-sized bed or two twins at night.
It's a nice setup for two or three couples or two families sharing as you'll each have your own defined space as the rooms are quite separate from one another.
Q. What infant/kid gear do you have available?
A. We have a full-size high chair, two (2) deluxe Grayco folding cribs, a toddler cot, baby blankets, a toddler-sized pillow, a baby monitor system and a set of kids dining stuff (plates, bowls, cups and utensils). The doors in the Lido Room and the Waterfall bedroom have alarms that can be switched on to emit a piercing sound when opened.
We also have kids books for various ages. There's a child-size table on the deck outside; it can be brought inside. We have indoor toys (including a talking Mickey Mouse!), children's books and loads of pool and beach toys. We have an inflatable baby float and usually have "swimmies" armband inflatables for younger children. Two or three bedrooms come with teddy bears.
**We Want You To Feel Like You've Got Friends with a Beach House**
The house is managed by our 'mom.' She lives just five blocks away. A second manager lives next door, and you call either if you need anything. A state-certified babysitter neighbor and teacher can watch your kids and a professional masseuse lives across the street. Book her for poolside massages! We've also compiled a 20-page guide to the house and island that includes how stuff works, where to find things (e.g. what's the best place to buy wine or seafood?), restaurant recommendations and beyond.