Renting a Home on Vacation: Why Didn’t I Ever Think of That?

When I first started going on vacation in my early 20s, my friends and I always looked for the cheapest, all inclusive places in a warm climate.  I’ve seen most lower budget spots in the Caribbean – Aruba, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Paradise Island, Bahamas, Grenada, Curacao.  Time off and sun were important to me…quality?  Not so much.

I even attended Club Med singles-mingles week in Turks & Caicos.  Don’t ask.

And then things changed.  It just happened to be my 30th birthday and friends invited me to Costa Rica.  NO ALL INCLUSIVE!  No more all you can eat, watery spaghetti over sterno burners.  No more all you can drink budget keg beer.  No horrid music by the pool or aggressive staff members prodding me to join the volleyball game on the Lido Deck.  See a bit of the country.  Do our own thing.

And then another change to my idea of vacation.  I got an invite to meet 8 friends in Sicily at a rented house.   Apparently this has always been very popular with Europeans.  Cook your own meals or eat out when you want, swim in your own pool, stock your full sized refrigerator, peace and quiet when you just want to read, watch the channel you want at the bar because you hold the remote.  Staying at what seemed like a palatial mansion, we even saved money.  And in return gained freedom!

It took me 15 years to do it.  Your learning curve was probably way shorter.  And today, there are SO many options available for your vacation.  AirBNB, VRBO, countless hotel/resorts search engines, travel agents, vacation rental companies, even couch surfing if that is your thing.  You’ve got CHOICES.   And more and more people are asking me about all of them – especially renting a home.

Since I haven’t done much research on it – I decided to attend an open house.  I RSVPed YES to  my first ever open house invitation.   It was held by Sunrise Property Management for a spot at about 4 miles north Ambergris Caye.  A spot called Solaria.

I got a tour of the 3 HUGE villas on the beachfront property.  And if you are coming to Ambergris Caye on vacation with a very large family…or with 2 or three other couples?  This would be a fabulous way to go.

Four or five bedrooms on multiple floors.  All sorts of nooks, crannies, balconies, 2 master bedrooms/villa, bathrooms off every bedroom, large kitchens, great views.  I could get used to this.  Chat with folks in the living room, hide on the back balcony over looking the lagoon for some privacy.

Here are some pictures I took of the properties.

There really isn’t a bad view to be found.

solaria-b-5

Beautiful circular rooms with these gorgeous hardwood ceilings make for more ways to admire that view.

solaria-b-3

There are probably about 8 days a year that I really wish I had a fireplace in Belize.  Here it is!

solariaa-4 solariaa-3 solariaa-2 solariaa-1

Each villa is decorated differently by the owners…

solaria-b-4solaria-b-2 solaria-b-1 solaria-5 solaria-4 solaria-3 solaria-2 solaria-1

Sorry about the long winded opening…but what I’m trying to say is:  whether you are on a budget and want to share a house with 10 friends or you like to go all out when you are on vacation and you value your privacy, skip my learning curve and check out rental condos or rental homes.

I know it doesn’t sound that sexy but it sure is convenient if you can throw in a load of laundry when you are on vacation.

And now if we only had Uber…

One day.

AND, the center villa is for sale.  I loved this one for the views of the lagoon from the back porch and well…for many many many reasons.  Wouldn’t it be luxurious if each of my cats could have their own bed and bath?

Here is the information.

 




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  • erictomlin

    Those units look similar to Indigo Beach Homes/Resort where I rented a huge 3 BR condo with another family – 8 of us total. It was an amazing vacation. We ate in most nights (after exploring the island during the day)…and we saved a good deal of money in the process. We have been doing this for years.

    • Indigo is beautiful – and built/designed by the same woman. It’s a smaller property – with only the 3 villas. And for some, it totally seems the way to go. Get a GORGEOUS spot and save money….not always but for some reason, it never occurred to me.

  • Jim

    A friend of mine owns a unit up there at Solaria and it is really beautiful. These units would certainly make for a memorable vacation and because it is a smaller community in terms of number of units they provide quite a bit of privacy. I’ve never been in a unit at Indigo but I’ve heard good things.

  • Those are lovely. We have enjoyed staying in Airbnb and VRBO condos/homes in several different spots. It is definitely nice to have a kitchen, laundry, etc. vs what you typically get in a hotel. That said, the quality varies tremendously, as does the cost, so read reviews and do your research. We’ve stayed in a couple places that turned out to be pretty close to “dives”, and some that were much more luxurious. Priced accordingly, of course!

  • MattMihaly

    Leaving for Ambergris Caye in the morning, and staying with friends at a rented villa about 3 miles north of town. Can’t wait!