It pains me to give this beautiful home anything other than a stellar review. The owner, Chris, has been prompt and thorough with communication. The house itself is lovely and in a great location. We had a family of 8, including two children. We chose this property for the number of bedrooms and the private, heated pool. One rainy morning, we opened up the three-bay sliding doors to the deck to expand the living space and hear the rain. This was such a nice feature. The kitchen was big, plenty of space for seating. The pool table in the garage was fun - they even have a TV down there.
Proximity to the beach was ideal, however we ended up driving to the gulf side beach after one day on the bay side beach. We had a 10'x10' canopy for shade and the bay beach was barely wide enough to accommodate it. Bedrooms have cable TV. We had difficulty watching cable on the living room TV - fortunately the techie in the family brought an HDMI cable which fixed the problem. Master bdrm had DVD player but literally no cords/cables to hook to TV. Hair dryer has European plug - bring your own or a global power adapter. Two of the decks on the bay side had comfortable furnishings. The two decks off master had a total of 3 chairs. Quite dismal - so we only used them for drying our towels and suits. You'll want to rent a canopy/umbrella and some beach chairs. There were only 3 chairs in decent condition on the property. The others were broken and/or rusty. They had a small pop-up canopy but no carrier so we couldn't transport it as-is. The little umbrella in the pool area was broken.
Why the 3-star review? After a 17-hour drive from Ohio, my sister-in-law and her husband arrived at 5:00 the day of check-in to find the house a total mess. Nobody had cleaned from the prior renters - dishes filling the sink, dirty linens and trash everywhere. They called Vacasa to get a cleaning crew out and it took them two hours to flip the property. We requested that a manager call us - none did. The day we checked out, I sent an email to Vacasa's headquarters informing them that we had still not heard from anyone. They agreed to remind the AMI office of our request. Over a week later and still no call. I was hoping to hear from them before writing this review but their lack of service negatively impacted our vacation. I detailed our experience with Chris, who seemed grateful for the information.
Tips for future renters:
TripAdvisor is considered a third party. The week prior to your trip, watch for an email from Vacasa with a requirement to agree to their rental terms. We were not expecting this and overlooked it, causing us to miss our deadline, and a manual override during a call to Vacasa was required to gain our entry code.
You will arrive to a completely empty kitchen. This was disappointing as the past few rentals have spoiled us with the benefit of a pantry full of nonperishables such as Ziploc baggies, seasonings, aluminum foil, trash bags, laundry essentials, cooking spray, etc. Vacasa leaves exactly the following for an entire week (not nearly enough): 2 laundry pods (no dryer sheets), 2 packs dishwasher detergent, tiny bottle of dish soap, 6 rolls of toilet paper, 1 trash bag. We spent a small fortune at Publix on these types of items at the island premium prices. If you drive, bring these items to save money and frustration. As a property owner, I would request that the rental company leave these types of items in the pantry as a courtesy to future guests. It's so wasteful not to. Furthermore, the check-out instructions as you to run the dishwasher and start a load of towels, yet they don't leave enough supplies to last until the end of the week.
Also, be sure to rent a golf cart several months in advance. They sell quickly and don't have enough on the island to meet the demand.
Overall, I recommend the home itself but cannot recommend the property management company. We will NEVER again rent a property that is managed by Vacasa.