Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Review 2462: Owner, Cedarhouse (#13412)
2bed/2bath house in Longboat Key, Florida
Oct. 20-28, 2006, Eight nights
The Cedarhouse is on the main road of Longboat Key, a barrier island just west of Sarasota. Although the front door faces the road, the entire west side of the house is right on the Gulf of Mexico! Although there are houses on both sides of the Cedarhouse, placement of the houses and the generous vegetation make it easy for you to think all that beach in front of you is yours alone.
Longboat Key is a very upscale area full of luxurious condos but the Cedarhouse was like home.
A shopping center with a Publix supermarket and CVS pharmacy was less than half a mile away, an easy walk on the wide sidewalk which runs the length of the island. There are two restaurants in this area, and several more in both directions on the Key. In addition, St. Armand's Circle, a European-style shopping area only five miles away, is the evening place for dining, window shopping, strolling, and ice cream.
There is a parking area in front of the house for five vehicles. Ramps on the front and back of the house make it handicapped accessible. The front garden is full of bright flowers. When you enter the house, the second bedroom, with two twin beds, is to the left. It is a small bedroom but adequate, and includes a TV with VCR player. There is a bathroom with tub and shower across the hall.
The master bedroom and bathroom are to the right after you enter the house. This is a very large area with a king size bed, two chairs, TV, and plenty of closet space. It is very comfortable and private.
Continuing straight ahead from the entrance door, you're aware of the very welcoming living room you're walking through, but you've already become totally captivated by the Gulf of Mexico spread out before you and all you can do is stare. And maybe say, "Wow."
Then you notice the sectional which sits several people most comfortably (and pulls out to a double sofa bed) and faces a TV with VCR and DVD players, and the large, bright, fully equipped kitchen across from the living room. Moving closer to the rear of the house - and the Gulf - you see the glass table with four chairs and then a large dining room table and china cabinet - and all that glass facing a most wonderful view.
The sliding doors open to a small patio and in a few steps you're at the water! (Chances are also excellent the resident heron will also be there)
There is a raised patio with three or four chairs and then a small ramp down to chaise lounges in the sand. It is very nice and relaxing. There is a BBQ grill and plenty of beach things like umbrellas, water toys, sand toys, floats, etc. There is not a pool - and chances are you won't miss it at all.
Everything is in good shape, comfortable, and clean. This was the fourth time in four years we've rented the Cedarhouse and one day we hosted eleven friends and family members. There was plenty of room for everyone.
The beds and the bathrooms are perfect. There are plenty of extra sheets, blankets, and pillows, and there is a washer and dryer in the utility room off the kitchen.
You could easily cook full meals in the kitchen, and we've done so. There are plenty of plates, glasses, utensils, etc.
Problems or Bonuses
Each year the only surprise is how wonderful it is! If you want total relaxation - and seclusion if you choose it - this is the place! One friend of ours came to visit on the way home from Disney World and said her daughter had enjoyed the beach at our house much more than Disney World! The house and surroundings are extremely child-friendly.
The home is pet-friendly but dogs are not allowed on the beach, although we did see a few.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
There is no on-site person. The owner is a realtor out of state and the key is left in a designated area for each renter. Everything was friendly and easy. My $300 deposit (for damages) was returned to me within a week of our return. Prices vary by season and are published on the vrbo.com site.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
There are simply no words to adequately describe how wonderful this house and location are. I would (and did) recommend this to anyone who loves the beach and the sound of the small surf hitting the sand. Dolphins go by daily, and this year we even saw a manatee. Sitting at the dining room table facing the enormous picture window gives a never-ending, never-boring scene of incredible delight.
I returned home last week and am more than ready to return.
Things to do in this area
The area is a gastronomical and cultural oasis. Plenty of shopping, too. The Ringling Museum of Art is 15 minutes away and there are numerous galleries in Sarasota. We enjoyed every restaurant from the funky waterfront Old Salty Dog to the elegant Mattison's Steakhouse. In between are Cafe on the Bay, Ciao!, Euphemia Haye, Star Fish Company (in nearby Cortez), and the Beach Bistro on Anna Maria Island. It's difficult to plan a meal at home!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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