Vacation Rental Management

Discover the Historic Charm of Downtown Stillwater, MN

As we approach autumn’s peak here in the Twin Cities, we eagerly prepare for an influx of late September and early October “leaf peepers.” In the midst of fall, the lush forestry that’s scattered all across the numerous Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods transforms into an awe-inspiring, picturesque blend of crimson, amber, marigold, and kelly green. And one of the most popular fall destinations here in Minnesota is Stillwater, a historic, charming town along the serene St. Croix River. For those who don’t already know, Stillwater is approximately 17 miles northeast of our state’s capital (St. Paul). Downtown Stillwater, in particular, is a tourist hub for travelers from across the Midwest. You’ll discover countless shops, restaurants, bars, and parks all within walking distance of each other. And one of the grandest Twin Cities rentals (210 Laurel) rests just three city blocks from the heart of Downtown Stillwater. The Very Best of Downtown Stillwater Here at Elite Destination Homes, we specialize in providing first-rate service, complimentary concierges, and, of course, lavish vacation homes. And, to ensure that your next visit to the Twin Cities is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best things to do in [...]

A South of France Culinary Tour | Finding the Best Eze Restaurant

Hidden along the jaw-dropping shoreline of the French Riviera rests an ancient village with some of the most beautiful Mediterranean Sea views and a diverse, extravagant culinary scene. Eze, France, is perfectly located in-between the ever-popular seaside cities of Monte Carlo and Nice, so you’ll always be a short drive from world-class museums, casinos, palaces, and so many more genuinely awe-inspiring spectacles. Every five-star Eze restaurant has a unique menu, atmosphere, and visual appeal. Whether you’re hoping to savor authentic, wood-fired pizza, succulent bavette, or hazelnut-crusted veal, you’ll never forget your culinary voyage through the South of France. An Eze Restaurant Guide To ensure that your well-deserved escape to the French Riviera is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled our three favorite local restaurants. Yes, each award-worthy Eze restaurant serves delicious gourmet cuisine, but these three selections see less foot traffic while also offering slightly lower prices than many of the area’s hotel dining rooms. Château Eza If you’re aiming to indulge in fine French cuisine while reveling in the wonderment of the Cote d’Azur, then look no further than Château Eza’s Gourmet Restaurant. Yes, the 180-degree views of the Mediterranean’s azure blue waters are spellbinding, but the fresh fish [...]

A Travel Guide to Dominical, Costa Rica

We’re approaching Costa Rica’s “green season,” which is the ideal time of the year to explore this beautiful country’s lush countryside, pristine beaches, and diverse rainforests. Traveling to a foreign country requires a lot of research and planning, which is why created this handy travel guide for all future guests. And luckily for you, Casa Big Sur, one of our luxurious ocean-view homes in Costa Rica, is minutes away from the area’s best attractions, beaches, and restaurants. Keep reading to learn about Dominical’s many family-friendly activities! Top Things to Do in Dominical, Costa Rica There’s a whole new world to discover in Dominical for those who haven’t had the pleasure of leaping off a rushing waterfall, exploring a pristine rainforest, and meeting adorable jungle animals in their natural habitat. When you’re not soaking in your lavish, ocean-view infinity pool, enjoying a glass of wine on your private balcony, and cooking an authentic Costa Rican meal in your gourmet kitchen, we recommend embarking on a short journey to these fantastic attractions: Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Corcovado National Park Finca 6 Marino Ballena National Park Nauyaca Waterfalls Parque Reptilandia Sierpe Mangrove Outdoor Activities Whether you’re a self-proclaimed outdoor enthusiast or just looking for [...]

Family Friendly Homes at Elite Destination Homes

Elite Destination Homes isn’t just for couples or groups of friends. Bring the whole family and experience a fantastic vacation with everyone! No need to leave the kids at home with a babysitter, let them join you on your getaway of a lifetime. Here are our favorite family-friendly villas to enjoy your Elite rental.   Orlando Family Vacation Ready for your Florida vacation? Our Lakeland Estate is perfect for families! Not only does it have four bedrooms, accommodating up to nine people, but one of the bedrooms is a kids room. It will be hard to pull your children away from this rental; the kid's room comes fully stocked with PS4 console and games, bunk beds, and there is a full basketball court outside. Plus, this estate is only a few minutes away from fun in Orlando. Experience Legoland, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Seaworld (15-45 minutes depending on location) when staying at this fantastic home.   The Rich Coast Our Casa La Big Sur is located in Costa Rica and ideal for families or gatherings. Designed with beautiful coastline views in mind, everyone will enjoy the coast when visiting. On 9 acres of land and gated, this home [...]

The most expensive vacation of my life. And worth every dollar.

We loaded up the SUV with the family one early Friday morning over Labor Day weekend and began our journey from Las Vegas for our first Southern Utah vacation.  As we wound our way up through SR 14, just outside of Cedar City, we came upon these towering bright red, pink, and orange rock formations of Cedar Breaks National Monument. The Indians called this millions of years old formation the "Circle of Painted Cliffs."  After taking in the beautiful rocks, we continued our journey up to the peak of the mountain pass. Once we reached the summit I checked my altitude smartphone app and it read 10,020 ft. We rolled down the windows to inhale the crystal clear air and the aroma of subtle pine – and you can definitely feel the thin air at that altitude. As we began our descent from the peak, we viewed the diversity of the Southern Utah landscapes as we passed by giant volcanic fields, birch and aspen trees, as well as alpine lakes and streams. We made a quick stop just before Duck Creek Village to watch a fly fisherman reel in a beautiful rainbow trout. As we made our way to our [...]

How to Manage a Vacation Rental Property

By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management Vacation homeowners can easily become overwhelmed by the task of figuring out how to manage a vacation rental property. So, we suggest taking it one step at a time, getting the foundational elements in place and operationalizing every aspect you can. Create a Budget The first step in our list of how to manage a vacation rental property is creation of a budget. It is important that you account for utility bills, property maintenance, housekeeping, household supplies, and the inevitable wear and tear on furniture, electronics, and appliances. Set your rates after analyzing similar houses in the market and project your income taking into account the weeks you will be using your home and the occupancy rate you believe you will achieve. House Readiness Running a successful vacation home management business is dependent upon ensuring an exceptional guest experience. So, make sure your home is ready for rental guests. Lock your personal items in a storage closet. Determine how you will stock and stage your home for each rental. Create a checklist to use prior to each guest’s visit. You want to make sure everything is in working order and fully stocked. Create a manual [...]

Vacation Home Management – Ensuring an Exceptional Guest Experience

By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management Out of all that goes into running a successful vacation home management business, nothing is more important than providing an exceptional guest experience. While it’s your home that will draw them in, it’s the experience that will bring them back and produce the rave reviews that draw others to you. Ensuring an exceptional experience is all about attention to detail and fostering a personal relationship. Vetting Guests It’s important to make sure that your home is right for the guest and that the guest is right for your home. For this reason we recommend talking to each guest on the phone at least once during the process. Are they a family with small children?  If so, is your pool and patio area kid friendly? You’re not just selling them a place to sleep, you’re helping plan for a memorable vacation experience, so ensuring a good match is critical. Confirm All Details Three Times There are a lot of details involved in vacation home management. Getting a date wrong or neglecting to follow up on a special request can wreak havoc on a family’s vacation. That’s why we consider it best practice to verify all details [...]

The 5 Pillars of Successful Vacation Rental Management

By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management Many vacation homeowners are intrigued by the prospect of entering the world of vacation rental management. The idea of developing a new revenue stream and offsetting mortgage and home maintenance costs is quite attractive. To determine if this is viable for you and your home, we have come up with the five pillars of successful vacation rental management. 1. Location, Location, Location We’ve all heard this before, but what does it truly mean? Your home may be lovely, but the marketability of it as a vacation rental is completely dependent upon the desirability of its location.  If the area you are in isn’t known as a vacation destination, you are going to have a hard time renting it out. If you’re uncertain, Trip Advisor annually publishes a list of top destinations chosen by their travelers. You can also check for listings in your area on HomeAway and VRBO. Seeing full calendars is a good sign that you too can enter the vacation rental management business. 2. Proximity to Amenities & Attractions Unfortunately just being in a fantastic resort destination isn’t good enough. If you’re near the ocean, renters will be looking for a beachfront villa. [...]

Vacation Rental Pros and Cons

By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management The vacation rental industry is growing with more travelers choosing vacation rentals over hotels than ever before (49% according to Trip Advisor.) As a result more and more homeowners are choosing to rent out their luxurious vacation homes. If you are considering this option, we have a list of vacation rental pros and cons that will help guide you to the right decision when determining how to best enter the vacation rental market. Vacation Rental Pros: There are many upsides to renting out your vacation home. 1. Leverage Unused Time For Income There are likely many days and weeks that your vacation home is left unoccupied. If you decide to start a vacation rental business you will reap the benefits of watching your home’s previously unused time turn into cold hard cash.  It’s this financial upside that is clearly first on the list of vacation rental pros. 2. Offset Mortgage Expenses Turning your vacation home into a revenue stream can serve as a great way to offset your mortgage and maintenance expenses. According to HomeAway, 49% of homeowners report that their rental income covers at least three-quarters of their mortgage payments. This additional income can [...]

Four Partners Essential To Building A Successful Vacation Rental Business

By Elite Destination Homes | Vacation Rental Management The vacation rental business is growing at a rapid pace and can serve as a great way to offset a vacation homeowner’s mortgage and maintenance costs. However, homeowners may shy away because of the hours required to manage bookings and the effort needed to meet the demands of this complex industry. Good news, there are a number professionals you can partner with that will make diving into the vacation rental business much less daunting. Property Manager – Ensures Your Home is 100% Guest Ready Choosing someone to manage the maintenance of your home will be crucial to the success of your vacation rental business. Your property manager will oversee housekeeping and handle all property maintenance. They should be well connected in the area as they will be helping you hire and manage the housekeeper, pool service, exterminator, landscaper, air-conditioning service, etc., They will ensure any repairs are taken care of and that household supplies are in stock. We recommend you build a house inventory that can serve as their shopping list for getting your home set-up. Then, have the property manager use it as checklist after every guest visit to assess for damages and ensure [...]