Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Africa Vacation in a Tiwi Beach Holiday Cottage

Tiwi Beach is one of the remaining non-commercial beaches in the Southern Coast of Kenya, which extends from the bustling port city of Mombasa down to Tanzania. Here you will find a charming holiday beach cottage to let by the owner. This fully equipped Tiwi Beach holiday cottage, is located on a shared property and comprises two floors. It features a master bedroom with a four-poster 'Lamu' style bed, and its own upstairs verandah. There is also a room downstairs with two single beds and a separate toilet/shower so the cottage can comfortably accommodate 4 people. There is a fully-equipped kitchen including a fridge, cooker, and microwave, for you to prepare your own meals.
Enjoy the lovely swimming pool, along with the pristine beach with access to beach bars, surfing, diving, and other water sports. Nearby are coral pools accessible during low tide where various marine creatures can be viewed at close quarters.

Located on the Indian Ocean, the gorgeous community of Tiwi Beach offers peace and tranquility to the weary traveler. The beaches are bordered by lush green coastal rainforests with prolific bird life and a variety of wildlife including baboons, rare colobus monkey and even leopard. As a contrast a very vibrant night life is only 15 minutes drive away at the more well known but 'commercial' Diani Beach.

Also close to this Tiwi Beach holiday cottage is the famous Forty Thieves Beach Bar, Ali Bharbours Cave Restaurant and many others, world class 18-hole Championship Golf Course and old towns with medieval streets and bustling markets.
Inland, the fertile hinterland of Kwale District consists of small villages inhabited by the Wakamba, Digo and Duruma tribes.

Further south, the small fishing village of Shimoni is home to a series of deep mysterious coastal caves. Shimoni is also an excellent base for big game fishing in the waters of the Pemba Channel.
For your next vacation in Kenya, Africa, consider booking this Tiwi Beach Holiday Cottage, as your home away from home as you explore this fascinating area.

We invite you to leave a comment if you have anything to share with us about an Africa vacation in Tiwi Beach or area.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hawaii Legislature SB750 Regarding Transient Accommodation Taxes

The following request was sent by one of our Hawaii owners regarding SB 750. Please read this if you are a Hawaii vacation rental owner as it will impact all owners in the state of Hawaii should it be passed. If you have a rental in another part of the world, you still may want to support this issue and fax letters. If vacation rental owners band together as a strong voice, there will be enough precedents set, worldwide which will help to dissolve any future issues. Please read the sample letter as presented below and the examples of points you can make in your letter. There are fax numbers below for faxing your letters, so that your voices can be heard.

We are getting the word direct from the sources at the capitol that SB 750 (which allows the State to give TAT (transient accommodation tax) information to the County for the purpose of seeking non permitted TVRs(transient vacation rentals) and B&Bs) may be shelved. There is a debate right now on whether to continue with hearings.
They were impressed with the number of letters sent by us for the last hearing. However, our opponents are writing letters right now to the WAM (Ways and Means Committee) supporting this bill. These opponents are mainly the County and pals of Keep it Kailua.
We have to do the same with a carload of letters from our side, but Opposing this bill. We have to show there are more of us. Politicians count votes.
This committee is very powerful and is about economics and environment. Keep to this subject. Write: "I am against (or opposed) to SB 750" in your First sentence. Make it just a few sentences. Please sign name, and give address. I have written a "Sample" letter for all of you. You can copy the letter below and insert one or more of the following sentences after the first sentence.
Then fax to each of the Committee Members below. These must be received by Wednesday!!! No later!!! We are hoping that the influx of letters will cause them to throw out this Bill.

Senator Rosalyn H. Baker, Chairperson
Senate Ways and Means Committee
FAX 586-6071 REF: SB 750

Dear Senator Baker,
I am opposed to Senate Bill SB 750 . It is an invasion of privacy to share state tax information with the County. We want to continue to work with the City and County to create a positive environment through regulations, instead of a hostile environment between neighbors in the communities.

Your Name
City, State Zip Code
Phone number

Some of the points to include after the first sentence....
· We want to continue to work with the City and County to create a positive environment through regulations, instead of a hostile environment between neighbors in the communities. · Economically, it will also benefit the small businesses in the communities.
· By working with the City and County, we can control impact with off street parking, permit fees and taxes.
· By passing this bill, you will only benefit a small group. Their only attitude, I win, you lose!
· It is a waste of money in litigations. Catching someone is only half of the problem.
· To put this bill into place will take a year of tax dollars, public hearings and set ups for all four counties.
· Senior citizens who have B&BS will be economically independent and able to stay in their homes. This bill does nothing for them. This is an impossible task.

There is no way to determine from a TAT license who is renting for less than 30 days. Why would the State want to risk losing millions in tax revenues by eliminating such a lucrative tourist industry? Please write for your friends and families. Have them okay and sign the letters. Individual letters count. Include your telephone numbers and addresses. Just reword or make a few points in each letter. They will count the letters and note the first sentence.
Save your letters because if they do decide to have a hearing they will need to be sent again. Be prepared to attend if a hearing is announced. I hope that we will intimidate them enough with our letters that they shelve this bill. Our first line of defense for killing this Bill is our voices, being heard through letters. Note that we have included a fax to the Governor.
If you want a letter written for you to sign let me know.
Below are the names and faxes. Please include title of Chair for Senator Baker and Vice Chair for Senator Tsutsui. All others address as Senator, name and member of Ways and Means Committee.
Governor Linda Lingle- FAX-586-0006
Senator Rosalyn H. Baker- Chair- FAX-586-6071
Senator Shan S. Tsursui- Vice Chair- FAX-586-7348
Senator Chun Oakland-FAX-586-6131
Senator J. Kalani English-FAX-587-7230
Senator Carol Fukunaga-FAX-586-6899
Senator Gary L. Hooser-FAX- 586-6031
Senator Donna Mercado Kim-FAX-587-7205
Senator Ron Menor-FAX-586-6829
Senator Jill N. Tokuda-Fax-587-7220
Senator Paul Whalen-FAX-586-9391

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bill to Control Maui Vacation Rentals Shelved

In today's Maui News, February 16th, the following article is of great interest to owners of Maui Vacation Rentals, but also to vacation rental owners in other parts of the world who are fighting similar battles with their city councils.

"WAILUKU – A long-debated bill to regulate vacation rentals was killed Thursday by the County Council Planning Committee, after committee members agreed the proposal on the table just didn’t have enough community support.
The proposed bill sought to establish standards and policies for vacation rentals and bed-and-breakfasts, and to clarify and streamline permitting procedures." Read More

Oahu vacation rental owners have been facing similar problems discussed in detail in New Hawaii Bills For Vacation Rentals. The good news is that for now the issue in Maui has been shelved, and they have decided that because some of the county districts such as Hana, Molokai and Lanai were disappointed because they did not get a chance to express their views on vacation rentals, that the next draft should accommodate their preferences as well.

The article ends on an encouraging note by David Dantes of the Maui Vacation Rental Association who agreed that the policy needs more study. He says "I'm hoping that in future discussions everyone can look at the issues and problems from one side." and further "We all want to be happy. We all want to live together, and we need to find ways of doing that."

We encourage your comments on this article. So for now Maui Vacation Rentals are alive and well!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Scam Targeting Owners of US Vacation Rentals

Scam artists have not yet given up on attempts to try their luck at sending fraudulant cashier's checks to vacation rental owners.
While many of our owners can usually indentify these scams there are still cases of owners who have almost been out of pocket. Even experienced owners who have been renting their homes for years, sometimes are taken in by some of the more cleverly written ones.
We recently sent a warning to our members regarding an email sent to some of our owners of United States vacation rentals. The content of this very suspicious inquiry was as follows:

I will want to rent this house for friends who will bestaying there for thierhoneymoon ,it's my gift to them since iwont beable to attend thier wedding,3rd march-18 march 2007 is the expected time frame,please advice.
Dr Stanley Stanford."

One of our owners of a vacation rental in Humacao Puerto Rico wrote us the following letter relating an experience that he would like to share with us:

"I think it is great that Ideal Vacation Rentals is sending warnings of scams. Better to have warnings than problems or even inconveniences from these. I have a fraudulent $5000 check pinned to my wall which came from Africa but was drawn on a bank in Indiana. It looks most convincing. The preceding correspondence was convincing for awhile as well.
Renters should all work together to defeat these scams. I applaud your effort. Here's the version of your noted scam that reached me. I'd played "tennis" with these guys this week, before deciding they were up to something. Note the reference to credit card payment, when I gave up on them I believe they were about to change to a check payment, but it began to smell bad, so I dropped out.
You may post this to your blog if you like.
Jim Meighan"

The following is the scam that he almost fell for:

I enquire for reservations for 3 couples coming for their honey moon at your property,I would like you to get back to me with the following.
1. The availability of the dates
2. The Daily cost for the required dates
3. The total cost for the lenght of their stay.
4. Do you accept credit card payment.
5.the total cost of the 3 rooms for 15 days. The arrival date for the couples will be 31st May and they will depart on 15th june 2007 ,

Their stay will last for 15 days. do get back to me with the requirements as stated above.

Kindest Regards,
Dr.Kevin Doyle
Mobile:+44 70457 07507
Voice Msg:+447005938339"

In conclusion just remember not to ever send any money back as a refund, unless you are sure that the original check has cleared the bank. For frequently asked questions on this topic read Internet Fraud Targets Vacation Rental Industry.

Please comment on this blog if you have similar stories to share with us.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Puerto Rico for Vacation Rentals

On Januay 23, 2007 the US. Department of Homeland Security declared that U.S. citizens traveling by air between the U.S., and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid U.S. passport. However, U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands will not be affected by these new security measures because they are part of the U.S. Commonwealth. Analysts say as a result Puerto Rico will likely experience a jump in bookings with losses expected elsewhere. Many people who don’t want to wait for passports are heading to Puerto Rico for the perfect vacation (in vacation rentals).

The island offers just about everything, from sandy beaches, golf, water sports, night life, shopping and hiking in the island’s mountainous interior. The waves off the coast attract surfers from around the world and the deep sea fishing and scuba diving are excellent. The waters around the island offer an abundance of caves, coral reefs and deep trenches to explore.

There are many vacation rentals available in Puerto Rico, and a few different places to visit including San Juan, El Yunque, Vieques Island and many beaches such as Loiza Beach, and Luquillo. San Juan is the capital and largest city on the island and Isla Verde is the “Las Vegas” of San Juan, with its resorts, restaurants and nightlife. In contrast, old San Juan is the historic district containing over 400 restored buildings and is partially surrounded by 17th century walls. Old San Juan is very pleasant to visit and to take a stroll, with its small cafes, shops and balconied houses.

El Yunque is well known for its natural attractions and is the only rain forest in the United States, located in the Luquillo Mountains. This area hosts 240 species of tropical trees, and through its forests offers miles of different hiking trails. In this area not to be missed are the awesome caves at Rio Cumay. Ideal Vacation Rentals offers a two bedroom Rainforest Vacation Home located on 5 acres of the foothills of the northern part of El Yunque.

About seven miles east of the big island of Puerto Rico lies Vieques, an island with about 9,300 inhabitants and famous for its white sand beaches. From the second World War until 2003, 2/3 of the long island was controlled by the United States military forces, however much of the government owned land is now leased for cattle grazing.

The best natural attractions on the island just may be the beaches, which are the reason many people visit. A vacation rental on or near the coast gives you the opportunity to experience some of the loveliest beaches in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico is rich with sandy beaches and Luquillo
Beach is the island’s best and most popular public stretch of sand. Luquillo beach is about 30 miles from San Juan and is known for its beautiful white sand and lagoon containing crystal water, making it ideal for families. Consider this Luquillo Penthouse Condo for your next visit to Puerto Rico.
If you have any suggestions for a vacation rental in Puerto Rico, we invite you to comment on this blog.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Valentine's Special At Florida Cape San Blas Vacation Home

In honour of St. Valentine's Day, this Florida Cape San Blas vacation home is offering a special for the whole of February. Take advantage of these great rates (only $700/week) and enjoy a romantic, peaceful get-a-way with your sweetheart.

This Cape San Blas vacation home has wonderful views of Gulf and St. Joseph's Bay.
Cape San Blas is a narrow strip of land jutting out into the Gulf, with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and St. Joseph's Bay on the other.

This affordable vacation home is professionally furnished and decorated, almost new, and has a view of the Bay from one deck and of the Gulf from the other deck. It is in a secluded area with no high-rises or "bright lights". The house is completely furnished including linens, well equipped kitchen with more than ample cooking utensils and dinner service for 12. The three bedroom home rental has accommodations including one king size bed, one queen bed and queen size sofa bed in living room. There is a recliner for "the man of the house".
For those interested in golf the home is conveniently located close to St. Joseph's Bay Country Club.
To see more information and photos and to take advantage of this Valentine's Special go to Cape San Blas Vacation Home.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Barbados Beachfront Vacation Condo

Following our blog about a vacation rental guest book, being the Best Vacation Travel Guide we received terrific feedback from owners telling about all the wonderful comments in their guest books. One of the owners has a beachfront vacation condo in Barbados, a place we would like to feature today for anyone looking for a Barbados Vacation Rental.
Situated in Holetown on the fashionable west coast, this one bedroom beachfront luxury condo has a spacious living/dining room and fully equipped kitchen with microwave, toaster, coffee maker etc. There is a full bathroom with dressing area, and maid service is included.

A large comfortably furnished balcony overlooks the beach and calm Caribbean, providing fabulous views both day and night. Outside there is a tropical garden and freshwater pool. The condo is conveniently located and is only a four minute walk to shopping centre, bars, restaurants, banks. CAR NOT NEEDED! It is 28 km from the airport and close to all tourist attractions. More info

The comment below from the owner of this home, contains quotes from actual guests who have stayed in this wonderful Barbados Beachfront Vacation Condo.

"We have found our guest book to be an absolutely wonderful "selling" asset, - folks read the comments from previous visitors and after dozens and dozens of "thanks for sharing your home with us" and "what an absolutely perfect location, we have never stayed anywhere as near to the sea before, and we will certainly come back again" plus comments such as -"we had a real ball, and can't wait to tell our friends what a super spot you have - you are so lucky to spend so much time there" etc. - plus "what wonderful people we met, how kind and helpful every one was and how well we were looked after" etc. etc. no wonder that prospective guests feel secure in the idea of spending a holiday at condo #1, - one family who were booked in from our ad on Ideal Vacation Rentals - was the Thomas family - they sent us an email which said in part "What can we say - A FANTASTIC time. Condo was excellent, weather hot, people really friendly. The island was more than we expected. THANK YOU more than ever for giving us our dream holiday. We would certainly recommend it to anyone" - so do read our guestbook on our website at - it is really informative and it is fantastic to get such great 'feedback" from visitors."
What better advertising can you get than the experiences of real guests!!

Friday, February 2, 2007

New Hawaii Bills for Vacation Rentals

Please read this if you own a vacation rental anywhere on the Hawaiian Islands as it affects all vacation rental owners in the state of Hawaii.

Vacation rental owners need to know:
These two bills just came to the attention of a few vacation rental owners late last night (at the closing of the Kailua Neighborhood Board meeting). Apparently we have today in order to submit as much written testimony as possible and to rally people to attend an 8:30 a.m. hearing Saturday morning.

1. State representative Pono Chongs House Bill (HB) 1603
HB-1603 - Relating to Transient Accomodations
Requires each county to assess the extent of proliferation of illegal bed and breakfast establishments and other illegal transient vacation rentals and create a countywide plan to deal with illegal actiites and report to the legistlature. Bill also requires counties to increase enforcement.

This bill is scheduled for a hearing at 8:30 a.m., FEBRUARY 3 in ROOM 325. ALL TESTIMONY IS DUE IN BY FEBRUARY 02, 007.

2. State Senator Fred Hemmings Senate Bill (SB) 1295
SB1295: relating to Visitor Accomodations. Authorizes the state and counties to determine a finite number of visitor accomodations of all types (hotel rooms, B&B's, TVA's and time shares), to issue a state license and to fine illegally operating rental units. This legislation would not peempt any existing county zoning laws or ordinances regulating the maximum number zoned and allowed by each county. This will stabilize the total number of visitors on the islands at one time and the counties will need to address the carrying capacity for reach county. In no way will this legistlation supercede county rules and regulations and home rule. Operators of legal rental units will see increased demand and productivity since there will be a finite number of accomodations. The laws of supply and demand will work to the advantage of the industry's productivity.

Fax written testimony to: 586-6501 Cover page should include the following, To: House of Rep. Sergeant of Arms, Attention Committee for Tourism and Culture, Vice Chair Tom Brower, HB 1603, Hearing Feb 3, 2007,8:30 AM, Rm 325.

Vacation rental owners/supporters are asked to make an appearance Saturday, Feb. 3 at the Capital building, Rm 325 at 8:30 AM.

Visit the following website for more information on this issue: