©2012 PerryJoseph.com

8.23.2012

Eleuthera Vacation Rentals

Eleuthera vacation rental
Eleuthera Vacation Rental - Palmetto Point
Thinking about renting a vacation rental on Eleuthera or elsewhere in the Bahamas? You may find this interesting reading -- especially if you are looking to spend part of Junior's college fund on a two week romp in paradise.

My wife and I have rented quite a few vacation rentals on Eleuthera as well as Harbour Island and a number of other islands throughout the Bahamas. We are hopeless Bahamas junkies.

I am a photographer and when I am shooting photos on a larger island like Eleuthera, I/we may rent upwards of 4 to 5 different vacation rentals in a period of weeks. This provides me with more immediate access to the various areas of Eleuthera.

But I promised my wife I was not going to talk about photography in this post (darn!) I am going to share some notes on what we learned from our experience renting vacation properties. We recently authored some advice on renting a vacation home on Eleuthera. This can be a real bargain when done right. Much of what we wrote is similar to what you might read elsewhere on the internet. We reconstituted and added points we think are more specific to Eleuthera rentals and renting vacation properties in general.

Eleuthera rental
Eleuthera Rental
Palmetto Point
If you are still interested in this topic, click and read our piece on "Tips for Renting Vacation Rentals by Owner." After that, I will share a few more tips and thoughts.

Our experiences with vacation rentals have ranged anywhere from excellent to near disaster. We have stayed at better than a few dozen homes and visited countless more. Once the bug of "vacation rental" bites, it can be addictive -- especially when the rental is right on the beach! They definitely have some advantages over staying at hotels or resorts on Eleuthera, albeit we stay at those too! We like some of the conveniences, privacy, ambiance and value that vacation homes can offer. The bonus is these vacation homes are in some very amazing locations. Check out our satellite map of Eleuthera rentals and see for yourself.

The focus here is on "value" and what that means. Amongst the pool of rentals throughout Eleuthera, Harbour Island and the Abacos, there are some real cherries to pick from. Many times, it starts with being able to find that unique person or couple who is renting their "vacation home" directly to you. Our definition of "vacation home" is a place where the homeowner lives or visits the house more than a couple of weeks out of the year. In a number of cases, the homeowners aren't necessarily looking to make money from the rental, rather they are looking to help pay down overhead, and perhaps one day, build up enough equity so they can enjoy the gains and benefits at retirement. What typically goes with this mindset is a reasonably maintained vacation home. It's a win-win for both parties.

For us, there are two elements to consider when evaluating vacation rentals: maintenance and cleanliness. "Maintenance" means the plumbing works, the electricity is on, there is running water, etc. We always like to know who fixes what around the rental and make sure we understand exactly what it is going to take to get their attention if the toilet backs up or the refrigerator shuts down. We know where they live, work, and their telephone numbers. Sometimes, we learn who their kids' are and what time they get up and go to bed. When you spend a pretty penny to enjoy a not-nearly-long-enough vacation in paradise, you don't want problems! Maintenance is not something we want to do. We leave that at home.

Eleuthera vacation rental by owner
Vacation Rental by Owner
on Eleuthera Island
The other element of all vacation rentals is "cleanliness" which is usually up to you and whomever the caretaker is. Sometimes you don't always get what you were hoping for -- especially if the caretaker has only a handful of hours to flip xyz rental properties on a Saturday. As a result, we are in the habit of asking the property owners if the caretaker will come clean while we are there and ask how much they charge. If the place isn't quite to our liking when we arrive, we immediately book the caretaker and pay for them come back in a day or so, usually a Monday as most go to church on Sunday. And please! Bring a little extra Mr. Clean! Many (but not all) of the people we have ever worked with are nice people and will bend over backwards for you -- especially for a smile. A little extra money doesn't hurt either. We do both. We're on vacation. Time to spend!


What happens when things aren't right? I'm a photographer. I take photos. If the place truly sucks, I take a lot of photos. I'm also prepared to email the photos to the owner while I'm still on the property if I think it is necessary. Nice to have the right email addresses with you in these events.

We are not afraid to ask for a partial refund if things are sincerely unreasonable and avoidable. Tell home owners right away. We may ask the them to pick up the tab for some extra cleaning. Pictures of vacation rentals in the right places speak a thousand words -- the only caption I have ever had to use is "look at this and tell me what you think." Nothing like having 3 pages of comments from various people saying "yuck" about a property photo on Trip Adviser. Having said that, please don't do this until you've made an earnest attempt to allow a homeowner make good. Saying nasty things about a property on TA or anywhere on the net really should be a last resort. Your exchange should be documented in fairness to you and the owner. It should go without saying, this is an island environment and it is a challenge to keep things running. Don't expect perfect.

While we talk about potential pitfalls with renting a vacation home on Eleuthera, we don't want to be a Debbie Downer either. If you do reasonable homework and you know who you are dealing with, you will likely have a most memorable vacation.

Now where did I leave that Goombay Smash?

pj

©2012 Perry Joseph Photography
Eleuthera on Facebook

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2.29.2012

Eleuthera on Facebook - Why Eleuthera?

Eleuthera on FacebookI'm hosting a Page for Eleuthera on Facebook so it would make it easier to share more of my photos of Eleuthera. I find this is more efficient and effective for that spur-of-the-moment urge to post a picture. Better yet, it gives me an opportunity to get comments from others and meet other Eleuthera fans -- yeah!

I could have provided a forum to augment my website for Eleuthera, but I prefer keeping things more formal there. One of the objectives when I developed Eleuthera-Map.com was to keep the website about the island and not about me. I did not want to assert any claims of authority or ownership on Eleuthera i.e. "my island." Nor did I wish to attach adjectives like "ideal" or "best" when describing the site and its content. Of course, I would use those adjectives to describe the island!

It's no secret; I do not live on Eleuthera. Do you care? (Amazingly enough, some do.) If you're like me, you are a visitor. Maybe it's your first time, maybe 10th. Maybe you go for a week; maybe half a year. I usually go for a month every year. Regardless of how much time we are there, we all share the same passion for Eleuthera -- or you wouldn't be reading this, would you?

Just to clarify a few points for those few who really don't get it -- it's not your island, it's God's island and there's no better authority than the Man -- he's been there the longest.

I simply enjoy sharing the passion with others who do get it -- Eleuthera is a very cool island! Do I hear an "Amen"?

So if you got this far and you get what I'm saying, then you definitely want to visit the new FB Page for Eleuthera I am hosting and share the love. Even better, click the "Like" button at the top of the Page and leave a comment on the Wall that say's "I get it!" Hope to see you there.

Bring some sunscreen!

pj

Eleuthera on Facebook
©2012 PerryJoseph.com

2.04.2012

Eleuthera Hospitality

Rose Gibson from EleutheraMy friend Rose Gibson serves up fresh hospitality in the kind of authentic Bahamian atmosphere that keeps me coming back for more. It's that perfect combination of good food and that laid back "Eleuthera island time" atmosphere -- all on a gorgeous beachfront setting that makes you want to stay forever. You have the dog, Teddy, the cat, Joey and Miss Rose, the inn keeper and cook who knows both her Bahamian and Gospel tunes. I just love sitting at the dining table and listening to Rose tell stories about Eleuthera and the Bahamas.

Fishing on EleutheraGood friend Ralph Butler joined me on one of my treks to Eleuthera and Northside Inn and we had a blast. Ralph is big on shore fishing and found good fishing right in front of the Inn. Ralph is a pro at being able to use minimal tackle coupled with the right bait. Ralph's trick is to use a "doughnut" and line that he gets from the local tackle and bait shops on Eleuthera. Yo Ralph! It's squid that really works for bait, right? Right... He's not telling... But I can tell you about the nearby fishing tackle and bait shop: it's called "Eleuthera Fish Farm Supplies" and it's on Queen's Highway in Rock Sound, 2 blocks down from the Scotia Bank. Tell them "Ralph" sent you. They won't remember him but what the heck.

Northside Inn Hotel on Eleuthera Northside Inn is a small Eleuthera resort that offers your basic vacation accommodations. Rose has a series of cottages, one of which is a two room and the others are single. The essentials are there: small fridge, little sink, small amount of pantry space, toaster, microwave, small table and chairs, etc.

The best elements are the beautiful location, the cleanliness of the rooms, excellent rates (we're talking beachfront!) and the privilege of staying at Rose's place -- you won't go hungry. I particularly liked the surrounding beaches and there are plenty of photo ops. We're talking fairly reasonable access to all of the South Eleuthera points of interest including famous Lighthouse Beach.

Joey the Cat on EleutheraOkay, so this may not be party central on Eleuthera, but you are certainly welcome to make your own. Ralph and I spent some time playing a ring toss game in the dining room where you swing a ring on a string hung from the ceiling and try to hang it on a hook on the post. Ralph was pretty good -- I sucked. The real winner was Rose's cat Joey. Of course, it's not fair competing with a cat who gets a lot more practice. Perhaps you think this is a little boring at this point, but if I didn't tell you this, you'd be missing the underlying story of how simple life can really be on an island. Who needs PlayStation at this rate? Or is it I'm just that easily entertained? Don't answer that!

Want to read more about Rose and Northside Inn? I did an informal review of Northside Inn Restaurant and an interview with Rose the last time I was down. It's in the Eleuthera Reviews section of my website. Next time you are down on the island, set enough time aside to pay a visit to Rose's Northside Inn Restaurant for lunch or dinner. Pass the conch fritters please!

One other note before I leave. I know my blog posts have been a little sporadic, but it's simply an issue of having enough time. I am going to make an earnest attempt to add new blog material sooner rather than later as I do have more to share in this format. If you get starved for more Eleuthera in the meantime, or just miss my rants, you can check out my Facebook Page on Eleuthera where I share some of my photos. Please join us if you have the chance. Love to hear from other fans of "Elutra!"

pj

©2012 Perry Joseph Photography