The Mermaid House is about 10 seconds from the beach by bike, lots of beach gear provided, the house is spacious, homey, and comfortable. Full kitchen, large bathroom, stocked outdoor shower. I spent my summer 2017 vacation there. I liked it so much I came back in August 2018. As animal lovers we especially enjoyed sitting on the patio watching the different species of lizards interact with one another and engage in courtship displays. If you are an animal lover, Manasota Key is the place for you – birds, reptiles, aquatic mammals, fish. I encourage you to stay here on your vacation.
I paid a total of $2,080 (160/night x 13 nights) for a one-bedroom unit that the VRBO listing says sleeps at least 4 people. I told the owner over the phone on 7/25/18 that both my mother and my boyfriend would be staying with me during different parts of my stay. My mother stayed with me the first week of my trip with no problems from the owner. My boyfriend stayed with me the second week.
$600 Charge for My Boyfriend:
On the evening of his 2nd day there, 8/7/18, via text the owner requested an additional $100/night to cover my boyfriend. This added an additional $600 for him to be in the unit, raising the rate 63% to $260/night. The owner’s rationale, explained the next morning, was that the extra $100/night was needed to cover the additional AC, electricity, and water he would use. (Following this logic, a family of four would use $400/day in utilities.) Later in the day she said that the money was for liability purposes. We gave in and paid the extra $600 since we’d likely spend the same on last-minute accommodations, airline change fees, and all the groceries we’d waste. In later communication via text and letter (8/29/18 & 9/4/18), the owner said I voided my lease, but to the best of my knowledge, the lease mentions nothing about overnight guests.
$500 Security Deposit:
One week after check-out, 8/17/18, via text I asked the owner when I should expect the $500 deposit. She texted that we damaged a structural component of her sleeper sofa when one of us slept on it without pulling out the bed. She also texted that the cushions smelled bad and we overloaded the washing machine with beach towels, forcing her to “hand ring [sic] out 4 beach towels.” After deducting her estimated costs to fix the sofa, rent a new one, launder the cushions, taxes, etc., she texted that my return would be $3. On the morning of 8/19/18, she texted that she would return all $500 of my security deposit in installments of $50 over the next 10 months. On 8/29/18 via text I asked when I should receive a check. She texted the costs mentioned above to launder the cushion covers ($150), have her maid take the cushion covers on and off the couch ($100), and fix the sofa ($75), but this time paying for a rental bike ($100) took the place of renting a sofa. My return would be $75. Finally, she texted, “Leave me alone…This is the end. Please do not contact me again.” I received a check on 9/4/18 for $75.
Just because this was our experience does not mean it will be your experience, especially if you go through a service like Airbnb or VRBO rather than contracting with her directly like we did. If things had ended differently, we’d be back for our summer 2019 vacation. We will be on Manasota Key next year, just a few miles north. The Mermaid House is a nice property on a great beach on a great island. I encourage you to check it out.
Where to start?? The very well appointed accommodations in the perfect location with an attentive owner? We are regular beach renters who are searching for the right place to retire. We decided this week it will be on or near Manasota Key!
Darlene, the owner of the Mermaid house has taken great efforts in decorating and maintaining this spacious beautiful island home and it shows in all the gorgeous details. We have often been pleased and sometimes disappointed by past rentals. But never have I been as pleasantly surprised as I was at the Mermaid House. Pics don't do justice here! Darlene took the time to show us around the property. We rented the upstairs which included large living room, beautiful kitchen with modern appliances and granite counters, dining room, 2 bedrooms (the master also has a gorgeous full bathroom with large jetted tub for which bubble bath and bath salts are provided) and an additional full bath. Beautiful pics and decorations throughout.
Steps down the road is the perfect beach and Darlene even manages to improve on this by providing chairs, a wagon, whatever you need. Found tons of unusual shells and sharks teeth daily and saw dolphins during our week.
Nearby restaurants with great food and live music nightly along with several other beaches provide variety. So easy to keep busy here. We will have to return multiple times. In a week, I don't think we came close to covering all our options...in fact we never spent time on the other beaches on the key because the one at the house was so nice.
Hopefully next time we can bring our grown sons. We got to see the downstairs where there are additional accommodations (also very well done) with kitchen, living area, large bedroom and bath.
I could go on and on but ultimately if your looking for a great time at the beach you can't go wrong here!!
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|Check-in / front desk||Service|