We chose this property ("Villa Chez Shell") after staying at a house a block away with the same floor plan. I selected this one over the other one because this pool seemed a little more kid-friendly (I have a three-year old who appreciated the larger "shelf" in the pool, which served as a nice wading area) and the interior of the house seemed newer. It was well worth a few extra dollars.
The interior seemed newly remodeled and newly redecorated. It was bright and airy with tastefully put together decor (beach, shells). The owners (or their decorator) seemed to have put a lot of thought into making everything look relaxing, crisp and welcoming.
My husband, daughter and I ended up hosting extended family for a few days, so it was the perfect spot to get locals and out-of-towners together. We made good use of the pool and the BBQ grill, and went to the beach every day.
The pool, with the lovely swim-up tiki bar, was relaxing and I loved the landscaping around it. While there are next door neighbors, you literally couldn't see the other properties because the pool is surrounded by tropical plants and trees.
The bedding was comfortable and we appreciated the flat screen TVs in each room--the layout allowed for the right amount of "together" and "alone" time with other family.
This location is so perfect because it's only a couple of blocks to Holmes Beach (which I would argue is the best stretch of sand on AMI) and the Beach Cafe and also only a couple of blocks to the grocery store (Publix) and drug store (CVS).
We had rental bikes delivered to the house and rode around quite a bit through the neighborhoods and near the shore.
I appreciated a call from the owner mid-way through our stay--just checking in to make sure everything went well.
A good friend of mine recommended Anna Maria Island for its beaches, laid-back vibe (never overcrowded like other Florida beaches), and family-friendly atmosphere. I've been happy with renting homes versus staying in a motel or hotel (there really aren't any) or even a condo (where you're paying about the same without as much privacy).
I was thrilled with choosing this spot--it was a nice haven to get away from the noise of every day life and spend quality time with my family.
During our stay, I learned that the owners were making enhancements to the property by building in a game room, with activities for kids of all ages.
We hope to return next year!
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