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“Great house, kayaks included, quiet neighborhood...”

Review of Fishbowl Unit

Front of home with car port
Bookings for this home are first-come, first served. Lock in your dates before they are gone
Front of home with car port
2 Kakaks provided for this house right on the canal back yard with kayaks, chairs and fire pit
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Very good
6 reviews
Front of home with car port
2 Kakaks provided for this house right on the canal
back yard with kayaks, chairs and fire pit
Living room with TV, DVD player, internet access etc
Dining room that seats six looking into kitchen
View from kitchen into dining area and living area
Open living area looking thru to screened in Florida room
First bedroom with double bed, twin bed over double pull out futon
Second bedroom with queen bed
Bath room with linen closet
Screened in Florida room with additional dining area, over looking back yard next to water
Sitting area in Florida room
Favorite Florida State Park within a few minutes walk from rental home
Swim with manatees with Bird's Underwater discounted with home rental
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 5
Homosassa, Florida

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 6 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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AndersenR...
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great house, kayaks included, quiet neighborhood - idyllic!”
Reviewed 1 July 2015 for a stay in June 2015
1
person found this review helpful

My husband and I spent 5 nights here with our 3 kids aged 14, 4 and 1. The house was perfect for us and the management thru Birds Underwater company was excellent. We had a change in our plans and ended up in the area 24 hours earlier than I had planned. I called the dive shop and asked if we could add a day and they were able to accommodate us easily. Since we were arriving late I was given the lock box code and address over the phone and we let ourselves in.

What sold me on this property over others I looked at was the fact that kayaks were included with the rental fee. I was told to write what types of kayaks (single vs. double) and how many on the bottom of my rental agreement before returning it and they would make sure to have them there. Even with us coming in a day early the kayaks were there waiting for us in the back of the house. Paddles, life jackets and any other accessory you might want were found in the utility closet. Those kayaks made the vacation for my family as we were out on the river every day multiple times a day to see the wildlife that is abundant in that area. Even though we were there in June (which is not the high season) we saw wild manatees in several different areas, alligators, wood ducks, turtles, various birds and my husband and son got to see dolphins right off the dock in the backyard (I was in the shower, dang it!!)

The house itself is on the small side but that was not a problem for us. The kitchen/dining area/living room is one large L shaped room with the two bedrooms and one bathroom off the living side. There's screened porch off the kitchen side with a glass sliding door between. One bedroom has a double bed and bunk that is twin on top and double futon on bottom. There's a closet in this room but the doors and bar have been removed and a tiered shelf sits in the space along with a wire mannequin thing that I wasn't sure of it's purpose... I piled hats on it's head... the shelving unit had extra blankets and pillows on it as did the dresser in the drawers. There was an air mattress rolled up in the corner of the closet area but I'm not sure where one could have put it since there really wasn't an available floor space to air it up.

The other bedroom had a queen bed, a TV stand with drawers and a TV. To be honest I didn't look for a closet in there but I don't think there was one.

The bathroom had a tub and shower plus the toilet and sink of course and a very full linen closet. It was very nice to see all those towels for use. There was also large bottles of generic shampoo and conditioner in the shower which I found to be very considerate. The shower doors are those sliding glass kind and apparently installed on a mild angle as they liked to both slide one way leaving the showering individual exposed.... not a huge problem, just an FYI to those with children like mine who hunt you down every 2 minutes.

The kitchen was well stocked with utensils, dishes, cookware and pretty much anything you could want unless you're some kind of professional chef. I would have liked to see a few plastic cups for my kids but we brought their water bottles and I could have gone out and bought disposables so not a big deal to me... caused my husband some stress when I would hand my 20 month old a ceramic mug but we survived and nothing was broken. There is no dishwasher and no garbage disposal in the sink - just FYI.

The porch area had a table and chairs that would have accommodated us for meals but we never made it out there... we mostly used it to hang damp things between kayaking trips. There was a washer and dryer in the utility closet - I only used the dryer for some damp items before packing them but it was nice to know they were available if needed. There was wash soap but a note said it was for the housekeeper only... buying our own wouldn't have been a problem though.

The backyard has several fruit trees of which we identified bananas, grapefruit, fig and either a lime or orange. Only the grapefruit tree had ripe fruit while we were there and what we tasted were good though the neighbors warned us that it was "late fruit" and might make us sick... no one got sick from it. There are two wooden docks to access the canal/river (not sure on the proper term but body of water flowing towards the larger body of water known as the Homossassa River). Two chairs are out on the dock and tiki torches with fuel were available as well as a fire pit. We didn't use the torches or the fire pit but it was nice to have them available.

The house is off a main road and I was initially concerned about traffic and getting out of the driveway but there was never a heavy amount of traffic and getting in and out was easy. The neighbors on the canal are super nice and gave us a lot of advice on times to see the manatees and dolphins. The one even gave me husband and son a short tour of the area on her pontoon boat and the other tried to loan us his canoe. The house is walking distance to the Homossassa Springs Wildlife State park which I highly recommend. The Birds Underwater folks can give you a card for a discount on the entry fee but either way it's well worth it.

I can't say enough about the whole place and management. One day we wanted to visit Three Sister's Spring which is in Crystal River. We talked about figuring out a way to put the kayaks on our roof rack because it was too far for us to kayak from the house. The Birds Underwater company is right there near Three Sister's so I called to ask about it and once I stated who I was (staying in the FishBowl unit) and what we wanted to do I was told to just come to the shop and we could use some of the rental kayaks there at the shop. I was simply amazed at that kind of customer service! The actual owners of the shop and the rental were out of the country but every person at the shop we interacted with was very professional and really took ownership of the rental as well. The first day we were there we couldn't seem to get the wi-fi to work and the person in the shop wasn't sure how to fix it either but he suggested we come to the shop and use the wi-fi there (my husband had one last work item to get done before he could officially vacation). The next day there was a big storm, the power flickered and the wi-fi started working... obviously just needed a reset :-)

We are talking about coming back to the area in the winter to see the manatees in their peak season and we would certainly rent this place again!!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The kayaks!!
Liked least: Wish there was a dishwasher or at least a garbage disposal in the sink for food scraps.
Travelling group: Young Children
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
26 Jul 2018
Thank you for letting future guests have a better understanding of what they are in for. There is nothing better than an honest outside opinion. Certainly do hope to see you in the winter, manatees sometimes come right up to the dock!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Afalconi
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A disappointing part of our manatee adventure.”
Reviewed 29 January 2014 for a stay in January 2014
2
people found this review helpful

I wanted to share some feedback regarding the house we rented just last week (January 13 – 19) located in Homosassa on Fishbowl Drive. We liked the location well enough and it was convenient to be on the canal, but we did have 3 major complaints regarding the house that we thought should be addressed.

1. Cleanliness
a. The tile floor was absolutely filthy in the house. All of our socks were black from wearing them around the house. It was too gross to think of going barefoot in there. Especially in the kitchen area it felt slippery almost greasy near the refrigerator.
b. The kitchen drawer faces had lots of drips and crud on them. They were very visible and didn’t set a good feeling for the cleanliness for the rest of the place. Several of the kitchen drawers were also stuck shut until we coaxed them open. Seems like that could also be a result of these drips and gunk.

2. Storage
a. We didn’t want to live out of suitcases for a week, but we had no choice. There were no drawers and no place to hang clothing items either. There is a lot of room in those bedrooms for some efficient storage options. It just seemed inconsiderate that there wasn’t an option of storage.

3. Kayaks
a. The kayaks have been so beaten up that they are not comfortable to paddle for any length of time, in particular I am referring to the seat and lack of adjustments. They need some TLC to get them back to a more kayaker-friendly state. We were planning on doing a lot more kayaking than we did. With the seats stuck in one configuration it wasn’t a viable option and if we had decided to use them more we would have ended up causing unnecessary aches and pains later. This was extremely frustrating as having the kayaks and the convenient water access was a deciding factor in our rental choice.

The staff was very pleasant to deal with and the whole rental process was convenient, but due to these items we definitely would not rent a house again from Bird’s Underwater.

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Service
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
28 Jan 2014
We have customers that have rented that house every year for over 15 years and have already reserved it for next year. If you found it unclean or had a problem with the kayaks we wish you had contacted us about it on the first or second day so that we could take care of the problem. That way the rest of your week long stay would have been more to your liking. We don’t’ know how to respond to the cleanliness issue except to say that we never get complaints about it, so perhaps the cleaning woman we use just had a bad day. We’re sorry, but do wish that you had given us a chance to remedy these issues at the time instead of complaining about them afterward.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John P
Cumming, Georgia
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best free manatee experience I've ever heard of.”
Reviewed 14 April 2013 for a stay in April 2013
2
people found this review helpful

Came here for spring break with my kids aged 11, 15 and 18. So much better than a typical beach spring break vacation because we had this incredible eco-system to explore. The kids all loved it, especially the teenagers (definitely do confiscate all the electronics before you leave home and leave the phones, laptops and iPods at home). When the weather was bad we kayaked (provided by owner) or fished (poles provided) or just watched the awesome birds. When the weather was great, a one hour drive put us on world class florida beaches (honeymoon island state park is perfect). This is the ultimate spring break with all weather activities. Don't miss monkey island a 5 minute drive from the house where you can have lunch and watch the monkey's antics. There is no dishwasher and the next door dogs are a little obnoxious, but overall the plusses outweigh the minuses. We slept 3 kids in one room and me in the other, but could have put another couple in the living room. The most incredible thing was the manatees. On the first day we spent ~30 minutes with our two kayaks and a mother manatee and her calf. Extremely friendly. Two other times in our 5-day stay they literally appeared off our docks, we didn't even have to go on the boat. The pinnacle was the time the there girls all snorkeled with 5 manatees 300 yards from our rental and they all got to touch and pet these gentle giants. I am no fisherman, but we all caught fish (4 different kinds: catfish, pan fish, bass and mangrove snapper) including my 11 year old daughter's first fish ever. We let most go but fed some to the great blue heron in the yard and watched him swallow them whole. Really impressive. We saw an otter across the river on our neighbor's yard dive into the river. The water is so perfectly clear that you can literally see 3-foot long fish just casually swimming by. Also saw a small ray or skate.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Incredible Environmental Vacation...TONS of wildlife
Liked least: No dishwasher
Travelling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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