It’s the Little Things that Make a Vacation Rental Perfect

tenbay_arya and g We’ve been at Pura Vida a week now with a few more days to go, and like most guests in a vacation rental, are fully settled. We know where stuff is in the kitchen, we have our own favourite spots to sit and enjoy the sun or shade, the fridge is stuffed with food and Bahamian beer, and our annual euchre tournament is finely balanced at 2 to the girls 3 to the girls and 2 to the boys. I’m a very early riser on vacation – 5am is the norm for me – and while I sat this morning watching dawn break over the ocean – I looked around and began to count the little things that have made this vacation home an absolute pleasure to stay in.

Some of them might seem very minor, but in a temporary home and at a time when relaxation and lack of stress is so important, they rack up a lot of points in attention to detail.

Pura_Vida_coffee_mugsDecent size coffee mugs

I’m a tea drinker and a big mug of tea is what gets me started in the morning. I like a good sized mug and it’s one of the first things I will look for when arriving at a vacation rental. If there isn’t one, I usually go out and buy something of a more substantial size. There are two sets of stoneware mugs here and they both score 10/10.

Pura_Vida_cool_boxPlenty of plastic containers for picnic items

Day trips are usually on the agenda on anyone’s vacation and here, we have been sampling different beaches each day. My job has been packing up the picnic and I was delighted to find a good amount of Tupperware style containers in different sizes.


Cool bags, ice packs and Ziplock bags

In addition to the plastic containers, it’s great to find the other stuff that makes a picnic go well.

Portable beach chairs and umbrella

We were on a beach yesterday and as we set up our beach chairs and the umbrella for the baby, thoughtfully provided by the villa owner, we watched another family looking more uncomfortable on skimpy beach towels with no shade. I guess we could have done without the chairs, but the beach umbrella was an essential item for us to have available – it has made beach days with baby so much more enjoyable.

Pura_Vida_patioOutdoor furniture in different locations

This is one I’m taking home with me. No, not the furniture itself, but the idea that where there are different sitting locations, there should ideally be furniture for each one. At Pura Vida, we have an ocean view terrace with two lounging chairs, and a small table with several more chairs; three separate secluded seating areas in the garden, two of which have more lounging chairs, and a super-comfortable hammock. I counted 14 chairs in all, which for a place that accommodates up to 4 people, is way more than generous, but it has meant we don’t have to haul loungers or chairs around to catch the late afternoon or evening sun. We really appreciated that. My plan for Osprey and Kingfisher (my two cottages) is to purchase new loungers for each, and to add more general seating for docks and campfires.

Reading lamps

There is a huge amount of seating in this property with wicker sets surrounding the TV, another overlooking the ocean-facing doors and other chairs scattered about. What has impressed me the most is that every chair has a lamp of some sort so that there’s good reading light everywhere you sit. Having decent light for reading is so important and when you don’t have to fight someone for the best spot, it makes for a really relaxing time. This is another ‘must check’ item for me when I get back home. It’s interesting that we have all commented on the quality of the lamps too as it’s not something you’d expect anyone to give much thought about. I’ll be asking the owners where they purchased them.

Pura_Vida_booksLots of books

Where there are reading lamps there will be reading, and since we travelled heavy with food for our trip (knowing that certain things may not be available, or expensive), we didn’t have much room for books. I’m not a great fan of Kobo/Kindle style readers, still loving the feel of a thick paperback in my hands, so it was a huge pleasure to find a lot of great books on the shelves. I’ve mentioned this on every ‘We’ve Stayed Here’ type post and always ensure my properties are fully stocked with books of a variety of genres.

Pura_Vida_herbsHerbs & veg

There is just something about cooking at a vacation rental and being able to grab a handful of basil or rosemary from the garden or a herb tub.  The Welcome Book at this property encourages guests to enjoy fresh fruit, veg and herbs from their gardens and as I strolled down the path at sunset last night to collect a few rosemary sprigs for the lamb that was going on the BBQ, I reflected once again on how these little touches can collectively impact a vacation.  We don’t have gardens at our cottages so have been growing herbs, peppers and tomatoes in tubs for guests to pick – they love it.

Big towels

Just that…..big towels make me happy. And we also have a set of oversize outdoor towels to drape over the lounging chairs.

There’s more but suffice to say, these owners have got hospitality down to a fine art – take a look at the Trip Advisor review below to see how they are creating very happy and satisfied guests, not only with the overall set-up and location of Pura Vida, but in their attention to detail. Once again, hats off to them (and those are the sun hats thoughtfully provided too!)

Absolute Treasure!!!

Left on 12/07/2010 for a stay in November 2010

Cindy & Steve really put a lot of thought into everything in their house ! The grounds are beautiful. Ever little piece of property is used perfectly . I love the small unique hidden areas you discover as you walk around the grounds. They even have a garden with tomato plants, basil,& peppers. There are lime trees and papaya trees, just to mention a few. And let’s not forget the beach. It is beautiful!! You are so close to it if you wanted to you don't need to put your feet in the sand and you feel like you are on the beach. The inside of the house is amazing! The linens are top notch !The kitchen has everything you need and more. You can tell they thought of everything since they have an ice cream maker and bread maker. Seeing as ice cream is so expensive on the island. The screen rooms off the bedrooms were great ! The house keeper needs to be applauded. This is the cleanest house I have stayed at on the island. This is not an easy task between the sand , salt, and bugs. I also love all the treasures that are found in every little nook inside the house. The artwork, shells ,etc..
Cindy & Steve were wonderful to deal with. They always responded to my emails quickly. I love that the house has everything I might need from band aids to snorkeling gear and floats to go Ten Bay with. This house is not a typical rental house, it is more like staying at a friend’s home!! Thanks again Cindy & Steve for sharing your home with me & my family.


Great post! Where is it that you are vacationing? As well how did you find the vacation rental you are currently staying in?

    Heather Bayer

    @tyler1 This is a vacation rental in Eleuthera – one of the out islands of the Bahamas.  We usually find our rentals on Trip Advisor or Home Away

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