A great vacation rental experience depends on the quality of the home, how it meets expectations, and the service provided by your host. But that isn’t the whole story. As a guest, you are also responsible for a positive outcome.

You don’t have to go overboard. Just treat your hosts with the consideration you would expect to receive. Establishing a mutually respectful relationship can set the right tone for a vacation you’ll remember well and look forward to repeating soon.

Communicate with your hosts

One of the hallmarks of a great host is clear communication. And, it’s a two-way street. Start by getting all the information you need — and want — before booking your vacation. Get a heads-up on all the little details, such as location, concierge services, pricing — anything that will help you enjoy your stay.

While at the vacation home, feel free to stay in touch with your hosts. Find out their preferred method of communication (email, text, phone call). If any questions or concerns come up during your stay, contact them. Something not working the way you expected? Give your hosts the chance to make your vacation A+.

Arrive and leave on schedule

Managing guests and properties takes careful coordination. A good host wants to make sure every guest enjoys a fabulous experience. To help keep everyone happy, it’s best to confirm your check-in/checkout times beforehand, and do your best to be on schedule. Of course, life happens and plans can go sideways. But, it’s always a good idea to let your host know if you will be running late for some reason.

Respect the property

If you have ever had family or friends stay over at your home, you know how frustrating it can be when people don’t take care of your stuff. It’s the same thing with a vacation rental. Take care of the property — indoors and out — as you would your own home.

Like you’d do at home, be mindful of the neighbors. Even if you feel like you’re way out in the country, understand that the quieter it is, the more sound travels. Don’t impose your music on the people down the street and be careful to adhere to local regulations regarding sound curfews.

Clean up after yourself

When it is time for you to leave, empty the fridge and clear the cabinets of your things. It’s courteous to bag up all the trash and recyclables and take them out. Your host should have a clear set of instructions about how to leave the vacation rental. If you’re unsure what’s expected, don’t hesitate to ask. Generally, it’s safe to assume the management will handle the detailed cleaning. You just want to clean up your personal “footprint.”

Leave a note or send a review

As a final show of thoughtfulness, let your vacation rental service know that you appreciate their efforts. A note is a lovely way to say thanks. Better yet, leave a review regarding how your experience went. Testimonials are a big value to future guests — and to the host. If for some reason your stay was not up to the mark, it’s always good to specify exactly how and give the management a chance to make it right, preferably during your stay.

At The Wine Stay, we want your vacation to be nothing short of fabulous! We offer memorable vacation home rental experiences in Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Reach out to us today to book a luxury vacation rental home, with complete concierge services. We will make your stay in the California Wine Country unforgettable!

It’s pretty obvious that the Sonoma Wine Country is known for … well … for wine. This is home to award-winning wines of world renown. And a day of wine tasting in the beautiful valleys surrounded by rolling hills — hey, it doesn’t get much better than that. But if you want to enjoy the outdoors and aren’t keen on sipping the grape, consider these fun adventures instead.

Canoe Down the Russian River

The Russian River flows right through the Alexander and Russian River valleys, across the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country. Redwood-studded riverbanks are dotted with sandy beaches and places to rest and take in the magnificent surroundings. Oftentimes, the only way to reach these secluded destinations is via the river. So if water sports is your thing — or you’re feeling adventurous — rent a canoe. It’s a great way to cool off in the summer, and it’s always fun for the whole family. And, don’t worry — no white water rapids here!

Canoe and Kayak rentals
River’s Edge Kayak and Canoe Trips, Healdsburg
http://www.riversedgekayakandcanoe.com/

Burke’s Canoe Trips, Forestville
http://www.burkescanoetrips.com/

Stroll Through the Redwoods

California Coastal Redwoods are the tallest trees on the planet. Majestic, stately, and awe-inspiring, redwood forests conjure a magical beauty. With their corded bark and fragrant needles, the giant trees are not to be missed. Fortunately, we have Armstrong Woods Park close by in Guerneville, just south of Healdsburg. The park is home to redwoods, some over 1,000 years old! Carefully maintained trails let you meander for a couple miles under the shady redwood canopy, and there are plenty of picnic tables. And if you’re in for hiking several miles, pack your water bottle and head up one of the rugged trails. The vistas are breathtaking!

Armstrong Woods State Natural Preserve

Float Above the Vineyards in a Hot Air Balloon

There’s nothing like seeing field after field of vineyards from above. Ballooning gives you a bird’s-eye view of our fertile and abundant agricultural valley. You’ll understand just why this area is a foodie’s paradise. This one-of-a-kind experience isn’t for those afraid of heights, but when the flame that lifts the balloon is turned off, the quiet at 1,000-plus feet is truly unbelievable. Most flights take off very early in the morning when the wind is still.

Sonoma Valley Balloons
http://www.sonomavalleyballoons.com/

Wine Country Balloons
http://winecountryballoons.com/

Beachcomb the Pacific Coast

With more than 55 miles of spectacular shoreline, Sonoma County offers plenty of “natural” entertainment. Search for seashells, fly a kite, hike the Kortum Trail, or simply watch the waves splash the shore. There’s a good chance you’ll see white plumes in the distance. Whales migrate from Alaska to Baja from December through April, but you may see whales spouting offshore any time of the year. The northern coastal profile doesn’t feature warm, white sandy beaches, but there’s plenty to enjoy for the whole family. Check out our earlier blog post for more information.

Sonoma Coastal Beaches — A Refreshing Escape
http://hbexperiencprd.wpengine.com/2017/07/17/sonoma-coastal-beaches-a-refreshing-escape/

Bike Across the Countryside

Sonoma County is a top destination for bicycle enthusiasts from around the world. With well-carved paths and off-grid trails, there’s something for every level of cycler. Whether you prefer to ride solo, in a group, or compete with others — bike routes abound. And for lots of fun, you may want to plan for the next Tour d’Organics annual event —August 12, 2018. For more local info on bicycling tours and rentals, check out Sonoma County.com.

Sonoma County.com
http://www.sonomacounty.com/articles/guide-cycling-sonoma-county

Luxury home rentals

Luxury vacation rentals experiences. We want your vacation experience to be more than a getaway. Enjoy from wine tasting tours to a personally tailored guided hike. Contact us for more information!

Tour d’Organics
https://www.tourdorganics.com/index.html