New Improvements to Casa Cascada!

Well, my husband and I spent one month on the island of Cozumel and spent 3 of those 4 weeks sprucing up Casa Cascada.

These are just a few things that we worked on…

New landscaping around the pool
New landscaping in the Fishbowl garden
New landscaping in the main garden and the exterior wall
New grass in the main yard
Pressure washed (and scrubbed) the pool deck and walkway
New solar lights in the gardens and the party deck
Re-Stained and sealed the exterior wall front door, garage door and front door to the house
Touch up painted inside and out
Painted the security bars downstairs
A multitude of minor (but annoying) fixes that had been overlooked (replacing a broken lamp, new toilet seats, unplugged the rain shower heads, etc)

We also had a LONG and difficult discussion with our property management company.  The house just wasn’t up to our standards when we arrived and it literally took us 3 weeks of running around scrambling to get the house back to how WE wanted it.  Now, we have a NEW POOL COMPANY and a NEW GARDENER!!  Needless to say, this was a big learning experience for us.

Also, there is a new great restaurant right across the street, El Cocktelito.  They have the best ceviche (and cold beer).  In fact, I think I had ceviche 3-4 times a week since we would stumble over there after long days of working on the house.  Oh, and the few times we couldn’t even drag ourselves across the street, they delivered!

Hope you like the improvements!  We have plans to stay for a month next year and we plan to add the roof (and lighting) to the party deck and do a few other large improvements.

How to Choose a Vacation Rental Home in Cozumel

If you don’t want to stay in a hotel when you Cozumel, how can you find a place to stay and protect your vacation investment too?

Vacation rental homes can provide peace, quiet and privacy that a hotel or resort cannot give.  With so many rental homes on the island now, how do you choose? 

I recommend beginning your search by checking out a few of the larger rental sites by owner.  The sites cost the owner to list a property and owners must also follow a variety of rules to stay listed on the sites.  If a property is listed on one of these sites, then the owners are serious about renting and have not had any serious complaints from consumers.  Here are a few to choose from to get you started:

You’ll notice on my homepage near the top, I have an icon that links back to VRBO.

Narrow your search by deciding on a few key things.  Here are some examples:

  • What is your price range per night or per week?
  • How many bedrooms?
  • How many bathrooms?
  • Does the house have a pool and/or jacuzzi?

Always be specific with your needs from the first point of contact.  If you need a crib for example, be sure to say so.  Some rentals may not be able to accommodate all requests.

Look it up!  If the owner/manager provides you with an address, always check it on a map.  A 2 minute walk is very different than a 10 minute drive.

If the current photos in the listing or on the website look dated or if there simply aren’t enough, ask for more recent photos so you can really see the property.  If there’s a not a picture of something, there may be a reason!

Find out what exactly is included.  Does ‘linens provided’ mean sheets only or does that include bath towels too?  What about beach towels?

Here are some very important things to ask when finalizing on your rental property.

  • Are all taxes and fees included in the price shown? 
    • Many Cozumel rental homes do not include the 12% government tax and this can increase the rate you will pay substantially.
    • Is there a cleaning fee when I vacate the property?
  • Ask if there are any discounts available.
    • Longer term rentals (more than 7 nights)
    • Last minute renting
    • Early bird booking
  • Review the contract
    • What’s the cancellation policy?
    • Is there a security deposit?  
    • What are terms of payment?  How much to reserve the property and when is the balance due?
    • What payments methods do you accept?  (Paypal, check and credit card transactions provide the most security.)

Is the house renting?  Check the availability calendar to see if others are renting the home.  A rental home may not ever break the 50% mark in weekly short term rentals, but if you don’t see ANY rentals, that can be a red flag. 

  • Is the home priced too high? 
  • Are the owners unresponsive when they’re contacted?
  • Are there no repeat renters because of the home’s condition?

What about feedback and testimonials?   If it’s an established rental home, there should be some positive feedback listed on the home’s website, VRBO or similar.   

If you do a little bit of homework, you’ll have a no worries vacation. 

So have fun in your home away from home and enjoy your fun in the sun at Casa Cascada!