FlipKey Employee Stays

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When FlipKey employees aren’t hard at work you never know what part of the world you might find them in. From Tuscany to Aruba we are a company that loves to travel…and what better way to experience the world than via Vacation Rentals?! Here are some of our most recent adventures:

Name: TJ
Properties: The Golf Pad & Yepton Estate Cottage
Location: St. Andrews & Antigua
Price: $808/night & $245/night
 

St. Andrews- What was the best golfing you did during your vacation?

Carnoustie was a crowd favorite.  Carnoustie was absolutely the hardest golf course I have ever played, but it was a fun hard. I highly suggest guests of the course (i) get a caddy and (ii) bring a lot of balls.

St. Andrews- Did you find it enjoyable to stay in a larger rental with a group?

We had a group of 8 guys, which the home accommodated perfectly.  The Golf Pad had everything we needed to have a fun time – a huge deck overlooking the River Tay, a pool table and even a massage chair!   This house was built for two foursomes and they got everything right.

Antigua- What was the best natural attraction on the Island?

The beaches in Antigua are world class, but I think we enjoyed the beach bars the most.  Our favorite beach bar was OJs Bar and Restaurant, but we also enjoyed Sheer Rocks which boosted the most amazing views – truly a must visit.  Tell the Chef “Alex” I sent you!

Antigua- Did you take advantage of the beautiful kitchen in this rental or find favorite restaurants that you enjoyed?

We cooked in every morning and two dinners. The kitchen was a big plus and lounging in the mornings while drinking coffee and making breakfast sandwiches might have been a top 5 highlight of the trip. Yepton boasts five cottages, but I felt we had the best one.

 

Name: Eric
Location: Eagle Beach, Aruba
Property: Superior Condo
Price: $270-$520/night
 

What types of activities did you do in the local area around the condo?

We spent a lot of time on the beach, rented some bikes to cruise around the island, and hit the local restaurants at night.  Our favorite day was spent on a snorkeling tour off the coast of Aruba.  We had a few cocktails (okay, maybe more than a few), did some snorkeling, sailed around the island, and just had an absolute blast.

How was the process of dealing with the homeowner?

We rented this condo from a local property manager and he was terrific.  The booking process was a piece of cake, and he came over after we arrived to make sure everything was all set and offered some recommendations on restaurants, things to do, grocery stores, etc. Like everyone on the island, he was really laid back.  We had some leftover beer in the fridge that we left for the next guest and he assured us that him & his buddies would make sure it wouldn’t go to waste.

What was the coolest part of your specific home you stayed at?

There were two balconies, one off the master bedroom and one off the living room, which both overlooked the large pool and had a view of the ocean.  Great spot for us to hang out.

Name: Jeremy
Location: Kaui, HI
Property: Hale Makai
Price: $650/night
 

What is your favorite part of staying in a vacation rental?

As an industry, people focus on the price, space and privacy benefits of vacation rentals versus hotels.  Those are all great benefits, but one that's often overlooked is location.  Hale Makai is on the oceanside of Lawai Road in Kaui -- close enough to watch sea turtles playing in the surf break through the sliding glass doors in the living room.

What is the biggest difference from being in a hotel?

If you stay in an incredible vacation rental, there is really is no comparison to a hotel.  When we arrived at the house, staff from the rental manager, the Parrish Collection, had already been at the house to let in a chef and welcome us with island drinks.  Anna and I sat down on the deck to what felt like a ten-course meal and watched the sunset, feeling really fortunate to be there. We enjoyed this rental even more than the Four Season in Maui, which is one of the best in the world.  For the two of us, it was just really relaxing and felt like home to pull into the driveway after exploring the island.

The House itself:

This house is unusual because it's smaller than the average vacation rental, but that's why we chose this house.  Simple but special - with a mix of Asian and modern detail and a great location.  We didn't miss a sunrise or sunset the entire time we were there.  The bank of sliding glass doors that face the ocean and span the kitchen, living room and bedroom were awesome. This is one of the nicest spots in Kaui, directly between Popui Beach and Sprouting Horn beach, which you can watch from the backyard as waves break and the rock formation shoots water into the air like a geyser. The Parrish Collection did a great job and I can't recommend them enough.  The staff was at the house for our arrival, coordinated the private chef and other concierge services.  Our flights were delayed and rerouted, but there was no need to worry about the house because they were in contact with us and coordinated.

Name: Kelly
Location: Florence, Italy
Property: Albatros
Price: $143/night
 

Did you think this was a good location in Florence?

The location was amazing!! We were steps away from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore - Duomo and many lively squares. I remember passing the cathedral on our taxi ride to the apartment and saying; that's on our list of things to see! Basically as soon as I said that, the driver pulled over and I thought she had misunderstood. When I said oh no, not now, just at some point, she laughed and responded, I understand, but you are here! It was awesome! The Ponte Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery are also a stroll away and there was certainly no shortage of outstanding cappuccino, food, and wine nearby, but that's just Italy for you. 


What was the highlight of your trip to this destination?

The highlight of our trip by far was our full day bike tour through the Chianti wine region provided by http://tuscany-biketours.com/. We walked to their office, just 2 blocks from the apartment, hopped in a van at 10am and headed to our home base - a medieval castle that now produces some of the best olive oil in Italy. We toured their wine cellar and then were treated to an oil and wine tasting. After one too many samples, we got fitted for our bikes and headed for the hills! The scenery was breathtaking and the May weather could not have been more perfect. We stopped half way through for a family style lunch and consumed more wine, pasta, and gelato than is probably recommended before jumping on anything with 2 wheels, but it was SO worth it! The tour guides were hysterically funny and made this day one that I will truly never forget.

Name: Carl
Location: London, England
Property: Long Acre
Price: $1,697-$2,344/week
 

What was your favorite part about staying in the West End?

The central location. London is an enormous city, with attractions spread out everywhere.  It was great to be able to walk right out of my flat near Covent Garden and easily get to wherever I wanted to go, be it by foot or by Tube.  

What was the coolest part of your specific home you stayed at?

The nice little secluded open air patio out back.  I was staying in one of the world's busiest cities yet I had my own private little outdoors respite when I wanted it.

What was the highlight of your trip to this destination?

I'm a beer geek, and London has a fantastic history of brewing.  Thus I was able to follow a couple of wonderful CAMRA pub trails to simultaneously embrace the city's culture and enjoy a few pints of Real Ale. 

Name: Koryn
Location: Cabo San Lucas
Property: Villa Grande
Price: $1,480-$2,563/night
 

What is the biggest difference from being in a hotel? 

Hands down the fact that you have privacy and are surrounded by only the people in your party. But it didn’t hurt that we could grab a soda from the fridge without paying $4. As I said before, the house gave everyone space to do their own thing – sit on a balcony and read or watch a movie, take a nap, lay by the pool, make lunch, exercise on the treadmill – but kept everyone connected.

What was the highlight of your trip to this destination? 

You know on shows you see a bunch of girls go running into a place, squealing in delight? We did that! The pictures don’t do this place justice and everyone was dumbfounded by how amazingly gorgeous the house was and that it was all ours for the stay. Other than that, the fact that we could sit around the pool all day long, surrounded only by our friends, was a huge bonus. I will definitely go back to Cabo, and book through this rental manager again, maybe even at the same place! --I honestly can’t pick just one part of this rental. If I could go back tomorrow, I would! The balcony off the master bedroom was pretty great and had amazing sunrise views. The pool/hot tub area was also pretty phenomenal. A lot of the girls have husbands/kids and the house offered free VOIP so they could call home to the US for free – that was a big hit.

Name: Kurt
Location: Moretown, VT
Property: Vermont Guest Cottage
Price: $125/night
 

What outdoors activities did you do while you were there?
We were there in early November and did a lot of hiking and walking around downtown Montpelier. Our rental was in the perfect location for this, and there were even a lot of great places to explore on the property. There was a river next to the rental that ran along the road, which created the need for the several covered bridges that led to the rental.

What was the coolest part of your specific home you stayed at? 
It's difficult to decide between the loft, the enormous yard going up a mountain, and the hot tub.  If I had to pick one it would be the hot tub, its very secluded and you can hear the river from it, and look up at a completely clear sky. The most enjoyable part was the time spent in Montpelier.  There were a lot of unique things to do there, and everything was very scenic.

Name: Kerry
Location: Tiverton, RI
Property: Tiverton Four Corners Schoolhouse
Price: $150-$295/night
 

Did you choose to stay in this rental because of its history as a schoolhouse?

We did not originally choose to stay at this rental because it was previously a schoolhouse but that aspect did turn out being very cool.  The owner had lots of old history books and pictures and the schoolhouse theme was present throughout. We chose the rental because of it's location near town and the vineyards and also the chef-quality kitchen! We love to hang out and cook together and a staying in a Vacation Rental is perfect for this.

Did you try any of the roadside stands or ice cream shops that the homeowner suggested? If not, what was your favorite part about the area you stayed in?
The owner left us information on the local restaurants and shops and we did walk down to the stores in Four Corners one morning.  We bought some gourmet cheeses and snacks to enjoy at the house. We also explored the farm next door to the rental for a bit (until we were chased by chickens!) Our favorite part was the vineyard (Sakonnet vineyard).  We went on the winery tour and then we also did a tasting.  We bought some of the Sakonnet wine and enjoyed it with the cheese we bought in town earlier that day. 

Name: Jon
Location: Ellenville, NY
PropertyEmerald Forest Bungalows
Price: $140-$180/night
 

What is your favorite part of staying in a vacation rental?

Having a kitchen to cook healthy meals for my family. Having extra room and space to relax after the kids go to bed. It was a nice mix of being out in nature and still having most of the comforts at home that make managing small children easier.

What was the highlight of your trip to this destination?

The second night we were there it was raining so we took our kids next door to the other cabin on the property where two families with small children were staying. The kids played and the adults all talked and hung out. Turned out that we all had similar interests. We ended up having dinner together combining what food we all had into a strange but nice meal. The owner of the property stopped by and a few of the guys (including the owner of the property) played songs for the kids. We turned a rainy day that was going to sort of be a wash into a great day and night.

Name: Meg
Location: Madrid
Property: Madrid Central Design
Price: $202-$218/night
 

What was your favorite part about staying in a Vacation Rental?

My favorite part of staying in a vacation rental was probably having a room all to myself. I was in Madrid visiting my brother who was studying abroad there at the time so I'm sure that I would've had to share a room with my brother if we had stayed in a hotel. Also, my brother actually had caught a virus traveling in Morocco the weekend before we arrived and was pretty sick while we were there, though, so it was convenient having the option to come back to a full apartment for him to nap/recover when needed.

How was dealing with the homeowner?
 The homeowner was great! He met us in the neighborhood at the crack of dawn when we arrived to give us the keys and show us around. He'd also provided tips and suggestions of things to do/places to see in the area via email before we arrived. My family and I actually missed our flight back to the US and had to wait til the next day to come home and had to go by way of NYC then drive a rental car back to Logan Airport. We had been in touch with the vacation rental homeowner regarding key drop and closing up the apartment that day and when he heard of the situation, he offered to let us stay an extra night free of charge. He was very helpful and we appreciated the offer but ended up sleeping in the airport McDonald's to make absolute sure that we didn't miss our flight the next morning.

The apartment itself: 

The apartment that we stayed at was in a great location in the center of the city surrounded by fun things to do and the metro was easily accessible. That being said, it was very quiet and easy to sleep at night - most of the apartment faced into a little courtyard surrounded by the other buildings on the back side of the building so there wasn't much noise.

FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace with more than 300,000 rentals around the world. Find the perfect place to stay for your trip, and get great value along with the space, privacy and amenities of home.

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