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vacation rentals

Wisconsin
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149 posts
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vacation rentals

Being a "motel-stayer", I feel like I am beyond my expertise and experience looking for a vacation rental in Door County.

We are looking for a home with 3 BR, in a wooded area, preferably by the water for a weekend stay. I've been checking with a few rental agencies and I don't know which agencies are reputable, and what is considered "normal" for cleaning fees, etc. I'm also not seeing a lot of reviews on the places that I've looked up. Something I'm accustomed to doing when looking for a motel here on tripadvisor. Any advice given on this forum about good, reasonably priced places to stay, or recommended rental agencies would be very much appreciated. I've always gotten wonderful advice from tripadvisor! Many thanks!

Chicago, IL
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187 posts
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1. Re: vacation rentals

There are many (individually owned) homes for rent in Door County; the trick is finding the right one for your needs. Fortunately, the selection is good.

If it's your first time renting a house or cottage up there, I'd suggest calling Lundquist Realty or J.R. Vacation Rentals and seeing what they have available. They both have websites so you can take a look at some of the properties whose rentals they manage. I have rented through both of these agencies many times in the past and have never had a bad experience. One time I even broke a serving platter (shhh!) and J.R. Vacation Rentals did not deduct the amount from my security deposit. However, if you deal with these companies, be aware that you will have to bring your own sheets and towels or pay an extra fee for linen service. Neither of these companies charges a separate cleaning fee. Those fees tend to be charged when it's an individual owner renting his/her home directly. You should expect to pay a $200 to $500 security deposit (on top of your rental fee) to whatever agency you choose. This will be refunded to you if you don't trash the place.

Another option would be to visit the chamber of commerce website, doorcounty.com and do a search for cottages/homes. There, you'll find cottages and homes rented as part of a resort, or by individual owners or smaller rental agencies that manage rentals for a half-dozen or so properties (I haven't dealt with any of those agencies). Also, VRBO has a number of Door County homes listed.

As far as costs go, a lot depends on the location and the amenities. For example, if you want a 3-bedroom house that's on or near the beach with air conditioning, attractive decor, modern amenities, great kitchen and satellite TV, you can expect to pay anywhere from 2k to 3.5k per week. If you don't need all the frills, you can probably find a 3 bedroom cottage in the woods without A/C or modern amenities (such as a dishwasher or cable TV) for as little as 1,300 per week. I'd say the *average* cost of a nice three-bedroom, two-bath rental in Door County is about 2K per week.

A potentially cheaper three-bedroom option would be renting a condo. Both Lundquist and J.R. Vacation Rentals have a number of condos among their listings; in particular, Northhaven in Fish Creek. These are very nice townhouse-style condos with all the modern amenities, a good location (not on the water, but within a 10-minute drive) and a swimming pool. You might be able to rent one of those for $1,500 or so per week.

If you want to stay at a very nice cottage in Baileys Harbor, do a search for Carraig Mor. It's about $2,300/week, I believe. I stayed there a few years ago and loved it. Very upscale kitchen and professional gardens, a water view from some of the upstairs windows, and walking distance to town.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes and what you choose!

Mentioned in this post
Fish Creek
Fish Creek
Door County, WI
Baileys Harbor
Baileys Harbor
Door County, WI
Wisconsin
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149 posts
51 reviews
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2. Re: vacation rentals

Thank you so much for all of your advice. It has become a daunting experience looking over the rental properties, and to have some direction has been very helpful.

I'm finding that it is difficult to find lodging for only 2 nights. We are planning an October weekend trip (and back to work Monday!) and many of the places are stating "3 night minimum."

When I inquire about this, they tell me I can rent for 2 nights, but they then tack on $150.-170.00 "cleaning fee" for only staying 2 nights. Is this common? It seems like this is taking advantage of the consumer.

Again, thank you. I appreciate your experienced insights!

Fish Creek...
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998 posts
67 reviews
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3. Re: vacation rentals

What weekend in October are you looking for?

Wisconsin
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149 posts
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4. Re: vacation rentals

October 1-3. We're celebrating a "milestone" family birthday that weekend. :)

Fish Creek...
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998 posts
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5. Re: vacation rentals

Oct 1-3rd should not be a problem for 2 nights if you look at a motel or resort. I still have rooms open that weekend, as do my friends, and we will take 2 nights

Wisconsin
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5,501 posts
145 reviews
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6. Re: vacation rentals

Do you definitely need a home or would a three bedroom unit in a condo type setting work? I'm not sure if home rental is different from other vacation rentals. Because of the cleaning, they may insist. But I agree that you should be persistent on seeing if you can have only two days. I booked for Newport Resort for Oct 3-4 and at first they said only three night stays were allowed. Then they realized it wasn't the Fall Festival week yet so she said we were fine with only two days.

Wisconsin
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149 posts
51 reviews
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7. Re: vacation rentals

Thank you for your reply on this subject.

When I inquired about the cleaning fee I was told that they especially charge during a holiday weekend or special event, and this weekend does not fall on a special event. However, the quotes I'm receiving include a 25% (total) cleaning fee. So, yes, this is confusing.

We would prefer a home for the extra space. There will be 6 adults. I'm also hoping to find someplace that's wooded-I guess this is due to my own fond memories as a child spending weekends on a wooded property with my family.

Are there any suggestions as to how to get reviews on the vacation rentals? I've asked about them but have not been given any.

Thanks again everyone. This forum has been very helpful for a vacation rental novice!

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: vacation rentals

We went to VRBO to find our rental. We wanted a different experience and looked for a place that wasn't "our home", just in a different location. If every other requirement fits, I wouldn't discard larger places just because you only need 3 bedrooms.

On VRBO, we found Kinney Farm in Fish Creek. It had one more bedroom than we needed, but was so unique, we had to give it a try. Glad we did.

I think reviews are important, so are details in contracts.

Not everyone charges for "extras". I like knowing what I'm paying, what to expect from the lodging owner. Not everyone has cleaning charges. Some allow pets and will have an additional charge for them. I expect that, same as hotels. Not everyone brings pets, those who do should pay.

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Fish Creek
Fish Creek
Door County, WI
9. Re: vacation rentals

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