Finding the Perfect Vacation Rental with Vacasa

February 11, 2019
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Vacasa is a Portland-based vacation rental company that curates a collection of 10,000+ homes around the globe.

Launched in 2009, Vacasa recently overtook Wyndham Vacation Rentals as the largest vacation rental property manager in North America, with 10,600 vacation rentals across 23 US states and 16 countries. And unlike, say, Airbnb, Vacasa is all about service and making sure guests have the best experience possible. Unlike peer-to-peer companies where you never know who you’ll end up renting from or what kind of service you’ll get, Vacasa has some 2,500 employees worldwide, and dedicated local teams that include housekeepers and property managers.

I “discovered” Vacasa while searching for a home to rent in popular Tulum over the Christmas holidays. Since I would be traveling with my husband and two kids, plus their grandparents, I didn’t want to mess around and risk getting stuck with a home that looked great in pictures but was a dud in real life—I’d been there, and done that before.

The thing about Vacasa is that they have a team of people who inspect the homes before they list them—which means they turned down the kind of dud you might find listed in other websites—and instead of dealing with an owner to book your home, you deal directly with Vacasa who arrange everything from booking to housekeeping, interior design and marketing.

From the moment I booked, I was put in contact with a host who reached out with pertinent information, such as car rental suggestions, directions to the home from the airport, a list of restaurants in the area as well as supermarket suggestions. She answered all of my questions promptly and professionally and went the extra mile to get us a stovetop espresso maker when we checked in and realized the home didn’t come stocked with one. (Full disclosure, the kitchen had a drip coffee machine but my husband is a bit of a snob about his coffee.)

The home we booked was exactly as pictured on the website: well-appointed with comfortable furniture and local art, three roomy bedrooms, an open-concept living room and kitchen, a covered patio with a sofa on level one, and a rooftop deck with a big dining table where we enjoyed many meals in the breezy Mexican nights. We had access to a gorgeous swimming pool surrounded by perfectly manicured landscaping and daybeds.

The kids had a blast splashing in the pool and, as luck would have it, another family with a girl the same age as my daughter was staying in another Vacasa home in the apartment complex, which meant instant BFF for the duration of our stay.

The home was ideally located in Aldea Zama, a new neighborhood just 20 minutes from the Tulum ruins and the beach. Down the street from the home, we found a couple of cafes, a smoothie bar, a cool little restaurant, pretty walking paths, and a couple of agencies that rent bikes and sightseeing tours.

Check out was as breezy and no-nonsense as check in. We tidied up, packed our stuff and left the key in the lockbox right outside the front door.  We’re already planning our next Vacasa vacation. With so many great properties and destinations around the globe, the real struggle will be in deciding where to go first.