Three Steps to Making Summer 2016 the Best You’ve Ever Had

Summer is a welcome chance to relax, take a break from school and spend quality time bonding with your family. It can fly by quickly if you don’t seize the opportunity to get out and have a great time, though. Why not take the Best Sumer Ever Challenge? You guessed it—we’ve got everything you need to make summer 2016 the best one you’ve ever had. With a little bit of planning, team work, and enthusiasm, it can be a reality. Here are three tips for putting the plan into action:

1. Involve the whole family in planning. It’s called a family vacation for a reason. Every member of the team should have a chance to offer their input on vacation ideas. Call it pre-game preparation before the big trip, and open the floor for a group discussion. Everybody will get excited when they can get involved in planning.

2. Choose a family-friendly destination. Everybody will likely have different ideas of what they want to do, but the good news is you can likely do it all if you plan wisely! This way the whole family is satisfied and enjoys the vacation. You should select a destination that offers entertainment, educational opportunities and the beauty of nature all in one place. A place like Big Bear might just fit the bill!

3. Lock in luxury accommodations. The best part of a vacation is enjoying and relaxing in a haven away from home. With a luxury vacation rental to retire to, you can immerse yourself fully in the stress relief a vacation will provide. At Five Star Vacation Rental, we maintain our properties with families like yours in mind. We know that you’ll likely be busy and you need accommodations that will suit everybody. Amenities like gourmet kitchens and luxurious details are just the cherry on top.

We aim to offer each of our guests a truly unforgettable experience. Our vacation homes are located in world-class destinations, and they are crafted with state-of-the-art features. If you’re ready to ditch the cost and monotony of a hotel, you can trust us to provide a great alternative. Nothing makes for a better getaway than fun and relaxation combined with unparalleled luxury.

Big Bear one of the top destinations for summer vacations, but if you’re looking for a more exotic vacation, we also maintain rentals in  Nuevo Vallarta, Mammoth Mountain, Park City, Southern California Beaches, and La Quinta. No matter what city you are visiting, staying in a Five Star Vacation Rental property will ensure that you experience the absolute best in luxury accommodations. We would be glad to help you plan your vacation to Big Bear or elsewhere, so if you would like more information, you can reach out to us by calling 310-780-3411.

Differences Between a Hotel and a Vacation Rental

If you’re planning on spending your vacation in a hotel, you’re missing out. Hotels offer convenience, safety, and clean accommodations, but so do vacation homes, along with plenty of other benefits! If you’ve been putting off a vacation for fear of the hassle or planning it involves, you can rest easy. Renting a vacation home can take the stress out of vacation planning and offer a fun, economical getaway. There are a million and one reasons to stay at a vacation rental instead of a hotel, but we’ll give you the top four:

1. Avoid loud surroundings and disruptions. Hotels are notorious for unexpected disruptions, loud hallways, crowdedness…we could go on and on. Is this any way to spend your vacation? Of course not. You can sidestep paper thin walls and enjoy a home-away-from-home all to yourself and your family by booking a vacation rental. Instead of noisy neighbors, you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings of nature.

2. Maintain privacy. Along with those aforementioned noisy neighbors, you’ll enjoy a lack of privacy at nearly any hotel you might stay in. Not so at a vacation rental. With the place all to yourself, you can revel in the retreat your vacation should provide. A vacation rental will let you enjoy a getaway to its fullest extent.

3. Save time and money. Hotels often come with a host of fees and tacked-on expenses, and they offer subpar value in many cases. Renting a vacation home, on the other hand, provides maximum value. You can save time, too, by arriving at your accommodation and settling in—don’t worry about valet, check-in, or any of the other obligations you’d encounter at a hotel.

4. Get a full vacation experience. When you’re on vacation, you want to escape from the stress of everyday life. Maybe you’re with friends or family, and you want them to have a good time, too. A luxury rental means you can finish off a day of activities and exploration with true relaxation. Instead of just a place to sleep, it’s a haven to retreat to.

Big Bear is one of the top destinations for a getaway. Five Star Vacation Rental also offers luxury accommodations in  Nuevo Vallarta, Mammoth Mountain, Park City, Southern California Beaches, and La Quinta. No matter what city you are visiting, staying in a Five Star Vacation Rental property will ensure that you experience the absolute best in luxury accommodations. We would be glad to help you plan your vacation to Big Bear or elsewhere, so if you would like more information, you can reach out to us by calling 310-780-3411.

Plan Ahead For the Holidays

Enjoying time with family.We know it’s a bit early, but the holidays are just around the corner.  This is a perfect time to start planning a getaway that will be one the family memory book.  And since we typically get much busier as the holidays approach, now is a great time to pick a date, pick a destination, and begins making some plans for fun.

If your Christmas is like ours, it’s always busier than we would like and we never get to spend quite as much time as we’d hope for with family and friends.  Why not make this year different?  A holiday away in Big Bear can be an amazing event.  One of the great things about planning your vacation rental with Five Star is we have some wonderful estates available.  These properties have more than enough room for multiple families to share.  Think of the possibilities:  You can plan for a wonderful family reunion or get together a bunch of friends from the neighborhood or school.  However you choose to fill your Five Star Big Bear vacation rental, you’ll be assured you’re getting a high quality luxurious getaway.

thansgivingDinnerWe’re already about half booked up for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  New Year’s Eve is going fast as well.  This is an opportunity for you to create a wonderful time for your extended family as well.  The Big Bear ski season is usually in full swing by Christmas, and sometimes even by Thanksgiving.  And if  you’re already making travel plans for the holidays, the time spent in a Five Star Vacation Rental is vastly superior to anything you’ll encounter at even the finest hotel. Instead of being scattered across several rooms with strangers around every corner, you can enjoy an entire luxury cabin or estate.  The kids get their own rooms, and so do the parents.  If Uncle Harry snores can have his own room at the end of the hall; nobody needs to lay awake in misery.  It’s a perfect solution, and you’ll all awake refreshed ready to share breakfast in your own kitchen surrounded only by the people you invited.

Check out all of our Big Bear vacation rentals at this link.  And if you’re in the mood for a getaway elsewhere, follow these links to view our other properties in Park City Southern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  A well planned weekend away in a Five Star Vacation Rental cabin or estate will recharge your batteries and equip the entire family for the challenges back at home.   Call us today at 310-800-5454, and we’ll help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.

Ready For an Escape Yet?

Keep Calm Poster with Crown

School’s been back in for a few weeks.  How’s that going?  Are you adjusting to the new schedule?  We mentioned this a couple weeks ago, and we’ve already begun to see a steady stream of guests who are fighting to keep up with the pressures of simultaneously helping with homework, getting to dance and piano lessons, and arriving at soccer practice on time. And don’t forget to squeeze in a meal that was not purchased from the driver’s seat of your car, and is a bit more complicated than the brief hop from the freezer to the microwave to the hungry children.   It’s a feat almost worthy of a booth at Comic-Con.

It’s important as these pressures close in that you find time to relax and recharge your batteries.  We can think of no better way to do this that a quick weekend getaway in a Five Star Vacation Rental in Big Bear.  There’s really something about the crisp mountain air that revitalizes both the body and the soul.  Couple this with the luxury of your vacation rental, and it’s a remedy for just about any of the pressures you’re facing.

Oktoberfest is under way, and it’s a great activity for the entire family.  Mom and dad can sample some truly amazing beers from around the world while you all can enjoy the music, great food, dancing and booths.  Buy one of those beer steins that’s bigger than your head as a souvenir, and  you’ll smile every time you pull it out back home.  Oktoberfest runs weekends through October.

October has a full slate of other fun activities as well.  On Friday and Saturday nights we recommend you take in the Flashlight Safari at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo.  This is a unique opportunity to observe the animals after dark.  The zoo is an entirely different place once the sun goes down, and many animals are far more active.  On many nights you’ll hear the wolves howling, the owls hooting, and your kids squealing with delight.  It’s a great time.  Visit the zoo’s website for more info: www.bigbearzoo.org

Child with a flashlight looking for somethingOn Saturday, October 17, Big Bear will enjoy a rare treat.  TV star Kiefer Sutherland brings his band to town for a performance at The Cave.  Sutherland has been performing in clubs around the country for years, and this is a great opportunity to hear some great music while spending an evening with one of your favorite TV stars.  You can get more information online at www.thecavebigbear.com

Check out all of our Big Bear vacation rentals at this link.  And if you’re in the mood for a getaway elsewhere, follow these links to view our other properties in Park City Southern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  A well planned weekend away in a Five Star Vacation Rental cabin or estate will recharge your batteries and equip the entire family for the challenges back at home.   Call us today at 310-800-5454, and we’ll help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.

It’s Not Too Late for Labor Day in Big Bear

The last gasps of summer are echoing around our homes.  They take the form of rushed mornings, conflicting schedules, and the recognition that life would be simpler if we had a fleet of cars with drivers for the little ones.  If school hasn’t already started back up for your family, it soon will. Even if you had a family vacation over the summer, Labor Day is a great way to have one last hurrah before fully settling in with the new schedule when school gets in full swing.

Labor Day falls on Monday, September 7th this year, and the mountain is packed with great events for the long weekend.  We often get booked solid, so be sure to call us right away to book your getaway.  We reported on a couple of the Labor Day events in last week’s blog, so be sure to check that out (here) for more info on the Car Show and the Annual Mountain Men gathering.  Here are a few more of the fun things happening that weekend:

The annual Fall Festival Arts & Crafts Show takes over the Big Bear Convention Center for the weekend, and it promises to be a great event for the entire family.  Browse the many booths filled with crafts and artworks created by local artisans. This one is great for the kids, because many of the artists will be creating works live at the event.  You’ll see pottery thrown, dolls crafted, unique jewelry, and hand-carved bears. There will be some great food and live entertainment as well. Doors are open from 10am to 5pm on the 5th and 6th.

The Busy Bears Annual Quilt Show at Big Bear Middle School in on September 6th this year from 10am to 5pm.  This annual event showcases some of the most amazing and creative works of stitchery you’ll find anywhere.  It’s a great opportunity to see this centuries-old craft close up, and many of the quilts are on sale with proceeds benefiting local Big Bear charities.  It’s a unique opportunity to walk away with an instant family heirloom lovingly crafted by a local artisan.  There’s a $5 admission fee to benefit the charities.  Visit their website for more info: http://www.busybearsquiltguild.com

The weekend also have numerous events for the cyclists sponsored by the Big Bear Cycling Association and ongoing nature walks at the Discovery Center. Whatever event draws you to Big Bear, we confident the best part of your visit will be the comfort you experience in  your Five Star Vacation Rental. There’s really no better way to end a full day of fun family activities than to retreat to the privacy and luxury you’ll find in one of our Big Bear vacation rentals.

You can view all of our Big Bear vacation rentals at this link.  Making other plans for Labor Day weekend?  Here are links to our other destinations in Park City, and Mammoth Mountain,  Southern California Beachesand Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  Whatever your plans may be for this or other upcoming events, make sure your next anniversary, birthday, or holiday is one your family will always fondly remember.  We’ll be happy to help that happen, so call us today at 310-800-5454, and we’ll help you plan a great vacation or weekend trip.

It’s Time to Don Your Metal Pants

We’re just a few weeks away from one of Big Bear’s most popular events.  Yes,  cast out your foolish modern grammar and manners.  It’s time for Big Bear’s annual Renaissance Faire, so pull on your metal pants, chainmail vest, and join us for the weekends of August 1-2, 8-9, and 15-16. You’ll want to make your reservation early, because many of our properties get booked quickly.

This annual event is almost more fun than should be allowed in polite company.  But that’s okay.  Much of the time you may not actually be in polite company.  It’s the one time of the year you get to use words like, “tankard,” “jousting,” and “mirth.” The Renaissance Faire offers a full range of things to do, and offers great entertainment for the entire family.

Our favorite event is the “Imperial Knights.”  These fine folks pull on 130 pounds of steel armour, climb on horses weighing 2000 pounds, and charge at each other with long, pointy lances.  They’ve been known to reach speeds in excess of 30 miles an hour before they collide in the middle.  What could possibly go wrong?

The Passado Action Theater acts out a collection of Shakespearean vignettes filled with bawdy humor, physical comedy and outrageous swordplay. Zaria will also be there. Named in honor of the Slavic goddess of beauty, youth, and sunrise, this troupe is based on a foundation of feminine strength and positive energy. There will be storytellers, pirates, royalty and period craftsman as well. There’s going to a troupe of belly dancers, and you’ll also experience the magic of Ciran the Gypsy Magician.  Wander among the dozens of vendors selling great souvenirs and period crafts.

If this is your first visit, we suggest you arrive hungry, and be prepared to consume some of the most outrageous foods you’ve ever seen.  The rumors are true.  You can actually get an endless supply of roasted turkey legs that clearly come from turkeys the size of an emu.  The ale flows freely, and the cooking aroma in the air is combined with the pleasing sounds of wandering minstrels and occasional shrieks of delight.  Many of our guests keep returning each weekend because it’s just too much fun not to.

Browse all our Big Bear properties at this link.  Call us at 310-800-5454 and we’ll be glad to help you plan a great getaway.  Interested in a getaway at one of our other destinations? Browse our properties in  MammothPark CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California Beaches, or Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway for Big Bear’s Renaissance Faire or a week-long summer vacation, we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect cabin or estate.

Summer Fun in a Five Star Vacation Rental

Five Star Vacation Rentals has properties located in some of the most desirable destinations in the world.  With summer vacations just around the corner, it’s a great time to look at the possibilities.  This year you can plan a vacation that will be the one the entire family looks back on for years to come as their all-time favorite. Here is a quick recap of our top two destinations.  Either of these will be a great option for your summer getaway:

Big Bear Vacation Rentals

Far and away, this is our most popular destination.  We’ve worked hard over the years to assemble some the most luxurious cabins and estates available in Big Bear.  Our cabins offer something for everyone.  If you want seclusion and privacy, we’ve got you covered.  Want to enjoy a great lake view with room for the extended family?  No problem.  Planning a family reunion with 20-30 family members?  We have adjoining cabins available that will keep you all centrally located without the hassle and expense of renting a dozen hotel rooms.

Summer is an ideal time to visit Big Bear.  The lake is stocked, and fishing is a great pastime.  Boating on the lake is also popular with boat, sailboard, and jet ski rentals available.  There are a number of great hiking trails that will immerse you in the beauty of Big Bear’s forest.  Bring your bike with you or rent one when you arrive, and you’ll find another great opportunity to enjoy the pristine surroundings.  View all of our Big Bear rentals at this link: www.FiveStarBigBear.com

Villa la Estancia Mexico Vacation Rentals

We were one of the early buyers at this resort outside Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, and we regularly return to enjoy the amazing sandy beaches.  It’s everything you expect from a beachside resort.  It has luxurious pools with sunken cabanas, so you can just swim up and get some refreshments.  It has a 30,000 square foot world-class spa on site that will provide you with a decadent level of pampering.  The restaurants located at the resort are world class, and offer an amazing combination of local seafood with the finest Kobe beef dishes as well.  Ask us about our all-inclusive meal package to simplify your stay.

In addition to the great beach and resort benefits here, you’ll be located a short cab ride from Puerto Vallarta.  This amazing historic city has a large community of artisans who sell their works on the streets and in small local shops.  And the local cuisine is just amazing.  Some of the best lobster we’ve ever had was in a little hole-in-the-wall cafe nearby.  There are so many fun shops and arts available, you’ll find yourself returning over and over again.  This is one of the reasons we always travel with an extra empty bag.  It’s never empty by the time we return home!

There are direct flights to Puerto Vallarta out of LAX, and the resort is just a short cab ride from the airport.  Check out all our available Villa la Estancia units at this link.

And if you’re in the mood for a getaway elsewhere, follow these links to view our other properties in Park City Southern California Beaches, and Mammoth Mountain,  A well planned vacation in a Five Star Vacation Rental cabin or estate will recharge your batteries and equip the entire family for the challenges back at home.   Call us today at 310-800-5454, and we’ll help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.

 

The Art of Getting Monday Off, or Great Weekend Getaways

Great weekend getaways don’t just happen by accident.  It has never once happened that a family just woke up one morning and found themselves magically transported to a luxury cabin in the majestic Big Bear forest.  It takes a bit of planning and often some ingenuity to make a great weekend getaway happen.  We certainly strive to make the experience as simple as possible, but it does take a plan.  And with this post, we’ll even help you create the perfect plan.

The biggest problem with any weekend getaway is that you must actually return home when the weekend is over.  Part of being an adult is coping with the harsh realities that life deals us, and this is certainly one of the harshest.  But we have a plan to soften the blow.  With a little bit of planning, you can get Monday off, and this will change the entire feel of your weekend away.  It begins to morph into a mini vacation with the addition of Monday.  Here’s how it works:

Arranging Monday off will have a degree of difficulty that is entirely dependent upon your job.  If you’re self-employed, the boss is a pushover and you have nothing to fear.  If you work for a tyrant, it will take additional wrangling.  You may have accumulated some personal days off, or you may be able to reason with your boss.  Just explain the value of that day off in terms of how it will renew your energy and efficiency upon your return.  Pull worn photos of your children out of your wallet and explain to your boss that studies show children who do not spend weekends away in Big Bear with their family are 72% more likely to enter a life of crime.  Try begging and pleading too.

Once you’ve accomplished this, the rest is easy.  You can book your stay directly online with most of our properties, and we’ll gladly help you book any of them with a quick phone call to us at 310-800-5454.  Then the fun begins.  Now you’ve arranged for a getaway that starts Friday afternoon and runs through the entire weekend.  Come Monday morning when the rest of the world is heading back to work, you can enjoy one last dip in the spa or enjoy your morning coffee out on the deck as you breath in the crisp clean Big Bear air.  You’ll be on the road at about the time everybody else is just taking their lunch break.  Your batteries will be recharged, and you’ll have enjoyed a full weekend of relaxation and fun in your Five Star Vacation Rental.

Call us at 310-800-5454 and we’ll be glad to help you plan a great getaway for just a weekend or several weeks.  Browse our properties in Big BearMammothPark CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California Beaches, or Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  Whether you’re planning a weekend hiking getaway or a week-long summer vacation, we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect Big Bear cabin or estate.

Plan Big For Your Next Special Event

One of the best parts of our job is that we get to be involved with important moments in the lives of our guests.  We’ve been part of anniversaries, family reunions, weddings, and honeymoons.  Mother’s Day is a favorite of ours, as are the countless birthdays and dozens of romantic getaways planned for Valentine’s Day.  It’s more fun than you can imagine to hear the excitement in the voices of our guests as they plan out the moments to be a very personal and memorable event for those they love.

Consider the possibilities:  A while back we had guests at our Ocean View Laguna Beach Gem who were preparing for a wedding.  They decided to have all the extended family arrive during the week before the wedding and stay at this amazing home.  It ended up better than they had hoped.  They wrote us later, “The house is absolutely amazing and worked as a great ‘home base’ for the whole family.”  Instead of spinning family members out to various couches and motel rooms around town, a single luxury Five Star Vacation Rental proved to be a perfect compliment to the events.  A new family was created while surrounded with their family.  Instead of creating a logistical nightmare, it ended up being a great opportunity for the family to enjoy each others company even  during the days leading up to the great event.  It’s a great idea, and we’ll gladly help your family do likewise.

Family reunions are also a perfect fit for our vacation rentals.  And we’re able to accommodate groups of several dozen with the right planning.  In Big Bear we have a number of luxury rental cabins that are adjacent to each other.  This means that you can gather more than 30 guests together among a few cabins.  Usually you’d be stuck in a hotel with a group of this size, but we can help you create a getaway with space dedicated to just your family.  It’s an entirely different experience than trying to get enough over priced rooms at a local hotel compared to relaxing in private cabins adjacent to one another.

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway for just the two of you or something that includes dozens of family members, we’ve got a perfect solution for you.  Check out all of our Big Bear vacation rentals at this link.  And if you’re in the mood for a getaway elsewhere, follow these links to view our other properties in Park City Southern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  A well planned weekend away in a Five Star Vacation Rental cabin or estate will recharge your batteries and equip the entire family for the challenges back at home.   Call us today at 310-800-5454, and we’ll help you plan the vacation, anniversary, or reunion of a lifetime.

 

Life Has Too Many Regrets. Grab Your Skis and Avoid This One

We’re getting amazing snow in Big Bear right now.   March is upon us, and the skiing is better than ever.  But it can’t last forever; Spring is right around the corner. You don’t want to look back at this time once May rolls around realize you wasted one of your last chances to hit the slopes.  The conditions right now are great.  Don’t put this off any longer.

We imagine nobody will be surprised to learn that we’re in favor of the 4 day work week as long as you plan the other 3 days in one of our luxury Big Bear vacation rentals.  We’re also in favor of using some of those accumulated vacation days you have in reserve.  And we’re continually proposing that our guests just take a few days for relaxation in the mountains.  Call it personal days, impersonal days, or an out of town excursion that involves absolutely no work whatsoever.  This is a perfect time for some days on the slopes and some nights relaxing in a Five Star Vacation Rental in Big Bear.  Order your lift tickets in advance and save some money with this link: http://www.bearmountain.com/snowboard/rates/lift-tickets/

Our weekday bookings are usually much lighter than the weekends, and the same applies to the slopes at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.  Get more time in on the slopes, and enjoy a wider choice of cabins for your time off the slopes.  As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll find even the best restaurants in the Village will seat you immediately.  It’s a great chance to unwind.

After a fun day on the slopes or in the Village, you can look forward to the evenings in your Five Star Vacation Rental. You’ll find each of our properties to be a luxurious delight. Cozy up in front of the fire and just relax with your family. Choose one of our properties with a hot tub, and that’s another great spot to end the day.

Check out all of our Big Bear vacation rentals at this link.  And if you’re in the mood for a getaway elsewhere, follow these links to view our other properties in Park City Southern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  A well planned weekend away in a Five Star Vacation Rental cabin or estate will recharge your batteries and equip the entire family for the challenges back at home.   Call us today at 310-800-5454, and we’ll help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.