Prudent Tax Planning With A Great Vacation Getaway

Tax time is just about over, and we’re all breathing a sigh of relief.  If you had to pay, the pain will be subsiding soon.  If you’re getting a refund, well, let’s just imagine a few of the possibilities.

Most of us treat our tax refund as a gift from heaven, and that’s almost how it seems.  Though upon closer examination, we find the postmark betrays a much earthier origin.  For many of us, it’s perhaps the only piece of mail coming out of Washington that we actually enjoy opening.  All year long we labor and watch the numbers on our paycheck continue to grow larger in that column devoted to our taxes.  It’s nice to finally get a few of those dollars back.  And here at Five Star Vacation Rentals, it always puts us in the mood to celebrate.

We can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than with a stay in one of our luxury vacation rentals.  Our avid blog readers are well aware that we have some of the finest luxury estate getaways for you to choose from.  Big Bear is our most popular destination, but we’ve got great properties in  Park CityPalm Springs/La Quinta Southern California Beaches Mammoth Mountain, and  Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico as well.  And regardless of which one of our destinations you choose, you’ll have the comfort knowing that we’ve devoted ourselves to providing you with only the best quality properties to ensure you feel pampered and relaxed for the duration of your stay with us.  Here are a few suggestions we have for prudent investments with your tax refund.

1.  Make sure you spend the money in a way that is the polar opposite of how you actually feel about taxes.
This is perhaps the most fun of all.  We cringe and grumble over our tax burden.  When we’re together with friends, it’s often the topic of our conversations. We would love to pay less taxes, and our tax refund check is a small reprieve toward that end.  So, it can be amazingly delicious to use that money to pamper your family.  We see near daily reports of how the government spends our taxes frivolously, so what better response than to invest that money into the pure delight of our family?

2.  Book a stay at one of our getaways for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
You really don’t need an excuse to plan your getaway to one of our luxury vacation rentals.  As the ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote in the 5th century BC, “If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” For the sake of your sanity, please call us today to book your getaway for no other reason at all.  We value your stability and sanity, and we’re here to help.  Please call us before it’s too late. 310-780-3411

3. Book a stay with us to celebrate some of your most important occasions.
Our lives are filled with milestones that we mark to help us remember the most important events.  We all have a birthday, and there’s really no better way to celebrate it than booking a luxury getaway in one of our vacation rentals.  But that’s just the start.  We have anniversaries, graduations, honeymoons, promotions, engagements and much more.  Pack your bags, and grab a camera, because your stay with us will become one that your entire family will remember and yearn to repeat.

As you can see, Five Star Vacation Rentals has some great luxury destinations ready to help you relax like you’ve never been able to before.  You can choose a luxury Big Bear Cabin, or a condo on the beach in Villa la Estancia.  Whether you’re looking to getaway for some upcoming event, or for no reason whatsoever, please call us at 310-780-3411.  We’ll be happy to help you create a fantastic getaway that will delight your entire family.


New Year’s Resolutions From Five Star Vacation Rentals

In just a few days we’ll be ringing in the new year.  It’s a time that most of us look forward to a fresh beginning.  For most of us, we’re vowing to lose weight, spend less time watching television, and exercise more.  Yawn.

But we here at Five Star Vacation Rentals want to encourage you to break out and make some new resolutions. Climb out of your yearly rut and embrace new resolutions. Exercise boldness!  Here is our list of completely unbiased and self-serving resolutions.  Please write these down:

1.  Learn To Ski

There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you never learned to ski. Sure, lots of people were skiing before they could ride a bike, but that’s okay.   This is why all the major ski resorts offer ski lessons for all age ranges.  Make this the year that you finally strap on a pair of skis and learn why so many people are so passionate about this hobby.  All of the ski resorts near our vacation rentals offer lessons for beginning skiers.

In Big Bear, Snow Mountain offers group and private lessons for both skiing and snow boarding.  This is gonna be fun. Click here for more info.  Here’s our page of Big Bear luxury vacation rentals.  Most of them have hot tubs, so you can relax it the soothing warm water if you get any bumps or bruises.

Book your stay at one of our Mammoth Mountain condos first, then make arrangements for your ski lessons.  Mammoth Mountain offers private and group lessons for both kids and adults.  Visit their website at this link for more details.

Visit our Park City, Utah condo, and you’ll be facing some of the best skiing found anywhere.  And they also  have lessons for all age and skill levels.  Here’s the link to their page.  View more details about our Park City condo on this page.

2.  Ski More Next Year

Already know how to ski, but haven’t been able to get away enough?  Resolve that you will ski more, and we’ll help you with this resolution.  January is one of our biggest months for skiing.  There’s really nothing as relaxing or exhilarating as a good fast run down the slopes. You need to get away more often.

Big Bear is our most popular ski getaway.  View our Big Bear vacation rental cabins at this link.  We also have units available at Mammoth Mountain.  Here’s the link to our Mammoth Mountain vacation rentals.  And we have a great cabin available in Park City, Utah as well.  Here’ the link to our Park City condo.

3.  Golf More Next Year

You can golf year round at our Palm Springs/La Quinta and Villa La Estancia, Mexico properties.  Once the snow melts, you can visit any of our properties.  If your spouse loves golf, but struggles to find time for it, we can help.  We’ll work with you to build a perfect golf getaway you can surprise them with for their birthday, your anniversary, or Valentine’s Day.

4.  Take a Beachfront Family Vacation in Exotic Mexico

We have over a dozen luxury units available right on the beach outside Puerto Nuevo Mexico.  Villa La Estancia is a world-class resort destination that boasts 2 gourmet restaurants on site, several pools, as well as a full spa.  And just a short cab ride away, you can enjoy the local flavor of Puerto Vallarta with amazing food and great shopping including exotic products made by local artisans.  All major Southern California airports offer direct flights, so you can be there within a couple hours and start enjoying the fun.  Visit our Villa La Estancia page at this link for more details.

5. Teach the kids fishing, mountain biking or boating

Some of the best memories most of us have from our childhoods are when our parents taught us something new and fun.  Big Bear is a great destination for this.  There’s a virtually unlimited number of new activities you can do in Big Bear.  Big Bear Lake has rentals for all sorts of boats to take the family out on the lake.  You can also rent bikes at Bear Valley Bikes.  Bear Valley Bikes have bikes suitable for mom and dad as well as the kids, so you can hit the trails and explore the forest around Big Bear.  Heck, you can even have some fun teaching the kids how to bowl at The Bowling Barn.

6.  Spend More Quality Time With Your Family

This is really what we hope to provide to all our guests.  It’s fun to find an excuse to get away for a family vacation, but the only one you really need is the desire to spend some time with your family away from the pulls of work and your other commitments.  Our kids grow up fast, and we miss too much if we don’t make plans to enjoy their childhoods while we can.  Don’t let another year slip by without getting in some good vacation time with your family.

7.  Be Thankful

We may be a vacation rental company, but we really feel we’re in the business of recharging batteries.  In the pressure of our daily lives, we often get distracted by the temporary pressures that tend to drive much of the things we do each day.  A family vacation gives us a chance to wind down, and embrace the things that are most important.  We can look at our kids playing a game of checkers in the corner, and have our hearts fill with gratitude for the many gifts we enjoy.  And that is the most important resolution of all.  Be thankful for all that you’ve been given.

Five Star Vacation Rentals would like to thank all our friends and guests who helped to give us so much to be grateful for in 2012.  We wish each of you a wonderful 2013 filled with prosperity and quality time to spend with your family and friends.  Please call us at 310-780-3411, and we’ll help you put together a great vacation that will be a wonderful time for your family.





Looking For a Warm Christmas? Five Star Vacation Rentals Has the Answer

Lots of folks who live in Southern California have landed here from other parts of the country where the weather is not quite as nice as ours.  Well, now that we think about it, NO place really has weather nearly as nice as ours, right?  These transplanted Californians delight in some things that are completely foreign to us natives.  For example, never once has your faithful blogger delighted in NOT having to shovel snow.  In fact, he has never even held a snow shovel.  But if you were born and raised in Minnesota, that simple statement would set your head spinning with a great big smile on your face.  Southern California is sort of like the Emerald City to these folks. It’s a dream land where nobody really needs a heavy coat, black ice is something you get when you pour Coke into the ice tray, and the sun actually seems to shine brightly almost every day of the year.  Yes, Toto, you really aren’t in, err, Minnesota any more.

Not our idea of fun.  Is it yours?
Not our idea of fun. Is it yours?

Many of these folks become then envy of their less-fortunate relatives still trapped in the arctic climates from which they fled.  And the contrast in the weather is never so dramatic as when the holidays arrive.  Your weekly phone conversation with Uncle Julius in Minneapolis invariably covers exactly how long it took him to shovel out the  driveway so he could find the car.  And if he’s really lucky, he’ll tell about the wonderful new snowblower he just bought.  You can smile and tell him about the wonderful new lawnmower you just bought.  It’s quickly apparent that the two of you — though once neighbors — now reside on entirely different planets.

But the holidays are a time for gathering with friends and family from all the far flung areas they’ve landed.  And it would be a crime NOT to offer a brief respite to those you love by hosting your own holiday get-together at one of our luxurious Southern California or Mexico vacation rentals.   You’ll certainly be more popular with the snow-bound relatives, and you may decide to become a Realtor so you can profit from the relocation that many of them will begin planning as soon as they return home and their feet hit the hard, frozen soil.  Be sure to tell them you can get them seats at the Rose Parade, and they won’t need a parka for it either.

We have some great choices for a warm-weather winter getaway.  All of our vacation rental units are luxuriously furnished and promise to provide an amazing setting for your family and friends to enjoy the holidays together.

Our Southern California beach homes are located within walking distance of the beach and offer an amazing level of luxury.  The beach homes are also ideally located to serve as a home base for visiting all of Southern California’s favorite attractions from Sea World, just a couple hours to the south, and Hollywood studios an hour or so to the north.  Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm are even closer.  Click here for a closer look at our Southern California beach homes.

This is your view from the balcony at Villa La Estancia. Notice that there's not a snow shovel in sight.

If you have a very large group, our best accommodations may be with our Villa La Estancia Mexican resort vacation rentals located right on the beach in Puerto Nuevo.  We have 16 units available in the resort, so we can accomodate a group of virtually any size.  The resort is located just a few minute’s drive from the  Puerto Vallarta Airport, and all southern California airports offer direct flights.  Trust us, Aunt Mildred from Detroit will rewrite her will to include you after she spends an hour in the on-site spa at Villa La Estancia.  In addition to the ocean swimming and boating, all the golfers in your group will enjoy the championship golf courses nearby as well.  Good luck getting them all back on the plane to Minnesota after that!  Click here to view our Villa La Estancia vacation rentals.

Our Palm Springs/La Quinta vacation rentals are a special delight during the holidays.  Palm Springs pulls out all the stops at Christmas time, and the entire family will delight in great shopping, shows, and amazing restaurants.  Our vacation rentals are right on the golf course, so you can have everybody back east dust off their clubs and enjoy a few rounds while their neighbors back home will be lifting nothing but their snow shovels.  It makes for a perfectly delightful time.  You can look at our Palm Springs/La Quinta properties on this page.

Give us a call today at 310-780-3411, and we’ll help you plan your ideal family vacation.  Your vacation time is very special, so don’t gamble with it.  Our goal is to offer you a level of luxury that you just won’t find anywhere else.








Spotlight on Villa La Estancia in Mexico

Plan something new for your fall or winter vacation this year.  We have luxury units available right on the beach in the Villa La Estancia resort in Nuevo Vallarta.  There is a wonderful assortment of activities and shopping available, and there’s always the option to just spend a few days relaxing on the beach.

The Fall weather is delightful with temperatures averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.  Getting there couldn’t be easier.  Flights are available to the Puerto Vallarta airport (PVR) from San Diego, Orange County, and LAX.  Direct flights arrive in about 3 hours, and the resort is a 10-minute cab ride from the airport.  Here are a few suggestions for your trip:

Make it a golf vacation

Vista Vallarta Club de Golf
Vista Vallarta Club de Golf

Vista Vallarta Club de Golf has grown in the past decade to become an international destination for golf enthusiasts.  Opened in April 2001, the first course at Vista Vallarta is a Signature Design by Jack Nicklaus. Since this course is located on the property’s highest elevation, golfers are treated not only to world class golf but will enjoy breathtaking views of Puerto Vallarta, the Marina and Banderas Bay as well.

Also on the property is a beautiful course designed by Tom Weiskopf.  Built on the property’s lower west end, golfers won’t believe they have simply taken a different turn from the club house.Here the terrain is extreme with dense jungles, deep ravines and swift creeks.  Both the Weiskopf and Nicklaus courses are designed with scenery unlike any you’ll find in the United States.  Pack your clubs, and give us a call.  We’ll give you all the details for reserving your amazing golf vacation.   For more information about golfing at Vista Vallarta Club de Golf, visit their website at

Make some new aquatic friends

Amazing Dolphin Encounter
Amazing Dolphin Encounter

The Aquaventuras Park is a short drive from our resort at Villa La Estancia, and it’s well worth it.  This is a wonderful water park that features up close swimming with dolphins.  It’s really an amazing adventure.  Testimonials on their website help capture some of the fun in store for you there.  Anne from New Jersey writes,

Dancing in the water with a dolphin was unbelievable. I will never forget today!

Jocelyn Limos described her adventure this way:

If you love dolphins like I do, then this is something you need to do for The Experience of a Lifetime. I would do this over and over again. Thank you for my dream come true!

We expect you’ll be writing your own testimonial of the amazing experience you’ll have spending some time with these wonderfully intelligent and affectionate creatures.  Aquaventuras Park offers some great discounts for advance booking, so call us at 310-780-3411 first, then visit their website to book your tickets and start planning your exciting getaway.

Pry yourself away from the beach and do some shopping

Puerto Vallarta Shopping
Puerto Vallarta Shopping

There’s nothing wrong with spending all day every day on the beach (bring sunscreen!).  After all, it’s a vacation, and you should have the freedom to just relax.  Despite the amazing beauty of the pristine beach right in front of our resort, we recommend that you set aside at least one day to experience the great shopping, food, and culture in the community surrounding Villa La Estancia.  A quick cab ride into Puerto Vallarta will bring you to beautiful shops and world-class dining.  Local artisans have their wares on display daily, and we can’t let you go home before you sample at least one of the local restaurants with an ice-cold beverage of your choice.  As with most of our Five Star Vacation Rental getaways, the only problem you can expect is that you’ll regret you didn’t book your stay for longer.

But wait, there’s more!

We’ve only just scratched the surface of all the fun things for you and the family on your Villa La Estancia vacation.  In a future blog we’ll give you details on horse-back riding, boating, fishing, and other fun things.  But don’t wait for us to write about it!  Call us and book your vacation, so you can dive into your own Puerto Nuevo adventure.

We have over a dozen units available for rent in Villa La Estancia ranging from our luxurious penthouse suite to lower level suites overlooking the pool.  Whichever unit you choose, you can be confident that your suite will be clean, comfortable, and luxurious.  Our mission is to make sure your precious vacation time is always enjoyed to the fullest.  View our Villa La Estancia properties on this page, or call us today at 310-780-3411 to book your Nuevo Vallarta vacation.

And don’t forget that we also have Five Star Vacation Rentals available in Park City,Palm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Big Bear.  Each of our destinations offers a wealth of activities for the entire family, so call us to book your next vacation.


Don’t Take Our Word For It. Our Guests Speak Out About Their Five Star Vacation Rentals

As most of you know, we’re pretty enthusiastic about our vacation rental units.  And we have good reason.  At Five Star Vacation Rentals we pride ourselves on offering the most luxurious top-quality properties to our guests.  Our properties are located in the best neighborhoods and offer a level of comfort that we’re convinced you just won’t find anywhere else.  But that’s just us talking.  Why not listen to what some of our guests have to say?

Considering a family vacation to Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico?  Listen to what Alan and Audrey N. had to stay about their stay in our luxurious penthouse condo in Villa La Estancia:

Relax and enjoy the ocean view

Wow!  Thanks we had a fabulous time.  So much so that we plan on returning and soon!  Your residence is great, the premises well maintained . . .  We have already recommended your property to several friends.   The nearby town of Bucerias was delightfully Mexican and we enjoyed several meals there.  Also the Mega store kept us well supplied.  We even had hotel provided babysitters (employees)  on two nights- Emma (excellent) and Lulu (also very good).  We ended up renting a mini-van which suited our two families quite well.  Most of all, we enjoyed how family friendly the locals were to us and our young children- it was one of the most relaxing trips we’ve taken with the kids.

Enjoy some time in Laguna Beach

Beng S and family stayed at our ocean view Laguna Beach Gem, and had the time of their life.  This Laguna Beach property has amazing ocean views and offers unsurpassed luxury. 

On behalf of my family, I wanted to thank you for making your Laguna Beach home available to us.  Your home is absolutely beautiful – we love everything about it and the views are amazing! Everyone had a wonderful time – we all wished that we could have stayed longer to really enjoy your home. Hopefully next time we’ll stay longer so we can truly relax and enjoy the beach!

Room for 2 families and amazing luxury

Tim L was very impressed with our Estate by the Lake in Big Bear. This amazing cabin sleeps 16 and has a sunken outdoor spa. Here’s what Tim had to say:

I was just looking at pictures of our trip to Big Bear and can’t believe how much fun we had.  I’m the first to e-mail a company when I’m not happy, so thought I should be fair and e-mail you to say how happy I was.  Absolutely one of the coolest and most flawless trips ever…thanks for a great memory, well above anything I expected!

Call us at 310-780-3411 to book your vacation getaway now. Browse all of our Big Bear vacation rental cabins on this page.  If you’re planning a vacation somewhere other than Big Bear, please be sure to look at our luxury rentals in Park City,Palm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  Regardless of where you may go, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that Five Star Vacation Rentals is working to make your vacation relaxing and memorable.