Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

We stayed one night at a waterfront home on Roberts Bay in Venice, FL to do some shark tooth diving. This was our first stay at an Airbnb with an owner living in the same house – a first shared space, first room in a house instead of an entire house or living space to ourselves.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

As our first Airbnb stay at an owner’s residence, we were pretty unsure of what to do – ring the doorbell? Bring wine? Take off our shoes?
A for sale sign was in the front yard, so we hoped it would not sell before our overnight!

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

First Impressions

Our first impression was of a really cute home in an older, established neighborhood on the bay. We found parking for about four cars on a very neat paver pad, admired all the lush landscaping, and headed up the walkway. Gorgeous bird of paradise and potted palms line the driveway.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

We knocked, and Lucy put us right at ease. She introduced us to her cat and three dogs, one a dog being pet-sat, and showed us around and to our suite.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Afterward, we walked down to the dock to watch the sunset and drink lots of ice water – it had been a long day. The sunset was spectacular in all pinks and oranges, framed by tropical trees like palm trees and sea grapes.

With a spectacular show of color, the sunset lasted over a quarter of an hour. To the East, we watched the nearly-full moon rise as the sun set. Swirls of clouds provided a nice backdrop for all the marsh birds headed for their evening nests. Once the no-see-ums came out, we decided to retire inside as well.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

West Florida Chic

The home is 1962 awesome. Tile floors, low ceilings with some areas with vaulted ceilings and sky lights. I looked for terrazzo floors – none – but the 60’s details were evident and charming.

One surprise is how large and open the home is. Lucy showed us where it had been added onto, and where a front porch had become a part of the climate controlled part of the house. In the front is a large living room, an updated spacious kitchen to the right, and owner’s suite to the left. An office lies behind that, and our suite to the right.

To the rear, a courtyard with brick areas leads to a second cottage that is not in use. Previously, it provided two rented apartments, but local zoning changed. That reduced Lucy’s income from the property, thus the for sale sign.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Kitchen

For a 60’s home, the kitchen is enormous. One side featured large fridge, farmhouse sink, several countertops, four-burner gas stove, then a wall-mounted double oven. The other side of the kitchen had an entire wall for wine fridge and coffee bar. That’s my dive partner Bill with our vacation coffee setup.

Daily Coffee System – Home or Away

Part of our daily ecoconscious morning is making our own coffee in the least destructive means possible, so our coffee kit was packed as always. We have a tiny metal whisk for stirring the sugar for the Cuban coffee. For stir sticks and to dig the coffee grounds out of the Bialetti Moka Pot, we use bamboo skewers. We bring a metal tamper, and a spare metal spoon.

Our two brewing methods accompany us everywhere – a Bodum French press and the Bialetti Moka Pot. We consume no plastic pods, no paper filters, and no disposable cups. So far, so good. Also, more efficient than boiling on a stovetop; we bring an inexpensive Hamilton Beach electric kettle. That frees up one burner for multiple-pot meals.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Beyond the kitchen lay a surprisingly large laundry room, and a powder room such as you would offer the use of to day guests. It is so cute, and tucked neatly to the left of the laundry.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Living Room

The living room had several large chairs and coffee table, a wonderful open area, and a large glass-top dining table. Unusual terra cotta large tiles, about eight inches by eight were uneven and felt and looked wonderful underfoot. The entire front of the house had full glass doors, so wonderful views of the dock and boats and the bay. It was a wonderfully rainy, gloomy day, so pardon the photos – the natural light was rather low!

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Dining Room

Behind the living room lay a dining room with enormous table for eight or more. Additionally, a large fireplace and generous seating under skylights made for a comfortable second living space. This probably was the main living room originally before the front room became enclosed. Lying right off the suite, it makes a great second living room in case more than one guest is staying.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Suite

Our suite featured a very soft, comfortable king-sized bed. The sheets were of good quality. We carry our own sheets and pillows, as often Airbnb’s have inferiour offerings. These were wonderful, and we added our pillows to the existing ones so we could do a bit of reading.

The room is very large, with a writing desk I used for doing a bit of writing. I particularly liked the end tables, and could not determine if they were older or newer. There were two large, tall chest of drawers, and three closets.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Suite Bathroom

For a home from the 1960’s, the bathroom is surprisingly large. Along one side lay the sink as well as a makeup vanity area. The other side had the loo and full bath and shower combination. Tons of towels were available. Wall tiles were attractive light blue and the floor has white tiles.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Amenities

The information sheet in the suite did mention laundry available, and we had seen the cleverly situated laundry room right off the kitchen.

We were offered bagels for breakfast, but we up earlier than the owner and didn’t want to search around for them, so we went out for breakfast. When we are alone in an Airbnb, we usually plan out all our meals, then head to the grocery and stock the fridge. It did feel like it would be a bit inconvenient to the owner to take up space in their fridge and on their counters since they were full of dishes drying.

It looked like there were several types of coffee makers, bean grinders, and dozens of different coffee mugs available for use in the kitchen. We also travel with a full coffee-making kit, so we used ours instead. Our electric tea kettle is speedy to boil water for the French press for my coffee, and Bill found a burner that worked for his Moka pot. Lucy mentioned bagels were available, but we couldn’t find them, so we went out to breakfast after coffee overlooking Robert’s Bay.

I didn’t see many amenities offered. Hand soap is at each sink. We always travel with our own reef-safe shampoo, conditioner, and soap, so that is not a worry.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Thoughtful Feature

One nice feature in the suite is a small desk. I’m always thrilled when I find an Airbnb with a desk in the bedroom – that means I can easily do a bit of photo editing and writing without disturbing anyone in the main areas.

The Airbnb listing showed this desk to the right of the bed, and the low seating against this wall. Currently, this is the setup, and it’s perfect. There’s a place at the foot of the bed for luggage or pillows, and the desk has electric outlet access and space around it. Great touch! That’s my water on the floor; I didn’t want to leave water marks on any wood surfaces.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Best Points and New Considerations

For our first stay at an Airbnb, we learned that the personality of an on-site hostess can make a difference. Lucy is fun and engaging. The feeling of needing to “get home on time” was a new one, as previously we came and went at will in other Airbnb’s. In this case, we felt it was necessary to let her know very close to when we would check in, so that’s not as flexible as entire home bookings.

We are still trying to decide what the pro’s are for booking an Airbnb that has an owner on site. I suppose if anything does not work, they are right there to have it fixed or explain persnickety features. Lucy had plenty of warnings about her touchy septic system. We have the same, so that was no worry at all.

Reading the Reviews

When booking Airbnb’s, I read the reviews – often all of them – looking for any small mention of anything undesirable. One mention of street noise, barking dogs, or a hard bed, and I pass on the listing.

Lucy’s dogs barked from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. I texted her at 10:00 p.m. that they were barking. To see why they were barking, I had gone out a few times to the living room.

After I texted her at 10:00 p.m., I heard her go out and speak to them. They resumed barking, we tried to sleep, and at 12:23 a.m. I texted her again that they were still barking. I think she took them into her bedroom, because the barking stopped. She apologized later.

Initially, I considered being really angry about the barking – we thought for sure she could hear them barking. In advance, I had warned her we are early risers and go to bed fairly early. We had gone to bed at our usual time, around 7:45 p.m. It had been dark over an hour, and we were tired from the day’s journey. However, it’s possible she could not hear them barking, and since I didn’t say anything for a couple hours, maybe I couldn’t be angry. Maybe she didn’t even hear them! What I do know is we didn’t sleep well those first five hours despite the bed being incredibly comfortable.

When we got up in the morning, around 7:00 a.m., she was no where to be found. Perhaps she slept late after being kept up all night by those barking dogs!

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Give Hosts a Chance to Fix Before Complaining

We taught ourselves an important lesson. Thinking through reviews I had read, sometimes visitors report a problem later. Then the host posts that they wish the visitors had mentioned it so they could fix it right away.

One time at Port Side, we needed grilling implements and could not find them. The site manager had them to us in under five minutes!

If something bothers you, you can’t really be angry at a host/hostess unless you let them know and give them a chance to fix it. They might have no idea. That’s what we think happened, so we didn’t make a big deal about it. If we were to stay there again, we would ask up front that the dogs go sleep in her room.

P.S. The cat really worked hard at making up for the dogs’ barking. He followed us around, charming us and posing for photos, and generally outdoing himself trying to be cute.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Airbnb – Make Your Trips “Off The Chain!”

Ok, so, here are two Airbnb discount codes. Try either one! The offerings from Airbnb change every couple months, so use whichever gives you the best deal. You can only use a code one time, so compare, choose whichever gives you the best deal since they change periodically, and make it count!

As of today, this one, Airbnb says, “Kimberly gave you up to $55 off your first trip.” Friends who sign up for Airbnb with my link will get $40 off their home booking. And they get $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more.

Also today, this one, Airbnb says, “Deep gave you up to $415 off your first adventure. I’m ready to book from this one right now! I’m thinking it’s a computer glitch – so jump on it fast!

Waterfront Home, Guest Suite w/private bath…. is the listing we booked on Airbnb. Lucy has a few other offerings; a room with a shared bath, a guest cottage, or the entire home. If you click on the circular link of any host, you can see all their listings. This home is on Roberts Bay in Venice, Florida.

, Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review
By the way – the shark tooth diving went great! More articles on that here on the blog!

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My Method for Booking a Great Airbnb Property

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