FlaRBO Host of the Month
Florida Rental By Owners (FlaRBO) is proud to introduce one of our amazing hosts from Anna Maria Island. We’re sharing this host’s vacation rental story and her passion for guests staying at her Florida rentals. Our July hosts are Nikki and Mike Kaleta from Once Upon A Beach on beautiful Anna Maria Island, Florida. Nicole generously shares her insider tips about the best that’s offered at this quaint, small town Gulf of Mexico location and why her properties book out over one year in advance on the West Coast.
1. What inspired you to start hosting your Florida Vacation Rental?
We are Nikki & Mike Kaleta Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania natives, frequent travelers, and self-proclaimed beach bums. As frequent visitors to Anna Maria Island for years, we quickly fell in love with the small town feel of this beach island paradise before making it home. We relocated here for the purpose of being able to enjoy this gem full time and inspire others to visit as well. With diverse and unique backgrounds we knew we would be able to find a niche on the island, and what better way than to help bring others to and share this beautiful island.
2. How do you exceed your Guest’s Expectations? Why do they keep coming back?
It is our utmost goal to make every one of our guests instantly feel at home as a ‘true local’ in one of our unique, pristine, meticulously designed and luxurious accommodations. From one bedroom bungalows to a premier private beachside oasis to sprawling multi-story single-family homes. We take great pride in ensuring our homes are maintained with the highest standards of quality and care. We know planning a vacation can be stressful so we are dedicated to providing a personalized and stress-free rental experience from booking to departure for all of our guests. As a small boutique short term vacation rental company, our guest’s experiences are everything and we look forward to helping you write the first chapter of your vacation story with us and welcome you back for years and years to come.
3. Why are you Passionate about your Vacation Rentals?
AMI always finds a way to reinvigorate your soul by pouring sunshine into your heart and writing cherished memories onto your mind. The idea of Once Upon a Beach was born with the opportunity to manage short-term vacation rentals for some of our family-owned homes. As we quickly jumped into this next adventure, it became our passion project to provide a unique, intimate, and simplified vacation rental experience for our guests so that all they had to do was reserve, arrive, and relax. Vacation planning should not be stressful and details shouldn’t be a concern. Our guests should feel right at home from the moment they step into one of our unique, beach chic, and luxurious homes and immediately start enjoying all the island has to offer. We take pride in our service and the meticulous maintenance of our homes. We should be able to laugh with guests, assist in making life events like anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, or just a weekend away memorable and special, and be eager to greet them back!
4. What are the Keys to Your Success that others may not know about?
We quickly acclimated to being a ‘local’ and are dedicated to building friendships, relationships, and partnerships with other locals, residents, and visitors on the island. The heart of the island is in its people and small local businesses which are so focused on welcoming all the visitors flocking here. We are proud that as an up and coming business we have created a great name of integrity for our business as we provide exceptional service for guests, take great care of our homes, and build excellent relationships with our owners as well as neighbors of the homes we manage. Making sure guests who stay with you will respect and care for this sacred place as much as those who live here is the first step. We not only advertise homes for rent but an experience of ‘island living’ through our social media and insider guides we have invested time in creating for our guests to enjoy.
Ask the owner of your vacation rental if they have any insider guides to help you plan and make your Florida vacation and epic stay.
Nikki’s Perfect Anna Maria Island Itinerary
Regardless of what a blissful vacation means to you, you’ll find it here on Anna Maria Island. Here are some of my favorite things to do on the island.
- fishing off a pier
- wildlife watching
- enjoying a boat ride
- dipping your toes in blue waters
- savoring an ice cream cone
- sunning yourself on the cool sand
- eating your heart’s desire of fresh seafood
- sipping some island cocktails
- grabbing a beer
- listening to live music
- filling your shopping bags with unique finds
- mini-golfing with the little ones
- exploring the island by bike
- joining a sandbar party
- spending time with your loved ones
- snoozing in a hammock
- enjoying a romantic date night with some fine dining
- just doing nothing at all but reading a book and listening to the waves under an umbrella
5. Describe your vacation rental or guest experience in 3 words.
Luxurious, Beachfront, Paradise
6. Who would you recommend your property to?
Our homes are a perfect fit for all sorts of groups! We have hosted small families looking for a great place to watch the kids play in the sand while cooking from the kitchen, retired couples relaxing for a month beachside, a group of all ages celebrating life events, professional chefs, photographers, or television hosts looking for the perfect beachside backdrop, or even a newlywed couple enjoying their honeymoon.
7. Why does your property, The Tiki, stand out from the Crowd?
Words cannot begin to properly describe this privately tucked away island paradise alongside the beautiful gin clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Nestled into the middle of Anna Maria Island and located on one of the largest privately owned stretches of Holmes Beach, ‘The Tiki’, which sleeps 8, is arguably one of the most elite and unique beachfront homes on the island.
This one story ground level 1930s beach bungalow has been carefully and meticulously renovated over the last several years. The home’s original exterior cottage design has remained true to the heart of the home while the interior has been entirely renovated and upgraded with the finest amenities. The gardens and landscaping have been upgraded to include the most beautiful lush tropical foliage and has been featured in 2016 Anna Maria Island’s Tour of Homes. The oolitic limestone stones create beautiful archways and accent the walkways of this expansive beach paradise.
Once you’ve toured the home, you immediately will want to step outside onto your own private beach paradise. The home’s main feature, it’s one-of-a-kind ‘Tiki’, is an enormous tiki bar unique to the home. These tiki bars are no longer allowed to be built so close to the beach and is truly one of the most unique finds on the island. The main outdoor bar which seats twenty is fully equipped to entertain with electricity, sound system, lights, television, and ice machine. There are two smaller tiki huts which seat four each comfortably. Along the crest where the beach meets the seagrass, sits a line of colorful Adirondack chairs which make this home recognizable to anyone who passes by. The chairs invite you in to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cocktail or beverage while taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of the gulf. It is literally only a few steps from those chairs to having your toes in the pristine blue waters of the gulf. On those cooler nights, toss a few logs into the one-of-a-kind designed and created ‘Fire Ball’ beautifully constructed from an old mooring ball. Perfect for settling next to a cozy fire on the beach while enjoying some stargazing and smores!
Interested in visiting Anna Maria Island, Florida?
You can view all of Nikki and Mike’s properties here and take advantage of booking direct today. Don’t wait to book her lovely coastal cottage retreats they book quickly!
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