Frequently Asked Questions

We do things a little differently than most vacation rental companies, so you're bound to have some questions (and we welcome them!).

Below, you'll find a list of popular questions people ask before and after booking their vacation rental.

Questions Asked Prior to Booking

Can I book my reservation online?

We do not encourage online bookings. Though this trend is popular, we believe it's important to speak directly with an Emerald Kite agent by phone to ensure you've selected the best vacation property possible. Booking by phone also keeps your credit card details secure. Your agent's priority is to make your stay smooth and enjoyable - from your very first call through the last day of your stay.

Most websites are designed to avoid direct customer contact by offering an online product that can be purchased by inputting your credit card details, but when a problem arises, it becomes the customer's job to get the wrong righted. As a highly regarded, reputable vacation company, Emerald Kite provides the very best in one-on-one customer service. Research shows that the average family vacation costs between 5-10% of your total income. This is a significant expense, which is why we do not recommend making an online reservation before speaking with a local, knowledgeable agent. Selecting your vacation home is something that should be done carefully and with the best of direction.

Are you an online, web-based company?

We consider this website our “storefront,” but we are not an online, web-based company in the traditional sense. Emerald Kite is a travel company offering exceptional vacation accommodations supported by personalized customer service. Our company members, affiliates, and agents have a local presence and expert knowledge of the vacation area you are planning to visit.

How do we know you are a legitimate company?

Coast 2 Coast Vacation Rentals / Emerald Kite has been in business for over 12 years. We are regarded as the industry leader in the professionally managed vacation rental business. Our policy is to book guests into properties that are professionally managed by licensed management companies who adhere to the state laws and real estate rules. Our guests can rest assured that their funds are held typically (in escrow) by the respective management companies until your date of check-in. This requirement provides our customers the highest level of protection of your vacation accommodation payments. Some of our customers have reported booking through private owner sites and losing thousands of dollars. Our customers can rest comfortably knowing that their funds are protected and that the property selected in managed by an onsite or local licensed management company. Emerald Kite is proud to confirm we are longstanding members of both IATA and ASTA.

Your destination agent mentioned trip insurance. Do I really need it?

Emerald Kite does not profit from selling trip insurance. Our agents will offer the option, but under no circumstances will they advise strongly one way or another. Insurance coverage can start at around 5% of your trip cost, but typically gets as high as 7-12%. While trip cancellation insurance can provide you with full or partial reimbursement for nonrefundable, upfront costs, it still should be carefully considered. Insurance can be a good idea for those looking at a long-term winter season stay or an expensive accommodation option. For those in poor health, it certainly is worth considering. Before purchasing expensive insurance, please check with your credit card company and see if they offer coverage. If you do purchase insurance, please check your insurance carefully to ensure you understand exactly what you are covered for.

Can I bring my pet with me?

You certainly can bring your pet, provided this has been confirmed in your reservation paperwork. Most pet-friendly properties have stipulations regarding types and size of pets. Please discuss your pet requirements with your agent at the beginning of the selection process. If you book a property and can't take your pet, you may want to contact our concierge. [email protected]

Do you have any properties that allow smoking?

No. Any guest that smokes in a property is subject to a hefty penalty.

I paid a refundable security deposit. When will it be returned?

Check your confirmation paperwork for specific details. If you have not received your refund within 30 days of checkout, please email [email protected], and we will be happy to follow up.

What is the difference between “vacation rental security damage insurance” and my security deposit?

A refundable security deposit is typically a separate payment, which is fully refundable providing there is no damage after checkout. Damage insurance is an insurance fee that will cover a specified amount of damage; however, this fee is not refundable.

Why are your agents considered the best?

We have strict requirements for all of our destination agents. Each agent must have at least three years' experience in property management or vacation reservations in a resort destination that they have worked or lived in. Additionally, all Emerald Kite agents must be knowledgeable about the local vacation market and the local community; this enables them to provide superior concierge service to our guests. Whatever activities you choose to participate in, our local agents will do everything they can to help you have an incredible time.

Wow! How can I become an Emerald Kite Destination Agent?

We would love to hear from you. Please email [email protected].

When will I get my check-in instructions?

If you have not received your check in instructions and key access details 7 days prior to departure please email [email protected].

Why do your agents request a budget or price point for the accommodation?

As mentioned above, the cost of a vacation can range from 5-10% of your family income. As such, it is imperative that this money is spent wisely. When an Emerald Kite agent brings up your vacation budget, it may be your instinct to feel uncomfortable; however, the agent is simply trying to help you find the best rental within your price range. When our agents know your working budget, it helps them narrow down accommodation choices. We want to help you find a quality accommodation that meets your requirements without putting a bad dent in your pocketbook.

Your online prices show a range instead of an exact rate. Why is that?

This is something we are working on with our affiliates. Prices change constantly, and we represent a great deal of homes and condos - unfortunately, this means that updating the exact rate in our search feature has proven to be a challenge. That being said, our developers are in the process of enabling exact pricing to be part of the online search process. This technology is currently in its final testing stage.

Do you charge reservation fees?

Many of our rentals do not charge a reservation fee. You may have noticed that some online companies say they don't charge any fees for their services - this is not the case. All companies charge fees of some type to stay in business and be profitable. Fees can be hidden or outlined upfront. Therefore, companies that use a “no-fee guarantee” as part of their marketing campaign are typically not telling the whole story. Emerald Kite strives to offer high-quality properties at a great value. Sometimes, our rates are significantly discounted, while other times - based on supply and demand - you may pay more. The best way to get a discount on a property is to ask your agent to request one. The agent will make the request, and depending on the dates of your visit, demand, and overall availability, it may or may not be granted.

You rate your properties by a ranking of Platinum, Gold, Silver, Value. How do you decide a ranking, is it price or location?

Rankings are subjective and we base our Emerald Kite property rankings on the interior furnishings only. For example If a property has a new kitchen with a wonderful granite gourmet kitchen then this could likely earn an Emerald Kite Platinum Ranking. A property could receive a Platinum or Gold Ranking and be less expensive than a silver rated property that has better views or locations. We will change property rankings from time to time. If a property has not had furnishing updates in a while we may adjust the overall ranking down and if work has been done on the property and upgrades added, we may increase the ranking.

What is the difference between a Private Owner rental and a professionally managed vacation rental?

Vacation home owners are required to rent their homes though a licensed property management company regulated by the state where the property is located. States rules and regulations vary in terms of holding funds, protecting the customer/renters rights, refunds etc. With the internet boom a number of private owner sites and vacation home platforms have provided owners with a medium to advertise and book their own properties. These sites have created a situation where many home owners are renting their properties from a distance and taking on funds. While many private owners are honest and provide a great service there is no regulatory body to protect the consumer. Emerald Kite books its customers into professionally managed local management company properties.

How am I protected financially by staying in a property managed by a property management company over a private renter?

Property management companies are licensed and regulated by the state. When customers provide checks or credit card payments for a vacation rental those funds are required to be held in escrow accounts until check in. Many home owners (not all) use the rental income to offset the operating expenses of the home, sometimes including mortgage payments prior to the guest checking in. This offers limited protections to the customer if the house goes into foreclosure, is double booked, damaged or sold. Its better to book a professionally managed rental to ensure protection of your funds.

But some of the major private owner sites offer a guarantee?

Yes, most of the larger sites do offer a refund, but if you arrive and your home is not available or doesn't exist your family may have nowhere to stay, regardless of their best efforts to help get you relocated.

What if something goes wrong at the property?

From time to time a malfunction at the property will occur. Many private owners have key staff on call in the event of a maintenance issue but there are times that a private owner is not contactable. Private owners may also have difficulty reaching a specialized repair company in a timely fashion, particularly during weekends and holidays. Getting a refund or discount for a serious maintenance issue may be very difficult. A professionally managed property typically has on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week a team of experts that will expediently correct any issues.

I heard it's cheaper to rent a private rental from the owner?

This is not the case. Home owners, whether privately owned or managed by a professional management company, have a significant say in the rental rate of their property. Private owners that are renting privately certainly save on the property management fees by renting themselves, however, the additional advertising fees, credit card fees and cost of travel to manage the home make savings unlikely.

Will Emerald Kite book a customer into a private home?

We think that there are many great private owners and they contact us on a regular basis for representation. It has been our policy to direct them to the best local management companies that can represent their property and protect their interests and the interests of their customers. From a liability standpoint most home owners tend to prefer the protections and professional service offered by first-rate, experienced property managers.

Questions Asked After Booking

What happens if I get to my rental and I have a problem?

It is very important to work closely with your agent during the accommodation selection stage. Close communication with your agent will ensure that the property you select has all the primary features and amenities you expect. However, in the rare circumstance that you encounter a situation where the property needs maintenance or housekeeping, please refer to your confirmation paperwork. There, you'll find a local number for property maintenance and management. When you call that number, the home manager will send maintenance or a cleaning crew to your property.

What time is check-in and checkout?

Typically, check-in is around 3 p.m. and checkout is around 11.00 a.m. Each property has a different requirement. Please refer to your rental agreement paperwork.

How can I discover the best places to dine and shop?

Please email your complimentary concierge service with a list of requests: [email protected]. We will be happy to send you dining information, activities, directions, and more.

Will the property have a hairdryer, pool toys, beach chairs and umbrellas, beach towels, a beach wagon, bicycles, floaties, or other items?

Many properties will have these items for guests to use. However, these are “bonus items,” and we can't guarantee that they will be available upon your arrival. If a bonus item is important to you, we suggest that you bring it along on your trip. If the item's size makes it prohibitive to bring, you may need to purchase the item upon arrival if it is not available at your property.