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Guest FAQ

Vacation Rental Guest FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - Atlantic Vacation Homes

 

As a guide to help you plan your Cape Ann vacation, here is a list of frequently asked questions. If you need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Atlantic Vacation Homes and Cape Ann

What is a vacation rental?

Vacation rentals are fast becoming one of the most popular types of accommodations. They provide an alternative to hotel rooms and inns, allowing vacationers to stay in a privately owned home that is fully and comfortably furnished. By renting an entire home, travelers generally have more space and amenities than found in hotels. Vacation rentals are ideal for groups and families, allowing them to stay together under one roof, for one price as opposed to having to reserve multiple hotel rooms.

All of Atlantic Vacation Homes' vacation rental properties are located on Boston’s North Shore, including Gloucester and Rockport in Cape Ann. Search our inventory of available vacation rentals to find your perfect home away from home.

What makes the Atlantic Vacation Homes vacation rental experience different from others in the area?

  • Atlantic Vacation Homes is locally-owned and our team is 100% local. Every member of the Atlantic Vacation Homes team lives, works, and plays on Cape Ann, so we know these communities inside and out and we are there for you when you have questions or concerns.
  • Atlantic Vacation Homes properties are always well-equipped and professionally cleaned. Your stay includes hospitality-quality bed, bath, and kitchen linens, complimentary Wi-Fi, a and a "Welcome Kit" with a starter supply of supplies.
  • Seamless and efficient guest communication is a priority for us, from booking confirmations, check-in and check-out instructions, house rules, and more. 
  • We offer packages and experiences (such as kayak rentals and whale watch tickets) that you can add to your vacation to make your stay even more enjoyable. 

How do I reserve an Atlantic Vacation Homes vacation rental property?

Visit our website at atlanticvacationhomes.com or call us at (855) 853-9143 to book your desired vacation rental property. We encourage you to always book directly with Atlantic Vacation Homes to get the best price. Most 3rd party listing sites (like Vrbo, Airbnb, and Booking.com) charge a traveler fee (often referred to as a "service fee") of up to 15% of the total rental amount. Guests who book a vacation rental stay directly with Atlantic Vacation Homes benefit from our Best Price Guarantee. 

When you book your stay directly with a local rental agency like Atlantic Vacation Homes, you are partnering with  Our Guest Experience team works with you to find the vacation rental property that is the best match for your preferred location, amenities, and price point. 

What beaches can be found on or near Cape Ann?

Cape Ann offers a wide variety of beautiful beaches to explore and enjoy throughout the year. 

  • In Gloucester: Good Harbor Beach, Wingaersheek Beach, Half Moon Beach, Long Beach (straddles Gloucester and Rockport), Niles Beach, Pavilion Beach, Cressy Beach, and Plum Cove Beach.
  • In Rockport: Long Beach,  Back Beach, Cape Hedge Beach, Folly Cove, Front Beach, Old Garden Beach, and Pebble Beach.
  • In Manchester-by-the-Sea: Black Beach, Singing Beach, West Manchester Beach, and White Beach.
  • Other notable North Shore Beaches include: Crane Beach (Ipswich, MA), Brackenbury Beach (Beverly, MA), Dane Street Beach (Beverly, MA), Devereux Beach (Marblehead MA).

How far is Cape Ann from Boston?

Cape Ann is just 35 miles north of Boston, less than an hour's drive. The MBTA commuter train from North Station also goes straight up to Rockport (via Salem and Beverly), making Cape Ann much easily accessible to the metro Boston area.

What is the difference between Cape Ann and Cape Cod?

While both areas are known for amazing beaches, whale watching, great seafood, and quaint villages, Cape Ann is less crowded and more affordable. Located less than an hour’s drive from Boston and its international airport, Cape Ann is extremely accessible.

In addition to fishing (Gloucester is the home of the hit TV show "Wicked Tuna"), Cape Ann offers many stunning beaches and miles of gorgeous coastlines, artist colonies, live theatre and music, exciting local festivals, great shopping and fine restaurants, and much more.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Making a Reservation

 

What are the vacation rental seasons on Cape Ann?

High Season / Summer is runs between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September.  

Off-Season / Fall, Winter & Spring is mid-September through to mid-May. Many of our properties rent for longer periods (i.e. minimum of one month) in the off-season, although some homes are available to rent by the week or by the night (3 night minimum). Higher rates may prevail for shorter term and winter holiday rentals. For more information contact an Atlantic Vacation Homes Guest Experience Specialist.

What is the process for making payments on my reservation?

Payments for offline reservations can be made by E-check, checks, and major credit cards. Online reservations can be paid by E-check or credit card.

  1. Atlantic Vacation Homes charges a non-refundable Guest Services Fee at the time the reservation is confirmed. The amount of the Guest Services Fee is variable per property.
  2. Guest Experience Specialist will send you an electronic rental Agreement by the next business day after your reservation request.  
  3. The rental agreement must be signed and returned to Atlantic Vacation Homes within 48 hours of receipt, accompanied by payment for half the total rent remainder, including the damage fee (see below).
  4. Optional Vacation Rental Insurance, provided by Generali, is offered as part of the initial payment. Trip cancellation insurance keeps you from losing your vacation rental investment if you need to cancel for a covered reason, such as injury or illness. Guests opting not to purchase travel Insurance should be aware that refunds may not be available; therefore we strongly encourage all renters to purchase trip cancellation insurance. Learn more about trip cancellation insurance.
  5. The balance of the rent must be paid 60 days prior to occupancy. Your contract will specify all due dates and amounts. 

What if I need to change my reservation?

If a reservation is changed at the guest’s request, AVH will charge an additional $100 Change Fee. 

Do you collect a security deposit?

In most circumstances, Atlantic Vacation Homes does not collect a security deposit on rentals less than ninety days.

What is the Damage Fee?

AVH charges a non-refundable damage fee. The damage fee covers a maximum of 10 times the amount of the fee (for example, a damage fee of $100 covers up to a total of $1,000 of accidental damage per rental). The guest shall be responsible for damage exceeding the covered total. Depending on the property, the damage fee ranges from $100 to $300 and is listed in your Booking Charges summary in the Rental Agreement. 

What is the cancellation policy?

If the guest cancels, and has Vacation Rental (trip cancellation) Insurance, they will be issued a refund for any cancellation reason that is covered by the insurance. If the guest cancels, and does NOT have Vacation Rental (trip cancellation) Insurance, all amounts pre-paid are non-refundable unless the property can be re-rented. If re-rented, AVH will deduct a 25% cancellation fee based on the total rent, and will return the balance to the guest. We encourage all renters to purchase trip cancellation insurance, which we offer at the time of booking. Learn more about trip cancellation insurance.

What is Vacation Rental Insurance?

Trip cancellation insurance can protect you and your family from expenses you may incur due to illness, injuries, weather, and other unforeseen circumstances. For your convenience and protection we are able to include the cost of Vacation Rental Insurance, at 6.95% of the total rent. Details of the plan are available by calling Generali at 866-999-4018 or by visiting the Generali website:  http://www.csatravelprotection.com/certpolicy.do  (group plan code G-320CSA) for additional information.

Can I bring a pet? 

Pets may only be accommodated in a Pet-Friendly property. In pet-friendly properties, there is a non-refundable pet fee of $250 (plus tax) per pet. For the comfort, health and safety of all of our guests and homeowners, there are certain restrictions that apply to our Pet-Friendly Properties. Learn more.

What if I am allergic to pets?

If anyone in your group has any sensitivity to pets, general allergies or special needs of any kind, please contact a Guest Experience Specialist before reserving a property, so we may help you find the most comfortable property for you.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Your Stay

 

What Time is Check-in and What Time is Check-out?

Our standard check-in time is after 3:00 pm. Our standard check-out time is 10:00 am. Guests will be charged an additional fee of $75 (plus tax) if they arrive before 3:00 pm or fail to depart by 10:00 am without prior approval by Atlantic Vacation Homes. Learn more about early check-ins and late check-outs

What do I need to bring?

All Atlantic Vacation Homes vacation rentals are equipped with furniture and furnishings such as: sheets and bath towels, pillows, bedspreads, blankets, pots, pans, dishes, and flatware unless otherwise stated. In addition, we provide a "starter amount" of toilet paper and paper towels. View a detailed list of what is included in each rental. 

We recommend that you bring the following items with you, or buy them when you arrive.

  • Groceries
  • Coffee and Coffee Filters
  • Condiments
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Garbage Bags
  • Soaps (hand soap, dish detergent and dish soap)
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Specialty cooking items (such as waffle iron, Crock pot, etc.)
  • Foils, wraps and baggies
  • Laundry detergent
  • Toilet Paper
  • Personal toiletries such as shampoo
  • Personal appliances such as hair dryers
  • Extra blankets and pillows if desired
  • Pool or beach towels
  • Beach chairs (if desired)
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Items for your dog (if applicable)

 

Can I bring extra guests to stay in my vacation rental?

The occupancy limit stated on the Rental Agreement may not be exceeded for overnight stays without express written permission of Atlantic Vacation Homes. Children are counted in total occupancy unless they are under the age of two. Sleeping bags or air mattresses may not be brought in and NO campers or motor homes will be allowed to park on the rental property for the purpose of adding extra sleeping space.  

Large gatherings, rehearsal dinners, weddings, graduation parties, cocktail parties, wedding preparation groups, breakfasts or brunches, showers, celebrations, barbeques, catered meals, or any occasion that brings extra guests and/or cars onto the property is considered to be a “party” or an “event”. Events MUST be disclosed to and approved by Atlantic Vacation Homes in advance and is subject to Event Fees.

What if I accidentally left something at the property after my stay?

Fill out our online Lost & Found Form and we will make every effort to find the lost items and return them to you. However, we cannot be responsible for items left behind and we cannot guarantee items reported will be returned. Items that are unclaimed after 30 days will be donated to a local charity.

 

Atlantic Vacation Homes Atlantic Vacation Homes is the premier vacation home rental & real estate company on Boston's North Shore, with over 30 years of creating dream vacations for our guests. Situated a little more than a half-hour’s drive from downtown Boston, the North Shore is the ideal spot for an east coast vacation. We specialize in coastal vacation rentals for families, large groups, and anyone else who wants a beach vacation in Massachusetts.