Questions (FAQ's)

These questions only relate to registered users. General questions are publicly visible from the home page. Here you can ask us anything. Use the search box above to find the question you need answers. Just click on the question and the answer will appear. Click again and it disappears. Or you can click on the "Show all" bar below to display all answers.Feel free to submit new topics using the Submit Question link.

Q: So what are Vacation Rentals?

A: That's an easy one. Any lodging unit that has a full kitchen & bath, is fully outfitted with linens and towels and usually detached bedrooms is a Vacation Rental Home. These may be apartments, cabins, condos, chalets, houses or villas. In some countries they are called Holiday-lets, Holiday homes, Holiday Villas or Gites (France.)

Q: How do I purchase a Travel Insurance Plan?

A: You can purchase a Vacation Rental Insurance plan directly through your vacation rental company.

Q: Tell me about Sunspot Vacation Rentals?

A: Sunspots is a network of trained and certified Vacation Rental management companies working together to grow and improve the industry and their own operations. Vacation Homes may be located in every communities including lake, mountain and river locations and even in urban and suburban communities. Each company is individually operated and strives to offer industry best practices for Guests and Property Owners. Services are provide by the Vortex Organization.

Q: What is Plumbob Publishing?

A: A plumbob is an old fashioned tool used by carpenters to determine straight up and down. It is a string and a weight which, when allowed to dangle free always reflects a straight line downward. Our company has chosen the word Plumbob to represent our quest to produce straight forward and accurate publications. Some of these are conventional print and other media. And some are websites in a variety of specialty industries and narrow interests. This website is just one.

Q: I've lost my logon or password. What do I do?

A: No problem. Just go to the Login Page of our website. Look for the "Forgot your Password" link. Or you can call us during business hours.

Q: Are housekeeper tips mandatory in Vacation Rentals?

A: Tips for housekeepers at lodging accommodations of all kinds have become the sign of considerate Guests and just plain good manners. Due to their square footage and amenities, housekeeping at Vacation Rentals is back-breaking work. Considerate Guests will leave a tip of five to ten percent of the total rent. Far less than at a restaurant, but housekeepers work far harder.

Q: Is there a website membership fee for using your website?

A: Nope. Browsing properties and information is free. But we do ask you to register for certain information. It helps us help you.

Q: Is it possible to arrange a late checkout?

A: Yes, sometimes - Keep in mind housekeepers need all the time between Guests to prepare the property for arrivals. So late checkouts are not always available. Due to scheduling requirements, there is a charge for late checkouts and it is not possible to confirm this availability until 24 hours in advance of departure.

Q: Do I get more room in a Vacation Rental?

A: Yes of course - the average hotel room is small, but vacation rentals are larger, with kitchens and extra space where you can hang out with your family or friends. Sit in the living room instead of squeezing into the only chair in the room.

Q: Why are bookings usually non-cancelable.

A: Unlike hotels, vacation homes are valuable assets held by private parties. To allow Guests to hold dates in advance only to cancel them later, means the owner would miss out on other prospective customers in the meantime. In addition, because most homes are booked in advance last-minute replacements are not always possible. We can, however, offer to re-sell dates for a Guest who made a prior purchase. In that case, some or all of the Guest's funds may be refunded if a replacement Guest is found.

Q: Is it possible to arrange an early checkin?

A: Usually housekeepers need all the time between Guests to prepare the property for arrivals. So early checkins are not always available. In the case where a room was not previously rented, and the cleaners have gotten the clean completed, it may be possible to arrange an early checkin. Because this requires rescheduling, staff time and coordination there is a charge for early checkins. Usually the charge is 1/4 of the daily rate for four hours early and 1/2 the daily rate for 8 hours early. And it is not possible to confirm availability of an early checkin until 24 hours in advance.

Q: Why must I book a full week at some times of the year?

A: During the busy seasons, it can become disruptive to have lots of guests coming and going every few days, so we do require you to book long stays at some times of the year. Plus Guests seem to enjoy staying longer and settling in.

Q: Why is there a cleaning fee for Vacation Rentals?

A: Vacation rentals are bigger than hotel rooms and require more effort to clean. Rather than increase the price of every day's rent there is usually an out-cleaning fee. It is also your way of knowing the place will be clean when you arrange.

Q: Is there a deadline for checkout times?

A: Yes - cleaning rooms, condos, homes and resorts is a big job. It can take hours to make a place spic and span. Housekeepers need to start immediately upon departure. Staying late disrupts the cleaning schedule. Sorry.

Q: Are Guests allowed to check-in early?

A: Cleaning rooms, condos, homes and resorts between Guests is a big job. It can take many hours to make a place spic and span. It isn't always possible to start the cleaning process on time, so housekeepers need every minute get a unit clean before its scheduled check-in time. Guests who arrive early disrupt the cleaning process. In fact, housekeepers are not allowed to continue cleaning if a Guest arrives early and enters the property.

Q: Where does your company operate?

A: Although we started small, our company is growing. We currently have network offices in Washington State, Idaho and Hawaii. Coming on line are British Columbia, Oregon and other great destinations. Local Managers provide hands-on services to Owners and Guests making sure every home is exactly what it should be. Our central office does the marketing, advertising and administration to keep the lodging services first rate.

Q: Are there Rules for Guests?

A: Yes - to keep owners, neighbors and other guests happy there are guidelines to follow. In general we ask that Guests comport themselves in quiet, safe and unselfish manner and that they treat the property and the area with respect.
Click to See Rules

Q: When I book for a week, do I have to arrive on a certain day?

A: To make sure we can thoroughly clean and prepare a property for arrival, we do ask that weekly bookings arrive on a certain day of the week. Usually it’s a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Q: Are vacation rentals timeshares?

A: No. Properties in our network are primarily owned by private parties and families. We do not sell timeshares or promote timeshare presentations. No mandatory sales pitches.

Q: To make a booking must I deal with the Owner?

A: Not at all. We'll take your order, send a confirmation and instructions for accessing and using the property. Our Owners rely on us to do all the work. And you can rely on us to make sure the property is ready for your arrival.

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