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Q: For Boquinha-ga please: Luxury family vacation ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: For Boquinha-ga please: Luxury family vacation
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: jude1-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 10 Aug 2006 15:29 PDT
Expires: 09 Sep 2006 15:29 PDT
Question ID: 754782
Looking for a *luxury* vacation for 20+ people. Here are the details:

1) Changed dates: Dec. 27 - Jan. 3

2) $50,000 budget -- let's see what we can get for that. I'm looking
for true luxury, not something that looks like a simple home or
building. A mansion, castle, or something else upscale. Luxury
destinations are also excellent (but not Aspen). My mom is hard to
impress. (Well you ARE, Mom!)

3) Must have 10+ bedrooms IN ONE HOUSE/VILLA/CASTLE/BUILDING. I prefer
something that we can completely rent out as opposed to a hotel/bed &

4) Would like the availability of both a chef to prepare meals and a
housekeeper (this doesn't have to be included in the rental per se,
but be available thru a nearby service if not thru the property

5) I'd like to see a few different types of places: mountains, Grand
Canyon, beaches -- but ONLY beaches IF, IF, *IF* there's PLENTY else
to do,
especially for kids. (Hey, Mom, this is MY question! ROTFL)

4) Preferably in North America and Carribean 

5) Weather MUST be warm to cool -- no colder than sweater weather (no jackets!)

6) Must have LOTS of activities to do for both adults and very
small children 3 and 5 years old (like children's museums, petting
zoos, theme parks, etc...)

Please remember the NEW dates!

Request for Question Clarification by boquinha-ga on 11 Aug 2006 11:38 PDT
Hi again!

I'm posting to let you know that I've seen your question and am
working on researching it. I'm happy that you asked for me to continue
this research with new parameters for an even more luxurious trip than
you originally specified by raising your budget from $20,000 to
$50,000! This really does involve several hours of research like the
first question (I must admit that I misunderstood when you said you
had another question to the max of $200 to mean that you were posting
another $200 question)--these kinds of questions really do involve a
great deal of time and research (researching, combing through each
location, meeting requirements, contacting possibilities, etc.) and
take *a lot* of work. The location switch is less of a big deal, but
the change in dates and other ramifications really makes it a whole,
new question--especially with the dates, I'm starting from scratch

I'm happy to do this research for you. I enjoy it and am glad that
you're so pleased with my first answer to you! To be fair, I just want
to let you know that for the price listed, I can provide you with a
handful of possibilities, but if you would like an answer with a
greater number of locations (like the first question), you may want to
consider raising the price (which you can still do since this question
is not yet answered).

Here are the pricing guidelines for Google

  The minimum price appropriate for complex, multi-part questions  
  Researchers will typically spend at least one hour on $50 questions
and be very responsive to follow-up questions

 . . . 

  Researchers will typically spend extensive amounts of time (4 hours
plus) and do highly thorough research for questions at the $200 price
  Please be sure to check questions priced at this level frequently
as researchers are likely to have questions for you about the answer
you want
  If time is a concern for you, questions priced in this range get
extremely rapid attention"

As you can imagine, an hour isn't going to be nearly enough to be as
thorough as I've been on your first question. Again, if a handful
suffices, then this price is fine and I can go ahead and get you
that--that's perfectly reasonable. I just want to make sure we're
clear on your expectations. If you'd like a longer list like the first
question, please do feel free to raise the price accordingly. Please
let me know how you'd like to proceed.


Clarification of Question by jude1-ga on 11 Aug 2006 11:52 PDT
I see! I've raised it to the max. :) Like I mentioned before, my mom
is hard to please and she's looking for something very luxurious. To
give you an idea, last year's New Year's trip was at The Castle in
The home must be stunning, not someone's house that is available in
the off-season. She thought the Joshua Tree house looked like
someone's Grandma's house. LOL!

Request for Question Clarification by boquinha-ga on 11 Aug 2006 11:58 PDT
Wow! That was fast! Okay, great, that helps me know how to
proceed--longer list, lots of possibilities, etc. In fact, that link
helps *A LOT!* Perfect example--I really appreciate that. Dang, you
guys go all out! :) Wanna take us along? :) I'm teasing. In all
seriousness, I'm on the job. I've already started anyway and with your
clarifying link (that *really* helps!), I know better how to search
and research. I'm hoping to have it posted this weekend. I can keep
you posted!

Thank you,

Clarification of Question by jude1-ga on 11 Aug 2006 12:45 PDT
I'd really, really, really like to see something in the Grand Canyon
area. I'm finding lots of island rentals, but no Grand Canyon.

Request for Question Clarification by boquinha-ga on 11 Aug 2006 16:12 PDT
Okay, thanks for that. Let's see what I can do in that area. We used
to live in Arizona and I have some ideas that I think might work!

Clarification of Question by jude1-ga on 12 Aug 2006 10:11 PDT
Terrible news. She found a place on an island. :(  Turns out she
really wants something on the beach, so even if I found something
amazing in the Grand Canyon, she wouldn't like it. On an island,
there's nature museums, eco tours, swimming with dolphins, etc. But
not the best for 3 and 5 year olds IMHO. I wonder if we could find
something in California that had surfing and an absolutley amazing
mansion/castle _on the beach_, was warm (!) [so must be SoCal], and
*also* had children's museums, amusement parks, water parks, etc. (It
can't be Florida b/c that's where we live now.)

Request for Question Clarification by boquinha-ga on 12 Aug 2006 16:51 PDT
Okay, this is good (terrible for you re: Grand Canyon, of course), but
good as in your clarifications help me know what to look at and what
to avoid (like FL). California has some places--I can keep looking
there. And islands, eh? Feel free to tell me more about this group.
I'm guessing "she" is your mother? And you have children, right? Being
a parent myself, I can especially see why you'd want a place that's
good for everyone. Thanks for the guidance. I can see what comes up in
the CA area and some other ideas, too!

Request for Question Clarification by boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 04:40 PDT
Checking in . . . 

Still working on this. I'd done a bunch of research on AZ, so I've
been switching gears. More to come . . . :)

Clarification of Question by jude1-ga on 14 Aug 2006 05:53 PDT
Hope it comes soon -- this other house that she's found needs to be
reserved asap or the owner is going to use it himself for the week we

Request for Question Clarification by boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 07:04 PDT
Ack! Okay, I'm on it. I've already found several houses and am looking
for more given your clarifications. I was working on Arizona and I've
dropped some FL houses since you've mentioned that you live there and
that that's out. I'm working on CA and islands and such. Like I said,
I've already got several. I'm working on adding several more.

FYI, AZ (specifically, the Grand Canyon) at that time of the year is
tricky. The northern rim is cold (more than jacket weather) and many
times access is closed because of snow! And as for areas around the
southern rim, I haven't seen much in the realm of "large, luxury
homes." However, so you know for future reference, Sedona is a lovely,
touristy area with a number of really nice vacation rentals for
smaller groups. It's pretty much a day trip to the Grand Canyon from
Sedona (about 2-3 hours).

I have some other things you can look at while I work on your answer
that might be useful to you for your vacation planning--they come from
previous answers of mine having to do with vacationing.

This one might interest you, given that your group is made up of
children as well as adults:

Travel Entertainment for Children

Dos and Don'ts of Holiday Picture Taking

These looks sooooo nice:

Meditation Retreats

Health, Fitness, Luxury Spas

Other fun (smaller scale) things to do, perhaps in the summertime:

Working Farm Bed and Breakfasts

NYC Resources and Guides (in case you ever decide to visit the Big Apple)

In case you decide to ever spend time in the cold, some of these places look great!

Christmas in New Hampshire

Okay, onward with my research . . . 

Subject: Re: For Boquinha-ga please: Luxury family vacation
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 09:15 PDT
Hello again jude1-ga!

LOL! I just hung up with an agent who has apparently talked with your
mother! You?re now known as ?the family in Florida!? That?s hilarious.
I?m in the process of contacting several luxury locations via both
phone and email. I?ve spent hours working with several people and
agents on locating some good properties for you! In the meantime, I?m
posting what I?ve got so far and I can continue to post additional
information as I continue my research. I don?t usually post an answer
while still researching unless time is of the essence, as it is in
this case. So, there is more coming!! Happy browsing!

A note (and so you know for future reference)?I?m finding some rental
agencies that have VERY luxurious homes. One of them has mentioned
that many of their rentals have a 2-week minimum rental and that the
ones with 1-week minimum are already rented. So, in case you?d ever
like to do a 2-week holiday, there are places that accommodate that
and don?t book as quickly, so you likely have more choice as well.

Okay, with that said, here are more options for you. Please continue
to communicate with me with clarifications as needed?those are very

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


This is a villa with 12 bedrooms and 10 bedrooms. It rents for $2250
per night during holiday season, well within your budget.

?The Villa is tucked away in the hillside among lush surroundings, yet
only minutes away from Restaurant Row and nearby beaches. The pool
also has an attached baby pool for the little ones, making this the
perfect family vacation rental.

The bedrooms were designed so that every bedroom, while fully private,
has an open-air panoramic view of the Bay of Banderas. The living area
is open and spacious, lending itself nicely for entertainment as well
as family-style gatherings. The kitchen is all marble, fully-equipped
with Nordic air refrigerator-freezers, three ovens, six burners,
stainless steel grills, and even an outside marble barbecue.

The Villa comes complete with houseman, daily maid service, fresh
linens daily, laundry, large basketball court, 15 car parking (good
for reunions and family functions of all kinds), and a cook on the
premises, available upon request. We welcome you to enjoy the lush
surroundings, the fabulous views, and the indoor/outdoor living of
Villa Las Palmeras with your friends and family.?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


La Perla Negra is a vacation villa that has 10 bedrooms and 10
bathrooms. It is available during the holiday season for about $17,000
per week. They also have a cook, onsite translators, and a shopping
service available for additional fees, if this is something that you
would like to use.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


I know it?s important to you to find places in California, so I?m
listing the one I have so far. I am waiting to hear back about others
as well. This one doesn?t quite have 10 bedrooms, but it is so close
that it is worth listing since it is available and it is near a
plethora of kid-friendly attractions.

This property has 9 bedrooms, but can accommodate 25 people. It is
very close to Newport Beach and is not far from many Los Angeles area
attractions. It rents for around $10,000 during the holiday season and
I am told that it is available this year.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Both of the properties I found in Jamaica so far would qualify as ?for
your consideration? as they are private villas with multiple homes.
They are private, however, and have many common areas for recreation
and entertainment.

This property has 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms and rents for $32,000
per week during the ?high season.? It comes with a full staff,
including chef and housekeeping services. It is currently available
for the holiday season you are requesting.

I tested the link above and it worked, but if for some reason it
doesn?t, go to and enter 4894 into
the OCREF# Search box on the left.

Here is another villa in Jamaica, available during the holiday season.
It has 17 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms. It rents for $30,000 for the
week. It also comes with a full staff and many amenities.

Again, I tested the link above and it worked, but if for some reason
it doesn?t, go to and enter 4049 into
the OCREF# Search box on the left.

Here is a page on activities in Jamaica.

This page offers information on ?family attractions? in Jamaica.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Caribbean Way specializes in luxury rental properties in the
Caribbean. They also handle some properties in Hawaii. They had a
number of great villas that were booked during the holiday season.
Most book for 2 weeks at the holidays, but there are a few exceptions.
This may be a site to remember for future vacations.

Villas of Distinction handles luxury vacation rentals worldwide. In
speaking with an agent there, she said that all of their properties
have a 2-week minimum rental period around the holidays. They have a
number of large properties you may want to consider should you do a
similar vacation in the future.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Again, this is what I?ve got so far. I?m continuing to research more
locations for you and can keep you posted on what I find. I really,
really hope these help. These properties do appear to be filling fast!
This is becoming quite challenging (as I?m sure you can tell), but I?m
hopeful we can find something great for you!


Search terms:

?10..20 bedroom? ?vacation rental?
large luxury vacation rental
?10..20 bedroom? ?vacation rental? [island OR beach]
?10..20 bedroom? ?vacation rental? California
Jamaica attractions children

Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 09:25 PDT
Here is another rental I found! Posting them as I get them!

This property is just above your budget (about $51,000), but as of
this weekend is still available for the holidays. It has 10 bedrooms
and 11.5 bathrooms, and has a full staff including chef and
housekeeping. Oahu has plenty of activities for people of all ages, so
I know this would definitely fit in that way.

Hope this helps!


Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 09:46 PDT
FYI, when doing my original research for this question, I found a few
places that fit everything you were looking for (at the time), but
since it's been narrowed down to beach only, I've not posted those.
Please let me know if you change your mind or are still interested in
those other options (one is in Palm Springs, for example) and I can
still post them for you. Thank you! Still searching . . .


Request for Answer Clarification by jude1-ga on 14 Aug 2006 12:10 PDT
Well, she seems to be really leaning towards the ocean much to my
dismay. There are two surfers in the family. But the thing that really
gets her is the house/villa/castle itself. The one she found it

Request for Answer Clarification by jude1-ga on 14 Aug 2006 12:17 PDT
Here's the info on the place she likes:

I talked the the owner of Margarita Island Rancho 5500. He just had a
group from NY , they were 22  and left yesterday very happy.
He usually stays at the villa during the Holidays but since it is
still early he would consider staying only for the Christmas week and
allow you to have it from December 27th for one week. But he has
advised he needs to make alternative plans right away, so if we do not
confirm as soon as possible he will not change his plans and further
utilize this amazing property for his family, for the entire 2 week

On the wonderful island of Margarita in Venezuela we have this option
for you to consider:

6 suites and 5 double bedrooms.
A great staff...I could send you menus..with local cuisine...

However there is no access to the beach but a minivan with driver is
available to take them wherever they want.
The owner is a very famous photographer, Italian. Has had celebrities
staying there.

This Ranch has 11 rooms, it's the biggest in Ranchos de Chana, which
is the most exclusive part of the island. In fact, nobody can have
access to the premises without authorization.

Margarita Island Rancho 5500

Isla Margarita (Margarita Island) Venezuela is a mountainous tropical
Caribbean island paradise located off the north shore of Venezuela.
Margarita is blessed with an average of over 320 days a year of sun,
beautiful  tropical beaches lined with palm trees like Playa el Agua
or Playa Parguito and a temperature that is never too hot or too cold.

ISLANDS MAGAZINE says: "Venezuela's Isla de Margarita has plenty of
beauty and beaches - and just a bit of an edge. Discover the Caribbean
isle that moves to a South American beat." (Jan/Feb. 2003)

Frommer's Guide rates: 
The Top 10 Up and Coming Destinations For 2006

Around Playa El Agua there are a number of the beach restaurant / bars
that have music & dancing at night. If you want to venture out to
Porlamar, you can find CASINOS, DISCOS, MOVIE THEATRES and many
There is a super new water park near Playa Parguito / Playa El Agua
called Parque El Agua full of toboggan rides and other water related
activities. Cost ranges under $10 per day with small children at half
Diverland is located just outside Porlamar and has various rides
including a Ferris wheel and roller coaster. They also have dolphins
and seals.
There are also numerous tours available to Los Roques National Marine
Park, Canaima (Angel Falls), Los Frailes (Islands off the north shore
of the Island), jungle tours, round the island tours and many others.
You can also spend the day with scuba diving, PADI dive courses or
snorkeling, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, Bareboat Sailing,
sailboat rentals, sailing courses, flotillas, wind surfing, catamaran
drinking tours, hiking, bird watching, etc., etc.

Attached please find some additional photos:

Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 13:16 PDT
Oh wow! Okay, so South America, etc. is still in play. Good to know.
That place does sound nice! (Too bad about the beach for you, though).
I've got a few others I'm about to post. I've been focusing on North
America and Caribbean. How far out would you like me to expand?

Thanks for the clarification. I'm still researching. I've just found a
bunch of island villas through which I'm combing.


Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 14:04 PDT
Okay, I have calls out to a few other places that are checking and
getting back to me. It?s getting tougher. I think we?re exhausting
most possibilities. One guy I talked to on the phone doesn?t believe
there ARE any more places (of course he may be biased because he
likely prefers that his own service be used). I have someone checking
on some Hawaiian possibilities, too.

In the meantime, here is another place you may want to consider in the
future. It is one of the ones that I found before your clarification
about beach-only properties.

I found this one in Palm Springs if you feel like doing some day trips
into the beach. It has 10 bedrooms in addition to a media room, large
dining room, and other common areas.

I found a couple of great ones in Florida, but now that I know that
Florida is out and that you are from there, those are obviously out.

If you want to use your entire budget on one night (or REALLY splurge)
here is a private island in the Bahamas. With 12 bedrooms and a
30-person staff, the $44,500 per night price tag is practically a
bargain! LOL!


Request for Answer Clarification by jude1-ga on 14 Aug 2006 14:39 PDT
Well, it's not that I'm anti-beach per se (although we all live on the
beach so I'm not really understanding everyone's insistence on it, but
that's another story), it's just that I would like a lot for very
small kids to do besides swimming/beach. (The 5 year old can swim. The
3.5 year old can only swim to the side of a pool, he doesn't know how
to surface to get air. And the one year old can't swim yet.) I'd
really like some non-water activites for the non-swimmers. (That's why
I was thinking California b/c of the possibility of children's
museums, theme parks, etc.)

How far to expand? Hmmm. Well, I'm thinking as far as a coast-to-coast
trip (USA) just to get an idea of distance.

Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 15:20 PDT
By the way (shhh, don't tell your mom), I agree with your beach
reasoning completely. I love the beach, too, but I can see why you're
looking for something different. Although there's nothing quite like
clear blue and green waters! But still, I can see why you're seeking
something like California. The closest I've come on a CA location is
the one I've posted. And there is a TON to do around there.

I can keep you posted as I hear back from a couple of other luxury rental agencies.

Request for Answer Clarification by jude1-ga on 14 Aug 2006 19:59 PDT
Please hurry! She really wants to reserve this property unless you
find something better (and I'm counting on you! LOL!)

Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 14 Aug 2006 22:57 PDT
Does that mean that not *any* of these suggestions are cutting it? I'm
posting everything I find and it's pretty much down to a couple of
Hawaii locations on which we're waiting to hear! Maybe you can talk
her *out* of the Venezuela place due to political instability in the
region?? I can keep you posted on what I find and if you have *any*
other location suggestions, I'm happy to research them--I've exhausted
the continental U.S., Caribbean, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and so
forth. Florida's out. Non-beach is out. Palm Springs is out. I'm
running out of options/areas. Hopefully the Hawaii locations are good
with lots for the kids to do. Maybe you could skip the luxury villa
and rent out Disney Land for your family? LOL! Keeping you posted as I
hear, but really I've posted everything I've found.

Something to consider, in all seriousness, is that some luxury villas
that are still available are only available for 2-week rentals. If you
like one of them enough, you could rent it for 2 weeks and only use it
for the one (if your heart is set on one of those locations). It's a
thought anyway. I can post more as I hear back! I really do hope that
what I'm posting is helpful--this has taken HOURS to put together!! I
really, really hope that I'm helping you out here.


Request for Answer Clarification by jude1-ga on 15 Aug 2006 10:29 PDT
It's the quality of the property that's lacking is all. Is there a way
to post pictures here? I have them but I don't have a link. I'm trying
photobucket, we'll see if it works. If it does, then you'll see what
I'm talking about. As far as Hawaii, it's too far (max is
coast-to-coast distance USA milage wise as I mentioned earlier).

Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 15 Aug 2006 11:57 PDT
Yes, that is a lovely property. I believe that the villas that I've
posted in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, for example, are on par
with that one. I've looked at the pictures again and they are quite
luxurious. The many, many properties I've listed on your first
question--same thing. Okay, so Hawaii's out. Also, I thought you
wanted North America and Caribbean only, but since your mom has found
a place in Venezuela, I've branched out accordingly.

I'm not sure what to tell you at this point. I've called all the same
places your mother has. I even talked to a man who knew the "Family in
Florida" -- he guessed it from the parameters discussed! So, I am
using agencies that provide the caliber of home you seek. Every agency
that I've contacted has agreed that most places, by this time of year,
have been booked.

Some of the luxurious villas and castles that *are* still available
are available for 2 weeks and not less than 2 weeks. As I've posted
before, there are at least 2 agencies that still have a number of
properties available, but only for 2-week rentals. If you would like
me to post specific properties that meet your parameters and budget
increase from among those properties, I can do that for you. This
means you rent it for 2 weeks, but use it for 1. Would you like me to
do that? Beyond that, there is really nothing left. We've exhausted
all possibilities.

The agencies I've mentioned are here (I'm posting them again):

Caribbean Way specializes in luxury rental properties in the
Caribbean. They had a number of great villas that were booked during
the holiday season. Most book for 2 weeks at the holidays, but there
are a few exceptions. This may be a site to remember for future

Villas of Distinction handles luxury vacation rentals worldwide. In
speaking with an agent there, she said that all of their properties
have a 2-week minimum rental period around the holidays. They have a
number of large properties you may want to consider should you do a
similar vacation in the future.

So, I think we're down to either going along with your mom's
Venezuelan location, choosing one of the over 30 that I've provided to
you from among both answers, or choosing a property with a 2-week
rental. How would you like to proceed?


Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 15 Aug 2006 12:10 PDT
I'm currently researching more places in South America, just so you
know. Again, posting as I find places . . .

Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 15 Aug 2006 12:48 PDT
Okay, I have another agent who's looking in *all* of their properties,
including such areas as the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.
He's getting back with me ASAP. I can keep you posted.

Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 15 Aug 2006 13:32 PDT
I just heard back from the agent I mentioned, and he has only one
property available at the holidays, and it has a minimum stay of 14
days. It has 8 bedrooms, but will easily accommodate a party of 20 or
more. It also carries a hefty price tag that is way over your budget:
$80,000 per week!!!

He has one more request out to a villa owner, and after that he?s out
of properties to look into that aren?t booked this holiday season. I
can keep you posted.


Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 15 Aug 2006 13:49 PDT
I just heard back from the agent and he has a property available over
the holidays! Here is what he sent to me.

?I have a second option that is within your price range. The villa is
also in Anguilla which is a beautiful island off the coast of St
Martin only a short ferry ride away. Most guests fly into St Martin
and take the ferry across but there is the option of an island hopper
that can land on the island of Anguilla.

The min number of nights over the holidays is 14 nights. The villa
currently has the rates of $3250.00 USD per night including tax. The
villa normally can accommodate up to 16 people. They said they can for
sure accommodate up to 18 people and maybe more. If you are serious
about this villa and the opportunity and for sure have the 20 people I
will approach the owner directly.

So $3250.00 USD per night x 14 nights $49,280.00 USD for 14 nights
including tax. Right at the budget. This is as good as we are going to
find that is still available. I would not wait very long as the villa
will go fast being one of the only large villas still available.?

It looks like if you want to do the ?rent for 2 weeks, use it for 1?
option this could work for you!

Here are links to some attractions pages for Anguilla and also for St.
Martin, which is a ferry ride away.

I?ll keep you posted on anything else that turns up.


Clarification of Answer by boquinha-ga on 15 Aug 2006 15:03 PDT
And here's more information on great children's activities, too!
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