Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle
Looking for advice on holiday rentals in the South Bay.
I am planning on a two week trip to LA next summer, and want to rent a small house or condo, almost certainly in Hermosa. Price not really a barrier - looking for quality accomodation in a good location near to or on the beach.
Does anyone have recommendations of local agencies or reliable online options - not really interested in the Craigslist idea.
Thanks in advance
There are many professional vacation rental agencies you could use, but by using them you'll be paying an upcharge for using a "go-between".
Your best prices will no doubt come when you book directly with the owner or if you use a site that charges only a negligible fee. A website that falls into this category is airbnb.com, and I've been using them for my Rome rentals. It's a company based out of San Francisco and before I booked my apartment I emailed with the company and instant-chatted with them several times and was impressed with the customer service I received. I also like the way the website is set up - you have to have been a guest in order to have posted a review and the host is not allowed to edit or delete the reviews. This is in direct contrast to VRBO and HomeAway, and TripAdvisor for that matter.
Here's the airbnb.com search for Hermosa Beach (I didn't put it any dates, or any criteria outside of "Hermosa Beach", and note that some of the listings are for "entire home/apt" and some are just for "private room"):
I always start with the places that have received the most good reviews and I read them thoroughly. And you can easily contact the host through the website before booking and ask your questions. I did just that for my Rome bookings, because it also gave me the opportunity to vet out the host somewhat (the host that took too long to reply and/or who didn't address my questions satisfactorily, or who exhibited a less than stellar "customer comes first" tone was removed from my list). The downside to airbnb's system is that you have to pay in full at the time of booking. But with this comes a built-in safeguard in that the host won't receive any payment until 24 hours AFTER you check-in. (And with this you can see the very interesting business model that airbnb set up for itself). Each host is able to pick their own cancellation policy, Flexible, Moderate or Strict, and each host can choose to add a security deposit requirement or a cleaning fee. So I weighed all these options when I made my choice.
Hope this is of use, and good luck with your search.