Award-winning Vacation Home

Tampa Vacation Rental Erehwon Retreat Receives 2019 Best of Tampa Award

Tampa Award Program Honors the AchievementAward-winning Vacation Home Florida Vacation Homes

TAMPA August 22, 2019 — Erehwon Retreat launched in 2010 has been selected for the 2019 Best of Tampa Award in the Vacation Home Rental Agency category by the Tampa Award Program. Holiday Houses specializing in weekly and short term rentals has seen a sharp increase for over a decade in Tampa.

Each year, the Tampa Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Tampa area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Tampa Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Tampa Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Tampa Award Program

The Tampa Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Tampa area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Tampa Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

Christmas in Florida – an Insider’s Guide

Christmas in Florida – an insider’s guide

 

Christmas in Florida - an Insider's Guide Florida Vacation Homes
Christmas in Florida - an Insider's Guide Florida Vacation Homes
Christmas in Florida - an Insider's Guide Florida Vacation Homes

Florida in winter is an amazing place to take a vacation – and while the weather can be variable, it’s usually warm during the day this time of year and Tampa Bay always steps it up for Christmas starting with the boat parade on the Hillsborough River in early December and taking place throughout December from Dunedin to Treasure Island, St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs.

Between December and the end of February, the whole of Florida is enjoying the time when holidaymakers from around the world come for our weather, the opportunity to bask in a little winter sun and swim in our fresh water springs with year-round temperature of 72 degrees.  In fact, once Labor Day is over, savvy travelers start to book their winter breaks to get the perfect vacation rental – so this is the time to make both winter and spring bookings. For those visiting from overseas, specialist tour operators can put together tailor-made packages using scheduled air services.

 

Tampa – a relaxed winter destination

Christmas in Florida - an Insider's Guide Florida Vacation HomesTampa takes it easy over the high season period – there are wonderful events taking place but they are a little more laid back, giving vacation rental visitors a chance to relax and take Christmas at their own pace. Winter gets a Florida twist with wonderful weather, good old-fashioned Christmas cheer and as peaceful a vacation as you can possibly imagine. What to expect?

  • The Busch Gardens become a wonderland of wintery delights, all beautifully lit with hundreds of thousands of tiny lights – live music, holiday shopping and seasonal entertainment turn the Gardens into a true Christmas celebration.
  • Stroll into Christmas at the Henry B Plant Museum which hosts a Victorian Christmas stroll every year. Fourteen gloriously decorated rooms with antique holiday artefacts, games and activities, spiced cider and cookies on the veranda make this a delicious experience for all the senses. We also recommend visiting Bok Towers. Enjoy a peaceful retreat along with your favorite seasonal music at Bok Sanctuary where carillon music will be played during daily performances. All concerts are free with Sanctuary admission.  We particularly enjoy the Candlelight Tour of Homes in Old Northeast, one of St. Petersburg’s historic neighborhoods.

 

December – February Vacation Rental in Florida

 

Christmas in Florida - an Insider's Guide Florida Vacation Homes

Christmas in Florida - an Insider's Guide Florida Vacation Homes

Christmas in Florida - an Insider's Guide Florida Vacation Homes

Top tips for a perfect vacation rental include:

 

  1. Remember to pack a range of clothing, some warm socks and a lightweight fleece or gilet alongside your shorts and sandals will help ensure you have everything you need to enjoy every minute of your stay.
  2. No need to pack your stockings – at Erehwon Retreat we’ll have them hung ready for your arrival. If you’re staying in the bungalow, they’ll be over the fireplace mantel and lucky guests spending Christmas in the bungalow also have an oven, so they won’t need the recipe in our fourth tip!
  3. Many grocery stores will not open on Christmas day, so be sure you’ve either bought your groceries in advance or booked a table at one of the many hotels providing wonderful festive fare over the Christmas period. If you’re lucky enough to be spending New Year’s in Tampa, you can book a very special dinner at The Refinery, Rooster and the Till, and Ella’s American Café.
  4. Want to cook your own turkey, but staying in the Erehwon Retreat cottage so you don’t have a stove? No worries, we have a recipe for you. Buy a turkey of less 12lb or less, and Thaw it thoroughly. Heat some vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or pot big enough to hold it. Fry some onion, carrot and celery until the onion is translucent and then put the turkey on top of the vegetables, adding around two inches of stock, white wine or water or mixture of all three. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Check every thirty minutes to ensure the liquid level doesn’t drop below an inch, if it does, top it up. After two hours, check with a meat thermometer – the thickest part of the thigh should record at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Continue to cook for at least another hour, basting the turkey with the liquid each time you check the temperature which you should do every 15 minutes. Remove to a carving board, and cover with tinfoil to relax for 20 minutes before carving. While you wait you can be reducing that delicious stock to make gravy!
  5. Take time for a stroll, because there is something truly special about wandering through Florida’s lush landscapes at this time of the year. Our wonderful overhead canopy of tree growth is a century’s worth of verdant greenery. A fantastic way to start your day is to take a cup of coffee outdoors and enjoy this beautiful scenery first hand.
  6. And with all the time you spent sea shelling, remember many Floridians make their holiday unique by showcasing shells they’ve picked up on the beach. Why not add them to a string of lights or use them as decorations on your holiday tree? You’re only limited by your imagination.

 

Holiday musings

Holiday Musings

CC Photo courtesy of Roslyn via Flickr.

During Christmas, the only table open one morning at Starbucks placed me next to the condiment bar (cream, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, etc.). With all the fly-drives to Florida and whistle-stop tours of America I witness from the vantage of hosting foreign guests at Erehwon Retreat, I realized this morning that if you want to discover the essence of American diversity sitting next to the condiment bar will not widen the gulf but rather provide new insights.

Once guests have gotten over their amazement at the size of everything—from mountains, to prairies, to portions of food, to the super-sized Tastee Freeze stands—a still more bewildering syndrome afflicts them: the geographic diversity. For example, in West Ashley there’s a lot more latte sold than coffee, likewise the crayfish in Cajun lowlands is a lot different than dining at the Crab Claw in St. Michael’s, Maryland.

One can never form close bonds with 311 million Americans, but taking notes on what guests talk about during their visit—number one is variety, followed by contrariety, and, most important, the discovery that there are plenty of folks who are not only simpatico, but are also indistinguishable from those they left at home.

East is east and west is west, and while the twain may meet, perhaps its at Starbucks condiment bar.