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We get it. You want to drive in luxury in an RV, then park it, and live in luxury in our homes! Or you have a big team and everyone is coming in on a bus. Or you like to bring a bunch of stuff in a trailer, because that’s how you roll! We dig it!

Can you? Sometimes.

So, at our Cottages at Romar, the answer is “no.”

SeaRae, Summertide, and Pearl (for it, in the across the street spillover lot), and most of the duplexes can handle a motor home or bus, including 1203, 1205, 1209, 1217, 1252, 1300, 1433, 1420, 2809 West Beach.

Note, none have hook ups and most areas preclude using an RV as living space while there. So if that’s your plan, probably best to rethink it!

When coming in, back straight into the driveway, and stay on the drive! As you get the rig into the drive, do NOT try to maneuver back and forth and around, you will sink it. In any event, parking a big rig (rv, bus, whatever) is solely at your own risk. Sink it, and call the tow company. 🙂

Gulf Shores Beach Volleyball national championships or your own backyard

Always nice when a national organization calls Gulf Shores, our vacation home away from home, “One of the most beautiful collegiate sporting venues. Ever.”

Beach volleyball is relatively new. In fact, this is the inaugural year for the national championships. And, they are being held right in our own backyard in Gulf Shores on May 6-8th. If you happen to be around, stop by and check them out. Other than catching them on summer olympics coverage, or if you happen to have a daughter (or son) who plays, you likely have never seen competitive beach volleyball in person, so this is a great opportunity.

Plus, they seem to love Gulf Shores. Here’s what the NCAA press release had to say:

An aesthetic benefit of beach volleyball is, well, the beach. The inaugural beach volleyball championship is being played on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Ala., and this gulf coast destination is one of, if not the most, beautiful place an NCAA sporting event has been held.

“It is beautiful. The wind’s not too bad. It’s sunny; it’s wonderful,” said FSU’s Hailey Luke. “It’s kinda perfect.”

Earning a trip to the “Redneck Rivera” must seem like a second spring break for the student-athletes, with the added bonus of possibly returning to campus with a trophy. But, getting to compete at such a picturesque locale is a victory in itself.

“You can’t beat the venue,” McPeak said. “You’ve got white sand and blue skies.”

Read more about 5 things to watch from Gulf Shores including that its truly history in the making.

Where can I watch the NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championships?

Well, unless you happen to be nearby and can shoot over and stay in one of our open vacation homes this weekend (because, well, why not!), then you can catch the inaugural championship on tv. It

will be held Friday through Sunday, May 6-8, from Gulf Shores, Ala.  Turner networks will televise the event, with truTV providing live coverage on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, from 3-6 p.m. ET and the championship round airing on TBS on Sunday, May 8, at 2 p.m.

Where can I play volleyball during my Gulf Shores vacation?

You can play at the Gulf Shores public beach. If you happen to be at one of our Orange Beach locations, like the Jewels by the Sea (and who wouldn’t want to stay at these very nice, upscale, fully decked out accommodations?), you might try Gulf State Park Romar Beach or Gulf State Park Cotton Bayou.

Gulf Shores Main Public Beach
If you’re looking for volleyball-playing, beach-bar-hanging good times, this spot – where Highway 59 dead-ends into the Gulf – is for you. For a small fee, you get all-day, up-close parking, making it easy to unload your gear. Beach attendants, three open-air pavilions and a picnic area are available. There are also restrooms and showers on site. This is a popular spot, so you may want to arrive early to get a prime parking spot.

Cotton Bayou Beach
This public beach area is located 5.1 miles east of Alabama Highway 59 and .2 mile west of Ala Highway 161. The Cotton Bayou beach access area has restrooms, outdoor showers and free parking. The beach is a short walk from the parking lot.

Romar Beach
This beach area – with a limited amount of free parking – is easy to get to. It’s perfect for a quick beach stroll or an impromptu picnic. It’s located 6.8 miles east of Highway 59. Future plans call for restrooms and outdoor showers, but currently there aren’t any.

Not in the mood to share the volleyball court? Why not rent your own….

Rent a volleyball setup when staying in a Gulf Shores vacation home?

You bet! There are several local rental companies that specialize in providing everything you might need to complete your already awesome Orange Beach or Orange Beach vacation house stay. You can rent volleyball posts, nets, and balls.

Several of the companies will even come to right to your Gulf Shores vacation home and set the nets up using nice sturdy posts. Add something different this time you visit Gulf Shores, Alabama with a little family playtime on the beach. Set up, tear down, not your problem. Family fun? Definitely! While we don’t recommend a particular vendor, a quick web search should give you plenty of choices.

Gulf Shores Alabama Beach Vacation Home Volleyball Game Players

Want to get in on the beach volleyball action in Gulf Shores? You can catch the championships live or did you know you can rent your own volleyball setup for your Gulf Shores vacation home?

Internet and Wifi Troubleshooting

If you run into issues that the below can’t resolve, the quickest way to get a little assist is to send a text to the number listed on the Eero (white) devices in the home (OR to call the support provider if you are at Night Heron or the East 11 Cottages). When texting, please include your name, the reservation name if different, and importantly… the home name! In most cases, the most tech savvy owner will see it and can check the network remotely in a very short period of time! But… please try the below since it is what we will have you check if you reach out! 

What’s my WiFi Login?

Note, this should be at the home, AND in the emails sent to you about checking in and wifi and entry codes, etc. However, generally speaking, for most of our homes, you should see an SSID that starts with BamaBeachHouses- followed by the name of the home.

FOR EXAMPLE, BamaBeachHouses-Seafoam

The Password is

Shores1!

The S is CAPITALIZED and the word Shores is followed by a ‘1’ and a ‘!’ with no spaces.

Note, this may not be the case at Night Heron and at the East 11 Cottages. For those homes, they are fully managed by a third party technology company, Securevision, 251-967-4455, located in Orange Beach. We have contracts with them to provide support, and their info should be in each of those locations. Please contact them if you need any television, phone or internet support at those locations! 

What if I connect to the Wifi Network but can’t access the Internet?

This means the modem/router from the local internet provider is not connected.

General troubleshooting

  1. Find the modem and wifi router. In most homes, this will be in the kitchen on the counter or in the living room by the television. Most homes will have two devices located there. A black modem and a white Eero wifi router. At the Cottages at Romar, it (and the main Eero) are in the master bedroom, in the closet, on the main floor. 
  2. Unplug the power from the modem AND from the white Eero router
  3. Wait a minute. Plug in the power to the modem. Wait for all its lights to come on and stay on. The Internet connection or DS/RS or similar light should come on and stay on. If they do not, there may be a connectivity issue in the area and outside the home. The internet one may start blinking if there is data passing back and forth. 
  4. Once the modem/router is back up, plug the Eero in. Its light will eventually turn to white and either stay that way or turn off (off is just because we have it set to not light up so to not bother you at night). If it does not turn solid white, and if it turns RED, there is a connectivity issue either with the internet (see modem above) OR between the Eero and Modem (check/replace the ethernet cord between the Eero and modem)

PLEASE DO NOT EVER EVER RESET THE ROUTER WITH A PAPERCLIP. I will know. I will charge you $250 for thinking you know what you are doing. Just don’t do it. Especially on the Eeros (the white devices). You will not be able to fix it. Someone will have to come by and reset it. You’ll be charged. Don’t do it. 🙂

Contact us

If you cannot get it to work, send us a note. Quickest is a text. In most cases, we can easily check whether the modem and router are online. If they are, then it is a user issue, and perhaps you have the wrong SSID and Password (see above though, as they are fairly standard now), and we are happy to help with those too!

What if I don’t see the home SSID?

For all homes except Night Heron and East 11 Cottages (see above for them), the homes have a nice Eero-based mesh network that extends coverage throughout the home. 

If you do not see the SSID in these homes, it means the Eero is not on. This is a separate issue from not being able to connect, or from being unable to reach the internet. If you CANNOT see the SSID (otherwise known as the network name), then we need to make sure no one has inadvertently turned one or more of the network nodes off/unplugged them. This is surprisingly common as people look for places to plug in their charges, etc, and just yank the plug, scuttling your network.

Two things: 

  1. Be sure you cannot see the network from ANY device, not just yours. If you are having trouble from just yours, that would be both very unusual, AND specific to your device, so you should find someone who is connected, and get their assistance. Some quick things to try, in order of ease:
    • Turn off and on the wifi on your device (being sure the WiFi is actually on on your device).
    • Just restart the device.
    • Ensure your devices operating system and drivers and so on are all up to date. If those steps do not work, and others are connected, there is not a lot we can do, though you are welcome to send a note with the type of device, OS version, and what’s going on.
  2. So if you cannot see the Network Name/SSID from ANY device, then the problem is most likely a powered down Eero, usually the primary base station. This station is generally located in the kitchen or living room and will be connected to the cable modem with an ethernet cord. It is a white square device. It should have a white light on it, definitely not a red light (which means no internet), and it should be connected to power. If it is not, then plug it in. If it is, you can go ahead and unplug it, and plug it back in, then wait 3-5 minutes for it to launch. It will go through a series of lights. It should end up solid white. If it turns Red it is not connected to the internet BUT at this point you should be able to see the SSID/network name. It is VERY rare to have to power cycle an Eero. The modem, certainly (and see above about no internet),  but the Eeros are more likely, if not working, to simply be because someone disconnected power and or the ethernet cord. 

What if the Wifi Signal is poor in part of the home

We have a mesh network at the home. This means there are multiple Eero devices located throughout the home. At least 2, often 3 depending on the size and structure of the home. The number 1 cause of loss of coverage in our homes is someone deciding to unplug one of the Eeros in one of the bedrooms, thus knocking out signal to a portion of the home, and limiting the mesh network. Find the devices and make sure they are all plugged in. In a pinch, send a note, and we can check if they are all up.

BONUS: Often people will believe an outlet is not working, and will switch the Eero to the other outlet for whatever reason, and THAT outlet is possibly on a switch on the wall because a lot of our homes have switched outlets to turn lights off as you enter or leave a room. The switches usually control HALF of an outlet. This can lead to weird internet ‘outages.’

Fort Morgan, Alabama, is a great place to vacation on the Gulf Coast area of Alabama. Beaches, Golf, Restaurants are all nearby.

Fort Morgan is a great choice for Alabama vacation trips for family or friends. Same great beach. Lots of activities and food options, often more cost-effective than staying right on the beach on West Beach Boulevard, AND the Gulf Shores beach chair, umbrella and alcohol rules often do not apply.

Beaches? You bet! It’s all one beach…

Same white sugary sands. The Fort Morgan beaches are in fact contiguous to the Gulf Shores beaches: It’s all one coastline. Rather than head out the more built up West Beach Blvd, you take a right at the Highway 59 x 180 intersection and head out 180. And we have several nice vacation Fort Morgan vacation homes available, including Fort Sun, Gulf & Golf at the Plantation, and the Beach Castle!

Golf Courses? Fort Morgan has 2 award-winning courses.

Some of the best golf courses in the area are on Fort Morgan, including the Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club, and the award-winning Kiva Dunes (home to our own Gulf & Golf at the Plantation, by the way).

And places to eat? Many choices. Great food!

Yes, absolutely, there are places to eat on Fort Morgan. If you haven’t been out Fort Morgan, you’ve missed several great area restaurants! Here are a few that the Plantation recommends:

BEHIND THE PINES RESTAURANT
8818 State Hwy. 180
251-948-3052
Behind the Pines Restaurant is a very casual restaurant serving burgers and American food, sandwiches, seafood (no oysters), and Southern food. Enjoy live entertainment on Sunday evenings and karaoke at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Open daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m. during the summer; off-season hours are more limited. American Express is not accepted.

COAST RESTAURANT AT THE BEACH CLUB
925 Beach Club Trail, 251-224-3600, 888-260-7263
Coast Restaurant at The Beach Club is upscale-casual, family-friendly dining with both indoor and outdoor balcony seating with a view of the gulf. Enjoy local gulf seafood, steaks, salads, pasta options and weekly specials from 5 p.m to 10 p.m. every day, plus breakfast 8-11 a.m. on weekends. Coast serves wine, spirits and cocktails. Reservations are recommended during the summer.

SASSY BASS AMAZIN’ GRILL
5160 Hwy. 180 W., 251-975-1010
Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill is a laid-back beach restaurant that serves seafood, sandwiches, skillet meals, soups and salads. Open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (breakfast served 8-11 a.m.). Takeout is usually available except when on a seating wait. Bring in your catch to have it cooked as you like it.

TACKY JACKS 2
1577 Hwy. 180 W., 251-981-4144
Tacky Jacks 2 serves sandwiches, salads, seafood and grilled food in a beach-casual atmosphere with inside and outside seating overlooking Mobile Bay; carry-out orders are available. Open daily 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (weekends 10:00 p.m.). Tacky Jacks 2 Down Under is a laid-back bar with a deck near the water. The bar often features live entertainment, pool and karaoke; see website for music schedule. Arrive by water or land.

THE VILLAGE HIDEAWAY AT THE BEACH CLUB
925 Beach Club Trail, 251-224-3660
The Village Hideaway offers a casual and entertainment-filled dining experience. Open daily 11 a.m.-11 p.m., the menu includes grilled seafood and meat dishes, salads, sandwiches, wings, pizzas, and craft beers. Enjoy pool tables, shuffleboard, video games, flat-screen TVs and (by reservation) a golf simulator by High Definition Golf featuring top courses.

VILLAGE CREAMERY AT THE BEACH CLUB
925 Beach Club Trail
Village Creamery serves gourmet coffee and espresso drinks, fresh-baked breakfast goods, 16 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream, specialty shakes and fruit smoothies. Select grocery items are also available. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

SASSY BASS PIZZA
5160 Hwy. 180 W.
251-980-1444
Sassy Bass Pizza is a carry-out-only pizza place. Summer hours are 4-10 p.m.

FORT MORGAN PIZZA
8188 Hwy. 180 W., 251-540-2622
Fort Morgan Pizza is a to-order place that also offers take-and-bake pizza. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Pick-up 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Delivery 5 p.m.-9 p.m., with $5 delivery fee. Cash only.

If you have a favorite restaurant on Fort Morgan, tell us about it and we’ll update the list.

Happy eating (golfing, swimming, more eating, beaching!)!

Do you offer trip interruption/travel insurance?

Yes, we do. We offer two types of travel insurance through a third-party insurance provider: Standard Travel Protection and CFAR (Cancel for Any Reason). CFAR is an ADD-ON to Standard Travel Protection. That is, it includes all the protections of Standard Travel Protection, but ALSO, the an addiitonal cost (currently of 3.8%), you gain the ability to, as it says, also cancel for any reason not convered by the Standard Travel Protection, even ‘just not wanting to go,’ and still be able to recover 60% of the eligible trip costs.

Please note. All amounts, eligibility, and so on on this page are subject to change, and this page should not be used as a reference for making decisions as it is not dynamically updated, though we try! For the latest information, your best bet is to review the third-party provider’s site or contact them.

The coverage is provided through Nationwide Insurance, managed by RentalGuardian. Check it out!

https://bamabeachhouses.rentalguardian.com/programs

Here is the short version of the two coverages!

How do I add interruption/travel insurance?

You can choose either type of travel insurance when you book from the booking page of our site. You can’t miss it, as you have to choose either one of the coverages, or to decline it!

You can also add the coverages after the fact, subject to limitations. However, there is a strict TIME LIMIT on when you can add CFAR. You can add Standard Travel Insurance, almost up to the date of the trip. HOWEVER, travel insurance that is purchased after a named peril occurs (for example, say a hurricane is named in the Gulf and you THEN buy insurance, WILL NOT cover that peril. That’s pretty fair, since you would be trying to cover a risk after you incur the risk, and they would go out of business pretty fast if they allowed that!

Ready to add insurance? Just contact us. We can add it! Send us a note on any of the reservation emails stating which one, and we can add it for your. It will be the percentages above, but we can also send a quick quote too!

We just cannot answer most questions about it because we are not insurance providers, so we are not allowed to do so! Rules!

Help! Gulf Shores vacation home travel insurance

Security deposits on our vacation homes are charges paid by the guests and held by us to cover any damages or other issues related to occupancy of one of our homes.

Security deposits, when required, cover damage, and wear and tear or cleaning that are beyond the norm as solely determined by our local management companies in conjunction with our owners and management and is based on their years of experience turning over 100s of vacation homes on a weekly basis. When are security deposits due? How will they be handled? When do you get your deposit back? Here’s the security deposit scoop!

Of note, we do NOT require security deposits of most stays. These are only required in most cases when we are allowing an exception to our stay rules. For example, if we allow a large group of unrelated young adults under 25 or during special periods of the year, such as spring break or hang out festival.

When is the security deposit due?

The security deposit is usually, but not always, simply added to the entire amount and paid according to the terms of your individual contract. Payment terms vary depending based on how far out you are from your visit so we can’t be specific. But in all cases they are due before you take occupancy, and usually at least 2 months beforehand.

How much is the security deposit?

If a security deposit is required, it is generally $3000 per unit rented. Typically security deposits are only required during spring break and other times when there is a higher risk of damage or excessive wear and tear to the property.

When will I receive my security deposit back?

As quickly as we can get it to you after check-out, inspection, correction, and billing, if any. But this takes time because it involves multiple steps and several of them are not under our control.

First, you check out. Then our local management company assesses the property for any wear and tear/cleaning that is above and beyond the normal cleaning, and they look for any damage to the premises and the furnishings. If there is no unusual cleaning or wear and tear/damage, then the entire amount is refunded to you as soon as we receive the move out report from the management company. This is usually 2-3 weeks, but can be faster (or slower) depending on how busy the season is and how busy the management company is. We do try to followup with them after our owner guest visits for which we hold deposits in order to push things along.

Note, generally we do not receive these reports until the end of the month of the stay at the earliest. Yes, we absolutely will sometimes reach out and try to expedite this but please understand that in most cases the requirement for a security deposit and the mechanisms for handling them are not part of our local management companies processes and procedures. In many cases, the mere necessity of our acquiring a security deposit is likely a result of some special request on your part, for example to allow a large group of unrelated adults under the age of 25, and to do so in homes with of high value.

Second, if there is damage or unusual wear and tear/cleaning beyond the norm, then things may get slowed down depending on the extent of the issues. Any maintenance/additional work is tasked, completed and then invoiced, and we deduct those costs from your deposit, and send a refund and accounting directly to the primary contact on the rental agreement. Except in highly unusual situations with extensive issues during high season, this usually takes no longer than 30 days.

We do understand that delays in returning them can be frustrating and we do our best to handle them as rapidly as possible but, again, we have to wait until we get a report on the home before we can do a final accounting and release and return the deposit.

What about Immediately Payable Charges?

There may be times when the local management company assigned to your vacation home, per their own policies and procedures, requires you to pay for damages immediately upon their noting or addressing the issue–they don’t have to fix it at the time, though they often will if its easily doable without interrupting your stay. 

These immediately payable charges must be paid directly to the management company at the time of notification. Failure to do so subjects you to the local management company’s immediate eviction policies. You may not use your deposit for this. However, these charges should not be included in your security deposit accounting. If there is a difference between the immediately payable charge and the actual cost of repair or replacement, this amount will be addressed when we account your deposit. That is, if you broke the funky flamingo lamp, and you paid for the lamp as an immediate charge, then we will not also include the broken flamingo lamp as a deduction in your accounting (unless you broke two of them!). It is possible that in the rush of a turnaround, the local management company will not pass along notification of these charges, so please let us know directly if you have to pay for any of these so we can keep an eye out for them.

This is all really quite rare, but it does happen every once in a while….

Back again. The SEC Women battle it out in Orange Beach, Alabama for the SEC Soccer Title, Oct 29-Nov 5. Need a place to stay? How about a beach house?

South Carolina currently holds a slim margin over the Florida Gators, with Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt close behind.

The Orange Beach Sportsplex is located at 4389 William Silvers Parkway, just off U.S. Highway 180 (Canal Road) in Orange Beach, about 1 mile from the Foley Beach Express exit on Canal Road.

And our 3 Jewels by the Sea: Diamond, Sapphire, and Emerald, are about as close as you can get to the fields and be on the beach in the lap of luxury. Right there. 10 to 12 bedrooms. Very big, very nice beach houses in the heart of Romar at Orange Beach.

Ready for the 2017 SEC Womens Soccer Tournament in Orange Beach? The perfect beach house for your trip. Extremely close to the Orange Beach Sports Complex, and all the amenities for your whole team!

 

Tickets are available by contacting the Orange Beach Parks and Recreation Department at (251) 981-6039. All seating is general admission.

2017 SEC Women’s Soccer Championship Schedule
DATE MATCH TIME (CT) NETWORK
FIRST ROUND: October 29 Match 1 – Seed 7 vs Seed 10 1 pm SEC Network
Match 2 – Seed 8 vs Seed 9 3:30 pm SEC Network
QUARTERFINALS: October 31 Match 3 – Seed 2 vs Winner Match #1 12 pm SEC Network
Match 4 – Seed 3 vs Seed 6 2:30 pm SEC Network
Match 5 – Seed 1 vs Winner Match #2 5 pm SEC Network
Match 6 – Seed 4 vs Seed 5 7:30 pm SEC Network
SEMIFINALS: November 2 Match 7 – Winner Match #5 vs Winner Match #6 3:30 pm SEC Network
Match 8 – Winner Match #3 vs Winner Match #4 6 pm SEC Network
FINALS: November 5 Championship – Winner Match #8 vs Winner Match #7 2 pm SEC Network

Come on down and watch the ladies in action. Need a place? Give us a call!