COVID-19 Update from Once Upon A Beach

Updated as of May 21, 2020

We know this is a very difficult, stressful, and unprecedented time for everyone.  COVID-19 has undoubtedly brought our beloved business and island to a halt. We understand vacation and family time is very important.  Many guests save up and plan sometimes in a year in advance to enjoy their vacation.  However the impacts of COVID-19 are serious and everyone needs to work together to decrease the devastation to human life and the economy.

We are working with each and every guest on how to best handle your upcoming reservation. In an effort to streamline communications please do not send multiple messages as this greatly decreases our ability to respond in a timely manner. We encourage you to email us with any questions, concerns, or requests. Please be patient with any extended response times during this time.

We continue to collaborate with fellow property managers and businesses and stay abreast industry standards and all the government recommendations and restrictions. We want everyone to be smart, healthy, and safe.  We have further adjusted our policies to be as fair and flexible as we can for everyone. 

We advise all guests to purchase travel insurance, especially during hurricane season, for unforeseeable events. This information is included in your rental agreement as well as prompted to you while completing your booking. While we never want to be unfair to anyone, we must also maintain our small business, protect our homes, and homeowners.

This is a fluid situation and we greatly appreciate your patience during this time.  Thank you in advance and best wishes to you and your family.

Mike & Nikki Kaleta, Once Upon A Beach


What is the status of vacation rentals?  

  • Short Term Vacation Rentals in Manatee County were approved to start operating by the governor effective May 21, 2020 in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the approved Manatee County Safety Plan

What is the status of Island and Reopening Florida Plan?

  • All beaches on the island are currently open to the public for all usual beach-going activities encouraging safe distancing and groups of people less than 10. Chairs, umbrellas, coolers are allowed. Please follow posted signs when parking in non-public lots, along sidestreets, or in right of ways. Ticketing and towing is being strictly enforced.
  • Restaurants, retail stores, museums, libraries, and gyms have reopened at 50% capacity indoor and encouraging outdoor seating with social distancing and sanitation rules. Hair and nail salons are open.
  • Please visit the Manatee County COVID-19 Info page for up-to-date information on clinics, testing, etc.
  • Please visit the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Travel Information page or up-to-date information regarding open and closed establishments and events

What is Once Upon A Beach doing?  

  • We have developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Vacation Safety Plan and Cleaning and Sanitation Plan
  • Our office location is closed to customers but we are available via phone or email during our business hours Mon-Saturday 9a – 5p
  • Balance payment deadlines and the option to move your dates have been adjusted for guests set to arrive through July, from our standard 60 days prior to arrival to 14 days prior to arrival to allow for guests to make an educated decision regarding their upcoming travel. This may be subject to change at any time.
  • Vacation rental reservations and guests will be allowed to arrive from all US States EXCEPT FOR:
    • Travelers arriving directly from areas identified as high-risk ‘hot-spots’ by Governor DeSantis’ Executive Orders through July 5th. This includes from within a state of less than 700 cases/100K residents. To view this up-to-date information access the COVID-19 Case Rate Map HERE. Hover over your state to view the Case #/100K information. If you find you are currently in an area impacted please see below.
    • International Travelers
    • Groups of more than 10
  • We have amended our cancellation policy for those guests set to arrive in the next 14 days who are from an active defined ‘hot-spot’, international travelers or groups of more than 10. For any guests impacted by these restrictions, please contact us directly for your rebooking and/or refund options.

Cancellation Policy

We have amended and updated our cancellation and refund policy for the time being due to extenuating circumstances.  We continue to collaborate with fellow property managers and businesses to come up with a solution that is fair and in line with industry standards. This is a very fluid situation and we may be adjusting as needed or as any further travel restrictions reduce or expand. If you booked through a booking site like VRBO or Airbnb please log-in to your traveler dashboard to view information regarding your reservation and their update on COVID-19. Those sites may have specific cancellation and refund policies in place that may override or coincide with our policies put in place.

For any guests with an existing reservation check-in date on or after June 8, 2020 and any new reservations made at this time are subject to our Current Cancellation Policy.

If you purchased travel insurance at time of booking please contact CSA directly FIRST to see what your coverage options and reimbursement steps are at (877) 243-4135.  

For more information regarding purchasing travel insurance at this time please refer to CSA’s COVID-19 FAQ page.

If you are requesting a cancellation you must do so in writing via email or directly through your traveler dashboard in which you booked.  Please include the following items with your request.

  • Name of Registered Guest
  • Reservation ID
  • Dates of Travel
  • Country of Origin and/or Reason for Cancellation
  • State that you understand our amended cancellation policy

Please keep in mind that the options we are offering impacted guests  are the same for all our guests meeting those criteria to ensure fair business practices.


COVID-19 Vacation Safety Plan

Once Upon A Beach is dedicated to providing a safe environment for residents and visitors. This plan has been developed using guidance from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association, with input from our professional cleaning service and vacation rental management companies operating in Manatee County.

  • Registered Guest must provide copy of Photo ID to validate originating area of travel
  • Contactless reservation booking, secure online payments, and check-in process.
  • Any arriving guest or member of your party who feels unwell or with active suspected COVID-19 symptoms SHOULD NOT TRAVEL and should not stay in the home.
  • Homes include information cards on how to slow the spread.
  • Should you develop symptoms during travel. Information regarding clinics, testing sites, etc is displayed in the home.
  • Occupancy of of homes will be strictly enforced 24 hours/day (2-3 bedrooms = 6 persons, 4 bedrooms = 8 persons, 5+ bedrooms = 10 persons only). No social events (with additional guests) of any kind are allowed at the home.
  • Guests are provided a starter set of items including paper towels, soaps, garbage bags, dishwasher tabs, laundry detergent, and toilet paper. Any additional items needed will need to be purchased.
  • No cleaning, vacation rental, or maintenance staff should be in the home at same time as guests unless there is an emergency and if required PPE must be worn at all times.
  • Provide safety standards and instructions regarding safe social distancing practices to all staff, maintenance, and vendor staff who service the property.
    • Instructions on proper use of PPE protocol and social distancing requirements
    • Proper hygiene and hand washing techniques
    • Proper handling of trash, equipment, home surfaces
    • Instruction on how to properly disinfect any areas or surfaces that were touched by maintenance

COVID-19 Cleaning and Sanitation

  • Per the CDC, COVID-19 ’spreads easily between people… [but] does not spread easily in other ways [like] touching surfaces or objects.’ However, as a precaution ‘extra’ items in the home have been temporarily stored for your safety. These include extra linens, throw pillows, spices, pens, magazines, limiting toys, etc.
  • Provide cleaning and disinfecting standards and instructions to contracted cleaning staff with acknowledgement of understanding and agreement by each staff member.
    • Definitions of cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection
    • Instructions on what cleaning products and how to properly use products
    • Instructions on proper use of PPE protocol and social distancing requirements
    • Proper hygiene and hand washing techniques
    • Proper handling of laundry and trash
    • Identification of high touch areas, declutter protocol, and extra safety measures
  • Maintain adequate time between the conclusion of a guest stay and the check-in of the next guest stay for appropriate cleaning and disinfection based on home size. No late check-outs or early check-ins will be granted for same day departure/arrivals.
  • Cleaning and vacation rental staff will properly use hospital-grade cleaning products on all flat surfaces in line with the EPA’s “List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2” including allowing for proper dwell times to kill viruses and microbes on all surfaces. These include but are not limited to counters, table tops, entertainment centers, dressers, ceiling fans, AC vents, sliding door tracks, baseboards, under beds, etc.
  • Extra disinfection measures will be taken on high-touch areas including but not limited to all hard surfaces, keys, door handles, kitchen cabinets, light switches, remotes, rental binders, hair dryers, thermostats, iPads, appliances, grills, outdoor furniture, railings, and beach equipment
  • Floors are vacuumed, swept and mopped with proper disinfectant.
  • All silverware/dishware washed on high heat in dishwasher, emptied, and put away prior to each guest arrival
  • All linens including bed linens, bed coverings, blankets, sheets, towels, etc laundered on high heat in washer and dryer prior to each guest arrival.
  • All pillows and mattresses have sanitary zippered protectors and will be inspected prior to each arrival and be replaced as needed.
  • Pull-out couches are inspected following each guest stay. Bedding will be laundered and placed in clean bag and put in nearest bedroom closet for guest use.
  • No extra harmful cleaning supplies will be left on property for safety.
  • All areas of home inside and outside need cleaned and disinfected per requirements including decks, balconies, pool areas, garage, grill, etc.
  • Broken pool toys and deflated floats need to be disposed of. Beach toys and items should be kept to a minimum and cleaned following each guest stay.
  • We have partnered with ECO-SAFE SERVICES and are now offering a disinfectant fogging service (at additional charge) on a first come first serve basis. While this service isn’t required to ensure sanitation of your rental home, guests may opt to add this additional cleaning service on PRIOR to their arrival for additional peace of mind.  Please inquire with us directly on availability and scheduling this service.
Do your part in reducing the spread of COVID-19

"All of our homes are licensed and meet the requirements of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Division of Hotels and Restaurants. The information provided online, though deemed accurate is not guaranteed. It is subject to errors, omissions, change of price or withdrawal without notice."