COVID-19 Update from Once Upon A Beach

Updated as of December 2020

Our beaches, island businesses, and homes are OPEN for business!

We know this is continues to be a difficult, stressful, and uncertain time for everyone.  We also understand vacation and family time is very important.  Many guests save up and plan sometimes a year in advance to enjoy their vacation. However the impacts of COVID-19 are serious and we are taking all precautionary measures and following all guidelines to operate safely and keep our guests, homes, and residents safe. 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 are communicating 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.

Our business hours are Mon – Sat, 9am – 5pm. Please note that, non-emergent calls and voicemails from Friday afternoon – Saturday afternoon may not be returned until Monday morning as Saturdays are dedicated to current guest departures and arrivals communications.

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. We provide the same options to all guests and exceptions will not be made for one guest over another.

The island is still operating as usual with a few understandable guidelines in place in an effort to help slow the spread for those not abiding by the recommendations set forth. Many of the island businesses have been/and are voluntarily testing all employees to ensure we keep our visitors and residents safe. Since we just reopened, it is critical for all our local small businesses to remain open at this time and we are all taking extraordinary measures and supporting one another to do so.

We know this is a stressful time, which is why we are thrilled to finally be welcoming guests to enjoy a little R&R. 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 (amended 7/8/20)

What is the status of the 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. 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, hair & nail salons, gyms, entertainment venues, etc are open with safety guidelines.
  • Currently the state of Florida has no travel restrictions in place.  Additional information can be found on the Florida Health COVID page.
  • 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
  • In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, as of 6/27/20 both the Cities of Anna Maria and Holmes Beach have enacted a mandatory face covering wearing in indoor places. The basis of these orders includes the following: Face coverings (covering mouth and nose) must be worn by any person while working, living, visiting or doing business in the city in any indoor location, other than their home or residence EXCLUDING, persons under the age of two years (in Anna Maria) or under the age of six years (in Holmes Beach), persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition, persons while eating and/or drinking at a restaurant; provided, however, that face coverings must otherwise be worn in restaurants. Failure to abide by these orders may result in ticketing and fines.

Cancellations, Amended Policies & Industry Partners

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, to be a global pandemic. Due to this, our industry leaders and partners (VRBO/Homeaway, Airbnb, CSA Travel Insurance) consider travel booked after March 14th to include the COVID-19 pandemic to be considered a ‘foreseeable event’ and those planning travel after these dates are accepting the possibility of travel disruptions.

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. Please note these sites are simply listing sites used for advertising availability and providing booking options. Your reservation is ultimately confirmed by and under our care as the management team. However, we have abided by and exceeded all industry recommendations and policies regarding refunds/credits.

VRBO/Homeaway COVID-19 Emergency Policy: Our policy applies to bookings made before March 13th with a stay date between March 13 and June 30. We ask that Vrbo partners (homeowners and property managers) handle cancellations for trips booked within this period by providing full credit to rebook within next year or refunds of at least 50%.

Airbnb Extenuating Circumstances Policy:  Please see Airbnb’s Policy

What is Once Upon A Beach doing?  

  • In an effort to be fair and flexible during these unprecedented times, we amended our policies and chose to provide credit and/or provided full refunds for guests set to arrive from March 28th – June 5th. We also allowed for guests set to arrive through June 5th – July 5th to move their dates and/or receive 100% credit for a future stay. Guests who moved their stay to alternate dates follow policies applicable to their new dates.
  • We are dedicated to providing clean, safe, and comfortable homes for our guests and protecting the homes of our owners.
  • We have developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Vacation Safety Plan and Cleaning and Sanitation Plan. 
  • In accordance with industry recommendations and standards. We are currently operating under our Standard Cancellation Policy (updated 8/2020)
  • In the event that vacation rentals are not allowed to operate we always cancel and refund guests in full at that time.
  • No international travelers may stay with us at this time.  If you are an international traveler set to arrive within the next 60 days please contact us directly for more information.

Trip Insurance & Cancellation Requests

We are encouraging all our guests to purchase trip insurance at time of booking for unforeseen travel issues. This includes fear of travel or simply changing your mind. You may purchase travel insurance directly through VRBO/Homeaway at time of booking or directly with us (with exception to residents of NY and HI). For more information regarding purchasing travel insurance at this time please refer to CSA’s COVID-19 FAQ page. To purchase ‘For Any Reason’ coverage you need to call to inquire and purchase directly through CSA.

CSA Trip Insurance Coverage: Looking to purchase travel insurance? Our plans do provide coverage if you, a family member, or a traveling companion contract COVID-19 and plan requirements are met. Our plans will not provide coverage if you cancel your trip due to fear of travel. We strongly encourage you to read the full Description of Coverage/Insurance Policy to familiarize yourself with coverages before purchase.

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

If you are requesting a cancellation you must do so in writing via email or directly through your traveler dashboard in which you booked.  Cancellation requests will not be accepted over the phone or via text. Please include the following items with your request.

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

Cancellations made at this time are subject to our current Standard Cancellation Policy. This means that if you cancel, your week is opened up for rebooking and if and when we are able to rebook the home you will be refunded in the amount we were able to rebook the week for. Every effort is made to rebook the week and at the full price originally paid but we unfortunately make no guarantees.


Our 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.
  • Early check-in’s and late check-outs are not being offered at this time to allot the full amount of time to properly clean, disinfect, and inspect the home prior to your arrival for the safety of all our guests and staff.
  • Homes include information cards and pertinent supplies for helping to ‘ slow the spread’.
  • Should you develop symptoms during travel. Information regarding clinics, testing sites, etc is displayed in the home or can be found at Manatee County COVID-19 Testing Information Page.
  • 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 face coverings 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.
  • 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.
  • No extra harmful cleaning supplies will be left on property for safety. But each home will be provided with one multi-purpose cleaner to be available for guest use during stay. We encourage all guests to frequently wipe down surfaces and high touch areas throughout their stay.
Do your part in reducing the spread of COVID-19


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 pricing for your home for this service.

Prices are estimates based on single-treatment, standard residential sizes;

 1 -2 Bedroom $150

3 Bedroom $175

4 Bedroom $225

5 Bedroom $250

6 Bedroom+ $300

Prices are subject to change

"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."