Frequently Asked Questions

Unit Questions

Do you offer daily housekeeping?

Daily housekeeping is something that can be added on for an extra charge.  For more details please contact manager Kellie at at 904-466-5699 or email her at kbuettell@gmail.com.

What is expected of me at check out?

Our cleaners are often hurrying to get your unit cleaned and ready for the next guest, so we kindly ask you to do a few things at check-out: take out your trash, load your dishes and run the dishwasher, strip any used sheets or towels, and empty your refrigerator and cupboard of food (if you have food in unopened containers you may leave it on the counter and our cleaning staff can donate it).

What kind of things should I bring with me?

If you are not driving we always suggest you drop off your luggage and take inventory of what your unit has before you go shopping.  Some common items we suggest you pack or buy when you get here are: sunscreen, shampoo/conditioner, razor, toothpaste/toothbrush, plastic baggies, tin foil/saran wrap, coffee and coffee filters, etc.  Items like tinfoil/saran wrap, coffee filters, and spices can sometimes be left behind by the previous guest, so again it’s never a bad idea to stop and check what’s there first.  

We provide some beach supplies, but if you’re driving you may want to bring things like beach toys, a beach bag, additional beach chairs and more beach towels.  We also provide a “starter supply” of some household consumables. To see everything that is provided for your stay, check out this guide, so if you plan on being in your unit a lot and have a lot of people, you may run out of these items.  These are not items we will restock for you, but they are easily purchased at the Family Dollar just a few miles north of us, or at one of the grocery stores nearby.

Is there free wifi in my unit?

Yes, every unit has both private high speed wifi as well as the community wifi.  Your network name and password will be emailed to you one week before check-in with other check-in information.

Is there a place to rent items you don’t provide (bikes, extra beach gear, baby gear, etc.)

Yes, my manager, Kellie rents several items (including extra beach chairs/umbrellas/ baby play pen, etc.) and can have them waiting for you in your unit upon arrival.  For pricing and to arrange that please call Kellie at 904-466-5699 or email her at kbuettell@gmail.com.  There is also a rental place just up the road from us right off the A1A and they can also rent beach gear (things like bikes) and can also deliver for an additional fee.  To learn more about their products go to Big Bills Beach Stuff or call them at 904-461-5755.

What will our rental have provided?

Please refer to our “What we provide Guide” so you can see what we provide.  

NOTE: While most guests don’t need more than 2 rolls of paper towels or 6 rolls of toilet paper, we do find that sometimes you may need to go buy more.  This is not something our cleaning service restocks for you, but it can be purchased just a few miles north at the Family Dollar right off the A1A.  

 

Complex Questions

How is your complex different than other complexes?

There are three key reasons make Crescent Sandpiper and Coquina two of the most popular complexes on all of Crescent Beach:

  1. Fastest Access: We are the only two complexes on this beach that are RIGHT ON THE BEACH– just 5-6 steps off the pool deck to sand, as opposed to all others that have long stretches of dunes and hard wooden boardwalks over those dunes.

  2. Best Views: In addition to fast access to the beach, this also means your views here are better than anywhere else, simple because we are so much closer.  In addition, other complexes claim “beach view” and come to find out your view is a sliver of a view from the corner of your window.  Our complexes were built so that every unit has a true ocean front view with nobody blocking out your view to sand and sea!  The Coquina is shaped like a V and the Sandpiper is shaped like a U, with the sand and the waves being at the center of that V and U!

  3. Less Crowds: Both of these complexes have less than 50 units, with only half of those units available to rent with the other half being people’s private vacation homes that often sit vacant.  As such, you won’t see hundreds of guests from this complex taking up the beach space by the condo or crowding the pool and courts.  

What is the address of the complex?

Coquina is 7900 A1A S, St. Augustine, FL 32080.  Crescent Sandpiper is located at 7950 A1A S, St. Augustine, FL 32080.

Is there a place to lock up my bikes?

Yes, there are bike racks to chain up your bikes, but you will need to bring your own bike locks.  Coquina’s lock is near the dumpsters on the south-end of the complex, Sandpiper’s bike rack is located on the far-north parking lot.

Is there a place to park my boat/trailer?

You can park a boat or trailer (a trailer that hauls things– not a camper trailer) near the tennis courts/basketball court at the Coquina.  Crescent Sandpiper does not have designated spots for boats/trailers.  You cannot park an RV/camper trailer at either complex.

How many cars are allowed to park at the complex? Do I need a parking pass?

You can park two cars for each reservation.  The Coquina does not require a parking pass.  The Crescent Sandpiper does require a parking pass and those will be emailed to you with your check-in information to print and bring with you, or you can get those from the manager at the center of the complex (manager is not always in on weekends, but you can try on Monday when she is back, your car should be fine in the meantime).

Do you have smoking units available? Can I smoke at the complex?

No, there are no smoking units.  Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the units or even on your private deck or patio.  If smoking has been detected your credit card will be charged to launder and air out a unit and to perform extra cleaning.  If smoking is detected during your stay you will be asked to leave immediately and will forfeit all rents.  Coquina is a non-smoking complex.  Crescent Sandpiper has designated smoking areas near the center of the complex.

Is there a place to grill?

Yes!  At the Coquina the grills are located on the upper deck.  At the Sandpiper the grills are located next to the tennis courts.  Both grills are electric.  The best time to grill and enjoy outdoor dining is at sunset on the top deck, where you can watch the sun set into the Intracoastal Waterway to the west of the complex!

 

Area Questions

What stores are the closest to the condos?

You have several options nearby.  For quick stops for things like shampoo, beach toys, and other non-food items you can try the Family Dollar just a few miles north on the A1A.  For food you can shop at Winn-Dixie or Publix, both about six miles north, off the A1A.  If you want to go to WalMart or Target it is about 20 miles away and you will leave the island to get there.  There is plenty of shopping nearby on the island including: Surf shops, shell shacks (try Tom’s Fruits and Gifts for the best selection of sea shells), seafood markets, pharmacies, beach clothing stores, etc.  There are no Sams Clubs or Costcos in the St. Augustine area, your closest location is Jacksonville.

What kind of shells can I expect to find?

You will find shells of all shapes and sizes on a morning’s walk.  Common shells found on Crescent Beach are: starfish, sand dollars, whelks of all sizes, horse conch, moon, olive, auger, transverse ark, sundials, sunrise tellin, fighting conch, cockle, scallop, cerithium, shark’s eye, king’s crown, and Coquina.  The best time to find shells are in the morning before other beachcombers hunt the beach and because the tide has brought in a new treasure trove of finds.  We also find that further south, near the Matanzas Inlet, you can sometimes find bigger shells.  You can walk or bike to the Matanzas Inlet, it is 2.5 miles away–just turn right out of the complex if walking/riding, or you can drive part of the distance, just turn left out of the complex, and there is a parking lot on your left hand side as you come up to the bridge, but before you cross it (after you pass Summerhouse complex).  This will take you over a long boardwalk and out onto the beach where you can walk further south to go under the bridge.  TIP: Where shoes, the sand is more shell-like and sharp here.  Another great time to find shells is just after a big storm.  FUN FACT: A piece of Spanish Galleon gold was found on Crescent Beach after a very strong storm.

What is the sand like on Crescent Beach?

Crescent Beach has been named, “One of the most scenic, unspoiled beaches in Florida, (http://www.oldcity.com/beaches/).”  Our sugary sands are powder soft (if you go too far south the sand can be sharper with a lot of broken shells, that is not the case on our stretch of beach).  

Are there restaurants close by?

Yes.  The closest restaurant is Paula’s Beachside Grill and South Beach Grill– located just 2 miles north of us right off the A1A.  These are fun restaurants to ride bikes on the beach to as well.  There are plenty of restaurants including: pubs, grills, gourmet restaurants, pizza places, and fast food all within 5-10 mins of the condos there on Anastasia Island with you.  Just 8 miles north is St. Augustine Beach and they have a lot of dining options there as well.  Some of our favorites on the island near the condo are: O’Steens for best shrimp, Purple Olive for more gourmet, Mango Mangoes for beach grill kind of food, and Salt Life for ambiance.  FUN FACT: There are over 500 rest

What is the best airport to fly into?

You actually have several choices when choosing the best airport.  The best choice for you may be the cheapest flight, the most direct flight, the airport closest to the condo, or the smallest and most easily navigable airport, as such I have provided the best three airports and their positives and negatives.

  • DAB (Daytona Beach International Airport):
    • Travel time: Approx 50 mins.  
    • Total distance: 45.5 miles.  
    • + Positives: DAB is a small airport and is easily navigable with smaller crowds  
    • -Negatives: Because DAB is a small airport, airfare tends to be more expensive and it can sometimes be harder to find non-stop flights (depending on where you’re flying from).
    • TIPS: There are a few toll roads from DAB to the condo and vice verse.
    • TIPS: The airport is located by the Daytona Speedway so if there is race near your departing flight time plan for extra commuting times so as not to miss a flight.
    • Directions from DAB airport to the condo

 

  • JAX (Jacksonville International Airport):
    • Travel time: Approx 1 hour.  
    • Total distance: 68.8 miles.  
    • + Positives: Jacksonville is a medium-sized airport and is easily navigable.  
    • -Negatives: Because Jacksonville is a smaller airport airfare tends to be more expensive and it can sometimes be harder to find non-stop flights (depending on where you’re flying from).
    • TIPS: Try to avoid traveling in/out of Jacksonville during commuter hours, or plan extra time for traffic, but besides that, traffic is generally very easy from the airport to the condo and vice verse.
    • Directions from JAX airport to the condo

 

  • MCO (Orlando International Airport):
    • Travel time: Approx 1 hr 45 mins.  
    • Total distance: 111 miles.  
    • + Positives: Because MCO is the airport for Disney World and all other Orlando attractions, there are a lot of flights that come in and out of Orlando, thus you can often find cheaper airfare, more non-stop flight options, and less expensive car rentals. There are also a lot of hotels and a lot of inexpensive options to choose from if you need to stay an extra night before or after your flight.
    • – Negatives: Security lines can be long, it is a big airport and you will have to take shuttles from the main airport to your gate, and you can run into problems if you don’t check in 2 hours early when checking baggage.  Plan to arrive early (there is a good selection of shopping and restaurants to enjoy if you have extra time on your hands).
    • TIPS:  There is a hotel in the airport with nice accommodations if you need to leave early or arrive late.  
    • TIPS: There are several toll roads from MCO to the condo, so be prepared with cash/change and longer travel times to get off and pay the tolls.  
    • TIPS: When renting a car, be aware that often the car rental places are not in the airport and they will shuttle you from the airport to their store, if you want to rent directly in the airport, make sure it specifies that the rental place is in the terminal.  
    • Directions from MCO airport to the condo.

How is Crescent Beach (where your condos are) different from St. Augustine Beach?

We are what the locals describe as the way “old Florida used to be” in that our beaches are still slow and quiet.  This is in part because St. Augustine Beach is a more commercial beach with hotels, restaurants, and stores on their beach, bringing over crowds that come to eat and they walk/play on the beach.  On the flip side of the coin, Crescent Beach has only two restaurants on the north border of our beach and no hotels, minus one condo/hotel complex on the north border of the beach (these restaurants and condo/hotel are 2 miles away from our units).  That means that the people on our beach are generally staying on Crescent Beach, so again the beach tends to stay more quiet and uncrowded.

Where are you located in relation to the historic part of St. Augustine?

We are 11 miles (15-20 mins) to the downtown historic part of St. Augustine.  We are located in the middle of Crescent Beach, on Anastasia Island.

map

 

Nearby Activities

What are the best golf courses nearby?

In terms of golfing suggestions– I have a recurring guest that owns a golfing company and spends a major part of his vacation golfing. Below is a compilation of his suggestions as well as other ones guests have sent in (all prices were given by guests and should be verified on your end).  Also, one guest let me know that they booked on golfnow.com and got really good deals on St. Johns, Royal St. Augustine, and South Hampton. Hope this helps.

 

Golfing Suggestions:

 

We mostly played the St. Johns County Golf Course. It features a nice layout and is reasonably priced but could be better maintained.
We really enjoyed playing the Palm Harbor Golf Course in the Hammock Beach area – around where the toll bridge is located between the A1A and the I-95.
The LPGA courses (Legends and Champions) in Daytona Beach are top notch and a bit less expensive than the World Golf Village courses.
TPC Sawgrass – exceptional, over $400
South Hampton – One guest said- very nice $50-65

Another guest said- Good shape (although the rough grass is very dry/dead)–exceptional service though

St John’s Golf and clubhouse: One guest said very nice $50-65

Another guest said-quite good, good shape and good service.

Royal St-Augustine: One guest said-I will not go back $45

Another guest said: The distance between holes is unusually long, but the course itself was in good shape. Service in clubhouse not the best but didn’t take away from golf itself.

St Johns Golf club – I will not go back $45 (I had someone else say that about this course as well)
Grand Club- Pine Lakes – I will not go back $55
My husband played two rounds of golf but spent several hours the other days at the driving range and practice greens at Hammock Beach Resort. He raved about the facilities and friendly staff – you may want to recommend it to other guests since it is only a 15-minutes drive from the condo.

What kind of shopping is in the area?

You can spend a lot of time and even more money at two huge outlet malls just across the road from one another 20 minutes away.  A “must do” in downtown St. Augustine is to walk down the pedestrian-only brick street of St. George street and check out the local wares and gifts for people at home.  On St. George street you will often enjoy live music, the calorie-free scent of waffle cones and ice cream on every corner, and a multitude of wonderful restaurants from every part of the world.  Near the condo within 5-10 minutes you have plenty of shopping at surf shops, seashell shacks, and grocery shopping at stores like Walgreens, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Family Dollar, etc.

What kind of fishing can I expect nearby?

There are so many different ways to fish here.  You can fish from nearby bridges or on the shore without a license.  If you fish from a boat you will need a license.  You will see fisherman fishing in the waves in front of the complex.  You can also try your fisherman’s luck from the bridge at the Matanzas Inlet or from St. Augustine pier.  You can try renting a pontoon boat and fishing the waters of the Intracoastal (we often see dolphins when doing this).  TIP- We rent gear, buy bait and licenses, and rent the boat from Devil’s Elbow just 1 mile north off the A1A.  If you want to catch something bigger, try chartering a fish boat or joining a deep sea expedition with a guide.

This is our first time to St. Augustine, is there a lot to do in the area?

In terms of things to do nearby– are you ready for a really long list?  I would LOVE to help you plan your vacation and give you any suggestions catered to what your group enjoys and what kind of food you like, and the list could go on for more time than you probably want to spend reading.  I have over 20 years of vacationing in these two complexes, so whether you rent with me or not, I would love to help you plan your perfect trip.  There is a reason that National Geographic named us one of the top places to visit in 2013 and Coastal Living named us one of the best beach towns in 2014, and not all of those activities are in St. Augustine (about 15-20 mins from the condo, some are a bike ride away).  Perhaps the best way to summarize how much there is to do is to tell you this fun fact: There over 500 restaurants in the area, more per capita than anywhere else on the East Coast.  In terms of activities other than everything the beach in your backyard provides, and a new restaurant to enjoy every day of the year, there is something for every single age and interest within 5-25 minutes away from the condo including:

  • History: Tons of history and spectacular architecture!  We are just 15-20 minutes away from the oldest city in the nation where you will find museums, replicas of old St. Augustine where people are dressed in character and give you a guide through American history, or closer to home you can visit Fort Matanzas by boat just 5 minutes from the condo and hear the old cannons go off. 
  • Recreational Activities: There are recreational activities in almost every single genre: fishing (from a platoon boat on the Intracoastal, by deep sea fishing boat on the Atlantic, or try fishing off the bridges and piers or from the shore in your backyard), boating, parasailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, renting mopeds or scoot coupes, etc. 
  • Golfing: There are at least five golf courses nearby ranging from the community golf course to the world famous TPC Sawgrass at the World Golf Village. 
  • Animal Lover Activities: There are unique activities for animal lovers: training and swimming with dolphins just five minutes from the condo at Marineland, ziplining over hundreds of alligators ten minutes away at the Alligator Farm, or visiting a privately held wild animal zoo where you can see lions hug their trainers and tigers take bubble baths just 20 minutes away.  Just out your door you will find lizards darting in your path, turtles burrowing in the dunes out your window, dolphins jumping in the shoreline, cranes and pelicans fishing for breakfast, along with plenty of animal life that washes ashore including: jellyfish, starfish, coral, crabs, we’ve even seen small sharks washed ashore after a big storm (though in 20 years of boogey boarding and diving in the waves, I have yet to see a live shark in the waters). 
  • Shopping Galore:You can spend a lot of time and even more money at two huge outlet malls just across the road from one another 20 minutes away or spend your money on local wares and gifts for people at home on the pedestrian only brick street of St. George street downtown 15-20 minutes away.  Near the condo within 5-10 minutes you have plenty of shopping at surf shops, seashell shacks, and grocery shopping at stores like Walgreens, Publix, Wynn Dixie, Familly Dollar, etc. 
  • Touristy Stops: Downtown historic area has all of your traditional tourist activities including a multitude of fun ways to tour the city (think chocolate and dining tours, or tours by trolley and horse carriage).  The lighthouse is an easy climb and a great way to get a panoramic view of the city and to learn about lighthouses.

 

Misc Questions

What will temperatures be like?

 

Rental/Management Questions

Will there be any surprise fees/add ons?

The only surprises we want you to have are the good ones- like when you walk through the door and see just how close the sand and waves are!  Your charges will be itemized for you when you book or when you inquire and are given a quote.  There are no extra fees for wifi, parking, or idyllic beach days!

I’m nervous about renting online or on VRBO any tips to minimize my risk?

Absolutely!  There are a few things you can do to verify that the unit you are wanting to rent really is a unit and really does look the way it has been advertised to look. I always suggest to guests that are worried to do a few things:

  • Call the manager.  It is always nice to hear a voice on the other line and that is a good time to ask any questions you have about your unit/the area, etc.

  • Find out if the complex has an on-site manager and if so, call that manager and verify the person you are working with is in fact an owner/manager of a unit in that complex; or if a management company is offering several units and you are suspicious of their listings, do some searching online to see the owner on record for that unit and then ask the management company who the owner is (bigger companies might not know individual owners of each condo unit, but small management companies should know their owners by name).

  • Call the listing site if you are seeing a unit on a site and are not sure if the unit is legit/property advertised.  Listing sites can tell you how old an ad is (FYI– the smaller the number on the VRBO listing, the older the unit is, which means a unit has a proven track record with VRBO).  If a unit you are seeing is newly listed and there is no track record with the manager/owner and the listing site, you may want to do a few more things to verify legitimacy.

  • Read reviews!!!  On most website and listing sites you can read the reviews from past guests.  Guest also do a great job of giving tips on where to go, places to eat, and often answer questions you might have as well.

  • Never send money out of the country when renting in the US.  If at any time things feel “off,” find another rental or take more steps to verify legitimacy.

I have a big group coming, do you have units close by one another for our group?

Yes!  We help a lot of groups book!  We manage over a dozen units in the Coquina and Crescent Sandpiper, which are ten steps away from one another (with no fence blocking access from each other).  In fact, we often advise groups to book in both complexes so you will have access to both complex’s facilities.  Email marisa@staugustinestays.com or call Marisa at 904-494-6310 for a photo of each complex and the exact location of available units in those complexes so you can choose the best combination of units for your group.

Why should I rent with you versus other management companies or owners?

Renting with me means you won’t mess with people from big companies who have never set foot in the complex or unit–I have been vacationing at only these two complexes for two decades! It means if there are problems, you have 24 hour access to my cell phone and concerns can be addressed quickly and successfully. It also means you have a personal concierge to help you plan the perfect vacation for your group or family. Again, with 20 years of vacationing experience at Crescent Beach and in St. Augustine, I am very familiar with what the area has to offer for all ages and can provide insider tips for the best restaurants, places to buy seashells, places to shop, golf, tour, etc. I would love to not only find you the ideal retreat, but also help you plan your best vacation ever!  If you’re looking for the ease and efficiency of working with a professional manager, but want the intimacy and boutique feel of working with an owner, I am a perfect blend to offer you fast professional services to book, while also spending as much time as you need to plan the details of your perfect seaside getaway!

Can I bring my well-behaved, non allergenic pet?

Sorry but both Coquina and Crescent Sandpiper have strict no-pets policies for units being rented.  These are monitored and should a guest break this rule they will be asked to leave and forfeit all monies paid with no refunds given.

What time is check-in and check-out?

Check-in is at 4:00 pm and check-out is at 10:00 am.  

What is your cancellation policy?

We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance to protect you from situations that may arise and result in a cancellation.  One such company that offers travel insurance is https://www.insuremytrip.com/– VRBO also offers trip insurance, as well as other companies.  Please make sure to thoroughly read through any insurance policy to make sure it will cover you and the reasons you may need to cancel.  Please also read through our cancellation policy.  If, for any reason, the Guest cancels this Agreement more than 60 days from the arrival date in a short-term stay (short term stay is less than one month) or more than 6 months from the arrival date of a long-term stay (long term stay is one month or more), the Reservation Deposit will not be refunded unless Manager is able to re-rent the Unit for the same (or better) terms and conditions as this Agreement, for the entire Term reserved under this agreement.  If the Property can be rented to meet the said terms, Manager will refund the Reservation Deposit paid, less a Cancellation Fee of $50.00. There are no cancellations permitted within 60 days/6months days of Guest Arrival Date.  All amounts paid will be forfeited, with the exception of the cleaning fee which can be returned if guest or any other member of the guest’s party does not come and cleaning is unnecessary.  

How do you check in?

All units are equipped with an electronic lock so that you do not need to stop at an office to pick up a key or to keep track of a key at the pool and beach.  One week before check-in your check-in codes will be emailed to you.  Check-in is after 4:00 pm and with the ease and convenience of the electronic lock, you can check in as late as you’d like without worrying about someone being available to give you a key.  There is a backup key box as well with a physical key in case of lockouts.

Is there an onsite manager?

Both the Coquina and Sandpiper also have an on-site manager that is at the complex most days during the daytime; office hours are posted and do change seasonally.

Who do we contact if something goes wrong?

Marisa, your rental manager and owner of St. Augustine Stays, is available to you throughout your entire booking experience from booking to check-out.  You can always contact Marisa via email at marisa@staugustinestays.com or by phone/text at 904-494-6310.  Kellie, is the cleaning manager and can be called for any cleaning issues or maintenance issues, you can call Kellie at 904-466-5699. Both the Coquina and Sandpiper also have an on-site manager that is at the complex most days during the daytime; office hours are posted and do change seasonally.  All of this contact information will be emailed to you one week before check-in.