Frequently Asked Questions

Reservations, Rates and Booking Information

  • The fastest way to book a stay is to fill out the Booking Form on our website.
  • Guests are encouraged to #bookdirect with us. The use of third parties such as Realtors, Travel Agents, Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway results in added fees.
  • The typical stay is one week. Long weekends in the off season are around 3/4 of the weekly rate. Wedding parties in spring and fall will often take the property from Wednesday until Tuesday the following week.
  • The security deposit is taken by placing a hold on a credit card similar to a stay in a hotel room. We also have damage insurance to each rental.
  • Special events and wedding parties are subject to a higher deposit. – more info.
  • The estimated cleaning fee includes all towels and linens. All the beds are made on arrival.
  • Animals are permitted on a case-by-case basis. Here are some good reasons to leave your pet at home. Click Here.
  • All reservations made within 90 days of a lease start date may be subject to a tenant application and reference checks.
  • Check-in is at 4 pm and check-out is at 10 am on a Sunday. Special times can be accommodated only with advance notice.
  • All rates, terms, and availability are subject to change without notice. Your terms are confirmed only after a lease and payment have been received.


What are the minimum nights

We can always consider custom stays, it is part of what makes us different.
In the prime months of July and August, we normally require a seven-day stay and go from Saturday to Saturday.
Guests can book fewer days but there is only a small reduction in price from the standard weekly rates.
Weekday nights are less expensive than a weekend or holiday night.
For example, an entire week might be $10,000 and a four day stay over a weekend $8,000.
In the shoulder months, we look for a minimum two-day stay.
A week-long rental with a Monday check out usually runs Tuesday through Monday for 6 nights.
Occasionally people will do Friday to Sunday but the rate they pay is still the four-day rate.

Cancellation Policy and how to protect yourself

Our cancellation policy is outlined in the lease and is strict because our house is typically booked well in advance. It is very hard to book the house at the last minute.
We strongly encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance to protect not just the rent but your other travel purchases. We offer access to this travel insurance program on checkout for DIret Bookings.

You can choose from “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) or standard insurance that only covers you if there is a medical emergency.

Other options for you

If you need to cancel write us an email saying so. Once your booking is canceled we will work hard to fill any of your reservation’s dates and try to make our guests whole as best we can. If you booked with an OTA like Airbnb you need to contact them to cancel. They will not refund your booking fees. We cannot rent your reserved time until you are canceled.

Consult your lease for your specific cancelation terms. More information on cancelations and insurance is available on our blog.

Q: Are the better rates available on other websites?

A: No – you are dealing directly with the owner's representative and can negotiate terms that are the most favorable. There will also be no additional 3rd party fees or credit card charges.  We use Airbnb, VRBO, Home Away, and other “OTA/middlemen” sites to bring business to us but their algorithms are very difficult to get to quote accurately. We establish a default rate but this low rate applies only to off-season rentals. For example 3 days in April or November. In the summer there is only the weekly rate available. If you want to stay for three or four days you may want to extend your stay as those extra three or four days are practically free. More information here.

Q: What does the cleaning fee cover?

A: We charge an upfront estimated cleaning fee of roughly $50 per person. When you arrive the house is completely ready to go with all of the beds made and towels in the bathrooms. The estimated cleaning fee is to return the house back to the condition it was at the beginning of the lease. Additional cleaning can be arranged directly with our cleaning service. This is typical of vacation rental homes. Any additional cleaning required will be deducted from your security deposit.

Q: How Much Parking is there?

A: Each property has it's parking details under Accommodations or Details. You do not need cars on the island and should leave as many on the mainland as you can. We have people who do not bring a car at all. The MVTA runs buses on a regular schedule. The local taxi companies mostly use vans (11 to 14 passengers) so you can move all at once, say to a restaurant. The local police are strict on DUI so don’t take the chance. There is also Uber on the island and many are using this popular service.

If you must bring extra cars you can park up at the Deep Woods Lot.

There is no overnight street parking in most locations and a limit of a few hours for daytime parking.
See my longer discussion on making your Vineyard vacation auto-hassle free here.
Q: Can I bring a pet or animal?
A: Not unless you have received specific permission in writing. Animal information is here.

Q: Should I bring my own food

A: There are excellent markets on the island and even some wonderful farms and specialty grocery and meat stores. You may save some money but even the liquor stores are pretty reasonable.

Q: Can I drink the water

A: Yes. The Town of Edgartown is supplied with water of the highest quality from five groundwater supplies ranging in a depth of 60 to 120 feet. They all withdraw from the Martha’s Vineyard Sole Source Aquifer. See their latest water reports here: https://www.edgartown-ma.us/departments/water

Q: What is the weather like?

A: Martha’s Vineyard is an island well off the coast of New England. The weather can change quickly from hot to cold. It is always a good idea to check the weather forecast before venturing out and to bring a wide variety of clothes to the island. Islanders where practical clothing and you will find few occasions to wear fancy clothes unless you are attending a special event or club. A guide to the seasonal weather pattern is here.

Q: How are Security Deposits handled?

Nothing can cause more heartburn than security deposits. To make it easier for everyone we no longer use cash and now use a credit card hold. This means that funds are available to us in the rare case that there is damage that it is not covered by the damage insurance. This is similar to what happens when you stay at a hotel or rent a car.

Credit card security deposits are controlled by the bank that gave issued you your credit card. They only last for about a week so you may see them automatically renewed from time to time. The hold will be released once the cleaners have reported to the owner and the owner has reported to us. This has practically eliminated the need to hold cash as a security deposit.

If you think about it having 20 or more guests in your house means 20 people that you cannot control yet are responsible for. You know what you did but do you know what those friends or distant cousins did? Be assured that I have given this subject a lot of thought and strive to be as transparent and fair as I can. More Detailed Information is available here:  Security Deposit Info

Q: Can I use an insurance program for my Security Deposit?

We automatically provide security deposit insurance for your stay that insures your security deposit. We still require a security deposit that is paid in advance. Special events and wedding parties are subject to a higher deposit. Detailed Information is available here:  Security Deposit Info

Q: How do I host an event at the house

A: Any event at the house that is less than 2 + the max number of guests allowed requires no notice or permission. Events over this amount can be held but you should let us know so you don’t inadvertently violate the terms of your lease which states the “Premises shall be used for living purposes only and shall not be used for large events, corporate functions, meetings, receptions, parties or any other similar events.

Q: How do I do my own clambake at the house

A: As far as clambakes go the individual cost of the bake and bake master can be quite high and the fancier you try to make it the cost goes up.
An inexpensive way to do a clambake is simply to order the lobsters steamed from Edgartown Seafood or Edgartown Meat Co.. They do this (or at least they did) at no charge so you pay just the cost per pound. You then use the large coolers (in my basement) to pick up the lobsters and deliver them to the backyard at the appointed time.
Add to the lobsters some steamed corn, large tossed salads, chowder, and bread and you have a “bake” for around $25 a head.
Some beer and large format wine (Our Market delivers and takes away unopened liquor) and you are done.
Q: Is there a Vacation Tax on my rental
A: The State of Massachusetts imposes a tax on all short-term rentals less than 32 days. The tax will be added to the cost of your rental.
Q: What if the water is off
A: We have a system that senses broken pipes. If it has activated please let us know and we can reset it.

Q: What if the water is cold or the electricity is off

A: Please let us know and we can reset it.