We want to keep you posted and publish occasional newsletters that can include news, information, opinions and data. Read everything we know.

Working With Leavenworth Getaways

By Wendy Thomas
Published: 04/11/24 Topics: Guest Behavior, Guest Management, Interview, Leavenworth WA, Lodging Management, Vortex VIP Comments: 0

Mike, a retired attorney and the owner of Icicle View Vacation Rental Home in Leavenworth, agreed to sit down with Leavenworth Getaways, a member of the Vortex VIP lodging managers group, for a few minutes this week.
For over 20 years, Mike and his family have owned Icicle View.  They’ve spent weekend, holidays, and new years there.  Their daughter’s favorite childhood memories have been at the house, and the entire family has enjoyed seeing the California Quail and Grouse in the backyard,  a special event for this family of birdwatchers.  Deer have even taken advantage of the carport to cool off during the summertime and bear to eat the serviceberries in the fall and winter.
VIP: Mike, thank you for speaking with us today.  We’re so glad you are trusting your house to us.  What made you buy it 23 years ago?
Mike: The location was very important for us.  We wanted to be out of town, but have the benefit of town water.  We love the views of the hills, the night skies, and the sunrises and sunsets from our quiet hillside.
VIP: As a resident, what are your favorite things to do in the Leavenworth area?
Mike: Golfing at the Leavenworth Golf Course is one of the hidden gems for golf in Washington State.  We love to hike up in the Alpine Wilderness area in the Enchantments by Colchuk Lake.  Icicle Ridge Trail is beautiful.  We’ve enjoyed cross country skiing here.  There are three courses in and around Leavenworth.  Leavenworth is halfway between Stevens Pass and Mission Ridge for downhill skiing.  
We love going shopping at Apple Annie Antique Gallery in Cashmere, and there’s a diner there we enjoy named Café Jazmin.  It’s a 50s themed diner that we enjoy.
To enjoy the natural features of the area, we go to Ohme Gardens and overlook Wenatchee or to Dry Falls beyond Wenatchee.  We love the geology of the area.  
Another great way to enjoy the beauty of the area is to rent inner tubes from Adventure River Tubing Leavenworth.  You can spend an entire afternoon floating down the Wenatchee River, right by downtown.  Some people bring food and drink and have a picnic along the way, or get out and stop for a while, then restart.  
VIP: That’s amazing, Mike.  Thanks so much for sharing all of that.  Sounds like you’ve been loving the area for a while.  When did you start putting your house in the vacation rental market?
Mike: It was during Covid.  July of 2020.  
VIP: Did you rent it yourself, or did you use a management company?
Mike: We started with another company, but we didn’t like how they handled it, particularly in the quality of guests they advertised to.
VIP: That sounds awful!  We’re glad we are able to help you!
Mike: Bill said we’d have better clients, and you’ve kept your promise.  You’ve positioned the house well and marketed so we don’t have any more problematic guests.  We want to keep the house in our family for years, so making sure we don’t have guests who ruin it is very important to us.  
VIP: How do you like your local manager, Michelle?
Mike: She’s excellent.  We have a dedicated housekeeper who has been with us for 23 years, and she and Michelle have a good working relationship. They are both very helpful.
VIP:  Thank you so much for speaking with us, Mike.  We appreciate you taking time out of your day.  
Mike: It was my pleasure.

Read more

Author: Wendy Thomas – Contributor, Vortex VIP
Blog #: 0985 – 04/11/24

Sponsor: Icicle View – Nestled up in the hills above Leavenworth rests Icicle View Vacation Rental. While being close enough to Leavenworth to be convenient, you'd never realize it. Nothing but views of the mountains and valley and wildflowers out of every window. – [Click here for Icicle View]

Clean, Wipe, Soak, Scrub, Brush, Scour, Polish

By Ron Lee
Published: 04/18/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Housekeeping, Lodging Management Comments: 0

How to Clean and Sanitize Vacation Rental Homes

Since our first office opened in 1964, we have been rigorously cleaning and sanitizing properties for decades. This is nothing new to us. In fact, our homes are cleaned to a degree higher than most people have at home. It has always been our commitment to have every home safe and ready for guest arrival.

Get a Real Getaway

If you need a vacation, holiday escape, spring break, fresh air and time alone, vacation rentals are the best option. Bring kids or not. Bring the family or just your spouse. Most homes are free-standing, so you can avoid crowds. Even in our condos, the homes are open corridor, so there is no need to pass through common areas, like lobbies and dark hallways.

When Guests Depart

After guests depart, housekeepers arrive at every home to clean, wipe, soak, scrub, brush, scour, mop and polish bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, common spaces and even decks and patios, linens, towels and surfaces. Hot tubs are disinfected. This entire process - called "out Clean" - takes many hours. Then homes are spot checked by managers to ensure good work. When departing, all staff members use bleach rags, so that even the door knob and key-safe are sanitized. Wow!

Sanitation Cleaning Products

We use a variety of products to clean, disinfect and sanitize. All are approved for high health standards. We still use bleach for some areas because it is still the gold standard for killing every kind of bug. In fact, if you enter a home immediately after housekeepers depart, for a few minutes you may detect a slight cleaning smell. That is your assurance of sanitization.

Bathroom Super Scrub

Cleaning bathrooms is not a fun task, but we carefully clean all sinks, mirrors, toilets, drawers, bathtubs and shower enclosures until they sparkle. But they have also been sprayed and later wiped with disinfectant. Soiled and unsoiled towels are removed before cleaning starts to avoid cross contamination. This is a hands-and-knees job, but housekeepers pride themselves on meticulous cleaning.

Proper Wipe Downs

You might think that spraying and wiping surfaces with disinfectant is sufficient, but it is not. Instead, disinfectant must be left on surfaces for a period of time before it is wiped away. This gives time for the liquid to kill all the germs.

- Door knobs inside and outside.

- Window switches.

- Light switches and sockets.

- Lamp switches.

- Cupboard doors and surfaces.

- Table tops including night stands.

- Appliances - top and sides.

- Counter tops.

- Reachable walls.

- Outdoor furniture.

- Stairs and deck handrails.

- Toasters and coffee makers.

- TV and other remote controls.

- Stereos and computers.

- Door bells and key safes.

- Toys and board games.

- Pet toys and blankets.

- And more.

Vacuuming, Mopping, Sweeping

Are you ever tempted to do floors fast? By slowing down the process and covering every floor surface carefully, dirt, grime and germs are removed. We keep equipment new and well maintained to get the best results. Housekeepers are never limited to cleaning hours. Instead, they are encouraged to take all the time they need to do the job right.

Kitchens and Dining Rooms

Kitchens get splattered on, baked in and used heavily. It is a big job, but to get kitchens spic-and-span is essential, from the stove to oven to refrigerator, but also microwaves, cupboards, fans and light fixtures. Cleaned inside and out. You will notice we remove condiments, such as ketchup and mustard left from prior guests, because leaving open containers violates health standards. You'll have to bring your own, but you'll know they are new and fresh.

Hot Tubs and Spas

Every hot tub is completely disinfected after each booking by trained staff members. Sand or debris is removed, filters are inspected, and chemicals are adjusted. In addition, the hot tub cove, top and side surfaces are disinfected. If you arrive to a tub that is not yet fully heated, please wait because we had to empty and refill it. Takes time to reheat.

Towels and Linens

Washing and drying linens and towels is an obvious step, be we wall all of them, even if a bed does not appear to have been slept in. They are transported to the washer-dryer using rubber gloves and laundry bags, and they are returned to beds in baskets to avoid cross contamination. Along with quality detergent, additional disinfectant is added to all washing to ensure germs are eradicated.

Deep Cleans

In addition to our rigorous out-clean, homes receive deep cleans regularly to cover hard to access areas, including heating ducts, cupboard sides and ceilings, high surfaces, fans, carpets and more. This takes many hours, and ensures the cleanest possible property.

When Guests Depart

You may notice that we do NOT as guests to do laundry or to remove linens and towels to the laundry area. We do it all to ensure that every textile has been washed and cleaned properly without dragging it through the house.

Call Us Quick: 206-504-2744

If at any time during your stay, if you find any issue, call our 24-7-365 day phone number for assistance. If necessary, our staff will happily come to the property to ensure all is right. And if you want daily cleaning, we can arrange that too, for a small additional fee.

Avoid Crowds, Stay in a Private, Vacation Home!

Year round, in every season, and no matter what is happening in the rest of the world, vacation rentals offer a respite from the rate race, a chance to get away and to enjoy a sparkling clean, sanitized home.

Read more

Author: Ron Lee, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0742 – 04/18/20


Vacation Rental Picante Sauce

By Wm. May
Published: 09/01/17 Topics: Lodging Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

What do Picante Sauce and Vacation Rentals have in common? Well they gotta be fresh and tended to. Can managers from hundreds and thousands of miles away provide adequate service to discerning property owners. Not hardly. Read more

DETAILS: We work to keep this information up to date, but details do change from time to time based on circumstances, often on short notice, and sometimes beyond our control. To verify any answer or other information you may need, please call or email us anytime. Allow a reasonable amount of time for response. Only legitimate inquiries will be answered.