Frequently Asked Questions

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Answers to your questions about our vacation rental homes

Do you allow pets?

No. Our homes are a pet-free environment to be suitable for people with pet hair allergies.  We make no exceptions to this rule. Day visitors should be warned to leave their pets at home too.

Do you allow smoking?

No. Our properties are smoke-free.

Is there Internet Service?

Yes. Sandy Cove Lake House has its own service. There are Ethernet jacks in the bedrooms and by the TVs. There is wireless throughout.
There is Ethernet access in the master bedroom desk area of The Green Cottage. Wireless is fed from our house next door. The router is purposely closest to the wall by the cottage. We recently added a booster to ensure good Wi-Fi service to The Green Cottage.

Can we keep our boat tied to the dock?

Probably. Our concern is boat length and boat draft and the dates of your planned reservation. The lake level traditionally drops to its lowest in August and September. The lower lake levels could be a problem for some boats in our bay. We should discuss your boat when making your reservation.

Do you have a floor plan?
I don’t have a floor plan available for The Green Cottage. Just know that each home has a first floor bedroom and each has one or more bedrooms on the second floor. The master suites are lakeside. Each has at least one bathroom on each floor. The Great Rooms are on the first floor and are lakeside. Here is an interactive floor plan for the Sandy Cove Lake House.

What is provided and what do I need to bring with me?

You will have to provide your own meals, although we do provide the little things that will help in preparing your meals like salt, pepper, vegetable oil, vinegar and an assortment of spices. We provide many everyday consumables like paper products, a variety of soaps for personal use and cleaning use, and trash bags. We also provide bedding and bath towels. For convenience, we also provide a hair dryer, iron and ironing board. We do have a high chair in the Sandy Cove Lake House. If the guests in that house don’t need it, and the guests in The Green Cottage do, with notice, we can arrange to move the high chair to The Green Cottage.

We do not provide and you will need to bring the following if needed:

  • Beach towels (please do not use bath towels outside)
  • Sun screen
  • Insect repellent
  • Laundry supplies
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • A cord that you can connect to our USB charging ports

Do I need a car?

Yes, you will need a car.

Is there a nearby ATM?

Yes, there are several. The closest is at A&B/Citgo (about 2 miles away). You’ll find ATM’s at other Mom & Pop stores that are a little further away. There’s also an ATM at McKee’s Pizza and Pub.  The nearest bank is The Merchants Bank in South Hero (about 15 minutes away). The bank’s business hours are Monday-Friday only.

Is there cell phone service?

We usually have reasonable cell service at our houses. There are times when service seems weak. Sandy Cove Lake House has a landline phone that you are welcome to use for US and Canada calls. Please, no toll calls.

What about groceries?

You will be arriving here by car and there are only 3 paths to reach Grand Isle by car — 1) From the north on US Route 2, 2) From the south on US Route 2, 3) By ferry from Cumberland Head/Plattsburgh, NY.

If you’re coming from the north, the big grocery stores you pass will be in either Champlain, NY or in Swanton, VT. These towns abut Alburgh, VT, which you have to pass through to get to Grand Isle from the north. Expect 40 minutes or more drive time from the grocery store to our vacation homes in Grand Isle.

If you’re coming from the south, there are lots of options. You’ll find a Costco and a Shaw’s Supermarket off Exit 16. It’s about a 25 minute drive from Exit 16 to our homes. If you want to get off the Interstate beforehand, you can find a Trader Joe’s within a mile off Exit 14E.  Exit 17 off of I-89 is the Champlain Islands exit.

If you’re coming across on the ferry, there are several supermarkets in the city of Plattsburgh, NY. Without a ferry wait, it will probably take you about 30 minutes to reach our homes.
While you’re here, you can find all the necessities just 2 miles away at our local Mom & Pop store called A&B  (these are the initials of the owners’ first names). They also have a Citgo gas station and Bill’s Sports shop around back.

In the summer, you’ll find fresh produce at Pomykala Farm (about 2 miles away on the other side of the Island from us), Savage Gardens (about 5 miles north of us) as well as at the Wednesday and Saturday Islands Farmers Markets.

What coffee makers do you have in the homes?

Each has a coffee pot brewer in the kitchen. Each also has a Keurig single cup brewer. The Keurig is in the kitchen of The Green Cottage. The Keurig is in the 2nd floor beverage center of The Sandy Cove Lake House. We provide coffee filters for the brewers. There will also be a few K-cups in each home. If you’re a big K-cup drinker, make sure to bring some from home.

Which is the easiest way to the homes if I am flying in?

There are 3 nearby airports…and they all align with the answers to “groceries” above.

Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), located in the suburb of Dorval, is about 1.25 hours away. Take Route 15 down to Champlain, NY and cross the bridge into Vermont. Follow US Route 2 East to our homes. You will have to go through the US/Canada border crossing.

Burlington International Airport (BTV) is to our south and about 40 minutes away. Take I-89 North to Exit 17 and follow Route 2 West to our homes.

Plattsburgh International Airport (PBG) is in NY and requires a ferry trip. If you don’t account for any ferry wait time, it’s about 30 minutes away.  Go left when exiting the ferry and follow Route 314 to US Route 2. Turn left and reach our homes in about 4 miles.

US Northeast Map pinpointing our location on Lake Champlain

US Northeast Map pinpointing our location on Lake Champlain










Where are the nearest restaurants?

We have several fine dining options nearby on The Champlain Islands. I would recommend you call or make a reservation online for any of these:

  • The Blue Paddle (about 15 minutes away)
  • Shore Acres Restaurant (about 7 minutes away – Open April – October)
  • North Hero House Restaurant (about 8 minutes away)

There are also other fine dining options a little further north and on other Islands.
More kid-friendly options include:

  • McKee’s Pizza and Pub (about 10 minutes away)
  • Wally’s Place Bagels & Deli (about 15 minutes away)
  • Hero’s Welcome (about 8 minutes away…this is one of my favorite places)
  • A&B (about 3 minutes away – they’ll make subs for you at the deli. There are picnic tables outside, but I recommend just bringing your haul back to your lakefront home!)
  • Seb’s Snack Bar & Ice Cream (about 15 minutes away – picnic table outside seating only)

Check out my list of dining options around the Islands and nearby by boat.

Do the owners live nearby?

Andy and I live next door to both our vacation rental homes. Our home is physically between them. We don’t hover over our guests. But if our guests ever need anything, they know where to find us.

What is the bed configuration?

The Green Cottage – King bed in the upstairs master suite. Twin bed in the large master walk-in closet. Queen bed in the first floor bedroom. We keep an extra twin mattress tucked away in case it’s needed. It’s our “portable” bed. One of the couches in The Great Room is a Queen sleeper sofa.

Sandy Cove Lake House – Queen bed in the first floor master suite. Queen bed in the second floor lakeside bedroom. Two sets of twin bunk beds and a single twin bed are in the other second floor bedroom. The big sofa in the second floor rec. room is also a Queen sleeper sofa.

Are the homes suitable for babies?

Babies and children are most welcome. But as when you go anywhere away from home, you will have to pay extra attention so that they don’t get into trouble. This might mean you want to bring a baby gate or a Pack ‘n Play. We do provide a high chair at the Sandy Cove Lake House.  And should our guests not need it there, we can certainly make this high chair available at The Green Cottage. Please let us know if this is a need well in advance of your arrival.

Please tell me about your Rental Contract.

You can review a sample rental agreement PDF file for Sandy Cove Lake House. The agreement for The Green Cottage is similar. The differences regard the number of towels provided and maximum occupancy.

What is the payment schedule?

Our receipt of your signed rental contract and a $250 security/damage deposit will hold your reservation. Thirty (30) days before your arrival, fifty percent (50%) of your rental fee plus 9% Vermont Rooms Tax is due. The final fifty percent (50%) plus tax is due two (2) weeks before your arrival.

Payment must be in US funds and bank/personal checks are appreciated. We can also accept credit card payments using our Square secure payment processor. You will receive specific payment instructions when you request a reservation.

Your security deposit becomes your damage deposit and will be refunded when all terms of our rental agreement are met. Generally, your refund is issued within 24 hours of check-out.

Go to Our Vacation Rental Homes.

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