Karen N.

Fantastic Place!

This is our new favorite place to stay at Siesta Key, and we have stayed at many over the years.

Crystal Sands is a great complex. The building is well-positioned to get great ocean views (the high rise building—not the villas), and it’s one of just a few properties along Crescent Beach that has an ocean front pool. Best of all, the lanais jut out from the building allowing for a panoramic view and good air flow, unlike many of the balconies along Crescent Beach that are closed in on three sides giving a tunnel-vision view of the beach and not a speck of breeze.

This particular unit may not be the most updated one in the building, but it is spotless and all of the furnishings and appliances are of high quality and in good working order. There is a washer/dryer inside the unit, which is a big plus so you don’t have to continually run down the breezeway to the laundry room and try to gather enough quarters to do your laundry. The unit is very well equipped with everything you need—laundry detergent, dishwashing detergents, paper towels, tissue, toilet paper, spices/condiments for cooking, beach toys, several beach umbrellas and chairs (in addition to the ones Crystal Sands supplies on the beach), books, puzzles, local maps, DVDs, and enough towels for an army. This unit feels like a home rather than a rental unit. It is also located at the end of the building closest to the beach, so the view is one of the best in the building. And to top it off, this unit is very reasonably priced at hundreds less than some of the professionally managed units in the building. The only downside is that there is a 2-week minimum rental, which we can’t always do.

A highlight of our stay was getting to know the owners, Essie and Mel, a bit. They are a lovely, in love, couple, married over 60 years. Essie seems to really enjoy her role as manager of the condo. She not only managed all the arrangements smoothly, she made us feel like family. “Hospitality” is her middle name! She has waiting for her guests a very generous welcome basket of gourmet sandwich fixin’s and more. If you arrive exhausted after a hard day of travel, you can just crash and relax without even having to go out to eat or get groceries that first night.

Thanks to Essie and Mel for sharing their condo. We hope to return many times in the future.

Boyd & Judy
NB, Canada

A Holiday In Paradise

We were here for 4 weeks in Dec. All the previous comments are too true. Essie & Mel are great Owners.One could not ask for more.

We were here in Mar. ’13 for 4 weeks as well and will be back for Mar. ’14 & Dec. ’14. And, plan for 2 months every year and more if I could talk Judy into that idea.

Which, I guess, shows you how much we love the Condo, Beach, Lanai for Happy Hours, the restaurants nearby and in the “Village”. Recommend Javier’s, Miguel’s, The Cottage, The Hub at Bahia & Bon Jour (great crepes). Free cab, just tips.

Lynn G.


The condo was beautiful and very roomy. The view was amazing to wake up to every day. The pool was clean and warm. The ocean was perfect and the sand was cool. We had a great week. The owners were wonderful and thoughtful. I would recommend this rental to my family and friends.

gabriel d.

Fantastic Views and Lovely People

As a native Sarasotan I relish any chance to go home and spent time on some of the most beautiful beaches in the US. I especially love the south end of Siesta Key and jumped at a chance to rent a unit with Gulf views. Clean, comfortable and that lanai! The unit owners were equally charming providing us with an extremely thoughtful basked it of edible goodies for our arrival and were a charming couple. The unit was perfect for two people and we spent every morning on the lanai watching the pelicans and the waves of the Gulf. I can’t wait to go back and rent this unit again. Thanks so much for a lovely vacation.

Gulf Coast Lovers

Wonderful Beach Vacation

This was our second stay with Melvin and Essie at the Crystal Sands, and it was even better than the first. The weather was excellent – High 80s / Low 90s in during the day, mid to low 70s at night. We had rain the first night, and saw just a trace after that.

The beach and Gulf are perfect at Crystal Sands – deep beach with powdery sand that doesn’t get hot, and very gradual entry to the Gulf. Waves were generally small, with moderate (2 – 3ft) on windy days.

The pool and common grounds are well maintained (the nozzle on the clean-off hoze was broke one morning and fixed by noon later that day), and the building is well secured (security fob to access beach 24 hrs a day, in evening to access elevators).

Mel and Essie’s condo is cleaner than any rental property or hotel I have ever been in, and is more than adequately stocked with towels, linens, and kitchen supplies. The new washer and dryer are excellent.

A couple of thoughts:

– While this unit does not directly face the Gulf (it faces slightly south), we believe it has better views than the directly facing units would because it allows you to see the beach in addition to the Gulf. We prefer the south facing view because it has less buildings in the sight line than does the north facing view.

– We used the table on the lanai for nearly every meal, even during the heat of the day because the breeze keeps it comfortable and the south facing angle puts it in the shade most of the day.

– The trundle bed worked very well for our 9 and 7 year olds, and we appreciated the extra feel of roominess by not having the second bedroom walled off.

Mel and Essie are a special couple, and they make you feel special when you rent from them. We are already signed up for next year.

Texas Traveler

Great condo, Gulf front property on the beach.

This was our first stay in Siesta Key and we all hope to return soon! I was a little hesitant using VRBO, but I’m glad we decided to work with Mel & Essie at this Crystal Sands unit.

We were met at the condo by Essie and Mel who gave us a great overview of the condo and the property. They were so thoughtful and brought a basket of goodies which allowed us to enjoy our first hours on the beach and not worry about running to the local grocery store for bread, lunch meat, snacks, etc…They were always responsive and very attentive to questions before and during our stay. They obviously go to great lengths to care for the condo and their guests.

The condo was on the 8th floor which was perfect for us. I always enjoy ocean/gulf front condos and I wasn’t disappointed. We loved spending time on the lanai watching the sunset over the water. The beach wasn’t crowded…However, there was a lot of seaweed along the beach. Tropical storm Isaac arrived the day after we did, so I’m not sure how much that contributed to the above factors.

The condo was immaculate and spacious for our family…The beds in the second bedroom could be converted to a king size bed. There are two full baths, dining area and a complete kitchen with everything we needed. There was also a utility room with washer/dryer that made washing convenient. The screened in lanai could be accessed through both bedrooms and the living area. There is also a covered parking space available to guests.

Overall, this ended up being the perfect place for us! Great condo, great views and easy access to stores and restaurants. We will definitely return!


Excellent Stay

What wonderful hosts. The apt. is very well appointed, and Essie and Mel have thought of everything. We were wanting for nothing because of our gracious hosts. The beach view is unbelievable. We will always try to stay here when in Siesta Key.

Acton, MA United States

Great Experience Renting this waterfront condo on Siesta Key

Weather outside was perfect, the owners met us with the keys and provided us with a quick overview of the place, and a kitchen stocked with sandwich fixings, snacks etc. to make the beginning of the stay less hectic. We took a walk on the beach immediately instead of rushing to the grocery store, how cool is that. Each day we walked Crescent Beach in the morning, sunned and swam in the warm Gulf of Mexico water and had a wonderful vacation. I would highly recommend it!

Martha J.

Best place ever!!

This was by far the best place we have ever stayed in Florida! The location is absolutely perfect and the accommodations are great and the owners are so very thoughtful and have all kinds of extras waiting for you. I don’t think you could find a nicer place nor a better couple to rent from. We loved every minute of our time there.

Tony and Kim
Galena, OH

Fabulous Condo!!

What a great condo!! It was spacious, clean and well stocked with everything that we needed. The owners met us on site and were extremely friendly. They showed us around and were very helpful. They even had sandwiches and snacks for us in the condo. The beach was beautiful and there were enough chairs for everyone. The view from the balcony was outstanding. We can”t say enugh about this condo and our stay in Siesta Key, except we will definitely be back next year!

Jeanne P.
Ida, MI

Great experience

We just returned from 9 nights at this condo and could not have asked for a better accommodation.

The photos don’t really do it justice, it seemed larger than the photos showed. The property was exceptionally clean and well maintained, one of the nicest rentals we have had and we have stayed at dozens over the years. The owners met us upon arrival and gave us a thorough walk thru, explaining everything and answering our questions. The location is perfect, being right on the beach and close enough to walk to stores, bars and restaurants. There is 24 hours security, fobs for secure entry and a locked place to keep our rental bicycle. The Village is just a short bike ride (maybe 2 miles) and even a shorter car ride. I would highly recommend this property as a clean, well equipped, and comfortable place to stay. Captain Curt’s, which is an easy walk, has some of the best clam chowder ever–try it if you go.

Mike and Jeanne, Ida, MI

Pittsburgh, PA

Best Beach, Beautiful view

The condo was beautiful and very roomy. The view was amazing to wake up to every day. The pool was clean and warm. The ocean was perfect and the sand was cool. We had a great week. The owners were wonderful and thoughtful. I would recommend this rental to my family and friends.