FAQs

How quickly do I need to book so I don’t lose my dates? I have to coordinate with so many people and…

Due to the extreme popularity of our vacation rental homes and the fact that nearly 60% are repeat guests who often take the same dates every year, our calendars fill very quickly.  We are first come, first served and cannot hold dates without the required deposit and paperwork.  Our calendars are live at least three (3) years out, and most guests book 9 to 18 months in advance.  We receive on average 20 inquiries per day and encourage you to book ASAP before you lose your chosen dates.

I’m ready! How do I book right now to not lose my dates?

Please click the *Reserve your stay* link to make your reservation.

What deposit amount is required to reserve my dates?

50% of your gross period’s rent is due ASAP at time of booking to lock your dates.  The remainder is due 30 days prior to arrival.  If your arrival date is less than 30 days away, 100% is due ASAP at time of booking.

How will I know that my reservation is confirmed?

Once we receive payment and the signed Vacation Rental Agreement, you will receive and email confirmation indicating that you are all set.

How much is the Security Deposit and what is the process?

The Security Deposit amount is $1000 ($500 if renting the Guesthouse only).  We do not charge your card; we place an authorization hold on your card on Arrival Date.  The hold automatically expires if there are no damages to capture.  This is equivalent to a hotel swiping your card for any incidentals.  This process is the most efficient since you do not pay any money upfront for the security deposit, therefore there is no refund to credit.

What is your minimum and maximum night stay requirement?

Unlike most other rentals, we only have a two (2) night minimum unless it’s a holiday which requires a three (3) night stay.  Being so close to Chicago, we have found that most guests like to take short getaways rather than commit to a whole week.  We have a seven (7) night maximum.  Please inquire if your travel requires longer than seven (7) nights.

Which holidays require a premium? What is the minimum stay requirement for holidays?

Due to popularity, the following holiday require a one-time premium which will automatically be factored in to the total cost and reflected on the invoice we email you.  These holidays also require a three (3) night minimum and if booking the Miller Beach Dream Retreat, the Entire Compound must be booked which includes both the Main House and the Attached Guesthouse.

  • Independence Day (July 4th)
  • South Shore Air Show (usually a weekend in mid-July)
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • Labor Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Easter Weekend
How much are the cleaning fees?

Cleaning fees are dependent on the property booked and will be reflected on the invoice we email you.  Our cleaning fees range from $100 to $349.

How much are the taxes?

Taxes will be reflected on the invoice we email you.  Indiana state sales tax is 7% and Lake County Innkeeper tax is 5% for a total of 12%.  There is currently no city tax.

We are a not-for-profit and have tax-exempt status; do we still need to pay sales tax?

Unfortunately, according to the Indiana Department of Revenue’s “Information Bulletin #41 Sales Tax Application to Furnishing of Accommodations”, tax-exempt status does NOT apply for lodging.  We can email you the tax code document.

Are you dog-friendly? How much to bring our dog(s) with us?

We love adult, house-trained dogs and would never leave our Vizsla’s with a sitter or in a boarding kennel; they are part of our family and they go where we go!  Number of dogs allowed and dog fees are dependent on the property booked and will be reflected on the invoice we email you.  Dog fees range from $20 to $29 per night per dog (much cheaper than boarding) with minimum per dog fee of $49 to $79.  All dogs must be treated at least seven (7) days prior to Arrival Date with a comprehensive flea/tick/mosquito repellent such as Frontline Plus, Advantix, Advantage II, etc.  All properties except the Dream Retreat Guesthouse have fully fenced-in areas for our four-legged friends to roam freely and safely.  Unfortunately, due to severe allergies, no other animals besides dogs are allowed.

What time is regular check-in and checkout?

Villa Santorini check-in is 5pm CST and checkout is 10am CST

Miller Beach Dream Retreat check-in is 4:30pm CST and checkout is 10am CST

If available, we do offer Early Check-in and Late Checkout for a nominal fee.

What time is Early Check-in and Late Checkout and how much is the nominal fee?

If available, you can gain almost a half day on either end of your stay for a nominal fee.

Villa Santorini Early Check-In is 2pm CST and Late Checkout is 1pm CST.

Miller Beach Dream Retreat check-in is 4:30pm CST and checkout is 10am CST.

Fees are dependent on the property booked and the Season and will be reflected on the invoice we email you.  Fees range from $29 to $199 each.

What is your cancellation policy?

There is a $300 cancellation fee.  If you need to cancel your reservation, let us know immediately so we can release the dates.  Once the home is re-rented for the same Gross Rent amount over the same time period, all monies will be refunded minus the cancellation fee.  If it is re-rented for an amount less than what you originally paid, the difference will be deducted from your refund amount along with the cancellation fee.  We make all reasonable efforts to re-rent our home, however, if we cannot re-rent, you will forfeit the full amount of the Gross Rent.

We want to get married at your property. Is there an additional event fee? What are the restrictions?

We have hosted over 70 intimate weddings at our vacation rentals since 2008 and love them!  Occupancy limits must be adhered to and additional per person Occupancy and Use Fees will be applied to the invoice emailed to you.  There is an additional special event fee of $500 for weddings.  Since these are intimate affairs, no commercial or retail entities are allowed on the Premises at any time (e.g., catering services, DJs, VJs, bands, rental companies, etc.)

What is your minimum age requirement to book?

Licensee must be 28 years or older on Arrival Date to book.

Is smoking allowed at your properties?

No smoking is allowed inside or within 15 feet of any open door or window.  There are several cigarette smoker’s poles located outside on the decks and terraces.  Please direct all smokers outside.

Do you allow after-Prom parties? We have several chaperones…

Unfortunately, we do NOT allow prom parties regardless of the number of chaperones or circumstances.

What groups are not allowed to book your properties?

No high school, prom, college, young (under 30 years old) bachelor parties, or underage groups are permitted.

What are your occupancy limits?

Depending on the property booked, occupancy limits range from 10 to 30 people.

Is there active video surveillance?

Yes, for security purposes and potential guest misrepresentation, active video surveillance is conducted at all entranced and outside areas.  No cameras operate inside anywhere guests have access to.

Do you supply bedding for the beds/pullout couches/air mattresses?

We supply extra sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillows for all.

Do you supply Hair dryers?

There is a hair dryer in each bathroom.

Do you supply towels?

We supply bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, bath mats and beach towels.

Do you provide any toiletries?

We supply shampoo/condition/body wash/hand soap.

What other essentials do you offer?

Dish soap, dish sponges, dishwasher detergent pods, trash bags, paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, iron and board, seasoned oak and maple firewood, starter logs, aim-n-flame lighters, beach chairs, propane for the grill and fire-pit, in-room safe (Master Suite)

Do I need to bring laundry detergent, bleach or fabric softener?

No. Each washer is equipped with its own Ozonator, which requires ONLY cold water and no bleach, detergent, or fabric softener.  Ozonators clean better by infusing a third oxygen molecule to create super-charged wash water.

Is there anything special we need to do to use the hot tub? Will it be ready when we arrive?

It will be ready for you, just hop in! But please rinse off before entering to save our jets from damage due to harmful oils and lotions.

Does the property have WiFi strong enough for streaming?

Our wifi offers speeds up to 50Mps at both houses. All of our TV’s are smart tv’s and allow you to log into your Netflix, etc. Don’t forget to log off when you leave!

Do you also have cable TV?

Yes, we offer digital Comcast/Xfinity with up to 160 channels on all TVs.

Are there HDMI ports on the TV’s?

All of our TV’s have HDMI ports.

Do you have Blueray or DVD players?

At Villa Santorini, we have Blueray players in the Media Room and Round Room.

At the Dream Retreat, there is a Blueray or DVD player at every TV.

What small appliances/baking/serving dishes are available?

Full coffee/tea bar w/ Nespresso (at the Villa) AND Keurig machines, 2 drip coffee makers, a coffee bean grinder and an electric tea kettle. We provide coffee pods and filters, but recommend you bring your own cream/sweetener/sugar.

Slow cooker/crock pot, Food processor, Blender, Toaster, Hand mixer, Chef knives, Steak knives, Wine/bottle openers, Roasting pans, baking sheets in many sizes, rectangular roasting pan, loaf pans, muffin tins, etc.

Several large stock pots, plenty of mixing bowls, serving dishes/bowls, platters, etc.

All cooking and grilling utensils, Cutting boards.

Dinner service for 30 people: dinner, salad plates, flatware, glassware.

Specialty glassware for wine, beer, juice, water.

Outdoor plates and glassware.

If I don’t want to cook, are there local caterers you can recommend?

Yes—please contact us directly for suggestions.

What is there to do in Miller Beach?

Miller Beach is a unique and growing artist community in NW Indiana full of galleries, shopping, fine dining, and miles of pristine beaches and nature trails. Hundreds of attractions are located within 60 minutes: casinos, amusement/water parks, golf, antiquing, wineries, outlet malls, as well as Chicago’s rich culture: Millennium Park, Magnificent Mile, museums, restaurants, sports, theater, concerts, etc.

Please see our Explore Miller Beach page. We also provide an interactive tablet at check in, which contains our Insider’s Guide to Miller Beach!

 

What is the beach like?

Enjoy sugar-like sand, wade out waist-high on the 150ft deep sand bar, and swim in Lake Michigan’s crystal clear, warm waters.  Our beaches have no rocks, no muck, and no algae. The water gets warm fast and remains warm well into Autumn.

Where is the closest grocery store?

Merrillville is approximately 15 minutes from both houses and has Meijer, Costco, Sam’s, and Walmart.

The nearest Whole Foods is in Schererville, approximately 30 minutes away.

What are the sleeping arrangements at Villa Santorini?

Level 3

  • Nautical Suite: King bed, space for 2 aerobeds
  • Queen bedroom

Level 2

  • Master Suite: King bed, space for 2 aerobeds
  • 2 Queen bedrooms
  • Bunk room with 4 twin beds
  • Large sectional sofa in Media Room, space for 1 aerobed

Level 1

  • Private Sunroom with queen sleeper sofa
  • Round room: Queen sleeper sofa, space for 1 aerobed
  • Daybed (perfect for young children)

*4-5 aerobeds are provided, as well as extra bedding/pillows/towels, etc for all additional sleeping areas

What are the sleeping arrangements at the Dream Retreat?

Dream Retreat can accommodate up to 28 people in the entire compound

Level 6

  • Master Suite: queen bed, the walk-in closet is the size of a small bedroom, has a skylight, window and space for an aero bed

Level 5

  • Entertainment loft (large sectional sofa) the sectional is very comfortable and is sometimes used a sleeping area

Level 4

  • Queen bedroom, space for an aerobed
  • Bunkroom: Twin/Queen and Twin/Twin,

Level 3

  • Great Room/Kitchen (main entry to home)

Level 2

  • Queen bedroom

Level 1

  • Rec Room: Queen pullout sofa, space for an aerobed

GUEST HOUSE – up to 8 people

  • 2 Queen Bedrooms
  • 1 Full Bath
  • Queen pullout sofa, space for queen aero bed

*4-5 aerobeds are provided, as well as extra bedding/pillows/towels, etc for all additional sleeping areas.

What are the sleeping arrangements at Dream Retreat Main House?

Level 6

  • Master Suite: queen bed, the walk-in closet is the size of a small bedroom, has a skylight, window and space for an aero bed

Level 5

  • Entertainment loft (large sectional sofa): the sectional is very comfortable and is sometimes used a sleeping area

Level 4

  • Queen bedroom, space for an aerobed
  • Bunkroom: Twin/Queen and Twin/Twin,

Level 3

  • Great Room/Kitchen (Main entry to home)

Level 2

  • Queen bedroom

Level 1

  • Rec Room: Queen pullout sofa, space for an aerobed

*4 aerobeds are provided, as well as extra bedding/pillows/towels, etc for all additional sleeping areas.

What are the sleeping arrangements at Dream Retreat Guest House?
  • 2 Queen Bedrooms
  • 1 Full Bath
  • Queen pullout sofa, space for queen aero bed

*1-2 aerobeds are provided, as well as extra bedding/pillows/towels, etc for all additional sleeping areas.

How close are you to Midway/O’Hare airports?

Both homes are approximately 45 minutes from Midway airport and 1 hour from O’Hare airport.

Can I get into Chicago without driving?

Yes! The South Shore train line will take you straight to the Museum Campus and Millennium Park. There are 2 stops (Miller and Ogden Dunes) within 2-5 minutes from both homes. Travel time is about an hour.

How many cars can park at the house?

Villa Santorini has parking for 4 cars

Dream Retreat—Entire Compound has parking for 8 cars

Dream Retreat—Main House has parking for 6 cars

Dream Retreat—Guest House has parking for 2 cars

Overflow parking is available less than 2 miles away from both properties

How do I get keys and check in?

We use smart lock technology and are a keyless property.

Our House Manager will meet you onsite to give you a tour of the house and access to an interactive tablet with videos, information about the house and our Insider’s Guide to Miller Beach.

Have More Questions?

Please contact us at 773.209.5203

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