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First, let me start by saying that Mark and Sky were fantastic hosts. They were super accommodating in regards to my arrival and departure dates, and Mark even honored my request to see the unit prior to move-in. They live close-by and made themselves available if I needed anything, however my entire stay went off without a hitch. Sky even checked in to make sure I was relaxing and was kind enough to return a forgotten item to me :)
The community where the unit is located is about 15 miles up the PCH from Santa Monica, so you feel removed from the crazy city, but it also isn't inconveniently far. The complex has 24/7 security and an on-site manager, as well as a maintenance staff, who were able to help me with minor issues I had (like re-lighting the pilot light when I accidentally blew it out!) Security was friendly and helpful, and the neighbors all seemed nice, although most people kept to themselves - which was much appreciated ;)
Now... onto the unit: it is a total gem, to say the least. It is brand new with all the upgrades you could hope for - new appliances, countertops, flooring, gas fireplace. Big closets, which were stacked with the necessities (paper towels, ziplock baggies, big beach towels, etc.); two layers of curtains so you could have total darkness at night, or just sheer curtains for privacy; super soft sheets on the bed, which was very comfortable; cable TV and fast internet, as well as a home phone line. The balcony is huge with two nice chairs - great for working outside or enjoying a glass of vino. Unit has a totally unblocked view of the ocean - facing south, more so than west - and it was fun to watch dolphins and kayakers every morning. Really, it felt like paradise.
Needless to say, next time I'm in SoCal, I will be staying at this place again. Was so sad to leave - a month just wasn't long enough. THANK YOU SKY & MARK!!