Tybee Island Business Spotlight: Mermaid Cottages
Boasting a comfortable climate, coastal beauty and a close-knit community, Tybee Island is the ideal beach town. This charming isle features five pristine beaches, vast biodiversity and a colorful main strip with great shopping and dining along the way. People flock by the thousands to Tybee every year to experience the magic of this special city, and everyone knows, the best vacation is enjoyed in the comforts of a colorful, quaint home on the coast. Tybee snowbirds and summer vacationers alike know that Mermaid Cottages is the go-to year-round for fine Tybee Island vacation rentals.
Beautiful Beach Rentals
Mermaid Cottages is a boutique beach vacation rental company with a high-quality collection of coastal homes on Tybee’s south end. Founded by Diane Kaufman, Mermaid Cottages has been providing charming beach rentals and stellar service to guests for the last fifteen years. Mermaid Cottages rents about 50 properties featuring stylish décor, bountiful amenities and proximal beach access. A few of the properties have undergone renovations that guests can look forward to during their stay. One particularly noteworthy addition is the beautiful, in-ground pool at Tybee Twins. Pools are a rare find in this coastal community, and this one is heated during the cooler months, so it’s ready to enjoy anytime of year.
Many of the properties offer opulent ocean views and most are pet-friendly. Guests traveling with four-legged friends (fish are welcome too, by the way) pay a small pet fee, a portion of which benefits One Love Animal Rescue in Savannah and two local guide dog foundations.
Giving back is an integral part of the Mermaid Cottages business model. “I am a big believer in giving back to the community however we can, so voluntourism . . . and supporting the local nonprofits is really important to me,” Kaufman explained. Mermaid Cottages teams up with Fight Dirty Tybee to promote coastal conservation. Fight Dirty conducts weekly beach cleanups each Sunday, and Kaufman and her staff encourage cottage guests to participate. Mermaid Cottages also matches willing renters with local volunteer programs to help guests serve the community during their stay.
Beyond local partnerships, Mermaid Cottages gives back to guests throughout the year with AAA/AARP-member, military and educator discounts. And during the off-seasons, Kaufman is known to show even more good will. Over the winter, Mermaid Cottages held a contest asking that people submit a letter nominating their favorite teacher for a wintertime beach vacation. “We had [about] 28 entries, and I simply couldn’t pick just one,” Kaufman began, “so we gave every single teacher a free weekend on Tybee between Jan. 1 and Mar. 1.”
Mermaid Cottages clearly cares about the community, and guests can perceive that during their stay. Kaufman and her staff are committed to providing guests with a quality rental experience, and the company adheres to the local vacation rental ordinance to ensure that guests enjoy their visit from start to finish. “I am really passionate about my little business, and that’s why I am hands-on. I think we have a really great company. . . I’m proud of the people who work with me,” Kaufman said. Mermaid Cottages is a proud employer of “second-career people”, as Kaufman calls them, who inhabit the island: “I’ve got retired nurses, retired schoolteachers, retired bankers who work with me . . . It’s a wide group of people who really understand what customer-service . . . and attention to detail [are] all about, and I’m really proud of that.”