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Matt Kowaleski

Member since: 2014
Call Owner
Speaks: english

Beautiful Bayfront Retreat With Unbeatable Bay And Gulf Views

29 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 4 nights

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Texas House Rental Photos and Description

3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Max 10 people

The owner is a retired seafaring Commander who dropped anchor on Bolivar and rebuilt this modern retreat after Hurricane Ike destroyed their original beach home. The 360 degree ocean and bay water views remind him of his time at sea in the wheelhouse. The beach and maritime motif can be seen throughout this beautiful retreat.

Sunrises over the Gulf of Mexico from your front porch and Sunsets over Rollover and Galveston Bays from the back porch or the lighted private pier are magnificent. There are redfish, trout, flounder, and crabs to be caught from the 150’ pier. Yachts, sailboats, kayaks, and commercial tugs and barges frequent the Intracoastal Waterway are just a few hundred yards off this private pier. It is only a short walk out the front of the house to the beach for surf fishing or to Rollover Pass for some of Texas’s best saltwater fishing.

After swimming, sunbathing or shelling on the beach out front, use the outdoor shower and hit the swim spa/hot tub and deck area back at the retreat. Watch sunset over the water and distant palms on one of the multiple decks. Crawl into one of several outdoor hammocks and let the sea breeze swing you to sleep.

The free Ferry to Galveston Island is only a 20 minute drive away where you can enjoy the Pleasure Pier, Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn, The Strand, multiple restaurants, and other activities. The Commander’s Retreat is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, yet just a short drive if you want to hit Houston, Beaumont, or the casinos in Lake Charles which are just over 2 hours away.

More Details
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Matt Kowaleski (Owner)
Member since: 2014
Call Owner
Speaks: english

About Matt Kowaleski

We bought the original fish cabin 5 months before Hurricane Ike wiped us out. We rebuilt our home with every thought to living fulltime at some point. Alan is a retired Commander with NOAA who still works for NOAA in the maritime industry. Lynn works on the island in Galveston and can share with you all the 'secrets' of shopping and sightseeing on the island if you want to make the 20 minute ferry ride. We make our full time residence in Hitchcock, Texas along with our 16 year old Granddaughter.

Matt Kowaleski purchased this house in 2008

Why Matt Kowaleski chose Texas

We fell in love with the property the first time we saw it even though it was only a 1 bedroom fish camp. So many of our friends gave us so much grief that Lynn finally made the statement 'we bought the lot, not the house. We will insure it and wait for a hurricane to take it and then build our Dream House'. Famous last words as 5 months later Hurricane Ike did exactly that.

What makes this house unique

We have wonderful views from every vantage point as well every possible option from fishing, beach combing, sunbathing, swimming etc. Whether you want to be adventurous or just kick back and relax, this is the place to do it.


based on 29 traveler reviews

Beautiful Bayfront Retreat With Unbeatable Bay And Gulf Views
average rating of 4.965517 based on 29 reviews
Fort Worth

Home away from home

  • 5 of 5

This is our second year staying in this lovely beach house and I can't stress enough how amazing this property is. Truly is a home away from home. The house was very clean upon arrival. They have everything you could possibly need from kitchen utensils, condiments, toiletries, towels, linens, and etc. The kids (and adults) really enjoyed the jacuzzi. They also have a canoe and kayak that you can use. Crab traps were provided as well. I have to say the best part of our trip was fishing and crabbing at the dock. We caught a ton of crabs, and a few reds! Our biggest catch was a 4 feet alligator gar, so I wouldn't recommend letting any kids into the water. Luckily the beach is just a short walk across the street. Matt was absolutely a pleasure to work with and very fast at responding should we need anything. Thanks again for letting us stay in your lovely home, my family and I can't wait to return and create more memories here!

  • Submitted: Jul 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

We had an awesome time! The house is beautiful. With the fishing dock, the hot tub and the beach, its the best!!

  • Submitted: Jul 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Tyler, Tx

Another Fantastic Gilchrist Vacation

  • 5 of 5

This home is wonderful. We loved the location, accommodations, the pier, and the swim spa. Thanks for the wonderful memories. We would love to return next summer!

  • Submitted: Jul 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Wonderful, relaxing, and just what the Dr ordered!

  • 4 of 5

The house is perfectly situated on the bay side. There are quiet waters to fish and crab in right off of the dock at the back of the property (be sure to have your salt water fishing license, which you can purchase at the hardware store right down the road). During our week long stay, we caught enough large crabs to have two dinners for nine people. In New England, we would have paid over one hundred dollars each time! We also made the most amazing fish tacos from all of the croakers we caught. Our daughter reeled in a red drum and an alligator gar, and the guys at the property next door were catching flounder. Rollover pass is just up the road and offers some great gulf fishing, too. You can catch specks and saltwater cats, even some shark!

A quick walk across the road gets you to the beach on the gulf side, which was great for picking up shells and body boarding. Just watch out for blue crabs pinching your feet and ankles. Shuffle when you walk or wear swim shoes!

The house was great and very well stocked. We were cooking each day for nine people, four adults and five children, so we used everything from muffin tins to the citrus juicer. It's a bit of a hunt and peck to find items, but for the most part we had everything we needed.

The house is advertised to sleep ten, but we had a tough time working out the sleeping arrangements for all nine of us. I even had our youngest child on a cot that we brought from home. We did find a foam mattress in a closet that slept two kids on the floor, then we had two kids in one of the queen beds, two adults in the king bed, and two more adults on the other queen. I'm not sure if the owner expects two guests to take the couch, or not, but in my opinion, the house can only accommodate eight. I'm just glad we thought ahead and brought the cot "just in case".

Anything you lack, i.e. toilet paper and paper towels, or chicken necks for the crab pot, can be purchased from "The Big Store". You just need to go visit it for the experience, anyway. It's like a hardware store and a grocery store got married and had a baby restaurant, gas station, and a bait shop. Wow.

Galveston is a quick jaunt away via the ferry (which is free). We were lucky enough to have a pod of dolphins swimming along with us. Get out of your car and try to spot them!

Overall, it was a wonderful trip. We will be back for sure.

  • Submitted: Jun 28, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

my second stay at this beautiful place and again was not disapointed. great views on bay and gulf house is wonderful. 4 days were not enough so i will certanly be back soon!

  • Submitted: Jun 19, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

Very Nice House, fishing, beach, spa and beautiful.....

  • Submitted: May 25, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
40 Miles
William P Hobby
Nearest Ferry
20 Miles
Galveston Ferry
Nearest Beach
152 Metres
Across the Street

Great location for the best of both the beach and the bay. Fish from the 150 ft dock overlooking the Galveston Bay. Relax on the beach less than 500 ft from the front door. Come back and take a dip in the pool. Shopping in historic Galveston is a short ferry ride away.


Rates & Availability

Crystal Beach House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Late Summer
Jul 5 2016 - Aug 31 2016
3 night minimum stay
Labor Day
Sep 1 2016 - Sep 5 2016
4 night minimum stay
Low Season
Sep 6 2016 - Dec 22 2016
2 night minimum stay
2016 Winter
Jan 2 2017 - Feb 28 2017
2 night minimum stay
2016 Summer 1
Mar 1 2017 - May 25 2017
2 night minimum stay
2016 Memorial Day
May 26 2017 - May 28 2017
3 night minimum stay
2016 Summer 2
May 29 2017 - Jun 29 2017
3 night minimum stay
2016 July 4th
Jun 30 2017 - Jul 4 2017
3 night minimum stay
2016 Summer 3
Jul 5 2017 - Aug 31 2017
3 night minimum stay
2016 Labor Day
Sep 1 2017 - Sep 4 2017
4 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $100
Refundable damage deposit $300
Pet Fee $300

Holiday weekends will include a 15% premium and will have a 3 night minimum. Pets will be considered on a case by case basis. Non-refundable Pet Fee is $300. Credit Cards are accepted but Pay Pal is preferred.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
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Texas House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2000 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Elevator ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Master Bathroom - toilet , shower , jetted tub
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Master - 1 king
    Front Guest Bedroom - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • pier fishing
  • ski lift privileges
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming

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