Sometimes travel can come from a surprising twist of fate. That’s exactly what happened to Pamela Murdock, an UltraVilla expert for Harbour Island in the Bahamas and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Read on to discover how an unexpected envelope in the mail allowed her to start traveling and eventually led her to create her bespoke villa rental company.


“When I was 20, “my” bank in New York made the innocent mistake of sending me a credit card. It was a miserably hot summer, I was dying to escape and, as usual, was short of funds. And then the MasterCard arrived. I’d barely opened the envelope when I realized I was holding the solution. Not only could I charge the airfare, I could also rent a small house so that my Labrador could come too. Because Lulu and I loved the beach, I started renting on Caribbean islands that allowed dogs to visit as well. When she became too old to travel, I branched out to other locations including the Bahamas and Mexico.

“After years of various jobs, 18 of them as a publicist in New York City, I decided to turn something I loved doing for myself into a business: finding vacation house rentals. I was sure if I liked the property friends would too and happily they always did. Those friends referred their friends and my business continued to grow. My goal has never been to have as many listings as possible. I prefer to keep my company small and customized. It also doesn’t matter to me whether someone would like a simple beach shack or a grand villa with staff, the effort put into finding the right place remains the same. And once on holiday, the only thing I want my clients to have to think about is what fun thing to do next.

“Now 16 years later, I still look at each prospective house as though I was taking it for myself. I still want to know what surrounds the property, what the views really are, whether the bathroom has a tub or shower and what size beds are in each room (reading “double bedroom” on a website doesn’t work for me.)

“In destinations like Harbour Island, Bahamas (pictured above), I’ve developed an extensive list of contacts and am happy to be able to offer clients the following services: arranging golf cart rental, advance grocery shopping, extra maid service, a cook (managing all details), in-house massage, personal training, restaurant reservations, special events and boat charters for diving, snorkeling, picnics and fishing (deep sea and bone) as well as organizing a taxi from/to the airport and round trip water taxi service. Very detailed information about any location is also provided.

“By the way, over 40 years later, I’m still renting vacation houses for myself and yes, still using that MasterCard to pay for them (albeit making much larger monthly payments for which the bank is happy)!” – Pamela H. Murdock

Discover more about Pamela’s repertoire on Harbour Island here as well as a special property she represents in the charming Mexican colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, Quinta Quebrada, the enchanting historic home pictured above. You can also get an idea of the fabulous local insight Pamela can provide by perusing her tips in this article on San Miguel in November and on Best Watersports in the Caribbean.