Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1473: Doorways, I Balconi
2bed/2bath apartment in the Ghetto area, Rome
May, 2005, 7 days
Great location, in a palazzo in the middle of the "Ghetto", or Jewish Quarter of Rome.
A grocery store 4 blocks away, Campo de 'Fiori 6 blocks away, many restaurants in walking distance.
The apartment is on the 5th floor (with elevator) of a 15th century palazzo. The palazzo has enough deteriorating plaster to keep a workman busy for a year.
The apartment has a private terrace with rickety furniture, and a bunch of dying plants. It looks out onto another building where construction was in progress in the apartment directly across, so it was rather noisy.
The apartment was not at all clean; the painted concrete floor was filthy, the windows were so dirty you could hardly see out of them, and plaster was crumbling all over the interior stairs and at the entrance to the terrace.
The beds were comfortable. The two bathrooms were OK, but the hot water was sporadic. Some mornings we could not get hot water at all to take a shower.
The kitchen was supposedly renovated in 2002 or 2003. Pots and pans were few and beat up, there were only a few dishes and glasses, and they were chipped. There were two coffeepots, both broken. The only "provisions' left in the apartment was a container of salt!!!! We love to cook, but it was a miserable experience doing so, so we just ate out. It really defeated the purpose of renting an apartment in the first place!
Problems or Bonuses
Bugs!!! Little red spiders crawling all over the patio and up onto the bedroom windows! Poor lighting in the living room, dining area, and bedrooms.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The representative who was supposed to meet us at the apartment, per the agency's instructions, never showed up. After waiting an hour, we called her and she quite rudely told us that she had not worked for the agency for over a month!!! (Why did the agency not tell us????) So we called the owner, who did show promptly and was very nice ... but he is well aware of the condition of the apartment and I guess, chooses to ignore the problems. For $3004 USD/week, we would have been much happier in a hotel. We have rented maybe a dozen apartments in Europe, and this was near the bottom.
Updated: August 2005. After we returned, I promptly E-mailed Doorways, enumerating all the problems. I was sent a $500 refund, but they refused to do anything further. I was told that I should have called Doorways while we were there, so some of the problems might have been rectified, and I could have gone shopping to buy new glassware, etc and been reimbursed up to $50! First, the decrepit condition could not have been rectified while we were there, and the owner was well aware of what the apartment looked like!!! Second, we would have been calling Doorways daily as each new problem surfaced. Doorways also suggested that they might have been able to have moved us, but there are no other apartments on its website that met the criteria of space, location, large terrace on the same level, etc. as the one we selected in the first place. Who wants to buy new dishes, call every day back to the states, (with the time change), and then have to move, all of that for a 7-day stay??? We were very disappointed with the apartment, Doorways’ response, and would not use them again or recommend them to anyone.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
No, we would not stay here unless we were assured that all the problems were addressed. This apartment is rented continously, and the wear and tear shows. The owner needs to leave it vacant for sufficient time for it to be re-plastered, repainted, thorougly cleaned, and have new pots, pans, dishes, and towels put in. It could be a very nice place.
Things to do in this area
The restaurant "Vecchia Roma" three blocks away is one of the best in Rome.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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