Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2006: Rome City Apartments, Augustus
2bed/3bath, Rome, Rome
March 2006, 10 minutes!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We were picked up at the Ciampano airport as arranged through the apartment rental agency (www.romecityapartments.com). The driver brought us to an apartment, where we met the representative from the agency. As he was giving us the tour, I realized that the apartment was not the one I had reserved months earlier. In fact, we figured out that the apartment was not in the same area of town at all, and it was clearly not comparable to the apartment I had reserved (Augustus). I was then told a story about how just 2 hours earlier, it was discovered that the other apartment had no heat or hot water. Clearly not true, since nobody even tried to reach me or explain when we arrived. Also, I offered to stay at the other apartment that night without heat or hot water, and then look for a new place in the morning, and they refused.
I noticed prior to leaving on our trip that our apartment was booked solid until November, so I think they got an offer of a long term rental, or the owner decided not to rent it, and they just didn't bother contacting us to see if we would like to rent a different apartment from them. They counted on our being tired and arriving late at night with 2 kids, and putting up with the switch.
When the agent saw how disappointed we were, he offered a "discounted" rate of 180 Euros/night, which I learned later is more than the peak rate for the apartment we were in (Raffaelo). And this was the first week of March, not exactly the high season. I was furious by this bait and switch tactic, and was decided to move to a hotel then and there rather than do business with that agency. This was not an easy decision, because it was 11:30PM local time, we had been traveling 24-hours straight, and there were 6 of us, including my 1 and 3 year old children. I knew it would end up being more costly, but I did not want this agency to get any of my money.
We then lost a whole day of sightseeing the next day, since the only hotel we could find with an opening could only take us that night. So we spent the day checking out of our hotel, and heading across town to find a different one for the next few nights.
Please do your research, and only do business with agencies that have overwhelmingly positive feedback. I was so impressed with the slick website, and beautiful apartment, that I took a risk on an unknown entity. Let the buyer beware!
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