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Review 3553: Roman Holiday Rentals (through FRBO), #21847

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Review by SJ from BC Canada

Studio apartment in Monti, Rome


Kitchen corner, photo by SJ

When

May 2008 , 4 nights

Location

The best thing about this apartment was that it is in Monti, very near the Colosseum. It was also very quiet, as it was at the back of an old Roman block, facing a mix of terraces and gardens and trees, and we heard lots of birdsong every morning, and no traffic.

Nearby Amenities

Yes, it's within walking distance of all sorts of shops and restaurants; and the best coffee of our entire trip was at a small Torrefazione on the Via Serpenti; just a two minute walk around the corner.

The House/Apartment

The building was historical, being in Monti; and it was peaceful and very quiet. I think it was the only rental in the building. It has no elevator, but has a nice wide stairway.

The apartment is very small, with a sturdy wooden stair going up to a loft holding a double bed. Downstairs is a poorly equipped kitchen corner, with mismatched cutlery and very few glasses or cups and dishes; and very few pots or cooking utensils. The kitchen had a smell of cats around it, and was not very clean. We did not cook anything there, and only boiled water for a cup of tea occasionally.

The bathroom is behind the kitchen area and was fairly spacious.

There is a wooden table with a top on top of another one, so a bit precarious, and three chairs. Opposite the table is a small sofa bed that sleeps one.

You can view the property directly: Monti Studio.

Garden

There was a tiny terrace, which was very pleasant, as it got the sun; it had enough room for a small half-moon table and two folding chairs; and we had our glass of wine there before we went out to eat.

It would have been nicer if it had been clean, as I picked up a few cigarette butts, pruned and watered all the dead plants in their planters, and wiped down the table and chairs before we used them.

It was quiet and overlooked lots of greenery and flowers.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The furniture was in good shape and the beds were comfy enough, we slept well! There were only two of us, so room to sit for both. However, I have to say that the apartment looked as if it had not been properly cleaned for weeks or months. The wood furniture was dusty, as was the floor where wires from lamps lay. The lighting was held up on the walls by Scotch tape in some parts, and there was a real tangle of wires from a floor lamp and other things. Some of the lighting had burned out bulbs.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The beds were comfy and we slept well. I'm not sure how clean they were, as I discovered on opening the sofa bed that there were layers of sheets; and we couldn't decide if one layer was added or one was removed, each time the flat was rented out!

The bathroom was adequately sized, and the toilet and sink were clean. The shower however, a cabin type, had glass sliding doors. That would have been fine if the doors were not hanging off, and they became more loose every time we had showers. Eventually we had to shower with the doors open, making the floor wet, as we were afraid of the doors coming off altogether and crashing into pieces. If one had fallen off, it would have been very dangerous, combined with the slippery tile floors. The shower had black mildew/mold all along the seams and joins, and was not very appealing to be in at all. There were half-used lotions and potions all over the shelves, and the towels were one old beach towel for each person, and that was it. No bathmat for the tiled floor.

There was a very good hair-dryer, which was nice.

Kitchen

There was a kitchen corner, but it had a smell of cats, and all we did was boil water for tea there. It was not clean by my standards, and the supplies were limited: two glasses, a couple of mismatched spoons and knives, and dishes, and few pots. The fridge had half-used containers of juice and milk in it when we arrived. I would not have been tempted to cook there at all!

Problems or Bonuses

We phoned the contact number, which turned out to be the American owner; on our arrival at Rome airport, and were told that an agent would meet us at the apartment in one hour. We arrived on time, and then waited on the street for an hour and a half. I had been up for 24 hours at this point, so was not amused. During this time, we could not get the owner on the phone again, and eventually after an hour and a half; (during which time we had given up, and found the bar around the corner with the best coffee of our trip); she answered, and with no apology whatsoever, said someone would be there in 4 minutes.

My friend went up the street to meet him; he gave her the keys, didn't ask for ID or our passports; didn't apologise, showed her where the water heater switch was, and wouldn't take the rest of our payment!! He said we would have to pay the agent. Huh??!! He didn't show her how to work the gas for the stove top, or tell her about the area. By this point we were so relieved to get in that we didn't care! Later that evening the owner texted us asking where her money was(!) and said she would "send a bike" to wherever we were to pick up the money!

Well, as we didn't carry the money with us while out for dinner, we texted back saying that she or her agent could pick it up when we were back in the apartment by 10:30 pm. No one arrived, and three days later, we still hadn't paid for the place!

In the end, we finally got the owner on the phone again, discovered that she lived in the apartment when she was in Rome; and we just left the money on the table when we left. All in all, the whole carry-on was very unprofessional.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

The agency I booked with: Roman Holiday Rentals, was fine, and prompt at returning emails, and answering my questions.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I would stay there again if some money was spent to clean and upgrade the place!!! It wouldn't take much; and I think if you are renting out your own home to strangers, and taking money for it, then you have a responsibility to make your home safe, appealing and clean.

The good points were : location and quietness. The bad points were: safety (the dangerous shower doors); and lack of cleanliness and attention.

Things to do in this area

Walked! Lots of great restaurants, the names of which I didn't keep a note of; but you just have to walk a block in any direction to find decent food and coffee and gelato! The Colosseum, Forum and Campidoglio are only a 10-15 minute walk away.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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