Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4064: Rome Sweet Home, Spagnoli Amazing Terrace ref #1534
1bed/1bath apartment near Piazza Navona, Rome
April 2009, Almost 2 weeks
This was the redeeming quality of the rental. The location was absolutely perfect! This area is perfectly situated within a one minute walk of Piazza Navona, and a four minute walk of the Pantheon. We found ourselves strolling through Piazza Navona almost every single day. There is something about that piazza that just draws you back again and again, and I can say after having explored every nook and cranny of Rome that if I were to stay in Rome again I would want to stay near Piazza Navona. The piazza is lively at all hours, well into the night, and is centrally located so you can walk to all the major attractions (we did and we had an infant along). With street painters lining the streets, the fountains and beautiful church there, it is a very nice area.
The restaurants in the area are the best in Rome. Walk down Via della Scroffa to the Via Degli Spagnoli area and you will find our favorite restaurants in all of Rome. Piazza Navona. The Pantheon. Trevi Fountain. Spanish Steps. All a very short walk. A slightly longer stroll brings you to Vatican City, and the Colosseum.
The pictures on the Rome Sweet Home website for this rental must have been taken by a VERY good photographer. We were fooled by them. On the Internet, the place looks pristine, with a gorgeous roof-top terrace view. However, in real life the story is much different.
First of all, it is on the fourth floor with no lift (which they admit on the website) but what they don't tell you is that is eight flights of crumbling oddly sized concrete stairs. And when I say crumbling, I mean crumbling. When I was carrying our suitcases back down one of the stairs crumbled beneath my feet (half of the stair disappeared) and I took a very hard tumble down the stairs. But read on b/c this is only the beginning.
When we arrived at the apartment, for which you pay in cash up front, it smelled VERY strongly of paint thinner, paint, dry wall, and cigarette smoke. That smell never went away, it was strong enough to give you a sore throat. The place was absolutely tiny. The shower in the bathroom looked to be one of those fancy high tech ones with all sorts of options and nozzles, but the water pressure was so bad that it operated like a barely turned on hose sprinkling your head. The tiny water heater was shared with the next door neighbors.
When we arrived, it was nice and quiet while the guy showed us around at mid-day. However, the next morning we and our baby were awakened at 7:30am to a jack-hammer on our ceiling! I went up there and saw a construction worker jack-hammering away one of the walls to our rooftop terrace!!!! It was a live construction zone. There was a door in the bathroom, which when opened, led you to ... nowhere, it opened to a four floor drop on the side of the building and a scaffolding put up there by the construction team. One day welding sparks were flying underneath that bathroom door. Every morning the same thing, 7:30am and "thud thud, bzzzz, vroom", goes the construction equipment on our very walls and roof!
There is no Internet access in the building, which the guy lied to us upon entering and said there was WiFi. I went to an Internet cafe to email Rome Sweet Home about the terrible conditions, and asked for either a discount or to be able to leave early with a discount for the days not used, as we paid in cash up front... No response!!! Ever! Not even now that I am back in the USA. They completely ignored my very detailed email. Honestly, I could sue and am considering my options.
There is a tiny washing machine with no dryer and no clothes pins. The wall between us and our neighbor was a sham-wall. It went up to a window with a one-inch gap, which continued into our neighbors bathroom. That's right, we could easily see into our neighbors bathroom via the reflection on our shared window and every time they did their business on the toilet it was about 10 feet from our bedroom bed. So we had a full symphony of sounds and smells.
Obviously with a child I could not even enjoy the rooftop terrace as after the first day there was a crumpled wall on one side. I wish I could load pictures onto this website, it was almost comical.
The online pictures show all the floors with beautiful carpets, no such carpets existed. We had to walk on nasty filthy floors. It shows beautiful bedding. Nope. We had a sheet full of pubic hairs and a nasty old flannel blanket to serve as a comforter.
The rooftop terrace would have been nice if it wasn't a live construction zone. One of the walls was jack-hammered away after our first night there and my wife actually scraped her leg on a black bag filled with scrap metal on the terrace from the construction.
It was not clean at all. The floor was filthy. My feet and/or socks were black every time I walked on it. The bathroom smelled VERY strongly of urine. I could not tell if it was human or not.
The bedding was a single mattress which was supported by would blocks underneath which collapsed a dozen times on the trip so that the mattress would fall to the floor. The bedding was one pubic-hair filled sheet and a flannel blanket. The bathroom shower did not work, it would barely sprinkle your head. And as the heater was shared with the neighbor, you shot back and forth between HOT and COLD. As I said, the bathroom wreaked of urine, especially the shower area.
The kitchen was usable, but VERY small. The table in the picture is pushed up against the wall and the picture on the Internet was taken from the hallway. The supplied dishes were all dirty. We tried to cook once and had to go buy simple things like a spatula as there was not one there.
Problems or Bonuses
I have described these in the sections above. The biggest surprise, we were living in a live construction zone and our rooftop terrace was jack-hammered away our first morning there.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
NO! NO! NO! They were very helpful until we got there and paid cash up front. After that, they will never speak to you again! I sent an email just asking for help and suggestions about all that was going on at the apartment and got no response. They would be sued so fast if they were in America. I am still considering my legal options now as the place was a live construction zone, which caused injury to both my wife and myself.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
NO! I do not! I DO recommend to stay in the Navona area, but do NOT pick this apartment, and DO NOT use Rome Sweet Home, they don't care if the ads are misleading or if your house burns down while you're there, you pay cash up front and you'll never hear from them again.
Things to do in this area
Already described above.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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