Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5040: Accommodation Service, Chiesa Nuova A
2bed/2bath apartment near Piazza Navona, Rome
6/23/11 - 6/30/11, 7 days
Located right on Corso Vittorio Emanuele - very noisy, busy street.
Walk to restaurants, cafes, minimal grocery store three blocks away.
Building was old, but well-kept. Smallest elevator we've ever seem. Two apartments per floor - five floors. Noisy street! We had to use ear plugs to sleep. It always sounded like the windows were open, even with them closed tightly.
Worst terrace ever - an 8'x8' space with 8' high canvas walls. No view. Air conditioner blew onto terrace. Two small, half-dead plants.
Only a couch and four dining room chairs for seating in a large living/dining room. Furniture worn. Lamps broken or without shades. Dim light bulbs.
Hard beds with pillows that felt like they were filled with old socks. One bath had a shower, but the other only had a tub with a hand-held hose that would not reach the holder. No shower curtain. Towels were very tiny and smelled sour.
No microwave. No toaster. Lots of plates, but only three small glasses. Had to ask for wine glasses. Coffee pot, but no adapter for the plug was provided. We did cook whole meals, but did not have a sharp knife longer than 5".
Problems or Bonuses
We booked this apartment in Rome because we wanted an apartment with a terrace or balcony and the owner said he would be willing to also provide Internet service. It advertised other features we wanted such as air-conditioning, a quiet location, SAT TV, and a washing machine. We were misled.
Our first problem was when we were met by the housekeeper, not the owner with whom I had been corresponding. The housekeeper did not speak English. As we don’t speak Italian, check-in proved to be difficult. Most of the rentals we have done in the past apply the deposit to the rental fee. This one wanted the whole payment up front, as well as a €10 per day air-conditioning fee. We had to find an ATM to get more cash, a fact that proved difficult to explain without a similar language.
The promised Internet stick was never provided in spite of frequent requests. Finally, the housekeeper conveyed something about the owner had the “stick” with him in Spain. At least we think that’s what she said.
Other problems included: only one set of keys for two couples; half the light bulbs were burned out; the stove vent didn’t work at all. One lamp had a bare bulb, no shade, and the other had a shade with a chunk out of it.
The housekeeper couldn’t get the TV to work. We finally figured it out later on our own. The advertised DVD player didn’t exist. The AC compressor kept going out and we had to turn the unit off completely and wait a while before turning it on again to make it cool. The water heater went out twice as well. All the light bulbs were of such low wattage that we had to pull the lamp right up against the table in order to see to eat.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The worst part of this experience was the owner, who was our only contact by e-mail (which we had to do in a nearby café) or phone, was in Spain, so there was no one to address our complaints. In fact, when told of the air-conditioning (A/C) problem, he responded by e-mail that “it worked before you came” as if we had somehow broken it! He was exasperated with the fact that we dared to complain at all! He kept insisting that the housekeeper spoke English and that she was supposed to handle all this. To her credit, she tried.
At check-out, we were suddenly told that we also owed for additional electricity in addition to the extra €10 per day for the A/C! There was no mention of this in the advertising. He even made us wait (with our shuttle service downstairs waiting) while he went and flushed all the toilets, ran all the faucets, and otherwise checked to be sure we didn’t break any fixtures. I was very offended, especially as we left the place very clean and tidy.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
This was not a nice place to come home to at the end of the day. I would strongly recommend that you not deal with this company – Accommodation Service, Rome.
Things to do in this area
Good basic restaurant across the street, though you sit in an alley. Close to Piazza Navona and bus/taxi stand.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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