Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5454: Rental In Rome, Spanish Church Classic Apartment
1bed/1bath apartment near Campo dei Fiori, Rome
Oct 2012, 9 days
Location was excellent. On the second (Italian first) floor of a recently re-done building five minutes from Campo dei Fiori. Street was quiet and the bedroom was in the rear, making it even more quiet.
Bars, restaurants, and markets were right nearby. Only two blocks from main street with access to buses.
Building is old but recently renovated although its entrance is rather shabby and mostly filled with trash cans. Building seem to have about 10 apartments and we think it may be a condo building. There is no elevator and very narrow stairs. Security was only so-so as there is key access to both the building and the apartment but more than once we found the main building door left open.
Apartment is small with a living room/kitchen in the front, bedroom in the rear, and the bath in the hall in between. The floor is uneven, meaning lots of steps up and down from room to room, as if there is plumbing in the floor and instead of making the whole place at one level, it was renovated to accommodate the pipes with four inches here and six inches there. Each of us fell at least twice during our stay.
No garden. No terrace. There is a door off the bedroom to a tiny balcony that overlooks the building's dark interior. Not a place you'd want to sit.
Apartment was very dirty. On our first night there I took off my socks and stepped on toe nail clippings from a previous guest. Disgusting. All the dishes, glasses and cookware had to be washed before you could use them.
For some odd reason there were tons of throw pillows, one more grimy than the next. The tiny loveseat had a pull-out mattress that was so small that even two leprechauns couldn't have slept on it so forget the claim on Rental in Rome's website that this sofa could sleep two - this apartment only sleeps three at absolute max. Other furnishings were two glass tables, four plastic dining chairs, a china cabinet and a nice wood table. Other than the tiny loveseat that barely fit two adults the only seating were the plastic dining chairs. Lighting was adequate but not great and two wall lights in the entrance hall were burned out which we asked to have fixed when we checked in but they never were.
Dirty floor with no rugs. There was an air conditioner but due to the weather we did not use it so I can't verify that it worked.
There is a flat screen TV that despite claims, only got Sky and Fox Italian channels and one BBC channel. No Italian RAI channels and certainly no other English-language channels.
WiFi was very robust and reliable.
Bedroom was small and dark. There was one double, low, platform Ikea bed with a thin mattress that was not very comfortable. The sheets were poor quality and there was one quilt that was dirty and leaking feathers. Only two old pillows.
Other bedroom furniture were two Ikea cabinets with hanging rods that were so high that unless you are over 5'8" you will not reach (I am 5'8" and I could reach if on my toes). One floor lamp and two reading lamps. An air conditioner that we didn't use. And a dirty floor with no rugs.
Bathroom was really, really small. Shower had adequate hot water and okay water pressure. But wow, was it small and if you dropped the soap you had to open the shower door to make room to bend down and pick it up. Good space to store toiletries, etc., next to the sink. Poor lighting. Very thin towels and only a bath and hand towel for each person with no extras.
I am a culinary professional and had looked forward to cooking in an Italian kitchen and shopping at the nearby Campo dei Fiori market. We had chosen this apartment because it said it had a fully equipped kitchen and for its location. I had even emailed Rental in Rome in advance to make sure the kitchen was equipped with pots and pans and basic kitchen tools and I was assured it was.
It wasn't. There was no pasta pot, no vegetable peeler, no bread knife, no can opener, and on and on. The two Teflon fry pans were so chipped to be unusable and I had to buy my own frying pan. And everything was filthy. We also had to buy paper towels as there was only one little thin dish towel, plus paper napkins as there were no cloth napkins (which were always provided in the eleven previous Italian apartment rentals we have done). Only dirty place-mats that I had to scrub before using.
The dishwasher was broken which was noted when we checked in. We were promised it would be repaired but it wasn't. The stove was okay although hard to use because the burners wouldn't stay lit. The refrigerator was fine.
Problems or Bonuses
The place was filthy.
Mid-way through our stay a cleaning service came to change the bed and bath linens. In doing so they took my nightgown which was hanging in the bathroom. By mistake? Stolen? Who knows -- but it went missing and when I reported it to Rental In Rome it took two emails and a call before they responded and even then they said I had to have misplaced it and that their cleaning service didn't have it. I had one suitcase of clothes with one nightgown in a tiny apartment. I didn't misplace it. I asked for further investigation and some compensation and these requests were ignored.
The apartment came with a coffee maker that used capsules but the only capsules provided were for herbal tea and chocolate. We emailed the rental agent for the type of capsule to buy and where to buy them and never got an answer.
The dishwasher was broken and lights were burned out. We were promised these things would be fixed immediately. They never were.
A day before we were scheduled to leave our flight home was cancelled due to bad weather and we were unexpectedly stranded. The apartment was available for one more night and we asked to stay. Instead of charging us the posted price that was much lower than the rate we were paying, or even the rate we were paying, Rental in Rome charged us 10% more - gouging and taking advantage of our distressed situation.
The man who checked us in and out was very nice but clearly had zero influence over the voiceless and faceless woman in the office (Romina) who called all the shots.
When you're on your own in an apartment in a foreign country, you hope that the rental agent can at least be reliable and honest. They were not. Strongly advised to not rent with Rental in Rome no matter which apartment.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
There was no onsite person. We were checked in by a very nice man who arrived by motor bike and spoke perfect English. He was great to deal with but he clearly had no influence over the boss in the office.
Price for the apartment was competitive had it been clean and had the lights and appliances worked. Price worked out to about $120 per night for a nine night stay (in October).
Agency website is very functional.
You pay the deposit by PayPal but the balance by cash. They take a US check (about €200) for a security deposit which is returned to you upon checkout (assuming there are no damages).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would not only not recommend this apartment I would strongly discourage anyone from working with this agency, Rental In Rome, on any property.
A vacation rental is more than the features of an apartment. You want back-up from the agency if there is a problem and you need to be able to reach people who can speak English and respond if something goes wrong. When you're on vacation you don't want to spend your time, energy and money trying to make the place you stay comfortable and safe. So make sure that you check references not only on the individual location but also the company behind it.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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