Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Review 2999: Owner, Seaside Escape (#108588)
2bed/2bath apartment near Homer, Alaska
August 2007, 6 nights
Seaside Escape is located on the bluff as you enter Homer. It is on a driveway directly off the highway and has gorgeous views of the water and the volcanic mountains nearby.
You have to drive into Homer for any necessities but its a very short drive (5-10 minutes).
The building is quite new. You are renting only the upstairs (This was NOT disclosed by the agent and in fact the web site states that it is "private".) When you enter you are in the living room; the door into the house is mostly glass so we could see whenever the neighbors were coming and going (and they could see us inside trying to enjoy our privacy). Off immediately to the right of the entry is a hall which has a bath and the second bedroom with two twins, off the main entry, slightly farther in to the right is another short hall with the master bath and master bedroom. To the left are steps to the upstairs sitting/viewing area and farther to the left is the kitchen. Adjoining the kitchen is a laundry room and beyond that the garage. Note that the garage is filled with stuff and we were never provided a garage door opener or method of accessing the garage. It was unclear whether the lower level people were using the garage or not but they were definitely sharing the parking space in front of the house.
The house has a beautiful deck which wraps around the entire back of the house which was for our private use and has a phenomenal view. There are only two deck chairs out there however. It was not clear to us whether we had access to the garden out below (we didn't use it).
The house was very clean on our arrival and the furnishings were all lovely. Except for the shortage of chairs on the deck, and having only one end table in the master bedroom, the furniture was fine.
The beds were extremely comfortable and the bedrooms were nice. The master bathroom has a double sink and two showers (one obviously designed for handicapped usage and one standard). Water pressure was adequate however on numerous occasions there was a problem with waste disposal in the toilet.
The kitchen was very nice but the contents of the cabinets were very disorganized. There was sufficient quantity of everything we needed to cook and we cooked in on several occasions. There was no blender or mixer. The dishwasher is too small for the plates so you had to be very careful loading the dishwasher and set the plates to the rear or the dishwasher arm could not turn. There is no garbage disposal.
Problems or Bonuses
We had a few unpleasant surprises: 1) No broadband access. When I contacted the agency after arrival, they said we figured that's why you were calling, promised to see what could be done and never got back to us. 2) No directions for the house. We have rented in numerous places and have never been left without directions about garbage, appliances, etc. Again, when I contacted the agency about what to do about garbage, they seemed surprised (ended up filling a trash can which was in the laundry room) not my first choice. Never did understand how the air cleaning system works nor exactly how to get the radiant heating working (it seemed to turn on when we wanted it to but also seemed to turn itself off for no good reason). Spent way too much time figuring out the TV. 3) The folks downstairs. Not what we signed up for, not disclosed in advance, truly not acceptable. We could hear them although not too late at night and they were walking in and out right past the glassed in door. 4) TV had the most minimal satellite service with no local channels just the freebies.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Homer Property Management, which manages the property, appeared to be very professional up front but would not provide any references for the property (I think it may not have been rented before this season). They did not call to check in with us after arrival and were not in the office when we called to ask our questions. When they called back they were cavalier about the presence of downstairs neighbors and the absence of Internet service and did not seem to care about how we dealt with garbage or other matters. We paid $1856 for six nights (option for 7th night free but they didn't have a night available).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
This would not be our first choice and I would prefer to deal with a different agency. Although the property was really beautiful the surprises were not and they did impede our enjoyment of the house and disturbed the vacation.
Things to do in this area
Fat Olives was our favorite restaurant. The Pratt Museum was very nice.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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