We are completely frustrated after losing a half-day of our vacation and having to locate other lodging after this apartment suddenly became unavailable. Here is a timeline of events leading up to this vacation disaster:
6/3 via TA - I asked about earliest check-in possible
6/3 via TA - Inna Anosova replied "check-in usually starts from 15:30, but we will do earliest check-in. Please call here 30 minutes before you arrive."
7/13 via Whatsup - I sent her a message confirming our early arrival time (6:50am) in Rome. No response from Inna.
7/14 via TA - I noted our arrival time and asked if we can check in early in the morning.
No response from Inna.
7/15 We arrived in Rome and left several voice messages and one TA communication. No response from Inna.
- She finally answered a call. She didn't speak English (even though the e-mails were in perfect English) and seemed unfamiliar with me or the reservation. Referred me to Chris, who I never heard of prior to this.
- After much back-and-forth, he couldn't give me a straight answer about when we could get into the apt, leaving us stranded with our luggage. He finally came to the apartment ~11:20 and said he would take our luggage to another site so we could walk around town, but that he didn't know when the current occupant would vacate the premises on account of a problem with a child.
- After further discussion, we secured an alternative hotel on our own (and it's more expensive), and Chris then confirmed that the occupant most likely would not be leaving the apartment. He then promised us a full refund.
This has been one of our worst travel experiences on so many levels. The owner's lack of communication, valuable vacation time wasted, and the loss of the apartment that we had paid for are a poor reflection on the owners and on Trip Advisors. Needless to say, we will think twice before using TA again, and will be checking our account for a refund. As a matter of fact, we should be reimbursed for our lost time and for the price increase of the new hotel for 7/15-7/18.
The apartment is awesome. It has a good mix old-world charm (furnishings in main bedroom, raked ceilings & front door), but is very modern in its renovation. Bathroom & kitchen are very good. Bed was comfortable. The pictures on Booking.com are representative.
The location is excellent - just out of the hustle & bustle of the tourist sites, but easily walkable to all. Is obviously close to the river & Vatican City, but we also walked to/from Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, the Forum, etc. Conveniently, it is around the corner from the hop-on-hop-of bus stop 6 (& other local bus stop).
The apartment is on the 3rd floor; we could happily live there. After a week in Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, & Capri, this was the best accommodation we had - a nice apartment.
The host, our contact, was Christian. He was both helpful & responsive. He advised this venture was relatively new for them (which was slightly evident, but was fine).
We were only there for two nights.
Overall, the stay was near-flawless and we would happily stay there again. And would be happy to recommend to friends.
Tips: We found the easiest way there was a taxi from Roma Centrale train station (approx €10), and Cristian organised a taxi/transfer to the airport for us. Maps - we used those from the hop-on-hop-off bus around the corner (and our smart phone)