This was our first vacation rental on Trip Advisor - The owner informed us the pictured property was not available – but had a different one, same price. we decided to take a chance.
This is a lower level apartment. As you enter from the stairwell – it had a cozy welcoming feeling, nice entry table and mirror, laminate flooring and woodburning fireplace. And that's where it stopped. It really felt like we were those last minute guests that got stuck in the half finished basement.
The living room featured completely bare carelessly painted walls and mismatched furniture. The living room curtains may have existed at one time, but only large holes mark where a curtain rod once was. None of the light fixtures had shades - just bare florescent bulbs.
The full kitchen seemed fine - nice refrigerator, dishwasher, micro and electric stove. Some of the trim on the cabinets was broken and just hanging there. It lacked a lot of the kitchen staples you would expect to find - no knives, three forks and a few spoons. One of the cabinets had a secret cabinet in the back of it that was opened into the underbelly of the building. That was a bit creepy. I started to wonder if critters would be joining us through that opening during the weekend - needless to say no food went in THAT cabinet.
The bedroom was fine, the bed was fine. The TV that was provided was an internet TV only with keyboard and mouse that didn't work even after I replaced the battery. So TV was out.
The balcony is large. It features a view of a tree, a manzanita grove and whatever trash workmen or other tenants tossed off the balcony. The screen doors were virtually useless as they kept falling off the tracks. When we arrived - we noticed that the balcony was in desperate need of a sweep and some general TLC. There was clearly more than a weeks’ worth of debris joined by a few scattered cigarette butts and a totally filthy, warped air hockey table that had clearly seen its last days.
The bathroom - was totally unacceptable. Although when we arrived someone was there fixing an issue with the toilet, unfortunately it continued to back up on us all weekend. Luckily the clubhouse across the way lent us a plunger each time it happened - but it only band aided the problem. There was no threshold on between the bedroom carpet and the bathroom tile exposing some of the carpet tacking underneath. the towel rack was falling off the wall and unusable, The floor is uneven and the door dragged on it making it difficult to shut. The shower doors were coming out of the tracks, the toilet paper holder was missing the part that actually holds the toilet paper and the fan did not work. To add insult to injury, I did not bring a hairdryer because she advertised that one was included - and there wasn't one.
As we were packing to leave my husband noticed that there were 2 Guiness cans in the garbage can that weren't ours. So it made me wonder. If the trash was not emptied and the balcony wasn't swept (remember the cig butts on the balcony?) did they even change the sheets or towels before we got there? We agreed that the bed linens and towels appeared clean. But woudn't you wonder the same thing?
I will say this - the place has huge potential to be really cute and cozy without a lot of effort or money. While this experience didn't ruin our trip - (in fact, we spent so much time out of the rental we enjoyed Arrowhead more) we did agree that we will go back to using VBRO as our "go to" when finding vacation rentals. We have never had a bad experience with them.
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