Not at all what we expected. Would not return.
Submitted: March 22, 2013
Stayed: February 2013
Mixed feelings about Zandoli. This is an expensive rental. We were surprised that there was no a.c., but I guess that is our fault for not checking. It was so closed up and hot when we arrived we barely slept our 1st night. Even with ceiling fans and extra floor fans sleeping was hot all week. The mosquitos/sand fleas (or bed bugs) were insane all week. Our party of 7 was absolutely riddled with bites from head to toe despite using bug spray and mosquito netting. The kids had bites on their eyelids.
Internet is not wireless with 1 connection. Beautiful views of Pigeon Island but the "walk" to the beach is NOT 5 minutes and its down a rocky, treacherous path behind the house. Len, the owner is very nice but very busy. It is difficult to get her to respond to emails and the only info we received was directions. No information about the house. We had a small issue with the fridge and when we followed up with her 2 days later, she informed us that the "current renters" didn't have any issues. We WERE the current renters LOL. She arranged airport transport for us that ended up being double in price over what we found locally. $150 US each way vs. $80. The road to the villa is in terrible shape. If you rent a car make sure it is an SUV with lots of clearance. Note to older or less mobile people or those with very young children. No taxi would take us down the driveway due to how steep it is. This means you must carry all of your luggage, supplies and groceries up and down.
Master bedrooms are very nice but the 3rd and 4th bedrooms are just OK. The 4th bedroom is actually accessed from outside only. Very disjointed, especially if you have children.
The pool was nice and the lower deck as well. The outdoor dining area was very pleasant and we had dinner there every night. The listing says daily maid service but in fact it is every other day. Not a big deal for us but just pointing it out. The listing also says laundry is included but the housekeeper would lock the room up every time she left. Dishes etc, could use some updating but all in all a well equipped kitchen. Small charcoal BBQ.
With everything being open air, you get some nice inside visits from the birds, lizards and tiny tree frogs. All very cute. Also expect visits from the very large roaches and saucer sized hairy spiders (tarantula?) not so cute.
So mixed reviews. It's a beautiful house that I would not return to nor recommend.
Lisa Jeffery, Toronto
Owner's Response: I was startled to read this review not only because all of our reviews have been wonderful but because the guest’s emails of 4th March 5 days into her 7 day stay painted a different picture “Len, we love the house, we didn’t know about the voltage but we are getting along just fine” followed by 5th March: “Thank you Len. Again you have a wonderful spot here, and we are enjoying our stay very much”. The housekeeper reported that the guests were having a great stay. I offered this guest a lower rate when she indicated that it was above her budget. What went wrong?
Our guest (one of 7) emailed on 6th March to request a late departure the next day (our rental agreement sets departure at 11AM). Such requests are always okay except when departure and arrivals are on the same day. My son was flying in from the USA for a 2 day visit that day and I planned on being in the villa. The guest was politely informed. The guest also asked that I arrange to have the taxi driver Peter, transfer friends from a hotel to the airport at a later date. I suggested that the friends use taxis on premises. The tone of the guest’s emails changed abruptly.
This guest and I corresponded a total of 58 times between December 11, 2012 and her departure on March 7th. 2013. As a Diplomat, I travel continuously, yet I responded from Qatar, Dubai, Chile, NYC, London and STL. It is odd that a guest would request an extension of stay in a villa infested with bugs and saucer sized tarantulas (!!) with children in tow. Complaints about been hot and unable to sleep from the first night are at odds with emails of March 3 and 4 in which the guest speaks about having a great time. Our rental agreement offers housekeeping services 3 times/week and notes a departure time of 11 AM. My 84 year old mother uses the path to the beach when she visits.
I contacted HomeAway offering to forward the stream of correspondence between the guest and I for their review, however the team explained that they do not have a due diligence function, encouraging me to respond here. Vindication however was received from the young couple from Washington DC, Sharif and his wife who visited March 14 to 21st a week later, sending a lovely message about their stay. Most of our guests are lovely, honest people who treat our home, like theirs. They send back their friends and family, return for birthdays and anniversaries, and we feel incredibly lucky and special.
Helpful votes: 3/3
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