Beautiful property, but not for everyone
While the property itself is beautiful, well-decorated, and well-maintained, it is very clear that the owners have little experience renting it out. If you are interested in this property, just set some ground rules with the owners beforehand, so you won't have the same issues we had. It is a great house in a great location; it is just unfortunate we just weren't able to feel at home.
We (group of 8) paid a significant amount for a weekly rental in a luxury property, and upon arrival at the apartment, we were very satisfied with what we got. The apartment has a stunning terrace with ocean views, and comfortable living area. Our host (one of the owners) picked us up from the airport, helped serve us breakfast, answered questions, and offered to show us around town (local grocery store, ATM, etc). While we were very grateful for his assistance, we were surprised that he remained at the apartment all day long, doing paperwork at the dining table, having a beer, chatting with the maid, etc. While this was fine for day 1, he continued to arrive at the apartment for the next several days, often staying for 5-6 hours per day. He "scolded" us when fans or a light were left on the night before, as "electricity is incredibly expensive." We were on vacation, and all utilities were supposed to be included in our bill; while we are mindful of energy conservation, we did not these morning reminders.
Our group felt we couldn't be quite at home with the owner constantly in the home with us. He came over to do laundry, eat breakfast, and use the phone/internet, even when we mentioned to him we prefer he let us be on our own. The message didn't seem to get across, as he told us, "This is my house, and I need to have control."
Other than issues with the host, we were disappointed with our inability to cook - one of the reasons we stayed at a house is to cook together, and both the grill and oven did not work. The host did not seem too concerned, telling us it was "so cheap to eat out in Cartagena" and that we shouldn't worry about it. He did later offer to have the cook make us dinner before she left for the day to compensate, but we weren't interested in this offer, as we just liked to cook and be on our own.
Above all, the owners in this house are very particular: no sleeping on the white couches in the living room, no smoking on the (open-air) terrace, etc. Our only warning: just make sure you are ok dealing with very involved owners before renting.
Tourists without a Car,
Owner's Response: *From the Owner, Thomas K. Woodard:*
*Privacy guaranteed. No visits from owners.*
Complete privacy is enjoyed by everyone during their stay.
In this, our only less than perfect rental situation, there
were forewarnings. The Lease specified a party of eight. However, it rapidly grew to 10, then 12, mostly total strangers.
We soon received complaints from our neighbors about noise and litter in the building caused by an unruly group in our apartment. Reluctantly, my associate went to the premises to investigate. He found empty beer cans,
cigarette butts, wet towels, and even soaked bed linen strewn about, with other signs of disrespect for the property.
Our long-time Housekeeper reported that she had lost count of the guests, the fridge was missing food intended for breakfast that disappeared during the night, and she threatened to quit because she was embarrassed by their
behaviour during the short periods she was there to cook and clean each day.
The group was genuinely surprised and disappointed to learn that there are a few reasonable house rules (e.g., quiet use of common hallways and large pool area, generally civilized behavior, etc.) and that this is not a "beach party house" where anything goes. They said they had paid "a substantial amount of money", and therefore were entitled to set their own "ground rules."
Illusory claims by the disgruntled group organizer that the owner was hanging around drinking beer and chatting with the Housekeeper may have been made as result of pressure from her unsuspecting, fun loving revelers whom
she possibly had promised days and nights of wild, unrestrained bacchanalia.
News that it is not that kind of place was not well received. At least the unhappy reviewer and I agree on one thing, the place "is not for everyone." Nothing against spring break groups - it's just not the right place. We regret that she did not have a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Since then, the maximum of persons is set at 6. We have had great success renting to families, couples and friends looking for a magical vacation in the unique walled city of historic Cartagena.
*No visits from the owners.*
*Yes, the kitchen and the barbecue overlooking the Caribbean on the private roof garden with the splash pool are all in tip-top working order.*
Helpful votes: 5/6
Did you find this review helpful?