Lack of communication
Although the accommodation was beautiful and the location is very charming, the lack of communication from the homeowner made for a bad experience. From the beginning I asked if there was parking infront of the house because I had a relative with a disability coming in and I am aware that Obidos is filled with steep hills. I was told yes, however the parking was outside the town. We had to carry my 67 year old aunt inside the house.
From my 5 years experience of renting through home away, as soon as I book the accommodation, the owner always sends me an email of what's expected to happen and house rules. They also tell me where they hide the keys so I can come in as late as I please. I did not get this with the homeowner I felt like I had to nag her for responses. Even then, she would tell me "let's take care of it later". While I was in Portugal, there was no communication until the day of. I had no internet so I did not receive any of the homeowner's messages. I texted her around 8:50pm letting her know I was going to have dinner and that I was 30 minutes away...to which her response was "you have until 10pm to retrieve your keys." I understand that her accommodation isn't a hotel, however I did purchase a night and didn't feel it was appropriate for me to have a curfew. This relationship was a business one, not a personal one where I am told when I should come in, especially 1 hour before. What would have happened if I hadn't texted her? In turn, I was not able to have dinner until 11pm, at a fast food burger joint. She also did not communicate with me that she needed to do a check in process...a legal requirement in Portugal that I never heard of before. Although the homeowner is very friendly and the house is beautiful, I would never book to stay here again and wouldn't recommend it to any of my friends.
Jul 13, 2017
Owner's Response:Dear Madam,
I'm very sorry to hear that you feel unpleased with my communication with you.
I really did my best, answering to all your questions in the many messages you had been sending me through Homeaway and even to my personnal e-mail adress and WhatsApp.
Everything about your arrival and staying at my place was arranged between you and me, during the uncountable contacts we had along the months since your booking till your arrival time.
As I always do with all my guests, we had arranged that you should inform me the day before, or at least until lunch time on your arrival day, about your arrival time so that I could help you driving till the parking place that is les than 20 meters far from the house.
I also informed you that I would be waiting for you at Casa da Travessa to welcome and give you the keys.
Although check in and check out times are announced in my listing, I always ask my guests to inform me about their arrival plans, as I'm quite flexible about that, and they may want to check in earlier or later than the annouced period.
On your arrival day I had no news from you during the all day. I was so worried about that that at 7 pm I sent you messages through WhatsApp and Homeaway (all the available means) trying to find out if there was any problem with. Only after 8.15 pm you decided to phone me back.
As you probably don't know, I must inform you that all accomodations have check in and check out times. In holiday houses, where there are no reception desks, guests are even more concerned about informing the owners of their plans and their expected arrival time.
But for you, you didn't care about informing me your arrival time, specially because you would probably need my help for accomodating your aunt. You didn't care about leaving me waiting for you during the whole day and night, giving me no news. When you finally decided to answer to my messages, late in that evening, you just informed me that you were still looking for a restaurant in Nazaré and that only after having dinner you would driving till Óbidos! Good Lord!!
Good communication with my guests is one of my strong attributes, that all my guests praise and they make a point of emphasizing it in the comments they leave me. I invite you to confirm this please.
After all this, if I caused you any discomfort in that evening, please believe me that I'm very sorry. But also, be aware that I did my best with you, as I always do will all my dearest guests.