When we go on holiday in the summer (and at other times) we invariably stay in self catering apartments or villas. We find the ability to manage our own accommodation much more relaxing. We are not tied to hotel eating times (or restaurants) and are normally located in an area with other locals and not surrounded by tourists – consequently you tend to get a better feel for your chosen countries life style.
We have experienced a wide variety of rented properties; from the very basic (in rural France) to very luxurious (on the Cote-d’azure). Most are privately owned and managed either remotely by the owners (often better), or by a local management company. Our experiences are generally excellent.
This year we have returned to the Oriuolo Apartment in Florence. It is located just behind the Duomo so ideally situated for a ‘city week’. Our experience was good last year so we rebooked happily.
Unfortunately the local management have ‘taken their eye off the ball’ – the apartment is not what it was! The location is still great, but there are a litany of small issues that really would not be an issue if the apartment was being managed properly.
1. There should be broadband connected – it isn’t anymore, but we weren’t told until we arrived (we were offered a Vodaphone pay as you go dongle – not quite the same! And at our cost)
2. Numerous bulbs were not working – we were promised new bulbs would be delivered – 4 days ago, still waiting!
3. The washing machine door handle is broken, only discovered when trying to use it, a phone call to the agent resulted in the message – yes it is, use a spoon to open it! Luckily this works – but come on!
4. There are no large glasses! I like shots as much as the next man, but come on! We need to drink!
5. The toaster is broken!
I know that sometimes I am a grumpy old man, but these small individual items add up to me and make it an issue of bad management.
As a company we have a large and highly successful management department (run by my colleague and fellow blogger Tim Garratt). It is successful because it has an eye to all issues and deals with them (even the difficult tenants like me!).
The managing company here in Florence is run by two sisters who proudly told us on arrival that they had some nice new apartments around the corner which they would love to show us (they have an office there as well) – not perhaps the best message to give to someone in one of their clients other rentals?
Time for a new managing agent for Oriuolo Apartment in Florence?