Things Are Not Always What They Look Like In The Photos
Sometimes people embellish, a little. And the process of finding reasonably-priced accommodation, just so that we can go away for a few days, is the perfect example of this. Forget about the terrible customer experience with AirBNB (I won't even tell you what happened there); we found this little "cozy" house on the Central Coast for $100 cheaper elsewhere, but the house we saw online, is well, not exactly the same as the experience we had.
Sure, it's important to make your stuff look and sound as good as you can. But I have zero tolerance for making stuff up, and laziness for that matter. In this video, I'm taking you on a guided tour of the 3 bedroom escape that we booked. Somethings are what's described, but there were a lot of aspects that didn't quite live up to the description.
Anybody with a wide-angle lens and a sunny day can make a house look much bigger than it is. Good lighting also went a long way in making the photos of the house look much less "pokey" than it actually is. Navigating the house was like going through a maze; rooms separated by narrow corridors- I'd love to see how much better the place would look if it was opened up a bit. Our first impression was (after being able to get the front screen unlocked after a few attempts) that this house was basically put together exclusive to rent out. Nobody would actually want to live here long-term. The quality of everything was mediocre; for example, the utensils in the kitchen- it looked like somebody just went to a second-hand thrift store and bought up everything there. Nothing matches.
I won't go into everything that the video shows, but our 'welcome" back consisted of 2 rolls of toilet paper, 3 sachets of dishwashing liquid, some hotel-sized shampoos (some of which were half-empty), and a note that told us that if we didn't leave the place tidy we would lose our bond. The freezer had a bag of ice in it from the previous user, frozen to the shelve and not removable unless you defrost the freezer. There was some pepper, maple syrup, and some other stuff in the cupboards, all half-used. There was no way we were going to use any of that. After seeing all the gunk stuck on the outside of the kettle, our first mission was to actually wash all the plates / pots / utensils that we were planning on using during our stay. No, there was no complimentary cereal, bread, or anything like that. For $250 per night.
The backyard was in fact nice and big, and full of vegetables and fruit trees. There is no way that holiday renters are going to maintain these, so we thought somebody must live here in between rentals. Then came the even stranger bit. There was an outside toilet / shower, laundry, and a kitchen that was better equipped than the one inside the house. There was a garage and a shed, both of which were padlocked. And then there's the "third bedroom", located as an add-on behind the garage, advertised as a room that a teenager might want to stay in. The thing is, it looked like there was already somebody staying in it. Dirty towel, a bed that looked like somebody was sleeping in it. I wonder if the cleaners just forgot to clean that room, or in fact whether it is a room that some "maintenance" type person slept in when there were no renters.
There was the two towels for four guests ("all towels and linen provided"), spiders crawling freely through the living area, and the best part, the bathroom. Not only was there not a bath as advertised, but the light switch also controlled the exhaust fan, meaning that they both go on and off together. Sometimes you don't want the fan on. Like when you're brushing your teeth. And the fan also made the room feel like ice, all of the time (so you go from a warm shower to a cold, breezy room). Last but not least, was the door lock. The usual door handle doesn't actually close the door. There's this $2 sliding bolt that you need to use if you want to keep the door closed. But here's the thing. If you've got a kid who decides they don't want to talk to anybody, they can lock themselves in there. And worse, if you've got somebody with a medical problem and they collapse in there, you'd have to kick the door in to get them out.
I did leave a little bit of feedback for the company we went through, and I hope that the next people do find some improvements in the issues we've mentioned. On the positive side, ten minutes and you'll be walking right on to a relatively quite beach. And it's only an hour from where we live. We'll definitely go back and stay there, but just not in this house.