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Review submitted by Mr & Mrs from Marlow (Submitted: 9 May 2013)
We based our decision to book this villa on the many reviews on this site from other holidaymakers. The site was easy to use to book and we had a quick response from the owner who said she would organise transfers and a golf buggy for us. We felt very confident that our holiday would be as we expected.
On arrival our transfer was a friend of the owner driving a beaten up pickup which was clearly designed for two occupants, which all three of us squeezed into! Our flight had been delayed and he was not impressed and said that he almost left without us. During the trip to the villa he told us that the site was very safe and had great security. We were at this point unaware why he kept reiterating this, however we later learnt from a ex-pat resident of Jolly Harbour that a man had been shot there the previous week.
On arrival at the villa, Sonja the owner was not there to meet us as expected. The friend opened the front door to let us in and as we entered the property he went back to his pick up and started to drive away. We chased after him and he said he was parking and that Sonja was getting the golf cart we had ordered and would be with us shortly. After about 20 minutes he said that he was going to find her and would return (leaving us with no keys or means to get food/water). It was now late approx 10pm and we had waited over an hour for Sonja to return. When she did finally arrive she said that there had been a technical problem with the golf buggy and she had returned it, but had not been successful in locating an alternative buggy. We were assured that she would be able to get one from the on-site buggy hire shop the following morning and would phone us. She briefly explained that we would need to put down the metal electric shutters at night and when we left the property as the only door that locked was the front door. We asked about the kitchen window which had a pane missing and one smashed and were told the bug mesh was sufficient security! We were driven to the shop by the friend to get groceries for that evening.
We returned with a pizza for the first night and successfully cooked it in the oven, however 20minutes after turning the oven off it turned itself back on at full heat and an alarm sounded which we could not stop. We tried to phone Sonja and she she didnt answer, so our only option was to turn it off at the circuit breaker. During the evening we noticed
* Electrical cables hanging out the wall.
* The freezer door held shut with a bungee cord.
* The area under the breakfast bar had a bare sheet of plasterboard tacked on it presumably covering damage, it has pencil writing on it!
* The cutlery crockery and appliances clearly werent cleaned so we had to do this before eating.
The next morning we did not hear from Sonja and sometime between 10.30 am and 11am we telephoned. She did not answer, but returned the call about 20 minutes later. She explained that she couldnt get a golf buggy for that day but could definitely get one the following morning but in the meantime she could loan us a couple of pushbikes to get around which we grudgingly accepted as there was no alternative. The problem being that the distance to the shop in the heat is huge and my wife was 6 months pregnant. Had we have known we would not be able to hire a buggy we would not have booked this accommodation.
Sonja arrived with the bikes around 45 minutes later at which point it transpired that she had been having coffee with her friend. We were livid to say the least. We had spent alot of money on this holiday only to be sat around waiting for her. At this point she offered to give us a quick tour of the complex in her jeep. She had to clear the rubbish out of her jeep first and the windows did not work - I emphasise this because if there are more than two of you in your party and you choose to get transfers from the airport you will probably be picked up by her!
We had a quick tour which was useful and informative and were then dro pped off back at the villa. She again said she would call us in the morning and that the buggy hire shop opened at 9am so she would get in touch with them first. We took took this opportunity to raise our concerns with the oven. She said that it had never happened before but then contradicted herself by explaining its symptoms before we had a chance to - specifically the H7 error message it displayed!! She said she would organise an engineer to fix it. The engineer never materialised.
That evening we decided to use the BBQ. There was nothing to light it so we brought matches at the shop. When we tried lighting it the gas had run out. We cooked on the hob instead, however when we tried to open a can the can opener also was broken so we had to struggle to open with a knife.
We had major concerns about locking the shutters at night time as there is one staircase as an exit so had there been a fire downstairs and the power had gone down you would be trapped inside.
Further to these problems there was building work happening two doors away and loud music coming from a resident next door.
The next day Sonja phoned before 9am to say that she had contacted the buggy hire shop and there were no buggies available at all for the week (this is strange as the buggy shop doesnt open until 9!). She suggested hiring a car and we told her we did not bring driving licenses as were not expecting to do this. She later called back to say that she had a solution, her friend had offered to loan us her jeep at $30 per day (which incidentally is $10 more per day than the buggy hire) with the condition that we did not leave the site. We told her that though it was a kind gesture we felt uncomfortable accepting as we would not be insured and would be driving illegally. She said she understood but that the offer was there if we needed it. Fed up so far with this holiday we decided to head out to the beach on the bikes. As we were leaving the phone rang and Sonja told us her friend was on the way with the jeep. At this point we lost our temper and told her under no circumstances were we going to use the car and that it was a waste of her friends time coming. We emphasised how unhappy we were so far with the villa and how the description is deceptive and that it was ruining what should be a restful holiday. She asked us to wait until her friend came to tell her ourselves! On this day she came and looked at changing the gas on the bbq.
After the beach (which is beautiful), we stopped at the shop and a local tried to take one of our bikes from us. The shop is the local hang out so doesnt feel very comfortable entering. At this point it is also worth noting that virtually all of the restaurants are Italian and there is not much choice as most other restaurants were closed.
After the bike was nearly stolen we had enough and booked a hotel further up the coast for the remainder of our stay. We phoned Sonja and explained that we could not stay under these conditions anymore. She sympathised that we had a bad experience and as we had already paid for our transfer back to the airport she agreed to take us to the hotel instead.
When we returned we sent Sonja an email outlining the above and requesting a refund. We did not get any response to this or two further emails to her. We contacted this site to find out if there was any way they could make her have contact with us to try and resolve our dispute but were told that the site accepts no responsibility, that the contract is between you and the owner and to contact the owner via the site and to leave feedback. Clearly we were very disappointed that having been so forthcoming in the booking stages we were left high and dry without even an acknowledgement of our emails.
She has since removed the option of golf buggy hire from the hire options.
I would not visit this location again. I would not recommend it to a friend or an enemy! And the d