Our traveling group had booked the home Sol y Sombra for an 8 day stay in the Spring of 2018 through the management company the home's owner had hired. This was to be our first trip to VG. They (SmithsGore) were pleasant to work with during the booking. After the storm, we had concerns about the state of the home(given arial pics) and island as a whole. Bernadette from SmithsGore assured us the damage to the home was minimal and repairs would be complete by our arrival. After discussions, we decided to ask for a refund and attempt a later trip to make sure we could enjoy the ENTIRE island once recovered. We were informed that we would receive a full refund with little discussion.
After a week, Bernadette notified us that she would NOT be returning our deposit but rather she would keep the 20% due to our decision to cancel the trip. After further discussion (over 50 emails), she agreed to apply the 20% deposit for a future trip to Sol y Sombra. We thought this reasonable so we picked a future date that she agreed upon and documents would be on their way. Upon receiving documents, she had raised the price of the rental by $5334.00!!! Her reasoning, "they would have raised the rates at least once or twice" before our new trip dates.
At this point, our options are to pay the additional $5334 or forfeit our 20% deposit. It is very obvious that the management company will stand to make money with either option. I get the feeling the management company would prefer us to cancel the trip and forfeit the 20% so they can turn around a re-book the same week to make yet another 20%. No skin off of their back (keeping in mind that I'm sure the management companies are likely struggling at this time with minimal bookings). I question whether owners of homes on VG are aware of how the management companies are treating potential renters in the wake of this tragedy.
I have been following this forum for over a year in anticipation of our trip. The contributing owners on this site have been a valuable resource of information for a first time traveler and I appreciate their input. I ask the readers (owners and travelers) of this forum for their honest opinion on whether this is "business as usual" or are we right in feeling as though we have everything to lose in this situation.
Your input is greatly appreciated.