Fantastic South Beach location, walking distance to everything. Condo is bright & quiet with a stylish décor. The host's on-site staff is super friendly & helpful. Too bad the pool is not heated because at this time of the year, there is very little direct sunlight so a little cool. However, the beach is so close it really didn't matter. I will definitely stay here again.
It’s difficult to know were to start with this review, but I will state the facts. If anyone has any doubts about this review after reading it I do have photos to substantiate this and an email from the Owner to Trip Advisor threatening them if they refunded my payment.
Here goes …..
One adult travelling with x3 13 yr old teenage girls. Flew in from the other side of the world, very excited to be coming to Miami, and staying in the modern sunny apartment that is advertised.
The photos quite clearly made the apartment look bigger than it actually was, but that was fine. I have been in the tourist industry for over 30 years and that often happens, so I was prepared for it to be smaller in reality. There are also plans of the layout of the apartment too in the advert and you can see it is very bijou.
Nothing out of the ordinary so far.
You will see in the ad that the room is very sunny despite the blinds being down.
However, there are several reasons why the blinds are down
It hides the fact that when you open them all you can see are the flat roofs of the surrounding buildings and all the noise air conditioning units. There is not much you can do about that in a built up area, but if I had known I probably would have thought twice about it, but that’s just me being picky for the $1400 I spent staying there. Fine if you’re out for a good time and don’t care about things like that. That’s fair enough, however it also hides the filthy windows, inside and out, the metal bars covering the window and the black mouldy spores that are growing on the window ledges and on the plastic window openings.
It was the that same for the AC unit, that was full of dust and dirt and mould on the walls.
The rust on the cooker was pretty impressive too. An old electric cooker with circular elements that sat on a bed of so much rust that I just couldn’t believe my eyes. I have never, ever seen anything like it in my life.
I opened the broken cupboard door by the cooker looking for the cooking pans etc but it was so dirty, I just shut the doors. I then opened the stainless steel trolly to find what else was in there and found more rust, which I thought was impossible with stainless steel, but no, I can happen and the draw was covered in it as were the oven gloves.
The bathroom shelves were the same, lift up the towels and there was actually no steel left to see just rust.
First thing I do is kick off my shoes when I get in, well that was a mistake as the floor was so sticky and filthy my feet looked like I had been barefoot in a night club all evening. Shoes went back on when I saw the state of my feet.
Before we arrived the Owner sent us details of the Property Manager Patty, they gave me her phone number and email address, where we could find the key box to let ourselves in, parking spots etc. Very helpful.
I emailed her the day before we arrived asking her if there was room to park infant so we could unload the luggage etc as I’ve been to Miami before and it’s tricky to park and I didn’t want to get towed.
We didn’t get a reply, so had to wing it. Disappointing, but these things happen.
We arrive at 3pm as planned and I rang Patty using my French mobile as I still hadn’t heard anything regarding the dropping off of bags etc
She answered and sounded lovely and said she was still at the property and she would wait to give me the keys in person.
I double parked, unloaded the luggage left my 3 girls in the entrance with the luggage, met Patty and took the keys.
I took the keys because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get back in the building.
Parked car and came back
Girls in the meantime had gone upstairs with Patty who showed them the apartment and then left. When I say showed them the apartment I mean she opened the (bare in mind I have the keys and she did not - all will become clear later)
We bought all the luggage up and then slowly discovered the horrors of all the mould rust and dirt etc!
I called Patty who answered and she was shocked I should find the apartment so dirty and assured me it was perfectly clean - Oh dear, we obviously don’t have the same standard of clean but what could I do! I had paid for it and was not really wanting to leave, time was ticking and it was getting dark the girls were upset, tired and hungry the Payment Protection of Trip Advisor does not consider the cleanliness of a property as reason enough to refund a guest if this happens.
Patty said she would let the owners know I was unhappy. I also let them know using the Trip Advisor Inbox and I also rang Trip Advisor.
The owner immediately replied and said I should look at the Trip Advisor Payment Protection conditions and from that moment on ceased to communicate with me.
The Trip Advisor was very kind and asked me to send her photos, which is why I can share them with whoever wants to see them. She also sent me a list of other properties that we could move to if we decided to leave BUT, she did NOT warn me that if we were to stay the night in the property, whatever happens the Payment Protection from Trip Advisor is void - I had this in the back of my mind so I contacted all the owners on the list I was sent and waited for Trip Advisor to get back to me as they were trying to get hold of the Owner to find a solution.
The call never came, the other enquiries as yo can imagine did not come through straight away as it can take 6hrs or more before getting a reply.
time is ticking and we are now at 8.30pm, dark and upset in Miami.
Still, not to be defeated, we decided to go together and get the rest of the bags, I would purchase a floor clothe and cleaning products and deal with the filth BUT this is when we discovered that we could not lock the door from the outside.
I obviously thought I was doing something wrong and that it was just a knack to getting it to lock.
I asked several of the other guests with the same door handle as us if they could show me what I might be doing wrong. Their apartments did lock but none of them could get ours to lock so I was left with no choice but to call Patty again.
Her phone was switched off - I contacted the owner by phone and by Trip Advisor - I got no response.
We could not leave the apartment because none of our belongings were secure.
We could however bolt the door from the inside
I rang Trip Advisor immediately and informed them of this new development.
They tried to contact the owner and the property manager, to no avail and did not reconnect me either. I had to call Trip Advisor for the 3rd time to get an update. So we were left with no alternative but to stay the night.
Of course when Patty got my messages 1st thing in the morning I assumed that she would be round straight away to show me where I was going wrong with the door lock - I had left her 3 by this time, (I was understandably concerned for our safety and the fact that I had not paid $1400 to spend 5 days in the apartment)
NO! nothing, no phone call, no contact, no show!
I was now getting very perplexed - even more so a week later when Trip Advisor said that the Owner had said she live d on site!!!! Oh really!
No message from the Owner so I rang Trip Advisor again and they assured me they would try and contact the owner again and the Patty the Property Manager.
Trip Advisor rang back and said he could not get in touch with anyone and that he had given them 2 hrs to respond, to get someone round to clean the apartment and to get the key lock sorted out. So we sat and waited again.
So far we have not left the apartment unless 1 child was left in the apartment and locked it from the inside whilst I and the other children went out to get the rest of our bags.
Mid morning after the 2 hrs after the 2 hr deadline for the owner to do something I rang Trip Advisor again and they said they had still not heard from the owner or the Property Manager. We were now at 12 noon, no news from anyone, no sign of Patty the supposed Property Manager.
We decided to leave, trusting that Trip Advisor had our best interests at heart as we were the guests and the Owner had just not bothered to reply to us at all, leaving myself and the 3 girls at risk in the heart of Miami.
If you read the Trip Advisor Payment Protection conditions it is very specific as to the criteria to claim a refund.
Not being able to shut the door and lock it is pretty high up in my list and I would have thought the same of Trip Advisor
Cleanliness is not but I would have thought it was very clear from my photos this was beyond being dirty, but in fact a health risk - Apparently not!
I have continued to contact Trip Advisor but after approx 15/20 emails and approx 10/12 calls they have still done nothing.
They did contact me and tell me they had an excellant and prompt reply from the Owner (why did he not contact me?) a copy of which they sent me.
I was deeply shocked it was so incredulous - there was not one single fact that was true.
The Property manager said we were 5 (we were not) They were willing to kindly overlook this and not charge us any extra!
They said she had shown us around the apartment and we had not mentioned anything - she had not because I went and parked the car and when I came back she had gone
They said they had contacted me and explained the door - they did not
They said the Property Manager had come back and assisted us - she did not
They said the door wasn’t broken either - I never said it was I just said I couldn’t lock it, could they help !!!
It was just a whole load of lies, and they finished by saying that if Trip Advisor refunded me that they would cancel and withdraw all the other properties they had advertised with them
Trip Advisor un-surprisingly came back to me over 1 week later and said that after careful consideration and in their unbiased opinion (are they serious!) they would not be refunding me and that anyway because we had stayed there one night the Payment Protection was invalid anyway - It took them over a week to mention that part!!!!!
So in conclusion to what I think about this apartment the answer is it disgusting and shameful and totally unfit for purpose.
Ask me what I think about Trip Advisor I would say they have put their own profits over doing the right and clearly obvious thing.
Trip Advisor has failed to live up to its own beliefs and should be ashamed at the way this has been handled.
I never once mentioned that I belonged to an International Travel Writers Association based in the US, but their lack of honesty is so incredulous that I will be bringing this matter up with the members with a view to getting this written into an article that will be passed to every publication on line that it is possible to reach.
Shame on you Trip Advisor and as for the Owner, it’s unbelievable - WHY didn’t you just get Patty to show me how the door locked if it wasn’t broken?