Horror holiday accommodation

I was listening to the radio recently and the talkback topic was ‘horror holidays.’

Luckily, I love researching my holiday accommodation to the enth degree, so most times the places we stay are wonderful. But occasionally it can all go pear shape.

When it comes to horror holiday accommodation, Venice 2011 is at the top of my worst accommodation list.

I was really looking forward to staying in this apartment, located just metres from St Mark’s Square.

The main bedroom of our Venice apartment

The main bedroom of our Venice apartment

As you can see from the photo, the apartment looks beautiful. And it was. But looks can be deceiving and from the outset, we had nothing but trouble.It started when the booking agency rep was 45 minutes late for our greeting. OK, I could live with that, but our meeting point was a vaporetto stop and it had been stressed that we had to be on time.

Also, no-one contacted us to say she was running late, which then made us question whether we were at the right vaporetto stop.

The other main issue was the hole in the shower floor. We noticed it, but as nothing had been said, presumed it had been sealed underneath. However, we soon discovered this was not so.

Not long after the heavy glass shower screen fell onto my 60-something year old mum (making the original hole even bigger), we heard banging on the front door. It was the tenants from downstairs who told us water was pouring through the ceiling.

Obviously, this was a pretty stressful start to our stay in Venice. The people who answered the number we were given for emergencies did not want to know about it. We then reported the problems to the agency’s head office in Rome.

Although no-one ever rang us back, the next day, we arrived back from sightseeing to find the shower taped off with a sign saying not to use it (great when we booked a two bathroom apartment for 6 people), and two days later, found workmen letting themselves into the apartment.

Is this a "beautiful view on a private typical Venetian courtyard"? But it does show how close we were to St Mark's Square.

Is this a “beautiful view on a private typical Venetian courtyard”? But it does show how close we were to St Mark’s Square.

As for the other issues that we continued to discover throughout the stay:

  • the second shower also had a faulty door, which kept threatening to fall off. The tradesmen told us they were also replacing it
  • we could not use the main bedroom air conditioner, as water poured through the ceiling after it was turned off
  • although self-contained with a kitchenette, there was no plug for the sink and no tea towels provided. There were also no powerpoints, which meant we had to use the kettle in the bathroom and the toaster on the living room floor
  • a large number of light bulbs were blown. We had noticed this on arrival and were told some replacements would be left at the apartment. This did not occur, leaving more than half the lights unusable. The TV remote battery was also flat
  • only one set of keys was provided, although we had told the agency there were two families staying together
  • the apartment was described as having a “beautiful view on a private typical Venetian courtyard”. This is not true. The windows open onto one of the busiest thoroughfares from St Mark’s square.

Not wanting to end this story on a negative note, we did stay in some wonderful accommodation on our European holiday, including Villa Rosa, near Lucca and Coltur Suites in Sorrento.

Do you have any holiday accommodation horror stories? I would love to hear them.

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