Good trip, could have been better
My wife and I and two other couples rented this home for the 4th of July. We had a good weekend, that could have been better if the owner had handled a couple of things differently. The Good: Incredible location. On the bay, walking distance to the beach. The backyard has fantastic views. The house is in need of an update, but met our needs and is a value price-wise. The Bad: The gas grill did not have a propane tank, which the owner's brother said had been stolen. I communicated to him that I would purchase a replacement, which I did for $50, and request a refund from Maria, the owner. Maria later told me she could not refund me because they do not provide propane tanks. In my book, that makes the listing misleading: "We provide linens, flatware, dishes, an outdoor grill, and a variety of cooking utensils for use during your stay." Most people assume a gas grill will come with a propane tank when renting a property. I regularly rent from Homeaway and VRBO and have never encountered a gas grill without a tank. If the owner is unwilling to provide one, they should note it in the listing. I was unable to reach Maria about my plan before I bought a new tank (called her twice), but her brother, while not promising a refund, didn't discourage me either. In short, it's bad business. A lot of people look forward to/expect to grill when they go to the beach, and a house that won't provide a fully operable grill (or refund the cost of making it operable) is at a competitive disadvantage over just $50. It felt cheap. Second, they have a digital camera in the foyer that was operating all weekend (which they informed us of), because they've apparently had break-ins. I'm sympathetic to wanting to protect your home, but I, and everyone in my group, felt the camera was intrusive. When you rent a property to someone, there is an expectation of privacy from your guests. Would you want to stay in a hotel room with a camera in the room? In my view when you choose to rent a home, you're giving up access to the property, remote or otherwise, for the rental period unless there's an emergency. The camera could easily be mounted outside the front door. I conveyed both points to Maria after our rental and she never responded. The Meh: The backyard needs upkeep - the lawn was unmowed and the deck and dock need to be sanded and stained before someone gets a splinter. There was also some wood debris that should be cleaned up.
A Waterfront View to Remember!