This short-term rental apartment completely fails to match the description and to offer what one has the right to expect from any rented accommodation – let alone this one, at the price demanded. Here’s a summary. Links to photos and videos.
- “Free parking” flagged on Booking.com applies only overnight. No spaces reserved for property. During working hours, on-street places for residents only.
- Access to flat is by a steep, narrow staircase, difficult to negotiate for those with mobility problems or luggage larger than “carry-on”. Not indicated in announcement.
- In general, furnishings cheap, bottom-of-the-range and shabby.
- Many of the furnishings, including carpets, bear stains of spillages and maybe worse.
- Cleaning rudimentary, leaving hairs and other traces of previous occupants.
- Upstairs bathroom accessible via near-vertical, “alternating tread”, staircase. Not easy for a fit person to climb or descend in daylight when wide-awake; certainly not advisable for an older or infirm person at 4 a.m.
- Headroom in upstairs bathroom, apart from under skylight, may suit a 12-year-old child or a fairly large dog. Not an adult of even modest height. In around 80% of the area we were obliged to walk around in a crouch.
- Access to the building is by a code. On our return the first night, it failed to work. Telephoning the agency (not Booking.com, but an intermediary, Travelnest) revealed that they worked office hours only. Owner also did not reply. We later learned that he was abroad. We were obliged to spend the night in a hotel; then, at 8:00 the next morning, to rouse a neighbour (initially suspicious, but very helpful thereafter) in order to recover our luggage. The next day (at 8:48, when he “just woke up”) owner gave us a contact number of a “co-host”. Too late.
- Rest of stay cancelled. Owner’s reaction? “That’s London.” If that’s London, heaven help British tourism!