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Watamu Villa (Fuerteventura, Spain)

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3-bedroom villa in Fuerteventura, Spain.

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      05.06.2012 12:16
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      Do not stay here unless you want the holiday from hell!

      Firstly let me say that this villa is privately owned by Dean and Nicola Gatrell from Porstmouth. It is not owned or maintained by the Bahiazul complex (unfortunately)
      This villa is called Watamu and is number C4-3.

      Myself and a friend decided to book a few quiet days away in a nice villa in Fuerteventura. We live in Lanzarote but it's always nice for a change in scenery.

      We have stayed at the Bahiazul complex before and it truly Is very lovely and in a great location.

      We contacted a number of private villa owners on the complex asking for quotes for a 3 night stay. They ranged in price but we really liked the look of this villa from the photos and even though It was slightly more expensive than some of the others I really wanted to stay here because the photos made it look so modern, clean and appealing.

      When I spoke to the owner dean via email I said the stay was for 2 people, we were not asked how many bedrooms were required we just assumed we would have the whole villa which is the usual policy everywhere. Also I asked specifically if the pool would be heated, as we know our own pool this time of year is very cold. He assured me that it would definitely be heated.
      I also double checked with him again and made it very clear that we only wanted the villa if it was heated and again he promised it was.
      So we agreed on terms and bank transferred him the funds straight away and were looking forward to our stay. We paid Euro350 for 3 nights and a Euro75 deposit also which was to be refunded after we left.

      In the welcome email dean told us to ring his management company "home from home" a few hours before the check in time of 4pm to see if it was available any earlier. We weren't to worried about this but because it was suggested, at 2pm I phoned the company and spoke to a woman named Anne. Well she was one of the rudest people I have ever spoken to. She told me she didn't have a clue if it was ready yet, neither did she care and then gave me a huge lecture about how owners shouldn't be telling tenants to ring early because they have until 4pm to clean it etc etc. she said to go to the property and if there was no car outside it would be ready. I wish I hadn't bothered ringing and I wouldn't have if the owner hadn't of suggested it.

      At 3.15pm we arrived at the complex and the cleaners were still there, so we waited patiently at the end of the little road in our car. Excited to get into the property and to have a lovely swim.

      At 4pm on the dot the 2 cleaning men came to speak to us. They proceeded to tell us that the people who had been in there before us had been absolutely filthy and the place had been in a terrible state but they had just about got it cleaned in time etc I thought this was quite unprofessional as we didn't need the story we just needed to know it was ready and we could go in. This didn't fill me with much confidence to start with.

      When we entered the villa our first impression was this awful smell of cheese. It was very strong and considering the men had just spent hours cleaning it was quite surprising.
      The first room you enter Is a large open plan living room and kitchen with a small bathroom off of it. As we had a look around we found the extractor fan absolutely covered in grease, the oven itself was filthy and clearly had not been cleaned And also the fridge had a terrible disgusting pungent smell that was almost unbearable. The kind of smell where it's been cleaned with a dirty cloth and not aired for some time. We found that the cheese smell was coming from some wicker mats on the floor which had obviously been there for quite some time and laid down on to wet floors etc.

      There is one master bedroom which leads off of this main room and two large sliding doors that go out on to the terrace which lead to the two further bedrooms.

      The master bedroom was also filthy. There were thick layers of dust everywhere including the glass bedside lamp, the artificial flowers, remote control for small tv etc.. There was dirty marks all over the bottom of the curtains and large mouldy patches all over the walls. There is an ensuite bathroom leading off of the bedroom which didn't get much better, the toilet was stained brown, the sinks were dirty, the shower had brown grout and a mouldy shower head and there was ants everywhere. On the ceiling was a strange brown sticky patch which had hundreds of ants crawling on it. The place looked like it hadn't had a proper deep clean in years. It was awful.

      We went in search of the two further bedrooms (one of which was required because as I mentioned before we were two friends). The other bedrooms lead off of the terrace which have their own sliding doors. We entered the first bedroom and it got worse...
      There was tobacco all over the floor and bedside table, stained bedside lamps, dust everywhere and the small ensuite bathroom had not been cleaned at all. There was beard trimmings all over the sink, splatters all over the mirror, dirty foot prints in the shower and a shower head that was bright green and must of been years old!! We couldn't believe it We were so shocked. The third bedroom we found to be locked but the curtains up at the window had two massive holes in them.

      In the welcome email from dean it said to contact the management company should there be any problems during the stay. So once again I phoned the "lovely" Anne at home from home.
      I explained the situation that we were two friends and the second bedroom was dirty. She proceeded to tell me that we had only booked one bedroom so the other rooms had not been cleaned for us... I then again explained we were friends so needed another room and she started literally screaming at me down the phone telling me it wasn't her problem and to contact the owner if I had an issue with it. I was so upset at the way I was being spoken to I hung up on her and started to cry.

      My friend suggested we calm down and have a swim and then he would get the wifi code and then I could email dean the owner and have the whole problem sorted!! So we got into our swim wear to have a swim... After entering one foot I jumped back. The pool was absolutely ice cold even after being promised a heated pool!! The pool had also not been clean prior to our arrival. By this point I was fuming...

      We got the free wifi code from the people at the reception of the complex (which I have to say are lovely people, but unfortunately nothing to do with the villa itself). I started to email dean the owner To explain how upset we were and my friend started to prepare our chicken to cook for dinner. This is when we realised that the oven didn't work. One of the reasons we also went for this villa was because it had an actual oven rather than just a hob which is what a lot of them have. So we couldn't even cook our dinner.

      I proceeded to email dean about all of the problems.

      He was quite apologetic and said he would have the second room cleaned and he had just assumed that we were a couple. Also he would have the oven replaced and that he would have the pool heater switched on.
      But none of this would be until the next day... So one of us was going to have to spend the first night on the sofa.
      He also said he had told the management company about our concerns of the dirt.. And apparently the two men said we had told them we were happy when they had left.. Well yes we were but we hadn't even entered the villa then!!
      Dean said "I have done all I can now" which felt like he was saying do not contact me again!

      We tried to make the most of it and decided to have a dip in the hot tub on the roof.. This is where we discovered the absolutely filthy cushions on the sun Loungers.. They hadn't been replaced or cleaned in sometime. They did not look inviting at all.
      The hot tub was at a great temperature but we couldn't sit in there for more than a few minutes because the chemicals were so high which made our eyes sting badly. Also the tub had not been cleaned or drained in some time as it was absolutely full of dead skin from previous guests.

      I spent the first night on the sofa with a dressing gown to keep me warm, which turns out was the better option. The bed was terrible. The mattress is so bad that you can feel every slat through it, the awful blue sheets were polyester and are so bobbly they are terribly uncomfortable, also the top layer throw had not been cleaned it smelled of sweat and also had a ladies sanitary towel sticker stuck on it. I know mattresses cannot be replaced all of the time but these were well beyond the end of their life, also 100% cotton sheets are not expensive, wash up much better and will last for years. We had seen dean mention on another review reply that he had given permission for brand new white sheets to be put in the villa, well there was no sign of these at all.

      In the morning at 9am the men from the management company arrived again to clean the second bedroom and replace the oven.

      We had to change our dinner plans the night before, but of course it was not deans fault he did have this replaced so we cannot fault him for that.... But what we can fault is John from the management company who said when he came to replace it "oh yeah we have had a few complaints about that I was meant to check it but you have done that for me now haha" why didn't he then??
      He also then proceeded to complain that he might have to drive all the way to puerto del Rosario for an oven (30 min drive) and if he had to he would not be impressed at all! I have never met such an unprofessional chap especially considering he is meant to be the owner of the company. I would be quite embarrassed If I thought someone was complaining to my guests in such a way.

      They managed to replace the oven, and clean the second bedroom but there was still beard trimmings everywhere and still a bright green shower head. so I have no idea how they thought this was clean. I used the bedroom the further two nights and the bed is just as bad in there too... We never got to see the third bedroom as it remained locked.

      To be honest we nearly went back to Lanzarote but as we would have had to pay extra for the ferry back we just tried to make the most of it. (this was not easy) we spent a lot of time out and about on the island!

      In the whole time we were there the pool heater was never switched on as promised.. I feel very mislead regarding this issue and feel dean should of researched more into this before promising it would be warm.

      The villa is generally very un kept and dirty, there is damp patches everywhere on the walls and the management company are clearly doing a very bad job...and as the owner is in the UK he probably doesn't know what is going on so we took some photos to send to him when we returned home.

      A week had passed and we did not received our deposit back so I contacted dean for this and he did refund it straight away

      After this we wrote an email to dean explaining all of our concerns and sent every photo for him to see. His reply was he was very embarrassed and apparently had sacked the management company (I do not know if this has been done or not) but he told us he could not afford to give us a refund for our stay, but we could have a free stay there some time. .

      I told him thank you for the offer of the free stay but we wouldn't want to visit again after being put off by our first stay and would prefer a refund.

      A few days went passed and it was clear I was being ignored. So I contacted dean again asking for the refund that was quite clearly deserved.. His reply was "I will think about it". I was getting quite angry by this point as I felt his tone was quite unprofessional.
      I told him that he is effectively running a business and I am a client who is unhappy with the service. If he returned a faulty product to a shop would he accept it if they turned around and said "sorry we can't afford to give you a refund"?

      I was getting Very upset and explained to dean that he clearly thought we deserved a refund especially as he had sacked the management company and he wasn't disputing this he was just saying he couldn't afford it. Being a villa owner surely he should have some sort of contingency fund for situations such as this?
      I think I had been quite fair, I could have kicked up much more of a fuss during the actual stay and also I believe I gave him the benefit of the doubt by bringing the state of the villa to his attention, assuming he didn't already know.

      His reply (in all caps) was that I was bullying him, I don't know his personal situation and that he only rents the villa out because he is forced to and doesn't actually enjoy it at all.
      I told him I was not bullying him I was just trying to get back what was owed to me after such a bad experience.

      Finally he emailed me saying he would make a payment to me next week if I stopped sending him abusive emails. I have to say not once was I abusive I was just clearly putting my views across to him and attempting to resolve the situation whilst he seemingly wanted to bury his head in the sand.

      A week went past and still no refund or contact from dean again. So I contacted him again asking what was happening with the refund. At the end of that day I received a payment of Euro175 (half of what we paid) and an email stating that he was giving us only that and he considered the matter closed.

      Dean blames and hides behind the management company for all of the problems in the villa and If he has dismissed them fair enough I do hope he sorts the issues but the after service and attitude from dean was shocking and it is still his responsibility to deal with unhappy guests due to the management company he appointed (who deny all responsibility) and the villa does after all belong to him!

      I will still be perusing the rest of my refund and I recommend anyone who is considering staying here to avoid it at all costs and definitely choose one of the other villas on the lovely complex.

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