July 11th, 2017
Buyer Beware: Villa Camelia Italian Rental Nightmare in Capri
One of the best things about the digital age is the fact that consumers are more empowered than ever, and have an influential voice to share their experiences with businesses and brands on social media – both good, and bad experiences. Unfortunately, Loren and I have a bad experience to share with you from our recent trip to Capri, Italy. We do this only to warn people about what happened to us with this bad Italian villa rental experience so that this cautionary tale may prevent others from experiencing the same disappointment and inconvenience when renting a travel property online that turns out to be nothing like what is represented.
As many of you know, international travel requires a lot of planning and research – especially when you’re staying at an Italian rental villa for an entire week. When Loren and I recently took at trip to Italy, we arranged to stay in what appeared to be a luxurious Italian villa in Capri. However upon our arrival, we soon realized the photos provided by our rental broker (www.italianstylevillas.com) were an inaccurate representation of the current state of the property which failed to illustrate the truly disgusting and deplorable conditions inside the home.
No matter what you are purchasing, be it a new television or an Italian villa rental property – there’s a certain level of expectation that the product being marketed online is a fair representation of the actual product in question. But this was clearly not the case with our rental villa – which is known by several names including: Villa Camelia, Villa le Camelia, Villa Camille, Villa Camile, or Villa Bismarck depending on what online rental site you are utilizing. ItalianStyleVillas.com, LuxuryRetreats.com and MyPrivateVillas.com are just some of the sites that have listed this rental property.
Not only did the Villa Camelia fail to meet the expectations as described to us by the rental agency– the home was in fact in horrendous condition inside with filthy mattresses and linens, electrical issues and possible fire hazards, leaky plumbing and generally unclean conditions. What complicated matters even further was the fact that we were thousands of miles from home with nowhere else to stay as everything else was SOLD OUT! Loren recently took to social media to share her experiences from our Villa Camelia Italian rental nightmare which you can find below:
“Here is something I have never had to do before, but it’s a must do. The influence of ‘word of mouth’ is so powerful, people must understand not to take advantage of anyone. This house that we rented in Italy for a week with my family is NOT at all what was sold to us, and certainly not as pictures described. After enjoying the beautiful outdoors overlooking Capri and not going into the house until we were ready to unpack and go to bed, this is what we encountered- Filthy mattresses, disgusting soiled linens, a staff that was making excuses for its unsanitary conditions, and on top of that, electrical issues that were fire hazards – burned aluminum foil wrapped around the bulb’s sockets (see for yourself).. We had to leave and have no other place to go after arriving in Capri and EVERYTHING IS SOLD OUT – And of course everyone wants to make excuses, but no one wants to give me my money back!! They have actually fought us rather than HELP us find a place to stay. I have to share and let people know. Do not book thru these people [ItalianStyleVillas.com]. Do not book this house.” -Loren Ridinger
What we experienced with this rental property ordeal goes far beyond what is reasonably acceptable. What makes this worse is the fact we had a rental contract which stated that if the condition of the villa was not acceptable or as described in the marketing and promotional materials, then we’d be entitled to a full refund – which the rental agency is not honoring.
What was supposed to be a fun trip to Italy was nearly ruined by this terrible rental experience with our villa in Capri. We are doing our best to warn everyone about Villa Camelia so that it doesn’t ruin a trip for another family! I don’t want anyone else to experience those same feelings of disappointment and dread that Loren and I experienced with this rental property. Let’s show them that the power of word of mouth marketing is still alive and well by sharing our message and spreading the word about our experiences with ItalianStyleVillas.com and Villa Camille.