PDA

View Full Version : Just back from Windsor Hills


MinnieMom
04-29-2007, 06:24 PM
I'm sad to say we are back from our wonderful stay in Windsor Hills :(

We stayed in a 3BR/2BA condo (95400 on vrbo.com) and we were very pleased with the resort itself. The community pool and water slide was perfect for the kids. The playground was very nice. Overall, the resort is great. The condo that we rented was nice, but it wasn't as well equipped as previous rentals that we have stayed in. For example, we tried making eggs in the mornings a couple of days and there really wasn't a good frying pan to be used.

I also had a terrible experience with the rental management company - American Homes. Even though I rented directly from the owner, he turned everything over to the management company and they were just very unorganized and difficult to deal with. They called me 1 week before we were to leave and left a message stating that they had not received our final payment. 4 weeks prior to that they sent me a statement showing they received the final payment and I even had the cashed check from the bank. I called back and left a message telling them this.

Since we only had a week to go, I was very concerned about this. They did not even bother to call me back the next day, so I called them two days after I left my message to follow up again. I called at noon and the lady that I spoke to (who I believe is the owner) said it was just a mixup and she was given wrong information and she hoped that it hadn't caused us any unnecessary concern. HELLO! 1 week to go and you're saying you didn't get my payment . . . yea, I'm a little worried about what that might mean. So I told her it would have been nice to get a call back to tell me this and she said she had been out of the office for two hours. Now, I called at noon so I would have thought even if she were out of the office for 2 hours she still would have had time to call.

Sorry for ranting so long about that, but that really had me upset. The second problem was when we arrived at the condo we found that there were only 4 towels and 2 washcloths. The unit is advertised as sleeping 6-8 people and we had 6 staying there, so that just didn't cut it. When I called I was just told they would get them out when they could. They ended up not coming until the following day around 10 AM - after we had already left for the parks. I also read in the guest directory in the room that they were supposed to provide trash bags and we didn't have any in the unit, so I called and left a message about that and never got a return call.

So, although the resort is fantastic and I will absolutely stay there again I will never rent a unit again from American Homes. The owner had been nice to work with, but as soon as the rental management company got involved we had problems.

Just wanted to post my experience so others can learn from it!

dougsmom98
05-01-2007, 10:31 AM
Glad you had a nice trip. Sorry you had to deal with poor service from the management company. That's too bad. What a pain not to have enough towels and wash clothes. I also hate renting a place with cruddy pans. I ended up buying a frying pan and a cookie sheet when we stayed at Regal Palms. The only pan they had was a super cheap one that I think they bought at the Dollar Store. It burned everything! I left the cookie sheet behind and packed the frying pan that I bought in my suitcase. Thanks for posting. I love reading about everyone's experiences.

isla bonita
05-01-2007, 12:15 PM
MinnieMom

Glad you enjoy the rental home/town home experiences.

All I can say is please call the owner or email them a very detailed account of the stay. I speak as an owner and our reputation is our bussiness.

In no way should a home have that few towels. I know homes charge for amenities but towels are a need.

I always recomend guests ask questions about the home. I do not think this is a question that is out of the ordinary. I have had 3 different guests ask about our towel ratio.

Maybe there should be a sticky on what questions guets should ask of the home owner? Just a thought.

5mins2disney
05-01-2007, 06:48 PM
Yes, definitely let the owner know about your experience. Also, let them know about the lack of towels, they may not even be aware of the problem. It's very hard to address issues if people don't let us know about them, maybe they just had a bunch of towels "disappear" recently or something, it's hard to say.

sweetpeakaris
05-01-2007, 06:59 PM
I second with George. Please let the owner know about your experience, I'm sure they will correct it for the next guest.

bscs
05-01-2007, 08:15 PM
Wow we are going to WHR next year (3br condo)
We are renting through a different place though. (Alexander Holiday homes)Hopfully they it will be better equiped than this.
Last year we rented a place from Alexander Holiday homes but a different resort. We had so many towels it was funny. There must have been over 100 towels in that place.:lmao: Even had Beach towels too. Should we bring our own beach towels this time? Sounds like not all places are created equal.

isla bonita
05-01-2007, 08:47 PM
Nope they sure are not. Thats why you should ask what is in stock in the home. Many websites have amenities listed.

5mins2disney
05-02-2007, 09:53 AM
Sorry for ranting so long about that, but that really had me upset. The second problem was when we arrived at the condo we found that there were only 4 towels and 2 washcloths. The unit is advertised as sleeping 6-8 people and we had 6 staying there, so that just didn't cut it. When I called I was just told they would get them out when they could. They ended up not coming until the following day around 10 AM - after we had already left for the parks. I also read in the guest directory in the room that they were supposed to provide trash bags and we didn't have any in the unit, so I called and left a message about that and never got a return call.


Actually, I just got an email from the Osceola County home inspector. As you may or may not know, owners are required to have a hotel operator's license. It stipulates many things, such as safety signage, fire extinguishers, etc, the part I found interesting though...the part about towels listed below. This would mean this home is not in compliance with their code / hotel operator's license. Oh...one other thing to ask any homeowner you're renting from..PLEASE...make sure they HAVE the proper license! I've heard stories on some other forums of owners renting out their homes "cheap" and don't have the proper license, which means they don't pay the taxes, don't get inspected, that sort of thing. This also means, you, as a paying guest, can be evicted immediately from a home that isn't licensed if the county happens to stop on in...just make sure that the home has their hotel operator's license.

Common Violations observed by Ms O'Bryan, Osceola County inspector:
a.. The Pool alarms need to be 85 decibels, and not as currently used a window alarm.
b.. Any ground floor windows facing onto the pool deck need to have window alarms
c.. Any other patio doors facing onto the pool pool deck need to either have a proper pool alarm or have a key locking bolt
d.. The pool area needs to have the depth markers either on the lanai or on the deck and have the correct pool signs
e.. We must put a note inside the guest book asking for the guest to put their name, address and telephone number
f.. No BBQs are allowed to be lit in the Lanai either gas or charcoal, the fire service issues fines of $1500 if caught
g.. Fire extinguishers - Your fire extinguishers need to be mounted at least 4 inches and less than 5ft off the ground
h.. Exits: obstructions, exit signs, emergency lights - your emergency light needs to be tested and fixed if necessary, if you do not have an emergency light one needs to be installed
i.. Proper locking devices: front door - you MUST have a secondary locking device on the front door.
j.. Bedding: bed linens, towels: You must have the following:
a.. Towels, 2 bath, 1 hand, 1 face cloth for each of the guests to the maximum occupancy (number of bedrooms x 2, plus 2 ONLY if you have a sofa or roll away bed). Plus 2 bath mats for each bathroom.
b.. Bed Linen, you must have mattress protectors on each bed, pillow protectors for each pillow and 2 sets of linens for each bed (including sofa/ roll away bed)
k.. You MUST have a guest book
l.. Licenses and floor plans must be on the wall behind the front door.
m.. There are certain signs that must be put up on the wall next to the telephone - emergency numbers and details of surcharges if any, we will take care of these.
n.. Any unnecessary 'signs' should be removed and placed in the guest book if necessary, we will again take care of this.
This list is not exhaustive and there may well be more items we find when we do the individual inspections.

wwhippetcrazy
05-07-2007, 07:42 AM
Wow! THat is some list of things!
We are stayin in Windsor Hills ~ October 26 for a week. Stayin in the Storytime #3 property and very excited.

I just wanted to also say to definately let the owner know. I use to work at a resort in Northern Ontario that was mostly units owned by individuals, and the resort was great to work at, but I know there were times that things would be missing from the unit and they were not replaced very quickly, unless the owners got after the resort to do so. There were also times that the cleaners would not let us know that things were missing, and sometimes it was hard to get to every place to inspect it before the next guests would check in. :)

5mins2disney
05-07-2007, 11:51 AM
That's not even the complete list, that's just a list of common violations they find in homes!

All part of getting a hotel operator's license, which we're all required to have. I have heard of unscrupulous people who skip this, and then charge a lower rate to guests (as this is how the County and State collect the 13% hotel / guest tax!). A good question to ask owners is if they're properly licensed with the county and state.

If not, definitely don't stay there! You can be evicted on the spot if caught staying in an unlicensed home! (Although I think this is a pretty rare occurrence, every homeowner I know of has their licenses).

One thing you never want to mess with in life is the tax man! LOL

Point being though, there's a certain minimum set of standards the homes must comply with, if you find a place short on towels or linens, they're out of compliance, and the homeowner and MC can get into some serious trouble for it if they get caught (although inspections are pretty rare, we actually think it's a good thing and wish they'd do them more often).