PDA

View Full Version : Love/Hate Relationship at Windsor Palms


cdndislvr
07-19-2007, 05:40 PM
This was our first time staying in a pool home in Windsor Palms. We had previously rented a condo in Windsor Palms a few years back and after that still gravitated back to "onsite". (even though it was a good experience and the condo was 5* condition) Having our own pool in the backyard was the "hook" that will now make it hard to go back to onsite accommodations. I absolutely loved getting out of bed in the morning and heading straight outside to the pool area. (being served breakfast every morning by the pool by dh certainly helped) There's something to be said for having your own private pool where you're not battling for lounge chairs or trying to find your own 4 x 4 space in a huge public pool. So the "love" part of my vacation was the pool...now on to the home....(you guessed it...the hate...well maybe that's too strong of a word......)

Upon entering the home the first thing we noticed was the dirty carpets. There were numerous stains on the carpet and although I realize you can't always clean carpets between guests, this was a carpet in dire need of cleaning a long time ago. There were also a lot of dead bugs around the baseboards/sliding door of the home (I have no idea what they were....large ants with wings?????) which should have been vacuumed up. At one point during the vacation my dh had to move a plant and behind the plant was an accumulation of a lot of dead bugs. After seeing the bugs I immediatedly checked out all the beds, right down to the mattresses and both linens and mattresses seemed to be very clean. After looking around a little more, I realized this rental was a property that lacked proper deep down maintenance. The blinds were all very dirty and dusty...the kind of grime that builds up over time. Although everything looked neat and tidy in the bathroom and kitchen, the bathroom counters were not completely wiped at the back and grimey dust had built up. I'm very anal about keeping my house clean and tidy so I don't know if I was expecting too much, being too fussy, or just got a rental that needed help. The weird thing is the fridge and oven were immaculately clean. (saved me from washing it out before putting groceries away)

There seemed to be a sufficient amount of towels, including pool towels, but I had to go through three different closets to find enough face cloths.

I wouldn't call it a fully equipped kitchen, but sufficient enough to make simple meals.

There was a roll of toilet paper in each of the bathrooms and hotel size soap, but no starter supplies of anything else. (which was fine as I wasn't expecting anything)

Neither the playstation or electronic dart board worked but no big deal for us as we didn't use it. Could have been a disappointment had we expected to use them.

We did call management concerned about the number of dead bugs and were told it was a particularly hard year to keep up with the bugs. (isn't every year a bug year in Florida?) They assured us if we saw any live ones running around they would come spray. We did discover a few cockroaches in the home a couple of weeks into our holiday as well as an increasing number of ants around the pool area so we called management and they came out immediately. They sprayed both inside and outside but I got the feeling that bug maintenance in this property consisted of "spraying when someone complains". I was a little concerned that bug spraying wasn't being done by a professional??????? but not sure how this is handled by other rental properties.

Upon trying to use the vacuum provided we found the bag so full that the vacuum wouldn't even pick up anything. We requested new bags from management and although it took a couple of calls before it was delivered, they apologized profusely about forgetting. That vacuum picked up so much stuff off of the carpet there's no way it had been fully vacuumed in quite awhile. Again, my feeling was the cleaning staff were coming in and doing a quick tidy between guests and never getting down to a good full cleaning.

I booked this house very last minute and at an extremely good price for a 4 bedroom home so I don't think I was as upset with the conditions had I paid top dollar for it. The owners were very pleasant to deal with during the booking process. I have since contacted them regarding my $250.00 security deposit refund and have not received a response. (we checked out July 2) I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and hoping they are on holidays, but it amazes me how quickly they responded to the booking and now that I am looking for my security deposit I am being ignored.

So I loved the pool, disliked the condition of the home.

I did have a chance to view a couple of other rental homes in Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills during our vacation and was very impressed with the condition of these other homes and would definitely rent one of them in the future. Something in the back of my mind keeps saying "you get what you pay for...." Although I was hoping that the good price we got was because of the longer term/last minute rental and not because the place was in dire need of some good old fashioned elbow grease.

I think next time we decide to rent a pool home I will either rent one of the properties I viewed personally or rent one that I know has received some good reviews from fellow Disers.

isla bonita
07-19-2007, 06:18 PM
cdndislvr

Your deposit can be legally held up for up to 30 days from departure. Just for your information. Not that it should mind you.

Truly there is no excuse for a dirty home.

I ask every guest after they leave if thre are any problems, I call during their stay and ask if everything is ok. You might want to mention about the cleanliness of the home.

Some times I guess you do get what you pay for. It would just seem like a home as new as this one should be in better order you would think any way.

Just know that not all are run so shoddy. Hope next time it is a winner.

cdndislvr
07-19-2007, 06:40 PM
cdndislvr

Your deposit can be legally held up for up to 30 days from departure. Just for your information. Not that it should mind you.

Truly there is no excuse for a dirty home.

I ask every guest after they leave if thre are any problems, I call during their stay and ask if everything is ok. You might want to mention about the cleanliness of the home.

Some times I guess you do get what you pay for. It would just seem like a home as new as this one should be in better order you would think any way.

Just know that not all are run so shoddy. Hope next time it is a winner.

Thanks for the info.....I wasn't aware of the "30 day hold" on deposits. Patience unfortunately is not one of my virtues.....:rotfl2:

I kept thinking what a shame it was that something that probably started out as a very lovely home will eventually become a real dive if they don't get a handle on the maintenance. You could tell it all started out with very good intentions.....decorated in a lovely beach house/light house theme. Upon arrival we did notice the "for sale" sign in the window so perhaps the owners have "given up" and are just wanting to sell?

I was going to send an email to the owners regarding the cleanliness of their home but I was told they are frequent visitors so I came to the conclusion that their own expectations are not as high as mine would be. I was surprised that they didn't contact me at all after the vacation as we sent numerous emails back and forth and talked on the telephone a couple of times before our vacation.

Thanks again for the info. The time we rented a condo in WP they just put a "hold" on our credit card for the amount of the security deposit but it was never actually charged as nothing was damaged. This time they actually charged us the full deposit so I wasn't aware of the 30 day hold.

I'm thinking next time I should try EI after some of the fab reviews I've seen......;)

5mins2disney
07-19-2007, 07:31 PM
They should contact their MC and schedule a "deep" cleaning. The cleaners normally do things like the beds, floors, bathrooms, refrigerator, etc, but several times a year the homes need to be "deep" cleaned where they move ALL of the furniture, clean behind it, this sort of thing. In our home this service costs over $200 and they send in a whole team of cleaners to do it...and it cannot be done in a typical "turnover" day when one guest checks out in the morning and the next comes in the afternoon, so it has to be scheduled when we have an opening in the calendar somewhere.

One thing you might want to ask "potential" owners is when was the last time their home was "deep" cleaned.....if you get an answer like "huh?"...well...

Even in Windsor Hills, which is a brand new resort with brand new homes, we have this done regularly! Think of the homes over near the reserve section where it can get dusty from construction, and you know why it needs to be done on a regular basis!

cdndislvr
07-19-2007, 08:15 PM
They should contact their MC and schedule a "deep" cleaning. The cleaners normally do things like the beds, floors, bathrooms, refrigerator, etc, but several times a year the homes need to be "deep" cleaned where they move ALL of the furniture, clean behind it, this sort of thing. In our home this service costs over $200 and they send in a whole team of cleaners to do it...and it cannot be done in a typical "turnover" day when one guest checks out in the morning and the next comes in the afternoon, so it has to be scheduled when we have an opening in the calendar somewhere.

One thing you might want to ask "potential" owners is when was the last time their home was "deep" cleaned.....if you get an answer like "huh?"...well...

Even in Windsor Hills, which is a brand new resort with brand new homes, we have this done regularly! Think of the homes over near the reserve section where it can get dusty from construction, and you know why it needs to be done on a regular basis!


That is definitely one question I'm putting on my potential rental list after experiencing first hand the results of a property not taking the time to "deep" clean.

tarheelmjfan
07-19-2007, 08:55 PM
There were also a lot of dead bugs around the baseboards/sliding door of the home (I have no idea what they were....large ants with wings?????) which should have been vacuumed up.

That sounds like carpenter ants (FL termites), & may be why the home is for sale. This could be a serious problem the owners need to take care of immediately. Definitely not something to ignore.

Sorry, the home wasn't up to par. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the pool. Sounds like you've got your hubby trained well. :p

We've never rented a home in Orlando. For us, it would be like leaving home, driving for an hour, then staying in our home. ;) I do feel sympathy for the owners. FL's environment makes maintaining homes difficult. It would be even harder to maintain one that had a constant turnover.

cdndislvr
07-19-2007, 10:54 PM
That sounds like carpenter ants (FL termites), & may be why the home is for sale. This could be a serious problem the owners need to take care of immediately. Definitely not something to ignore.

Sorry, the home wasn't up to par. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the pool. Sounds like you've got your hubby trained well. :p

We've never rented a home in Orlando. For us, it would be like leaving home, driving for an hour, then staying in our home. ;) I do feel sympathy for the owners. FL's environment makes maintaining homes difficult. It would be even harder to maintain one that had a constant turnover.

I just searched for pics of carpenter ants and that definitely resembles what I was seeing...why do I all of a sudden feel itchy? :lmao:

Dh loves to spoil me when he is home as he is overseas for over half of the year. If it weren't for the pool and being able to spend most of our time outdoors it would have been harder to ignore the conditions of the house.

I'm sure the financial investment for some owners is well beyond what they are expecting and these kinds of things happen. We have looked into ownership ourselves and when you start to add up costs involved.....property taxes (which by the way, seem astronomical compared to what I pay), community fees, management fees, overall upkeep and maintenance....whew!!!!! And then there's making sure you are marketing your property and keeping it rented to pay that mortgage or keep your property well maintained.

The home I rented does not appear to have a constant turnover (which should have been my first clue!) and I was told by the owner that they had just spent some time in their home recently. If this were my place, I would be putting on the rubber gloves and spending a weekend doing the deep cleaning myself if I couldn't afford to hire a cleaning crew.

I hope that my negative review does not deter anyone from trying "offsite" and renting a home. I was a diehard "onsite" girl but now having experienced the luxury of my own private pool and private bedroom away from the kids :blush: I don't know if I could be swayed back to a hotel room onsite. And the other properties I toured while in Florida were absolutely 5* gorgeous! Probably decorated nicer than my own home.