I would like the opportunity to respond to these comments and let these (and future) guests know how the experience was from our side. I would like to add that we have rented our apartment out many times before and have only had positive feedback from people who are respectful of our home and thankful to have stayed.
We believe Lillian’s account to be a wholly inaccurate and a misleading appraisal of her stay at our apartment.
Due to the time of the rental (King’s Day – National Holiday) we had a high volume of enquiries but declined them as we had recently had a baby and were looking for someone that wasn’t just coming to party, as our home and our baby’s environment are obviously very special to us. For this reason when we were approached by Lillian stating “We are coming with myself, my husband and our new born. Is this place available during this time?” we thought it was a perfect fit. Unfortunately, after confirming her booking Lillian’s correspondence was infrequent, vague and abrupt.
As the reason we were renting the apartment out during this time was to escape from the city for the weekend, we were respectfully asked for expected check-in times. This was due to the fact that I personally would have to return from my holiday destination on the Saturday to check-in Lillian, so wanted to make travel bookings. As Lillian said 4pm, I made suitable arrangements. When I requested confirmation of this a few days before I was told “Looks like we get in at 8”, which is a massive difference and was an immediate inconvenience but I grinned and bore it. In reality they only arrived at Schiphol Airport at 8pm and didn’t arrive at the apartment till 9.30pm. Even though they were aware of my plans there was not such me as an apology.
Lillian’s version of her stay is very different to the reality, so I will address her points individually.
1. The back door has never been an issue with numerous other guests and is usually quite self explanatory. It’s a large metal/glass sliding door which closes only when pushed (hard) and has no handle on the exterior. They would have had to forcibly close the door without a handle for this to lock.
When Lillian called at midnight, I had literally finally arrived back at my holiday destination at the beach (again, where they knew we were staying) having arrived on the last train due to their delay in arriving. When faced with the situation I offered to get a taxi back ASAP but said this would take 1.5hours to get back to Amsterdam. If I could’ve been there sooner, I would’ve but this was the only feasible way. The guests were given 2 sets of keys on arrival to avoid any concerns about lost keys, etc but we were presented with a completely random scenario.
Despite offering this we had a (standard) rude response, however suggested to alert a neighbour by attracting attention on the next terrace. Following our (very logical) suggestion they did this, but it wasn’t until we had to phone up to check everything was ok that Lillian simply replied they were back in the apartment. She then put the phone straight down. Prior to our solution they had threatened to call the police and smash the 7ft glass doors to gain entry.
2. The fridge is just a couple of months old and had been thoroughly cleaned (as our fridge is every time we have a guest) the day before by our cleaner. Therefore I find this a very strange complaint but possibly a subjective one. We therefore apologise that the aroma wasn’t to the guests liking but I can assure all it was freshly cleaned.
3. In response to the lack of soap. We always clear our toiletries away and leave a new bottle of shower gel and shampoo in the shower (despite not listing toileteries in the listings). A hairdryer was also hanging visibly in the bathroom. All sinks (kitchen, bathroom, toilet) also have liquid soap, so again this is not a correct description. If there was confusion or a request for such amenities it was made clear that we were contactable for any questions or concerns. As it transpired we were not contacted other than when they locked their 3 month old baby in the apartment.
Instead of contacting us however the guests chose to not only deliberately open expensive soap (in an ornamental display!) but to also move a previously unused luxury scented candle from our bedroom to the toilet. Not only did they light this candle, they also blew wax over a collectible print, clearly showing no respect for our personal items or household. This was, of course, not mentioned by them.
4. In all correspondence it was said there would only be a couple and a baby. This is one of the reasons we rented to the guests as we did not want to rent to multiple adults now we have a baby.
Upon arrival a third person was present. The guests said that they had informed us (which I knew was not true) but as they had arrived I felt it best to accommodate as best possible. I am happy to provide all records of correspondence to anyone that wishes to see them.
Also worryingly on arrival Lillian asked about where she could hire a babysitter for their 3 month child. I informed her that I was not happy with additional strangers being our apartment, particularly as we already had one extra person than we thought were coming.
Therefore as we were led to believe that only 2 adults and a newborn baby were present we believed that 3 toilet rolls would be more than sufficient. I don’t also understand why the guests then chose to use kitchen roll, rather than perhaps use their initiatives to purchase more toilet roll, especially as they knew they had an extra guest that had not been declared.
5. Upon booking it was very clear to the guests that the second bedroom was now a nursery and sent them several photos to show them where their baby could stay, including the moses basket. I did this as one proud new parent to another, to show their child would have a happy environment. It was very clear that there was no second bed and at no time was it requested as it had only been mentioned that it would be Lillian, her husband and their baby staying.
When they arrived I rushed around and set up the airbed with new laundry, because of the need for the extra bed. This meant that I missed my planned trains to my own holiday and had to get the last train to my destination. I’m afraid all airbeds deflate, but this was a brand new airbed with an automatic electric pump, that would’ve taken just a couple of minutes to fully inflate if it had gone down a little. Why they chose not to do this I cannot answer but, again, it’s pretty straightforward and obvious. Also no questions or complaints were made regarding this.
6. A very strange and incorrect viewpoint. On booking we had confirmed check-out time as 10am. This was confirmed with Lillian on arrival, particularly as either myself or my partner would have to travel back from our holiday to check them out. We checked this the night before check-out and they asked to change this to 11am, again inconvenient as train tickets had to be changed.
My partner travelled all the way back to check out the guests at 11am and gave them a courtesy call at 10.45am to say she would be arriving shortly to book them out, to which they asked to change the time to 11am, which was once again inconvenient but she obliged. When she arrived she was met with the guests already walking out the door, which is why she made a hurried inspection of the property, as they had clearly no desire to show everything was as it should be (particularly, I’m sure as they had left litter on the terrace and used expensive personal possessions. We, of course, were particularly worried that they may have caused damage to our rear doors.