Francesca and Marco Conti: Quantity or Quality

I am not a blogger, as a rule, however, I felt I wanted to comment on this particular subject, especially for the sake of others that are thinking of booking apartment accommodation.

Recently we were planning a trip to Europe and being a family of four, I had heard a lot about people booking apartments rather than hotels. I was inquisitive, as we had always booked hotels through our travel agent and had never thought of an apartment. With the kids now being too old to sleep together on a hotel rollaway beds in our room, I started my search on the internet for self catering apartments with two bedrooms so my husband and I could have more privacy.

Knowing that an apartment will come with an equipped kitchen, so we would not be forced to eat every meal in a restaurant and also we would have more space was really starting to sound like a great solution.

When I started my internet search, however, I became confused by the number of agencies offering apartment accommodation 100’s of countries, boasting, “we have one 10’s of thousands of apartments” and then following up with phrases like “live like a local”. I immediately thought, how could the agency possibly know each apartment with this number of apartments; how could they know the standard, the cleanliness and condition, of each apartment or even know who the owner was. After I book and pay the money on line, would there even be an apartment when I got there?

Upon investigating these sites further, I learned that these huge operators take no responsibility, the fine print states, that they take no responsibility for the the quality of the apartments which they publish online and they basically allow apartment owners, room owners; anyone that wants to rent accommodation on the internet to just upload pictures and descriptions in any country and then charge a fee, to the owner, as well as charging a second fee to the client. Then they add a smiley picture of the owners, which is supposed to create more trust, with the idea that this should give you the confidence to book, even though the company never meets these smiling owners and never sees the apartment. Only the client sees the apartment on arriva. I am not taking that kind of risk, I thought, but kept searching, until I came across the website

These people seemed to have far less apartments, but high quality. A family run operation that took full responsibility for what they were offering, as they inspected every property which they added to their site. That made more sense to me and seemed no risk at all. I didn’t want to scroll through thousands of apartments anyway, to find the right one and I wanted to be sure that they had inspected what they were offering us, especially as we were coming all the way from Australia.

We are back home now and I definitely made the right decision going with

We booked 3 apartments with them, Rome, London and Paris and we were more than pleased with the all three. They were well maintained, very clean apartments, with all the amenities we needed and the check in/out process was seamless, with friendly check in staff that assisted us with all our questions about the area, the best way to get around and the closest supermarkets. They even called us in Rome to make sure everything was going well.

We are now more relaxed about apartment rentals, because we have found a company that goes for quality rather than quantity and they take responsibility.