The apartment had some charming and positive features. It was spotless and it was large with high ceilings. The location is not in the prime cobblestone street section of Cascais. In fact, it got a fair amount of traffic. But it was, by a hair, in the historic quarter. The building is fairly old. Some rooms, including baths were renovated, but the kitchen was “quaint” with appliances that had seen better days. The issues on balance outweighed the positives. So much so we left early despite having paid for the unused nights.
We chose Cascais and the historic quarter because we wanted a peaceful location to recouperate from some recent stressful events. The next morning we were awakened by a loud banging vibration. When the noise didn’t stop by the afternoon we went upstairs to find the source. We soon realized it was coming from outside. To be specific it was a jack hammer being used to excavate through solid rock. All day, every day but Sunday from 8 am to around 6 pm. We consider nearby construction something that ought to be disclosed.
Then there was the heat, more precisely the lack of heat. This fairly large, oddly configured unit’s sole heat capability was two plug in radiators, one of which was too small to heat the smallest space. This probably would not be a problem in late spring and summer. But in winter we needed layers and sweaters to be comfortable and could only shower in the afternoon after pre-heating the bathroom.
Then the power went out in some places but not others. We texted and emailed our host, Maria Jose. No response. We realized there had to be a circuit box. It was pretty archaic but we figured it out and got the power back. Good thing because we didn’t hear back from Maria Jose until the next afternoon.
She explained that she was with a very ill cousin in the hospital and apologized profusely for the delay and told us she had never rented the place in winter before. We told her we were sorry for her situation and now OK, but we were going to leave early because the noise and the apartment were just not acceptable. She said she would refund the unused nights rent.
All we got was the security deposit.
Things happen in life. But we believe strongly that if you chose to go into the business of renting you need a backup system. Maria Jose lives nearly two hours away. If a renter did something as simple as walk out the door without their keys they would be locked out with no solution. Not acceptable.