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Large apartment with character!

Entire home/apt
6 Guests
2 Bedrooms
3 Beds

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$155
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About this listing

We accept one night stays!

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Amazing kitchen esigned by Cordon Bleu-trained chef, heated floors, granite counters...

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The Space
Room type: Entire home/apt
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Beds: 3
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM

Amenities

Prices
Extra people: No Charge
Security Deposit: $81
Cancellation: Strict

Description

House Rules

Safety Features
None
Smoke Detector
Carbon Monoxide Detector
First Aid Kit
Safety Card
Fire Extinguisher

Availability
1 night minimum stay

Queen size beds in both bedrooms. Rooms are well spaced apart so privacy is assured.

11 Reviews

Summary
Accuracy
Communication
Cleanliness
Location
Check In
Value
May 2015

March 2015
Catherine
Response from Catherine:

So pleased, Yuval, that you enjoyed your stay. The pictures of the condo were taken by a photographer that is employed with this website. I did not pay the photographer to take the pictures because this website does this for free! It is a great way for our guests to have confidence that the pictures are a true representation of the condo they are renting and that it is as nice as it shows in the pictures. Thank you for confirming this in your review. It makes it easier for guests to believe what they see when they read that another guest, who has stayed at the condo, confirms the pictures are authentic. I hope you are able to visit again. Take care, Catherine

March 2015

August 2014
Catherine
Response from Catherine:

It is a shame that this guest wrote this review before the outcome of her request for a refund. After a thorough and unbiased review by a third party, this guest was found to not be entitled to any refund.
From the very beginning that this guest arrived and started complaining, I suspected there was an agenda. She was here to attend a family reunion at her sister's home but there was not enough room for her family so she booked my apartment months ago. But, I believe that something changed (maybe a family member chose to leave Ottawa early) and that the sister now had room to accommodate her. So, she set about concocting all kinds of complaints. When the 'pit bull' incident supposedly happened the guest did not tell me right away, she did not call the police nor did she want to move out right away. She wanted to wait 3 more days! If someone was so scared for her children's safety wouldn't they flee immediately?
If you read all of my other reviews you will notice a common theme...the majority of the reviews state that our apartment is lovely and clean. Yet, even though I carefully inspected the apartment a couple of hours before her arrival, the guest claimed the bathroom was filthy. When I offered to send a cleaner over immediately, she said that she had already cleaned it herself. Hmmm, considering that was the guest's first complaint, I knew something was up...every complaint that followed, including the a/c being noisy, was either an outright lie, an exaggeration, or someone being ultra-picky. Again, if someone wants to get out of a rental and get their money back, finding complaints can be found anywhere, at any establishment.
The front end of the apartment has 10 foot ceilings. The back end ceilings are 8'1" (normal height). The guest also complained that the finishes were cheap and fake reproductions, particularly the tin ceiling. This is untrue. We have authentic lighting from Buenos Aires and France, original 1871 hardwood floors, beautiful mouldings throughout, and the tin ceilings that the guest claimed were plastic are authentic tin. There is a gorgeous gas range imported from Italy and many chefs have stayed at our apartment to enjoy the kitchen (I am a retired Cordon Bleu Grand Diplome chef and this is my personal kitchen).
The guest claimed the sofa (specifically under the sofa) was dirty and that under the beds were filthy. This is an untruth and is easy to disprove and was one of the reasons that the impartial mediator ruled in my favour - there is no 'under the bed'! Both beds are on platforms! And the sofa is less than an inch above the floor but with a wool rug tucked underneath so you cannot see underneath the sofa. So, there was no way the guest's claims about filth and dirt could be true, I took great offence to this comment since I spend large sums of money each year to have a team of 4 cleaners constantly cleaning the apartment and the building.
Regarding the repairs and renovations, this was again another way the guest was trying to build a case. The guest was referring to an area of the building that she was not supposed to be in. This small area was being restored with heated marble floors, cabinetry, trim and crown moulding, wrought iron banisters, etc. It is almost finished and it is already beautiful. But, it needs some more work, however, this guest was told not to use this area. We know, by observation, that she chose to walk through this area anyways. There was no reason for her to do so. Again, I felt that she was looking for opportunities to complain. In fact, when she submitted photos to the mediator to substantiate her case, the photos were of this restricted area. Again, another reason the mediator rejected her claim.
I would like to address the previous complaints. If you count up all the reviews I have received, you will find that complaints are rare. Of those, most are concentrated around last summer/early fall. I do not dispute that we had issues last year but they were due to major road construction going on in our neighbourhood. I had put a warning about the work on my listing so the overwhelming majority of my guests knew that and understood there would be inconveniences. I also lowered the nightly rates substantially. Well, some guests still felt that I did not do enough to make their stay comfortable and held me personally responsible for the noise. Now, I want to stress that we had hundreds of people stay at our apartments during those months and only a tiny number of people complained.
Any issues guests have, which were rare, and they tell me right away (which i encourage and I respond quickly) are dealt with promptly.
I told this particular guest, however, that I believe she read all my past reviews, picked out any complaints and decided to claim she experienced something similar, in order to justify her request for a hefty refund. But, though I felt uncomfortable telling her so, I had to be honest with her and tell her that her claims seemed construed and that I felt the purpose was to get a refund. Besides being able to prove that some of her claims were outright lies, how could a mother experience that many issues in 3 days, and have her children's lives threatened but then still want to stay 3 more days! Illogical...and that is what I told the guest when she demanded a large amount of money back, and that is what I told the mediator.
Finally, another reason why the decision was made in my favour is that the claim that the photos were misleading are an obvious lie. The photos, if you look carefully, have a water stamp across them saying, 'airbnb'. This is because airbnb sent their own photographer to my apartment to take photos. How could they be misleading if airbnb took the photos? As a matter of fact, if you read the reviews on this apartment, the overwhelming majority of people state that the apartment is better in person.
Lastly, the neighbourhood...I never claimed that we are located in the Byward market (and wouldn't want to be because of the constant noise, loud bars, midnight brawls, etc.) We are a comfortable 15 minute walk from the Byward market, Rideau canal, etc. and a 20-25 minute walk to Parliament Hill. We are also steps from 4 major bus routes, all of which take you directly to those tourist attractions (and may more). Again, the overwhelming majority of our past guests state the location is ideal.
As for sex shops, there is one 'adult' video store (there is strip club in the Byward market but that did not seem to bother the guest). There are no marijuana shops (that is illegal). The guest does not mention, though I pointed it out to her before she wrote this review, that there is an upscale spa in the same block as our building, some great restaurants with wonderful reputations, and a lovely park around the corner. Ottawa is an extremely safe city with a very low crime rate. Our street is a major thoroughfare and has people and traffic day and night. I have never, in the 10 years I have lived here, heard of anyone being harmed while walking down this well-known street. It has a mixture of people from every walks of life but so does the Byward market and it would be no different on a major street in any city in the world. The same people walking past our building are the same people you will see anywhere else downtown. Regarding the parking...we are grateful that we are able to offer unlimited parking at such a low cost to our guests and again, in the 4 years our guests have been using the lot, we have had no issues whatsoever.
In conclusion, my wonderful and hardworking team, and I, are very proud of the apartments we offer our guests and their cleanliness, our friendliness, our willingness to help our guests day or night, our many amenities, our well-stocked kitchens and bathrooms (spices, dried goods, pastas, rice, shampoo, conditioner, etc.), and our reasonable rates compared to other airbnb hosts and hotels downtown, that I had to strenuously defend our reputation. We know we are not perfect. It is impossible. But our motto is to 'strive for perfection'. I did everything I could to please this guest and her family, even though I knew she had an agenda and it would just be a matter of time before the true reason for her complaints was clear, and I did not stop helping her until her demand for a large refund was made. But, I continued to treat her with politeness and empathy (the mediator commented that I was extremely fair under the circumstances).
I have not seen any decline in the number of bookings since this review was posted and my guests are continuing to comment that they are loving their stay, so I am grateful that people are seeing beyond this scathing review. Renting this apartment to tourists and business travelers is my source of income due to an unexpected early medical retirement so I take my reputation very seriously and I work seven days a week to ensure I give the guests reason to leave a great review. Anytime a guest has a complaint I deal with it immediately and then I work hard to find a way to make sure it does not happen again.
Sincerely,
Catherine

August 2014

June 2014

May 2014

May 2014

April 2014

This host has 218 reviews for other properties.

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About the Host, Catherine

Catherine
Ottawa, Canada
Member since November 2012
Response rate: 100% (past 30 days)
Response time: within an hour

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