This was a good rental if you're not picky about small things and immediate access to the outdoors doesn't concern you as there is no balcony, deck or private sitting area, but we knew that going in. So, if you're looking for a large studio apartment overlooking the beach and are not concerned with privacy within the unit, you'll be fine. This was our 5th condo rental in Florida directly on a beach and it was definitely at the bottom for a number of reasons. The prices we have paid in the last few years have been anywhere from $900-1300 per week with this rental being just under $1100, so the price range was normal. The webpage for this unit touts "Nine windows overlooking the Gulf". Well, yes, there were indeed nine windows however only THREE of those windows actually opened - the rest were painted shut and not neatly painted either. That said, it is an old house on the Gulf and if the painter wasn't careful - who really cares? It was February so no problem with bugs but if it were the summer, the screens aren't 'tight' - see photo. Two of the windows that do open are in the kitchen/living area and they do indeed overlook the beach and of course the sunset - this was good and was expected. Only one of the three windows in the bedroom opened and that had no screen however I did find a removable-type screen the second week which I assume was for that specific window. The third window in the bedroom, had it not been painted shut, would have opened directly onto the next apartment's deck sitting area and stairway. Their chair was against our bedroom window. If the shade is not kept down of course the occupants of that unit can see directly into the bedroom, being only inches away and also into the rest of the apartment of course. Also, this window had plexiglass - not sure why. The window in the bathroom was painted shut and I guess that bothered me the most. I mean, it's such a small thing to chisel it open, repaint it and have it usable. No fan, no window to open. Also, when you enter the bathroom and reach to the left to turn on the light, your fingers go directly into an electric socket. ???? Whoa, I thought, NOT to code. We're adults, children grown, but still, in the middle of the night or any other time for that matter, it was hard to remember that darned power socket. We're still alive though so that's a good thing. See photo. The size of the shower was fine - it's across the narrow hall from the lavette however it took nigh unto forever to get hot water out of the thing and when it did arrive, the spray was weak. One morning I turned the shower on, went back a few steps and turned the coffee on and back to check on the hot water. Freezing. I did a coupld more things, still freezing, I made the bed, still freezing. It took 15 minutes to get hot water. Several times in the two weeks, the hot water shut down in the middle of the shower (short showers, mind you) and took quite some time to come back on and then only up to 'warm'. "Hot" water never did arrive. Very warm MAYBE, but hot never. Also, apart form the tiny narrow built-in shelf in the shower unit there was nowhere to stash your shampoo, conditioner, razor, etc etc There were only two of us and it was tight so most of the stuff was stowed on the floor. Not a big deal but just annoying. The TV worked well! However, it would have been nice if the owners or manager had printed out a list of the TV stations as most rentals do - that would have been a welcome addition but we muddled through. After all, it's not your own home. Kitchen: I wanted to buy a couple of lobsters for dinner but alas, nothing to cook them in. See photo. The largest cooking pot was I think a two quart size. In the photo I placed a box of salt next to it so that the size is evident. Really really small. We also enjoy large salads for dinner and there was nothing to put them in. One small plastic bowl, and that was it so we bought a plastic pail thingie at the dollar store and made a huge salad in that. There was not one large knife which was really shabby I thought. Forget about cutting vegetables or just about anything except possibly a steak. See photo. There were three small steak knives and one bread knife. We did have burgers on the grill outside one night - that was good! However, a few days later the gas for the grill was gone and wasn't replaced. So much for cooking on the grill for the rest of our stay. There were wine glasses - that was a plus and the coffee mugs were a good size, also a plus. Other renters told us that they had large pots that we could use but by that day, it was time to go home. Oh well. Bedroom: The two french doors leading into the bedroom do NOT close so if you have someone in the kitchen making coffee and toast, the doors cannot be closed to keep the noise out. Also, the bed was just short of rolling to the center. Neither of us are heavy people but there was definitely a sag in the middle. Not great. Lavette: The bathroom door doesn't 'latch'. It closes, more or less, but if someone is walking past and leans against the door, it will easily open. No big deal as we've been married for 40 years but something to think about if you have a teenager or any child who is crazy for privacy in the bathroom. The shower room door also does NOT close - no latch, no lock (not that we needed it), and always open a crack. This may not bother you but it may drive some people crazy. Heating: We're from New England so nothing is really too cold for us in Florida in February but while we were there we had some really good gales and low temps. No problem - I even found a heater behind the bedroom door and we plugged that into the kitchen power strip and it worked great EXCEPT when I turned the coffee pot on and then everything shut down - we waited a while and got everything working again so we switched the cord to the TV area power strip which my husband assumed would be on another circuit - no such luck. Everything shut down again and this time stayed off. No heat, all the windows closed (of course), the couch throw-blankets over us but no TV, so we called Bruce the manager at around 7 p.m. as my husband wanted to know where the circuit breaker was and he would go down and reset it. Bruce called back at some point and told my husband where the circuit breaker was outside and my husband went out and fixed it. Not a big deal but just one more thing. Oh yes, when everything shut down and we had no heat, I said "We shouldn't be this cold! The windows are shut, we're on the second floor and somewhat insulated - what's wrong?" I found there was a gale blowing IN to the bedroom, I turned the flashlight on my phone on the window and saw that there was NO caulking to hold the window in place. There was a clear view to the outside underneath the pain of glass. Again, no big deal but all in all, the owners just haven't given at least THIS apartment a second thought. They recently had it painted but even with this the painter obviously didn't care one whit about his job as even the toilet paper holder was left on and the paint slopped half on it and half off. Really shabby work - they guy should never have been paid. We don't live in a palace (we built our own log cabin) and really aren't picky but to pay $1100 a week for this was a bit much, even if it is on the beach. Had it been taken care of, it wouldn't have been such an 'ouch' but it was shabby in many ways and good in only some. We did see Bruce once (we think). He never asked us how we were doing or if everything is OK which is the first time this has happened in 5 rentals. Usually SOMEONE checks in once if only to say hello. At any rate, I'm sure the main unit on the ground floor is much better as the owners stay there (so it says in other websites). Also, I did email Bruce a week before we left to find out how to get the key or find the lockbox and key - he never replied. I then went to all the reviews I could find to see how others picked up the key or whatever. The door was simply left unlocked with our name on the outside. No big deal, but an answer would have been nice.
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