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Review of La Familia

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Holiday Rental House -
12 Bedrooms, 11 Bathrooms, Sleeps 26
Rodanthe, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Reviews from our community

Poor - based on 2 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
English first
English first
Mideast U.S.
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Pretty nice for a large house. Could be better managed.”
Reviewed 14 May 2014 for a stay in April 2014
people found this review helpful

There are not a lot of 12 bedroom rental houses available, so if you go into it understanding that it may not have the attention to detail as a 7 bedroom home, you'll do fine. It fit the bill for what we needed. All the bedrooms were comfortably furnished and the kitchen was well outfitted. It did have the feel, though, of a house whose only goal was to squeeze in as many bedrooms at the expense of everything else. Let me explain-

While well-furnished, it lacked any specific character to make you think this home was privately owned or convey a general theme. The floorplan, in some places, was at the expense of squeezing in another bedroom with less thought to useability. We could get by with that, though, as we needed the bedrooms. The only feature really missed was under-house parking. There was no dry place to park cars or conveniently hang gear when it rained.

I have larger issues with Surf Or Sound as a rental agent. They have historically been only passably helpful or friendly in comparison to other realty companies at the beach (Outer Beaches, for example). They are overall not that helpful.

This was a 13 bathroom house and when we checked in there was not a single roll of toilet paper in the house. Oh wait, there was one left for us. They pulled every roll. I don't expect the house to be stocked, but leave what's on the dispenser from the last renters. It is wasteful and extremely inconvenient to purge them all. On the off chance you are renting to a group that refuses to use TP unwrapped by a prior guest, it is a pretty simple matter to drop it in the trash and slap on a new roll.

The same was true for even the basic staples like dish soap, dish detergent, salt and pepper, spices, etc. Again, there is NO expectation for the house to be stocked but I have rented DOZENS of houses over the years and EVERYONE leaves those staples behind. It is a relief to find just a little bit left over to string you along until you get a chance to go shopping. SurfOrSound leaves you one roll of TP and one dishwasher soap cube. If have experienced this in other houses we rent from them as well.

We called mid-week with a couple service requests and received no call back and no service. We're on vacation and don't want to spend the time nagging them. But the lack of service did annoy folks.

The check-out instructions clearly state that you should sweep and vacuum all floors. We searched all over and couldn't find a vacuum so did the best we could with a broom. Everyone stressed about it a bit as we like to leave the house clean and also do not want to incur any fines. When I called the realty company after checkout to tell them about this their reply was, "oh, we have cleaners come between renters!" (yeah, we know...then why do you ask us to do this?) But what I said was, "well, the checkout instructions indicated we were to vacuum..." "well you don't have to do it if there isn't a vacuum there." Okay, noted. Sounds like there is no point in ever wasting our time doing this on a busy checkout day.

On check-in day we called to see if the house was ready. Most rental companies will call you and let you know, but in any case they ALWAYS tell you if it is ready when you call, so you can enjoy your time on the beach until the house is available. Surf Or Sound would not tell me this information over the phone. They requested that I show up at the office and present ID before they would tell me if the house was cleaned and ready for check-in. Seriously? For whatever obscure reason they feel this is important, I can call my bank, answer a couple basic security questions and get all of my confidential financial information over the phone. Surely a beach realty company can tell me if my house is ready for check-in.

Two bedroom annoyances. The first floor bedrooms on the south end reported noise from the water filtration pumps that kept them up all night. Also the room with two singles reported that one of the beds sagged like a military cot. But the other was fine.

Please note that there is a large stagnant swamp immediately adjacent to the house. It is between the house and the sound. This could be a source of mosquitoes when they are in season, they didn't bother us when we were there, though.

The house is pretty nice. I'd stay there again as the location is great.

The reality company is annoying to deal with. Nothing truly offensive, but when you have dealt with friendly helpful real estate companies, the other ones become glaringly unhelpful.

Date of stay: April 2014
How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Liked best: 12 bedrooms, soundfront.
Liked least: The house was barren of all staple items (no toilet paper, to S&P, no soaps)
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
1 Oct 2014
We are glad that you enjoyed La Familia and that you would recommend the home to a friend! It is a wonderful home in an incredible location. Being a soundfront home there is some marshy area nearby, but it doesn’t interrupt the ability to enjoy the home and its soundfront access as you found.

It sounds like a few inconveniences left you with a mediocre feeling about us, and for that we are truly sorry. We all work very hard to be sure the hundreds of guests we welcome to Hatteras Island each week have a great vacation, but we clearly let you down.

Thank you for carefully cleaning the house and reporting the missing vacuum so that it could be replaced. We know check-out days can be stressful especially for large groups. We do have cleaners come to each house between renters but having the home vacuumed by the departing guests helps ensure the cleanliness of the home for the arriving guests.

Some guests leave partial toilet paper rolls for the next guest, others don’t. While we will leave leftover toilet paper on the rolls (unless they are clearly unsanitary) we cannot leave leftover cleaning products or food products. Cleaning products can be dangers to small children and food products can present a food safety issue. We do provide a check-in bag with a starter pack of toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher detergent, hand soap and trash bag for convenience until guests can make it to the market.

We are sorry that you felt inconvenienced by this year’s check-in procedure. We regard guest feedback highly and will be revising our check-in procedures for 2015 to make the process as easy as possible for our guests.

We hope you return to Hatteras Island for vacation and, should you choose to rent from us again, that your experience with Surf or Sound Realty is as happy as thousands of others have found it to be!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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