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Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

Des Moines, Iowa
posts: 2
reviews: 18
Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

Just want to post this to warn others to stay away from "Our Rental Paradise" and renting La Perla in St. Martin. My family just got back from a stay there for the first week in January 2011. I wish I would've found this forum prior to renting the house as we would've never stayed there. The house was much less than promised on the "Our Rental Paradise" website. It has completely fallen into disrepair and "managed" by a man named Alvo who is more adept at glad-handing than actually managing or fixing anything. When we arrived, we discovered one of the toilets was broken, a dryer was broken and half of the lights in the house were burnt out. Upon further inspection in the daylight, we found the yard littered with trash, tree trimming debris and paint pans. The landscaping is abhorrent with overgrown messes of bushes to completely dead foliage in planted pots.

The inside of the house was barely better. The house is covered in old security company boxes that don't work, the doors are severly damaged and look like they have been broken into many times and all of the screens on the windows either don't fit or are torn. This ended in disaster when we tried to open our windows and were greeted by swarms of mosquitos each night inside the house.

Although the view from the deck is beautiful and the access to the amazing Dawn's Beach is awesome, the house was far from what was promised.

The owners promise luxurious bedding and 600-thread count sheets. This was an absolute joke. One of the beds had no linens on it and the others were old and worn and smelled like mildew. The towels provided are old, stained and torn and were scary to use. The house itself is split up into 4 separate living quarters with outside separate entrances. This was not explained on the website and was a challenge with small children. We were not comfortable putting our children to sleep in a separate apartment while we stayed up in the main house. The owners also claim to have renovated the entire house. This is a joke as well. Much of the house is original with the chipped tile and old falling apart cabinets to prove it.

Halfway through our trip, the stove stopped working and was never fixed, even though we asked. We were left with a cell phone to contact the manager in case of problems. When we tried to call him, the phone died after two minutes, reporting it had no minutes left.

The worst part came when we were informed that the house had been double-booked and another family would be coming to stay with us for one night!!! We were appalled as there was no room left in the house. When we tried to contact the main office of Our Rental Paradise in MA, the phone rang and rang. When I contacted Carrie by email, she very curtly demanded I send her our confirmations so the situation could be handled "properly." Luckily, I had my confirmation with our dates and sent it to her but shouldn't she have had a copy of it?

The family that was double-booked showed up on the next to last day of our trip wanting to get into the house. After talking with them, we found out the owners had lied to them to cover up their mistake by saying our flights had been canceled due to snow and we refused to leave the house!! After showing the new tenants our confirmation email, they demanded to speak with the owners on Alvo's cell phone which suddenly "didn't work."

Do not rent from these people. They are shady and at best and misrepresent what you are actually getting when you rent from them.

17 replies to this topic
posts: 1,980
reviews: 9
1. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

sorry you didn't find TA prior to your visit!!! la perla and another in dawn beach owned by the same person are infamous in this forum! thanks for posting your experience to warn others!!!!!

Edited: 9:14 am, January 13, 2011
Staten Island, New...
posts: 10,952
reviews: 8
2. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

What a horror story! You should contact the BBB in the city where the owner resides and any government consumer agency as well to report this scam. You may have to do some detective work to find out if the owner is hiding behind a legal entity. It is evident that posting on TA does not reach all thoses who need to know in advance what they are getting for their hard earned dollars.

posts: 6
reviews: 23
3. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

i feel soo horrible for you...your trip sounds just as bad...if not worse than ours...the owner is a CROOK and a LIAR. he told us his wife was dying of cancer...he was probably lying about that as well. we had no water on day 3, so we had to check into the westin, which, quite frankly, we were soo happy with. we had all the same problems, small kids, etc. my inlaws tried to make this an amazing family vacation and the house was the "house of horrors". we did sue the owner but got literally nothing from it. i agree that the view is not to be believed but thats about it. hopefully. this site serves as a warning. my mother in law posted pix on here..barneydog1..you can how vile it was when were there...

Apex, North Carolina
posts: 509
reviews: 80
4. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

OMG, This rental sounds like an absolute nightmare! How awful for all of you. Did you get this from VRBO or Homeaway? I wonder if they investigate any of the homes they advertise. I guess it pays to do lots of research prior to booking and read as many guest comments that you can get your hands on. We were misled on how nice a guest house was in St John last year. Certainly nothing like you experienced but still a rotten situation that we couldn't wait to leave. We are renting a condo this year at the old Mt Vernon at Orient Beach. The pictures look nice and the reviews are good but you just never know......

St Maarten-St Martin
posts: 1,223
reviews: 2
5. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

All I can say is OMG! This is probably a good example of a Trip Advisor review that is actually TRUE without having ANY good points except maybe the view!

Regretably, I have a feeling that you most probably paid 100% up front for this place? If not, I would have certainly not paid for the balance of any money owed and found another place to stay, as hard a decision as that would have been at the time to make.

This was truly horrible for you and your family and at the same time, it also sets a terrible precidence for those out there that have wonderful places but will now be considered suspicious because of this SOB. Truly a crying shame.

If there's any way you can get your money back, I will pray that you find it. You deserve each cent.

Stowe, Vermont
posts: 2
6. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

I also dealt with Our Rental Paradise. It is the most deceitful and incompetent company I have ever seen. Stay away from them.

posts: 1,980
reviews: 9
7. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

thank you for your post. we have been trying to keep potential renters aware of the problems with this rental and its owner. can you provide more specifics on your issues for other potential renters to see?

Lynn, Massachusetts
posts: 93
reviews: 11
8. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

Funny, I haven't been on this site for a few years and back then people had horror stories about La Perla. Apparently the owners have been getting away with this for years. So sorry you didn't get to enjoy your trip!

Stowe, Vermont
posts: 2
9. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

I booked a vacation home with Our Rental Paradise. I canceled after learning that the property's precise location was not where they said it was. They promised (by email and in phone conversations) to return my money, but they did not. They REPEATEDLY told me the check was about to be mailed, then that the check was lost and would be re-issued, then that the check was mailed on a specific date. I of course never got any check. Then they promised that they would issue a credit to my credit card -- they never did that either. After about 5 weeks with no refund, I contacted my credit card company, contested the charge, and finally got my money back that way. As I previously posted, Our Rental Paradise is either totally incompetent or totally deceitful.

posts: 19
reviews: 3
10. Re: Buyer Beware-La Perla and Our Rental Paradise

I am SO sorry, as others have said, that you didnt find TA before you booked. 3 years ago, I felt the same way...but my family was terrorized by intruders in our home...who robbed us. No one was "physically" hurt, but the scars of the trama run deep.

We tried EVERYTHING short of filing a legal suit against RENTALSPARADISE - and had no success. My family (parents) saved for years for that trip and it was completely ruined.

THE BEST? THe owner is well aware of the problems, but ignores it. I fear that someone isnt going to be as lucky as us, and walk away with only loosing money, passports, cameras, sense of security, etc....but maybe get physically hurt.

Dont let this topic die out. I started writing in Feb 2009 about this property, La Perla on Dawns Beach in St Marteen - and it seems the only way to save people the disappointement of booking this villa.

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