The owner collected a deposit to cover any damage to the property, but if you put up a deposit don’t expect to get any of it back. In my case the owner claimed that the deposit was needed to replace all the furniture to its rightful place. Yes it would have taken all of 10 minutes to move a coffee table, a small love seat and two chairs with metal frames which had broken welds. This furniture was essentially unusable so that we bought two chairs the first week for our use. My wife was able to move all of the pieces herself when we re-arranged the space. There was nothing in the rental contact stating that all furniture was to be left in position. The so called “living room” is 8X8 feet with no natural light and deteriorated supports for the floor boards which results in considerable bouncing of the floor when one entered the room. We moved this furniture to a front room with concrete floors to prevent further deterioration of the “original living room’s” wooden floor and to provide a semi-decent place to have guests. The owner further claimed that the deposit money was needed to replace seat cushions left in the rain even though the cushions had water proof covers. And there were no instructions in the manual of operation that they should be moved, nor did the local manager so inform us.
I did inform owner that the TV stopped working. A visiting guest and I carefully moved the TV from the table it sat on to the floor but the owner claims it was dropped by us. . Other reasons the owner was planning to keep our deposit was the claim that we broke the front door handle but it never worked as her “manager” told us when we arrived Another problem was the claim that the the WiFi router had to be replaced. It was working on the day we left. Admittedly since the backup power supply did not work the internet frequently stopped working whenever the power was interrupted which happened frequently, but every time I rebooted it, it came back up. I did use it without the password and with a different DNS server as a neighbor suggested because it didn’t work well with the original configuration. I can’t help it if the owner doesn’t know the first thing about rebooting the modem and router or the internet at all. There is a warning sign near the modem stating that “absolutely no downloads are permitted” and this same message appears in the operations manual. It is like having a phone and putting up a sign that says absolutely no calls.
A floor plan was provided but a flat plan of the space does not reveal that the only connection between the living areas and the three back bedrooms is across an open patio and that the stairway to the second floor bedrooms is totally out in the elements and that the only light switch to light the stairs was at the top of these open stairs. When it is raining you need a flashlight and an umbrella.
We did agree to clean and paint a bedroom covered with black mold but we were not paid to paint the room. The owner paid for the paint not for the work of mold removal and painting the room. We only did the mold cleanup and repainting ourselves because we needed the room for scheduled guests and we were not able to get the work done any other way. After moving in and reporting the problem the “manager” told us to contact the owner. It was suggested we hire someone but the owner didn’t care for the person suggested to us by a neighbor. This local worker had worked for the owner in the past but we were told by the owner that he was unreliable and that we had to provide very close supervision. Not wanting to cause problems among the neighbors and the local workers we did the work ourselves.
There was also an electrical problem in a bedroom. I did report the electrical problem and have the email to prove it. I also had a professional licensed electrician look at the problem, but he said it would likely be a lot of work to fix and involved cutting into the ceiling and possibly the walls. I didn’t ask to have it fixed nor did I ask to have the dryer which quit working fixed because by then I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Line drying clothes in the rainy season in Costa Rica is not feasible.
In spite of all this did pay the full rent that we agreed to pay and I have the records to prove it. I did however deduct the security deposit from the last check because of the place not being in “move in” condition the first week and the work and effort required to move in and to keep the place in livable condition. From the lack of maintenance the owner might not have had the ability to pay for repairs. This might explain the “creative” reasons for being especially upset by not having our deposit to claim.
There is a much longer list like improper toilet venting resulting in sewer gas smells in a couple of the bathrooms. But I will leave it here.
Suffice it to say that I absolutely do not recommend Vina Romantica as a place to stay unless you are prepared to do a good deal of work.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Vina Romantica is located just 5 kilometers from the International Airport. We are located in a tiny rural village at an altitude of 4200 feet. It is tranquil and the views of the volcanoes are magnificient. We are on the road to many of the tourist attractions that can be seen in one day. There are many very good restaurants in the area. You can relax and enjoy the true Costa Rican life style while staying at Vina Romantica. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vina Romantica Alajuela
- Vina Romantica Hotel Alajuela
- Vina Romantica Costa Rica/Alajuela