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“Rating For Agency, Not the House”
Review of Sea Ranch Escape

Sea Ranch Escape
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Sea Ranch Escape
Reviewed January 18, 2014

We rented Walk on Beach for 10 days (9 nights) between Christmas and New Year, The house was wonderful. The Agency? The pits. Abrupt, impersonal staff during the rental process and in returning the key. Disinterested in our complaint that the phone did not work nor did the water dispenser on the refrigerator (a complaint noted three months earlier by previous renters). The worst part, however, was the letter received with the balance of our security deposit asking us not to return. Upon inquiry, we were told we had ruined two new sets of king sized sheets and bathmats with red stains. When we pressed for further details, the agency said they had made a mistake and that the bedding had been ruined by other renters after our stay and it was not even clear to us if the ruined sheets had happened at Walk On Beach. Which still left us wondering why we were being asked to not return to their agency. We had been very clear with the agency that we were renting for over a week, with a dog and a toddler, both of which are allowed at this home according to the agency's site. Upon departing, we cleaned the windows of our son's fingerprints, started a load of wash with all of the house's towels and stripped all of the beds and moved the sheets to the laundry room. We wiped down all of the counters, both bathrooms and kitchen, scrubbed down the stove top/burners and made sure that all of the pots and pans were in the correct place (according to a sheaf of photographs in one of the drawers). While I fully expected to spend down most of our security deposit for cleaning, because I didn't want to spend 2-3 hours on my last day of vacation scrubbing toilets and vacuuming, I was not expecting to be told that my family and I were not welcome to rent from this agency again. Once the "ruined sheets" issue was cleared up and acknowledged by the agency to have been the work of another renter, I asked again, what had been wrong with the house that we were being asked to not return? Was it truly because it had taken the housekeeper, whose job is to clean houses after renters depart, longer than she had anticipated to clean? Is that really my problem if I'm willing to pay for the service? My family has rented from other agencies throughout The Sea Ranch since the 1990's and have never been treated so badly by any of the agencies that we have used and while we have not intention of ever return to this agency, we have spread the word amongst our Bay Area friends, how wretched this experience has been...and based on the review on TripAdvisor and Yelp...are considering filing a claim with the BBB for that area because anyone who takes the time to read feedback on either of those sites would know that the agency has a long history of shady behavior and I truly wish that I had taken the time to read these reviews before paying them thousands of dollars for a family vacation.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank Anne J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barefootexplorer, reservation advisor at Sea Ranch Escape, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2014

This is an unfortunate situation. After the guests left, the housekeeper had to do 10 hours of housekeeping to get the house ready for the next guest. The cleaning hardly ever exceeds 5 hours in the worst of times and we view this as excessive use of the home. We are committed to keeping the properties clean and the owners depend on us to take care of their homes.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (22)
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6 - 12 of 22 reviews

Reviewed September 26, 2013

Note: Please do NOT confuse the community "The Sea Ranch" with the "Sea Ranch Escape," which is a property management firm.I have rented a property in The Sea Ranch for three years in a row at the same time of the year. I absolutely love the property and location. This year, I used the Moonraker community pool which was wonderful--small, but very peaceful. The Sea Ranch Escape management firm is efficient and has its system for reservations, deposits, key pick-up, etc. down pat. Most of their employees are less than courteous, but in the grand scheme of things that probably isn't important because you don't deal with them that much. My primary complaint is that the cleanliness of the property leaves a lot to be desired. As a former landlord, I feel it is very important to provide a clean place for tenants. As a frequent traveler, I demand the same. In this home, it is clear that some areas had not been swept/vacuumed on a regular basis as I found dust "bunnies" to be abundant. There is a woodburning stove in the property, and there were ashes all over the floor under it as well as on top. The throw rug in the kitchen was so filthy that I washed it myself. Some of the dish towels and placemats in the cupboards were also soiled. The shower curtain in one bath was stained with pink mold or mildew--very nasty. Duvet and pillow covers, which stay at the property and are not changed out with other linens (which must be rented), had some spots and did not smell fresh and clean. The beds are extremely soft and caused back problems for the duration of my stay. If the property's condition is attributable to an owner who does not want to pay for upkeep and professional cleaning, then I believe Sea Ranch Escape needs to be counseling the owner that (s)he is expected to do so as a condition of being a client. Property management firms need to maintain a certain standard based on renters' expectations, not to mention hygiene. If the owners refuse to comply, then the property management firm should decline to handle their property. Despite the cleanliness issues, I still love The Sea Ranch. I choose to compromise some of my standards in order to spend a week overlooking the Pacific Ocean from my cozy home away from home.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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7  Thank NatureandLuxury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

I love Sea Ranch Escapes. My family has been going to Sea Ranch for 30 years. We have used a variety of agencies and this one is second to none. The houses are clean and the staff helpful. I have never found their service to be anything less than honest. They have a variety of homes to choose from so you can easily match price with quality.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank LizS13_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We have escaped to Sea Ranch at least once a year for the past twenty - it is an amazing and beautiful place - and there are many options when it comes to renting a home, so shop around. Sea Ranch Escapes is a profit-driven company that offers many wonderful rental homes; you will find some real gems among their offerings BUT do not expect a bargain and watch for hidden costs. Their website is good and mostly honest (but note: they completely filter out all/any less-than-glowing reviews on their "feedback" and "customer review" pages).

Moreover, you simply should NOT expect good customer service from the staff at Sea Ranch Escapes. Having seen both sides, I can say they treat the home owners they represent with great tact and respect - but we, the paying customers, can expect little more than the most basic assistance, rude replies should you raise an issue, and an almost comical bias toward their own favor when they want to avoid taking the extra step to please you (for example, they drone that one needs to leave homes clean "to their standard" to avoid added charges - but, should you let them know that you found issues with the cleanliness of the property when you arrived, they dismiss your concern with a "well, we can't be expected to..." blah blah blah; don't expect so much as a token apology, let alone genuine concern for your satisfaction). In fact, I work in hospitality and use the lack of any standard for customer service and the default to a cool, "business is business" manner at Sea Ranch Escapes as an example of what NOT to do when training newbies. Still, if you bite your tongue and ride out any minor bumps in the road, you'll be fine. Enjoy the best of it and ignore the rest of it. But be warned.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank J I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

I can't believe the bad reviews I read here - must be the competition of Sea Ranch Escape trying to steal away customers. DON'T BELIEVE IT! I have been going to Sea Ranch Escape homes for years and I have had nothing but kindness, respect and NO CLEANING FEES ever.
I always opt to clean myself and I have two dogs to clean up after. Never any problems. The last time I rented Atwood and when my mother and I arrived, the house had mistakenly not been cleaned. After a phone call, a cleaning lady arrived promptly and cleaned the whole house. When we were to leave, we were told NOT to clean, that they would clean for us AT NO CHARGE.
I love Sea Ranch Escape and wouldn't think of renting from anyone else. The homes do vary in that some are nicer than others, but they are priced accordingly.
Dr. V from Granite Bay

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank DayTripperDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We rented the Walk on Beach house which accommodated 3 couples very well. Everything including the hot tub was in good working order. Nice decks with a great ocean view. In fact, all 3 bedrooms and the living areas had great views of the ocean. This house is very well equipped except for a lack of spa towels and a BBQ. We have been coming to Sea Ranch every year for the last 23 years and have dealt with all of the rental agencies. That being said, it was a pleasure to work with Sea Ranch escape. They were very friendly and informative on the phone and helped me decide on the perfect house for our group of 6. We opted to pay for the departure house cleaning as we were on vacation. We did clean some of the house and laundered the sheets prior to leaving. We were still charged a cleaning fee as expected but I felt that the amount was extremely reasonable and am very pleased with the experience of dealing with Sea Ranch Escape.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Tpolisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2012

Hopeless. Incompetent and major attitude problem.

Office for key pick up is far from the condo (just moved apparently).

The staffer at the office gave us the wrong unit, which we only discovered after we'd driven back to the unit and unpacked, just ready to settle in to relax. We then received a rude phone call saying "you gotta come back here, you are in the wrong unit. The lady who booked your unit is waiting! "

Umm, and whose fault is that?

But the word "sorry" does not feature in her vocabulary.

Well it does in mine. "Sorry", Sea Ranch Escape but I won't be renting from you again. Sea-ya later (not).

Avoid. Advice to the owners, get a new agency! Agency, get some manners and get your act in gear...

In the meantime, there are much better options.

PS Thanks to the other innocent renter who kindly brought the key down rather than having us drive up, even though that was only at our request, not the grumpy agent's initiative!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Beijingexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea Ranch Escape

Address: 60 Sea Walk Dr, Gualala, CA 95445
Location: United States > California > Mendocino County > Gualala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Gualala
Number of rooms: 65

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