Initially, Kaja was great to work with as we planned our 5 days in Rome. She was very responsive and helpful in answering questions about the city and local activities. Unfortunately, we never got a chance to meet her when we checked into the apartment which, as it turns out, was really not an apartment but part of a small boutique hotel. We were surprised and disappointed by this. Even the hotel staff seemed to be unsure of the relationship of this Airbnb unit and the hotel itself.
The apartment was not set up as depicted in the photos. Instead of two arm chairs, a lamp and a side table it had a twin trundle bed in the middle of the living room. The staff at the hotel, who were really great, did bring down some arm chairs but left the bed. The kitchen had none of the basics that one would expect from a traditional Airbnb: salt, pepper, cooking oil, kitchen knife, dinner plates, clean sponge, napkins, kitchen towels, etc. Instead, the refrigerator was empty except for a “mini-bar” where you had to pay for things like water, sodas, wine etc. Just like a hotel. Which is fine if you are in a hotel. We wanted a kitchen to cook in becuase we had already been traveling for over 10 days and wanted some comforts of home.
We had a number of problems with the apartment which the staff at Salotto Monti quickly took care of but it seems that these things should have been noticed and taken care of prior to a guest arrival: The front door handle broke off the door, the light fixture in the bathroom was unfixed from the wall, the oven wouldn’t turn on, power in the apartment went off in the middle of cooking Christmas lunch, the wi-fi signal was so weak and did not work if you were in the bedroom. There’s a switch near the toilet that turns the hot water heater off/on. It was not labeled so we accidentally turned it off and then had no hot water. The apartment is in a truly wonderful area but if you’re looking for a true Airbnb, this is not really it. We met others who were using Airbnb in Rome and were having a great experience with their apartment, where the host was present and gave them the personal touch that makes Airbnb such a unique community. On top of that, they were paying nearly half what we were for the same neighborhood and a nicer place.
The staff at Salotto Monti were very helpful and friendly and responded quickly to any and all issues we had. Part of what makes Airbnb special for us, though, is the interaction with our hosts and their connection to the community and their home. We just didn’t have that with this Airbnb experience and we were very disappointed.