Oceanfront Escape is very well situated close to the seaside town of Sidney. The Ocean views are breathtaking and the house itself is very comfortable and well equipped. The rental contract requires you to check in with a 'greeter' at a specified time, which is a bit of a pain, and I felt the suggestion to tip the greeter was a bit unnecessary. Shortly after we completed the check in process we discovered that the TV wasn't working, so we called her and she, somewhat reluctantly, came back. After an hour of trying to sort it out, to no avail, we were told they would contact the home owner and get him to sort it out. We heard nothing for a couple of days so we called back, because now the fireplace wasn't working either, and again were told that they would contact the owner. Later that day a relative of the home owner arrived and fixed the fireplace and he promised to call the owner to sort out the TV. Finally, a week after we arrived, the owner's nephew dropped by and he quickly sorted it out. Aside from these issues, we did enjoy our stay very much though. The peace and quiet is just what the doctor ordered and you will never tire of gazing from the decks at the views, with abundant wildlife, marine life and boats, coming and going across the bay. Sidney is a short drive away and has plenty of shops, cafes and some very good restaurants.
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I booked a week here and stayed with friends and family in September 2012. The four of us found the house clean, spacious and well situated. The highlight of our stay was the large, south-facing deck where we enjoyed spectacular views of the nearby marina, neighboring islands and sea life. We were captivated by a couple of beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and gazed at the stars while soaking in the hot tub after dark.
The house has three bedrooms and two large bathrooms with full showers. Two bedrooms are on the main floor (one is a fold-out double bed in the study), the third has twin beds and is located on the lower floor with a mini kitchen, entertainment room and walk-out to the hot tub. The hot tub is clean and well maintained. It overlooks the ocean from a more private location below the main sun deck.
The house is close to Sidney, Butchart Gardens and nearby beaches, but not within walking distance. If you want to explore, shop or walk along any of the large beaches in the vicinity, you’ll need a car to get there.
Although we enjoyed our stay, I found the onerous, one-sided rental agreement detracted somewhat from the overall experience. In fact, it was the source of a fair bit of stress and several questions throughout the booking process. I have stayed in other rental properties and never experienced anything as strict as this one.
We paid top price for our stay and were surprised when the final documents suggested tipping the greeter who basically meets your party, does a quick walk-through and turns over the keys. The same greeter, who was very pleasant, returned at check-out time to walk through the house and recover the keys. We pointed out the lack of bath/shower mats and the missing bathtub plug. We forgot to mention that the propane tank was not connected to the barbeque and was likely empty. I suggest future guests ensure the propane tank is full and connected to the barbecue prior to confirming their booking.
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