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Very good
15 reviews
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4x4 area
Ocean
Jocky Ridge
Corolla Light house
POOL
deck
Walk Way to Beach
Jockey 's Ridge
Grave Digger
OCEAN Beach
Kitchen
B/BAR
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Overview
Cottage -
4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8
Corolla, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 15 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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RedFlag77
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“VERY dirty with ROACHES, bad landlord experience - stay away!”
Reviewed 30 March 2016 for a stay in August 2015
10
people found this review helpful

NOTE: This property used to be called "Al'most Wasn't" until March 2016 when it changed to "Almost Heaven".

We stayed at this vacation home with our small kids in the last week of August and first week of September 2015. We picked it because we had stayed nearby before and it is well-situated close to the beach and Harris Teeter (good when you have little kids). Booked it through VRBO, spoke with the owner, and everything was fine until we arrived. I really wish I had a good result to report in this review, but as soon as we got there we began to regret it. Read on to see why.

THE GOOD:

- Kitchen well equipped with everything we needed.
- Located in a perfect spot about 3 minutes’ walk to the beach
- Has a community pool a minute’s walk away
- Close to grocery store

THE BAD:

EVERYTHING ELSE! Where to begin? Have a look at the photos attached.

CLEANING: The place was FILTHY! The bath tub was full of hair, the mattress covers were filthy, and the rug was full of crumbs. We spent three hours as soon as we got there, vacuuming, washing mattress pads full of stains and other people's hair, cleaning the hair-laden bathtub, picking up the dirty paper towels on the floor, and removing the thick layer of dust on the tables and surfaces. There are scuffs all over the walls and a simple coat of paint is long overdue.

We found mouse droppings in the kitchen drawer.

The best thing was not one but two three inch-long cockroaches which greeted us in the living room area at night! They were joined by a third a few days later.

We have stayed in beach houses before, but were shocked by this one. At the beach, relaxed and a little shabby is OK but basic cleanliness is NEVER negotiable.

The hilarious part is that the owner charges renters a “cleaning fee” – really, he should pay US for doing the cleaning for him!

SAFETY: There are a couple of things about this house that make it hard to be confident about having a family vacation there with small children. First is the staircase to the loft. Our son fell down a few stairs on day two because it is insanely steep. It’s not a staircase, it’s more of a ladder. That would be OK if there were some secure way to close access to it, but the gate provided is not fixed to the wall in any way and as a result not strong enough to stop a determined toddler. This caused a lot of problems for us. Second is the AC unit. It has a warning label right on the front of it saying that it contains fiberglass insulation particles of which, when breathed, are known to cause cancer. But it is not properly filtered,
with an old and dirty filter simply sitting on top of the unit housing rather than correctly mounted. This raises a concern about safety, especially with little kids, and shows you the attitude of the landlord towards proper maintenance.

DECK AND OUTDOOR AREA: The top-floor deck would be pretty nice, facing east with the sound of waves and nice sea air, if it weren’t full of old broken chairs and a wrecked, rusty table. The ground floor area outside the main entrance was similarly disorderly, with a big, filthy, covered hot tub explicitly not for renters’ use, and assorted broken patio furniture scattered about. The lawn did not appear to be tended at all. The outdoor shower works, but is in an enclosure with shelves crammed full of assorted junk, half of it broken. There is an old, very rusty charcoal barbecue in the garage area. I’m a fairly easy-going person but I wouldn’t put my food in that thing.

LANDLORD: This was the crowning glory of the experience. We complained civilly the next morning to the owner (Tom), about the state in which we found the place. His response was to offer that his (angry) cleaner come back and clean after we had just scrubbed the house for him for hours! We refused, as the house was already clean from our scrubbing and we want PRIVACY on vacation. We figured we’d make do.

Once we saw the cockroaches a day or two later, we told Tom this was not acceptable. We spoke by phone, and tried to come to a compromise. I asked him to refund the second week of the stay so we could go somewhere else that was suitable for a family vacation. He was apologetic but reasonable, and we agreed by phone that he would refund us the second week and we’d spend our second week somewhere else, as long as I didn’t lodge any complaint against him.

The next day, I received a notice that our reservation had been cancelled, but nothing about a refund. So I called VRBO to ask if a refund had been initiated, and was told it had not. I didn’t complain to VRBO – I just asked if a refund was in process. I then informed Tom by email that VRBO told me the refund needs to be initiated by him through their online system.

Later that day, I got an email from him saying he thought everything should be really clean because we had cleaned the house that the cleaner "already did" so we should stay and no refund would be given!

When I asked for clarification, he said we hadn't given his cleaner a chance, the cleaner told him they did a good job (!) so too bad, basically - there's no refund if "you cancel".

While it is true that the contract specifies no refunds, the contract also specifies that the landlord must provide the rental in livable condition upon first occupancy by the tenant. And he had made a verbal contract with me to refund the second half of the stay.

So I called him asking why my reservation had been cancelled without issuing a refund. He left me a voicemail a little later saying that the deal was off because I had “talked to VRBO”. Apparently, this made his silent business partner “mad” so the two of them decided to abrogate our agreement without further discussion but not before they cancelled my reservation. At this point I informed him that I would remain in occupancy until the end of the period specified in the contract, regardless of his cancellation of my reservation. We stayed the second week and were very unhappy about staying in a dirty and roach-infested house, but we had no choice at that point.

I was very disappointed with Tom’s business practices. I held up our agreement, but he decided I hadn’t so he backed out of it without talking to me first. He had furnished the building in an unacceptable condition but didn’t seem to think that placed any obligation on him except to offer to clean it again – which I was fully within my right to refuse.

CONCLUSION:

We have stayed in plenty of vacation homes including in the Outer Banks before, but never through VRBO. This is the first and the last! In future, I’ll trust an agency with real live people to help us choose a place that is at least in decent repair. This house is not suitable for young kids. We wasted our vacation on this beach house, and I strongly urge you to look elsewhere. There are plenty of other homes within a few hundred yards that are comparably priced but MUCH more pleasant to stay in. My advice: STAY AWAY.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Community pool, great location, close to grocery store and beach
Liked least: Very dirty state on arrival, very poor customer service attitude of landlord
Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
1 Apr 2016
The people didn't stay at my home.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda A
Massillon, Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
“Great place”
Reviewed 28 September 2015 for a stay in September 2015

Great rental and close access to the beach. We had 3 small children and it accommodated all of us! Will be back!

Travelling group: Extended Family
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
30 Sep 2015
Thanks you see you next year!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marykayjr
Charlotte NC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
“Family time was great & much needed.”
Reviewed 1 September 2015 for a stay in August 2015

Three floors with the two bathrooms on the middle floor with bedrooms. Would have liked a bathroom, even half bath, on the great room floor but it worked fine. Great, much needed family time.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The short trip to the beach.
Liked least: Being separated from our dog. No pets allowed. We missed each other.
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
4 Sep 2015
Glad you had a Great Time See you next year!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kim S
Syracuse, New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Still Isn't”
Reviewed 24 August 2015 for a stay in August 2015
6
people found this review helpful

We stayed here for a week, we arrived to garbage and recycle bins in the middle of the driveway that we had to move before we could park. There is an outside hot tub in a gross weed infested and filthy area off the underground parking space. Beside it was a small iron table And chair set also with weeds all over it.. I'm guessing this was if you wanted to use the grill. Stairs into the home were small with sand and shells all over them. We finally opened the door to a small foyer with a torn carpet remnant as the welcome mat. Carpeted stairs, walls that were scuffed and marked the entire way up. Went into the bedrooms to set down our things, bed had sheets on the from the previous guest that were full of sand.. I had to clean the entire bedding before I could sleep in it. Night stands with so small you could barely place anything on them but the filthy lamp that was sitting there. Both night stands were dirty that I had clean before use. Bathroom was dirty with hair all around the toilet and a bath mat that was dirty and full of sand. The other bedrooms were the same as was the other bathroom . I cleaned all bedding and bath mats before I could use any of it. Made me uneasy to even want to stay in the place. The next level was the living area which was a descent size but no real comfortable spot to sit in and everything was dusty. It look like the area rug in the hall had a big stain of some sort on it. Drawers with utensils were full of sand also. Deck was small and furniture was just shoved on the deck and it was not comfortable . The upsides bedroom loft area had tissues and candy wrappers in between the blankets. Contacted the opener to complain and he had the cleaning lady call us directly, which was an uncomfortable conversation, she said she would be by the following day, and when we returned from the beach there was a note saying she was there and we were not. Not sure why on our vacation we have to sit around and wait for a cleaning person to show up.

Would never recommend this or return!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Close to the Beach
Liked least: Filthy
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
2 Sep 2015
Hey trash up on Saturday can control that. The was clean for 2 hrs and inspected & we do not supply sheets & the Mattress are clean once a Month. The Hot belongs to the neighbor & the side yard .Sorry can't please every body.Thing will be little scratched like walls because people normal at the end of Season we paint every thing for next year.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynchburg...
Lynchburg, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Home Away From Home”
Reviewed 26 September 2013 for a stay in September 2013
1
person found this review helpful

We had a great week long stay at this townhouse in September 2013. The house was only 2 houses away and we could run to the beach and back in a couple minutes if we forgot something. The proximity to Harris Teeter was very helpful and one morning we even walked to Duck Donuts and Harris Teeter and it was a very short walk. Everything was really close and the house was a great size for the two of us and we could have comfortably stayed with another couple and had plenty of space.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Proximity to beach
Liked least: The arrangement of the reservation was cumbersome
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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