Value Score No Data
Good For Couples
OWNERS DIRECT S8715 - DON'T STAY!!! PLS
I can't believe this is still happening!! I and my partner had the misfortune of staying at Irene's smaller apartment (then know as Cera) in May 2010.
We had booked to stay 17/05 - 22/05 and had paid a 100EUR deposit which upon meeting Irene Sanchez Carrillo we was told this would be returned at the end of our stay. We paid Monday to Sunday in cash and she left. We noticed a problem with the boiler straight away and the fridge and crockery were dirty - it certainly didn't look as nice as the pictures but we decided to make the best of it as we would be out most of the time.
It was just four days in (Thursday) that we went out for the day and returned around 7 to get changed to go out for dinner. The street door is opened with a key and then you use a second key to open the apartment door in a communal block on the first floor. as we walked up the stairs we saw our door was ajar and I will never forget the feeling as we walked into the apartment. My clothes were thrown about the room, they had mysteriously found our money, our mobile phones were taken, my partners ipod and docking station but nothing of Irene's had been touched and apart from a few cushions thrown around, you would never had thought anyone had been there.
Long story short, we had to pack up our things and walk along the street to call home to get our lines barred and tell Irene what had happend. We tried to reach Irene and left 2 msgs but to no avail. We returned to the apartment hoping she would turn up and help us find something else but at 21.30 we had no choice but to leave and find somewhere else to stay as the door had been busted (they had actually drilled the lock off the door – they wanted to get in!!).
Once we were checked in at the Hotel Actual (fantastic place - I can't recommend it enough) we called Irene again. She didn't call bk til 8.30 the following morning, she didn't seem to care, nor was surprised about what happened. She said she would try and help, claim on her insurance etc. but she didn't answer our calls and when we returned to the UK and called her on the Sunday, she made it clear she wanted nothing to do with us, she wouldn't refund our deposit, she wouldn't give back the money for the nights we didn't stay and she didn't even care we still had the keys because she never came to the hotel to pick them up!! The Hotel Actual was our saving grace....we saw a much nicer side of Barcelona staying here & the food we had was some of the best I've ever eaten. Don't be deterred by visiting Barcelona, it really is a fabulous place.
Since then I have spent months trawling websites trying to get other people's stories and stop her advertising. I only wish I'd put my review on here much sooner but I wanted to post everything I had (and there’s lots).
Barcelona is a fantastic city and it is such a shame that petty crime and tourism go hand in hand here. Irene Sanchez Carrillo is a very successful artist and she is well to do - you wouldn't think she would be capable of treating others in such a despicable manner. She is a charlatan, people who attempt to make bookings with her in good faith, who expect nothing less than a professional service are going to be seriously disappointed.
I booked via the Owners Direct website (property ref S8715). It seems they have finally taken action and stopped her advertising the property there - I have called them endlesly to do that and I'd like to think I helped stop her in some way from duping others.
The apartments in question regularly undergo name changes. From my research, from June 2010 ongoing they are known as Alexandra and Irene, Jan to May they were know as Paloma and Cera, Nov 09 to Jan 10 MACBA and then prior to this Paloma and Cera. This is how she keeps slipping through the net. Owners Direct have allowed her to change the name so unless someone lists Owners Direct S8715 on their posting, a link to her can't be made and everything looks aboveboard.
I pray that more people can find this link. I'd like for people who have posted to this site or who are interested in booking to tell me where they saw the apartment advertised (be it the larger or smaller of the two Irene rents out) and I will continue to try and stop her advertising. I have plenty of proof that staying in a property she owns is something to be avoided, if my review is not enough to deter you already.
Unique Quality: No qualities at all, her website make you think you are staying somewhere lovely and modern but read the reviews and I can vouch for their truthfulness - dirty linen, bedbugs, cockroaches, lack of hot water, generally unclean.
The people in the vicinity know it is a tourist apartment and they know what tourists bring with them. We were lucky they didn't take our passports. The strangest thing is that they knew exactly where we'd hidden our money (believe me, it was well hidden) and it was this that made us feel that we were being watched.
From inspecting the doorframe after the burglary, it was obvious that that door had been forced many times before - this is true of both apartments and I have links to other forums where people have stated this.
Don't be deterred from visiting Barcelona. Crime is on the increase and you have to be vigilant. Irene takes people's money renting sub-standard accommodation, advertising it as being in a safe and quiet area....that couldn't be further from the truth!! You may think you are getting a good deal but the reviews speak volumes. I wasn't so bitter that I wanted to tell my story, but she is making money by deception and it disgusts me that even now she is still doing it. I hope this review will make you think long and hard about booking something with her in the future. And for those like me, who have had the misfortune to book with Irene, its a hard lesson learned.
Directions: Described as being off La Rambla, in a lovely neighbourhood. Both apartments are in the Raval which is, whilst up and coming there are still better places to stay.
Nightmare in Carrer de la Paloma
We would like to warn anyone who is thinking of using the Alexandra apartment (Property Ref S8715) while staying in Barcelona, to stay well away, as the published presentation is a scam and a misrepresentation of the actual apartment you will get, Irene Sanchez, the owner uses the same ploy with guests who have booked the "Irene apartment" and will send you to the "Alexandra apartment" upon arrival in Barcelona, this apartment in the “Carrer de la Paloma”, exists in a very down trodden district of Barcelona, the apartment is not fit for tourists looking for a decent stay in Barcelona, this we found to our cost, having stayed there from the 1st - 9th September 2010, the standard of this apartment is so low, it borders on disgraceful, the smell of stale sweat on the sofa, blood stains on the mattress cover, the obvious cockroaches that hide away until the lights are turned off, the washing machine with dirty water that doesn't rinse away, mould in the freezer compartment, the shower, toilet and basin in a room of less than 2 square metres, whereby you need to climb over the toilet to get into the small shower cubicle, itself totally inadequate for use, with the tiniest wash-basin making self hygiene a task, your knees press against the wall facing you when you sit on the toilet, and all this combined with the constant banging, scraping, thumping, dragging, shouting, door slamming from the neighbours, right through the night (I'm not joking!) will make the memories of this apartment stick in your mind for a considerable time.
Geoffrey and Dena Earl
PS Barcelona is a fantastic and fascinating city and doesn't deserve this kind of publicity.
Directions: Close to the Universitat.
BEWARE!! Bed bugs at Paloma Apartment Barcelona!!
We arrived at this apartment one afternoon after a day of traveling. First of all, the place was tiny and looked nothing like the pictures! It's located in a dodgy building and there was rotting chicken left in the stairs of the foyer. We were all tired so we let it go and decided to have a siesta. After making the beds (ourselves) and sleeping a half hour, we discovered ALL the beds and furniture were crawling with bed bugs!! We tried to call Irene (the owner) for hours, but with no luck. We were forced to look for something else at the last minute. When Irene finally did get in touch with us that evening she said there was nothing she could do as she had dinner plans!! In the days that followed, she ignored our calls and, to top it all off, she STOLE OUR DEPOSIT!!!
Unique Quality: Rotting chicken on the stairs is unique?
Good price, cute apartment
We have stayed at Cera apartment in Febuary 2010. It is near to the la rambla and there are many markets near to the home. We could easily access to the metro when walking opposite site of the la rambla street in 5 minutes.
It is little small apartment, but we have stayed with very good price for three person in Barcelona. The decoration of the apartment feels that it is like home.
Because of the our returning flight was so early, we wanted the deposit back one day earlier. The home owner accepted and paid back our deposit one day earlier.
If I travell one more time to Barcelona, the Cera apartment is going to be a place that I wanted to stay again.
Robbed by this Owner
Never go to this place! The woman who owns it is a robber, it has now been more than 5 motnhs and I have never got my 100 euros of deposit back. As she could not come at the time when we left, she promissed that she would give my money back in a few days.
I keep calling and sending messages to her, and she keep hanging up on me.
Do not take the risk to go to this uggly place and be stolen of you money!!!
La Paloma/ La Cera/ Aparment Irene
BEWARE, CREATIVE WRITING AND CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY on a false website meant that we were totally ripped off! I agree with the other comment on La Paloma, if this apartment is anything like the owner's other property - apartment La Cera (may also be known as apartment Irene) on Calle de la Cera, Raval district. The website for both apartments made them look amazing. 'Quiet traditional street' meant grotty back lane covered in dog excrement and full of drunken vagabonds. Not a safe or quiet street at all. The flat was disgusting, bedding grotty, towels damp and the flat smelly. Food left in fridge, stereo broken, shower broken. DISGUSTING. We called Irene and she came to see us but in exactly the same way as the other people who have reviewed this property, she was dismissive and uninterested. She refused to offer an alternative and wouldn't give a refund. We moved out after one night and had to pay for a hotel. This left us 300 euros out of pocket. USE AT YOUR PERIL
Directions: CALLE LA CERA, RAVAL
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