On or about March 6, 2012 we booked an apartment thru Small Elegant Hotels International which we understand contracted with Heaven On Earth (Nancy Marcussi) to source this apartment. There was no confirmation number and no contract signed prior to our arrival on June 16, 2012.
We paid a total of $4,381.57 for this apartment to be used from June 16, 2012 thru June 23, 2012. We paid 62% of this amount in March, 2012 and the remaining balance two months later as required by Small Elegant Hotels International.
We arrived in Paris on June 16, 2012. We arrived at the apartment at about noon on that day and never took possession due to the fact that it was filthy dirty did not have any soap, were informed there was a plumbing issue (hot water could not be had by all 4 of us if we wanted to shower in the same timeframe), no mattress pads on the mattresses, one thin bottom sheet and no top sheet and only one bath towel and three hand towels for four people for a week were provided. For this we were charged $ 4, 381.57 for the week.
We were told that even though they knew we were arriving early per the scheduled check in time that we had a couple of hours before the actual check in time was stated and requested that we leave for a period of time for the apartment to be cleaned and stocked with appropriate linens and soap.
We left the apartment as requested, returned six hours later to find the apartment in the exact same condition as we left it. My sister and I were traveling with her two children and we had been up for over 24 hours, were exhausted and in need of a shower and sleep.
We left the apartment, checked into a nearby hotel, called our travel agent to inform her of the situation and texted the gentleman who greeted us at the apartment that we had left the apartment and had to check in to a hotel to bathe and get some sleep. This is the same person that promised the apartment would be clean and stocked with linens and soap upon our return.
We never occupied the apartment due to this unfortunate situation which we had no control over. We notfied all parties at that time that the apartment was not suitable for any guest and we would NOT be occupying it for even one night.
We did not hear back from anyone in Paris or otherwise for two days. When we did, the person that reached my sister was hostile, rude and completely denied that the apartment was dirty and did not have adequate linens and soap. He demanded that we return to the apartment. My sister told him nicely that we had checked in to a hotel and we would not be returning to the apartment. We could not trust that it was cleaned and had the necessary linens and soap. We had already lost two days of our vacation, put in a very stressful situation in a foreign country, had to pay a considerable amount of additional money to reserve two hotel rooms at the last minute, and then we were treated very rudely and hostile.
We did not hear from anyone from Heaven on Earth (again, we understand they are an agent for Small Elegant Hotels International) until four days in to our trip. We did not get the phone message until we returned to the states because my sister was not able to retrieve voicemail messages in Paris. Heaven on Earth owner, Nancy Marcussi, (585) 342-5550, claims she tried to reach us several times to do whatever she could to make the apartment right for us. We found three calls from her on our cell phones; the initial one was day four of our 7 day trip and two on day six of our 7 day trip. I would consider that too late to make the claim that they would have done whatever it took to make the apartment right for us.
Ufortunately we had to spend a considerable amount of additional money on two hotel rooms that were obviously booked at the last minute.
Upon returning home, the travel agent requested that I call Nancy Marcussi from Heaven On Earth (agent for Small Elegant Hotels International) to explain our situation. Nancy was just as hostile and rude as the man that called my sister two days after informing them we had left the apartment. She basically accused us of not telling the truth and that the apartment was clean and that they would have done anything we needed them to do to make the apartment comfortable. This should have all been done upon our arrival, not a promise four days in to our trip.
We paid for an apartment in full 65 days prior to our arrival and did not get what we were promised. They were well arrive of the arrival date and time of our trip well in advance.
We did not sign any contract prior to arriving in Paris. The gentleman that greeted us at the apartment practically shoved a contract at my sister (all in French) and told her to sign it before he could give us the apartment. She did, but under duress as she had no choice if we wanted to enter the apartment.
These people have not been honest, trustworthy and have treated us rudely and as if we were in the wrong and not them. We have phone records proving how long it took for them to respond to the fact that the apartment was still dirty and did not have adequate linens and soap. We did not want to spend an additional $5,138.73 on acceptable lodging. The fact that we had to spend these additional dollars heavily impacted the remainder of our trip.
Our travel agent told us when we called initally the day we arrived in Paris that she agreed with us that the condition of the apartment was unacceptable and that she would go to work right away to get us a refund. She of course did not get Ms. Marcussi from Heaven on Earth to even consider a partial refund let alone return our full amount of $4,381.57 as requested.
This agency and its owner have been dispicable in its dealings with us. We would strongly suggest that you do not use this agency to book any type of travel or lodging.