After all the fuss of having to post a bond after the reservation had been made and the umpteen questions and formalities, we finally arrived to a beautifully lit but FREEZING villa. After looking for the villa manual, we were told to light up the gas fireplace for heat EXCEPT that the button to light up the fireplace was nowhere to be found. So I immediately called the office and thankfully there was someone who answered the phone. Apparently the button is way under the ledge of the fireplace, tucked away in some nook. If it is so hard to find and to operate, then there should be a diagram to show where the button is and how to operate the heating function of the fireplace.
As the villa is multi-leveled, heat only emanating from a fireplace in the living room would not be sufficient to heat up the other floors. There is nothing in the manual about how to adjust or to get heat and there were NO thermostats or heating vents anywhere in the house. At my insistence, the lady over the telephone said that she could bring two oil heaters to the house and possibly help turn on the heat. However only the tiled areas would heat up as they only had under flooring heating and no forced air. When we arrived, the outside temperature had dropped to only a few degrees Celsius and yet the house was completely unheated.
Meanwhile, I was instructed to go to the bathrooms and all the tiled areas to turn a white floor-level lever to the maximum. Everywhere I went the heat was turned down to the lowest level i.e. 1 or off. It is no wonder that the house was freezing. So much for their getting the villa ready for their guests!
When the lady finally arrived, she showed me where to adjust for the heat. The control panel for our unit was in the garage and it would not be an intuitive place to look. She then left us with two heaters but we had four bedrooms. As the bedrooms are all carpeted, there is NO heat in the bedrooms. Apparently the solution is to leave the bathroom doors open so that the heat will seep out from the under flooring heating of the bathrooms. Talk about backwards and bad design.
We finally got the house heated up during the middle of the night, some 5 hours after we had gone through all of the heating measures. For this reason, I would not recommend staying here if you are going in the winter. For the money that they charge, they should, at a minimum, get the house warm and welcoming for their guests. Finally they have an outlandishly early check-out time of 10 am and they are not one bit flexible about things. With all the problems we had, they even refused us a later check-out time. There is nothing customer friendly about these people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The very essence of style and taste - Commonage Villas is an unbeatable base to explore the cosmopolitan resort town of Queenstown. Completed in mid-2007, these wonderfully luxurious and spacious homes are nestled on Queenstown’s most prestigious address, overlooking the bay. The range of exclusive villas has sweeping panoramas, lake views and mountain vistas. Stunning decor exudes comfort and style and guests can expect uncompromising quality, 24-hour concierge services and an unsurpassed five star experience. ... more less
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