Lessons Learned from Bermuda Rentals
In 2004, it was the first time we decided to finally have a villa vacation in Bermuda. We thought we stayed enough in hotels and resorts. It was time to get some real tranquility and the luxury of hearing the ocean waves right from our villa balcony. And at the same time get some homelike feel, and enjoy the fun of grocery shopping in the island and cooking ourselves. By this time we have already made many travels to Bermuda.
So confidence of getting the right villa or a cottage of choice was oozing in me. We were coming to Bermuda from London Gatwick. The flight takes over 7 hours.
After the long tiring journey with waits at the airport, I was just waiting for the moment to be whisked away as soon as we landed at the L F Wade Airport in St. Georges. And then soon we would relax in our favorite Bermuda villa, hearing the sounds of the waves that I have been craving for since months, and forget all anxieties and tensions of life.
Not to be. As soon as we landed, I got a call from my rental agent that our villa has been double booked by the owner just the previous day and the agent was not even informed till the last minute.
I realized that I was losing grounds below my feet. After having made the reservations and payment months in advance, for few minutes I felt we were about to make a serious damage to our vacation this time. We didn’t come to Bermuda to stay in a hotel. We would have probably not come this time if that was the case.
Luckily, we were in good hands. Our Real Estate Agent could manage to reserve another villa for us. On a hind sight, I think that became a blessing in disguise for us. The new villa became one of our favorites in the island thereafter. Another thing that favored us was the timing. It was in March. So the tourist season was about to start and the demand was not in its peak.
So coming back to double-booking, can this happen to you? Double booking can happen anywhere in the world even in the finest of hotels. However in Bermuda, during the peak season, you won’t be left with any choice if that really happens. If you are booking through a reputed rental agency, they will manage an alternative rental for you, but that may not be always comparable with your original one in terms of location (amenities, proximity to beach etc), or for that matter the quality of accommodation itself.
So what should you do?
Here are few things to consider to ensure that everything goes right with your villa rental:
1) If you book directly, make sure that you know the owner, and know how reliable he or she is. If you don’t know the owner, avoid booking directly.
2) If you book directly, ensure that you double confirm the dates with the owner and get it in writing. You should also get a written confirmation that the owner has received the payment.
3) Best is to engage a reliable Real Estate Agent in Bermuda
to do the dealing on your behalf. Even then, try to get a direct written confirmation from the owner. Leave nothing to chances. Sometimes a change may happen even before you fly out from your home country for Bermuda. So before you buy your air tickets (which can sometimes be non refundable or attract heavy penalty for cancellation), make sure that you have your terms sorted out with the agency. For example, if you need to cancel your tickets because of a mess up at their end, they are ready to compensate you for your loss.
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