ost an hour after arriving at the property, Cat told me in a tirade that she had found some cleanliness problems, however, as she had “sorted them herself” we couldn’t tell whether they were real or not. She did make it clear she had taken photographs, which we found unusual as she hadn’t made any effort to tell us about the problems as soon as she arrived. We would of course have resolved them if we had had them pointed out and could have seen them for ourselves.
In terms of the garden the back of the property was in an excellent condition; in the back garden the lawn had been cut a few days before and the borders were a riot of colour. At the front the herbaceous island was free of weeds, as it had been done a few weeks before. The roadside, which is not in view of the property, had not been cut by the commune as it normally is because of the weeks of rainy weather we had had. It was cut by the commune the week after their stay. Any weeds there could hardly have “grown bigger each day” in four days! Again, Cat and her partner made no complaints about the grounds at the time of their stay, which they had ample opportunity to do.
During the four days of their stay the temperature never rose above 17 degrees so it would not have been possible to go in the pool, which is not heated. This meant that the security cover, as required by French law, was kept on all the while. As it was cold, rainy or overcast throughout their stay it would have been too cold to sit in the garden. The garden furniture was out and they did spend a couple of evenings under the terrase in the garden as we could hear them from our property. Any garden work that might have been required during their stay would have been impossible due to the weather and the heavy rain at times.
Following each visit we clean both properties to a high standard, following which we check each other’s work to ensure nothing has been missed. The Farmhouse had been cleaned exceptionally well when the previous guests had left, and was cleaned and checked again by us. Nothing was missed which is why we were surprised by accusations of hairs in the bed and sink. They were not there when the place was checked four hours before their arrival.
My husband visited the day after they arrived to ask why the problems had not be reported on “check-in” as one would normally and why time had been spent taking photographs rather than reporting the issues immediately such that they could be rectified. Cat responded they she “always does it” which seems very unusual.
Our apologies IF they did not find the place as expected, but not to report the issues to us such that they could not either be verified or rectified, seemed to us an attempt to get a full refund as well as a free stay. As a gesture of goodwill we did refund their cleaning fee, as well as having given them a bottle of wine and a bottle of sparkling wine for the birthday celebration. These were left in the gîte on their departure and were obviously not appreciated.
We have been running our two gîtes for more than four years and have “returning guests” year on year. We have consistently excellent reviews on AirBNB, other sites and our own sites. No one has ever complained about poor cleanliness in our properties and we firmly believe that Cat and her partner’s motivation to do so was highly questionable. Sadly, this has been a thoroughly unpleasant experience.