A while ago, I had the chance to be offered two nights worth of accommodation in London in exchange of a Roomorama review on my blog. I was intrigued by the service and definitely interested in trying it out. I decided to take advantage of that offer during my recent trip to the capital and experience for myself what the service was all about.
The idea behind Roomorama is fairly simple: book an apartment and live like a local. Whether you opt for a few days or a few weeks, shared or private rooms, a central or secluded location, a small or big budget, the variety is simply too amazing to leave anyone unsatisfied. Roomorama liaises with landlords or owners and offer their available rooms through their own website. Very simple and yet efficient – that’s how I like it. As far as Roomorama’s concept goes, I am completely sold.
However, my enthusiasm goes down the drain when it comes to the specific accommodation I booked. I opted for a studio flat in Notting Hill with Palace Court Holiday Apartments. The central and well-connected location certainly appealed to me, and I have to say I was quite content when I first stepped inside the flat. The overall look was great – the flat had nice views over Kensington Palace Gardens road, the kitchen and bathrooms seemed functional (although a far fetch from the promotional pictures) and the furniture was quite recent. Nothing to complain so far.
But soon the disappointments started.
- I was stuck in a twin room even though I had specifically requested a double – not that big of a deal.
- The windows were not double-glazed, so the flat was absolutely freezing – but the heating worked, so no biggie.
- The Internet was funky at best – kind of a biggie for a travel blogger.
- But most importantly, there was no water pressure to speak of in the shower, nor was there hot water. When I called the desk to kindly let them know about the issue, I got yelled at in Hindi-English and got hung up on. I was speechless. And dirty. And cold. Now that’s a monumental big deal. This definitely did not make things easy for my Roomorama review.
At that point, I was ready to leave the flat and book the nearest hotel, which, I was certain, was best than what I was stuck with. Instead I suck it up and dreamed of the hotel I had booked for the following night.
After mentioning my experience to a Roomorama representative, I was told to be as honest as possible in my Roomorama review, even though I was not exactly sprucing up their image. Not that this suggestion influenced my opinion, but I do think it shows just how eager they are to provide high-quality customer service.
As far as my thoughts on the overall Roomorama service and concept, I genuinely think I picked out a bad apple in the basket, and I am aware that this could have very well happened with any other booking service, or any hotel for that matter. The truth is, you never really know what to expect until you actually step foot in your accommodation, hotel room or flat. And that is exactly why I do not blame Roomorama at all for this mishap – quite the contrary.
I am still very fond of the concept and love the idea of booking a flat rather than an anonymous hotel room, and would gladly do it again in the future. I would recommend this alternative accommodation in a heartbeat to anyone eager to live like a local for a few days, and wishing to get great value out of their preciously earned bucks. And after reading other reviews from Beers and Beans or As We Travel, I am more convinced than ever that my experience was just sheer bad luck.
Did I feel like my opinion mattered to Roomorama? Absolutely.
Am I still interested in choosing short-term flat rental over a regular hotel room? Yes.
Would I book with Roomorama again? Of course. And so should you.
Have you booked with Roomorama before? Did you write a Roomorama review you would like to share? How do you react to disappointing accommodation? What do you think of Roomorama’s concept?