Living Like a Londoner with Roomorama: My Experience

Posted on 11. Nov, 2011 by in Europe Travel, Press Trips, Reviews, United Kingdom

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.

Roomorama’s Concept

roomorama review

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.

My Accommodation

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.

roomorama review, short-term flat rental in london, palace court holiday apartments

roomorama review, short-term flat rental in london, palace court holiday apartment

The flat

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.

Final Verdict

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.

Love the idea of cooking my own meals!

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?

email

Tags: , , , , ,

13 Responses to “Living Like a Londoner with Roomorama: My Experience”

  1. melodie

    11. Nov, 2011

    Quand tu fais des recherches d’appart sur leur site, as-tu accès à des critiques d’autres personnes qui ont loué l’endroit avant toi ? C’est la clé, je pense. On a déjà loué des maisons ou des apparts en voyage, avec Homelidays, je pense, mais on n’aurait jamais loué sans lire les critiques de voyageurs.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      11. Nov, 2011

      Le problème c’est que les critiques ne sont pas détaillées. Tu peux simplement savoir si la personne a aimé ou non, mais sans détails. Au moment de la réservation, c’était 10 pour, et 4 contre. La prochaine fois je m’assurerai de l’unanimité !

      Reply to this comment
  2. Abby

    11. Nov, 2011

    Oh, man! That stinks. Yes, try again! We all know how wonderful it is to apartment-swap, house-sit, etc. I’d love to know if that was just bad luck, as the concept is fab; I’d feel much more comfortable booking through a central agency both for opening my apartment up for guests and renting myself!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      13. Nov, 2011

      Yes, I think the service Roomorama provides is actually pretty great and secure, that’s why I am ver much eager to do it again ;-)

      Reply to this comment
  3. We haven’t used Roomorama, but we’ve booked multiple apartments/studios through Airbnb while on the road (I’m actually sitting in one right now in Budapest!). We’ve had one AWFUL experience, but overall it’s been great.

    One thing we’ve learned is that the pictures online are always nicer than the actual accommodations — so if the pictures make the place look like crap, run! We also always confirm that high-speed internet is available (emphasis on the high-speed), but our internet connections have been all over the place. :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      13. Nov, 2011

      Yeah that’s what I think – I’ve just been very unlucky on this occasion, but I’m sure the next experiences will be much better. I’ll have to be extra cautious about the Internet!

      Reply to this comment
  4. Tom Homes

    15. Nov, 2011

    Roomorama has a great concept behind the initiative. I was actually considering taking part, but am a bit worried about such experiences like the one you had.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      I think you need not to worry, Tom. The process isn’t any different than booking with a regular hotel. The truth is, you never know what it’s really going to be like until you actually set foot in the room. Hotel or flat.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Marie

    29. Nov, 2011

    Indeed! I guess travel does have its share of surprises.

    Reply to this comment
  6. max

    10. Oct, 2012

    it’s not easy to find a place, you have to request then get a response.
    I tried this website, they are very friendly when are charging you but i wanted to ask questions after paying and even cancel a reservation, it becomes a nightmare. nobody answers, they send me documents in double, extra charges for cancelation. Be sure that you want to take the flat or room before booking and if you want to cancel, better not do it and just leave th place empty.

    Reply to this comment
  7. J.D.

    20. Sep, 2013

    I have to say I strongly disagree with your conclusion. I think roomorama is very much responsible for vendors or hosts they allow onto their website. They are collecting a fee for a referral service. Where I am from (California), negligent referrals are a liability and the responsible party is liable. I have found their “customer service” antiquated at best and horrible inefficient in urgent situations that require prompt mediatory intervention.

    I can see where trouble with roomorama is two-sided. I have had zero luck as a host on roomorama. As a non commercial host, I get the weirdest inquiries from people who seem completely incapable of reading. Every attempt as a host on this site has been unsuccessful. Taking a cash deposit when the guest arrives at your front door (to me) is obviously a venue for MAJOR trouble, to both host and guests. The site is completely confusing and cryptic in setting up your property.
    I have also had my two properties listed the exact amount of time on Aribnb. I have made over $60k on airbnb and $0 on Roomorama. You have absolutely no recourse with roomorama should you run into trouble with a guest. The emailing back and forth is inefficient and ineffective. I don’t want to play email tag when trouble arises. Roomorama offers no insurance, and very little company security or assurance things will be taken care of promptly in an emergency…they fail to mention that if a guest is new and has no review there is no guest reference. Airbnb insures you for $1 million should you have a problem with guests and your property, they take payment and deposits my credit card online (one step in verification you are dealing with a real guest), 24 hour customer service/concierge……really, really unclear how roomorama is even staying around.

    Reply to this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Umi Hotel London, One of London's Best Hotels - December 5, 2011

    [...] room itself was a nice surprise. After a not so great experience the night before, I was happy to enter a spacious, cosy room, fully equipped with cable TV and coffee/tea making [...]

  2. Stockholm Like A Local: A Roomorama Review | 100 Miles Highway - August 22, 2013

    [...] that the accommodation you book isn’t as good as it seems. Marie from EurotripTips had an unlucky experience in London, where she didn’t have hot water nor a reliable internet connection. One way of avoiding this [...]

Leave a Reply

What is 15 + 6 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)