This home must have been lovely twenty-five years ago. The owner lives in Hawaii and has not maintained this "hacienda" and it is in terrible disrepair and neglect! We stayed for almost two weeks in the hope that each day would be better and finding another place for our family of six was not possible. (which is what the owner suggested I do after the first night of discomfort when I asked him to return our money after our stay ended).
We tried to make do and worked with the young man assigned as caretaker. He, too, became frustrated and apologetic, but everyday brought not only inconveniences but health hazards. The house has not had furnace repairs and clanks all the time when turned on. The ducts and vents have not been cleaned in years! The first night, as I was sleeping in one of the four bedrooms, I got up coughing and gasping for breath! It was horrific! I moved to a den couch. When the caretaker came the first day, he tried to clean the furnace filter and together, we attempted to clean a central duct.
There were only two glasses, chipped coffee mugs and dirty cutting boards. There were small hotel towels, (one for each one of us); the blankets were shabby and in poor condition and there was heavy dust on the kitchen ceiling fan. The cleaning person came late in the day and called the owner. She was afraid to go to the Dollar Store as she mentioned that the owner might not reimburse her. She got approval and came back with eight glasses, a new cutting board and two fleece blankets. She opened a storage room and took out a basket of towels. She apologized for the dust and said she did not have the right equipment with her when she cleaned before our arrival. ($140 cleaning fee was paid at booking).
When I was frying eggs the next day, the fire alarm went off. There was a beautiful tiled hood over the stove, but no vent. The owner called to ask why the fire alarm went off and I explained. This happened two times which made me not fry anything again. The owner said he would call a furnace person in. He told me this on two occasions. No one ever came and the owner said he forgot to tell the caretaker. When you put the kitchen overhead light on, the ceiling fan came on too. That blew cold air around and we could not use it. When using the heat, we could not be around the area as the noise was like a freight train coming thru and the clanking and dust was everywhere. We made do.
On Thanksgiving day, the kitchen sink backed up and we could not use it to prepare or clean up our holiday meal. We called in a neighbor with a long snake to help as no one else was available. The disposal was fine, but the problem was from the outside pipe leading to the street. It had never been flushed. The owner intimated that I must have done something! The owner had me call on Friday to get the plumber he had contacted, which took several calls and precious time away from my family to arrange. The plumber showed up at 9:00 p.m.. He worked for over two hours and had to call the owner to get approval for the repair bill as I would not sign liability. We were able to clean up late Friday night. On Saturday, our grandkids and children left for New Mexico. I slept on the floor in the master bedroom for three nights until my hips could not stand it anymore. I shared a bed with my sister. Sunday before 9:00 a.m., the neighbor knocked frantically on the front door. There was water gushing all over his yard from a broken pipe somewhere on the property. I, again, called the owner. He arranged for his other neighbor to come and help. There were pools of water around sprinkler heads that had swarms of gnats/mosquitoes swirling around. My family got all bitten up. This was before the supposed 'freeze' came later in the week. The swimming pool had debris floating all over it and a cleaning device lay dormant on the bottom of the pool. The water was too cold anyway, but it was really sad. The outside furniture near the pool was broken plastic and had only one lounge chair, all without cushions. The owner said he would get us another lounge chair, but that never happened. We made do...Another day, we came in to find water spraying from the pipes on the swimming pool slide. Again, I called the owner who instructed me to turn some switches off. The wonderful barbeque on the other side of the house was filthy and could not be used before scrubbing it thoroughly. The fire pit had four bags of ash that had to be removed before using it. The place was so disappointing. We had been given an entrance code, but it was the wrong one. There were no welcoming lights on so we fumbled around and called the owner. He provided the correct code. When we did leave the house on our thirteenth day, we cleaned up the sad hacienda and when I closed the front door, the handle came off in my hands. It seemed a fitting end to our difficult stay. On the tenth day of our stay, I was having a cup of tea and the caretaker was with us. I asked him what were the brown strings coming down out of the living room wood ceiling? He got up and took a plastic bag out to remove the TERMITE webs! This really grossed us out! The fourth bedroom was cold and not useable. The heat/air conditioning wall unit was ancient and when we turned it on, it smelled awful! We used the other two bedrooms w/o heat on and when it got really nippy, we turned it on and closed the doors. Everyone used earplugs.
We are all trying to recover. My grandson came down with strep throat not long after our 'holiday retreat'. My sister is fighting an infection. When the immune system is compromised from the exposure to toxins, infection sets in. I feel outraged at this experience. I am a licensed acupuncturist and work hard to help people. In order to pay the high fee for our long needed holiday, I worked hundreds of hours! I feel Mr.Hubbard misrepresented his "Hacienda" and it should be taken off the site until repairs are made and it is not a health hazard. He is running the donkey house into the ground and taking peoples' hard earned money. He is not providing what he advertises. This was a tedious experience and caused us a lot of inconveniences and aggravation. We tried to make do day by day, but it became a terrible ordeal. I,too, am trying to recover. I am tired and quite distrusting now about renting from these sites. I want to end this ordeal and heal with the rest of my family. Shame on Mr. Hubbard and Flipkey.
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