I recently went to Cyprus for a self catering holiday; I found my apartment through a well known lettings website that advertises villas and apartments worldwide. As I have booked with them before when I went to Spain I did the same for my Cyprus holiday.
When I found the perfect (so I thought) apartment in Cyprus I contacted them through the website, the apartment was managed by a company called Overseas Keys. I’ve never heard of them before but after a quick search I found that they were a large lettings agency with offices in Spain as well. All my queries about the apartment were answered quickly and we paid the £485 for a week’s self catering apartment in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The payment was done over the phone and then we were transferred to another lettings agent who would be looking after us.
A few weeks before we were due to travel I received an email to ask if I would like them to arrange taxi transfers, as I found them to be slightly cheaper I agreed for them to book it for us, we would pay the taxi driver upon arrival. It cost €100 return through the lettings agent otherwise I would have had to pay €120 if I booked it myself through the internet. Just before we were due to fly I asked them how the keys would be handed over and the agent just didn’t make any sense. I wanted to know if we were to be met at the apartment or the airport. He didn’t answer my question so we just had to wait until we got there.
Our taxi was there to meet us at the arrivals and it was a pleasant journey, when we arrived at the apartment we were met by and English man who was waiting for us. We went in and he showed us the apartment.
We stayed in block C on the first floor apartment number 7, he showed us the air con but the remote had no batteries so he just got one of the others from the bedroom. He gave us directions to get to the beach and a short guide about the area. We signed the paperwork and he was off, he agreed to meet us on the last day to pick up the keys at 11.30am.
The apartment was dirty, all the windows were dusty, the patio was filthy and even the headboards in the bedroom needed a good clean. I was horrified! Here is a list of what was wrong with the apartment:
- Not enough plates/mugs – they knew there would be 4 of us yet there were only 3 of everything. 3 plates, 3 saucers, 3 mugs and 3 cups to drink from
- The wardrobe handles were all broken so we couldn’t put our clothes away and had to live out of the suitcase for a week
- There were no dressing tables in either room so you didn’t have anything to place your things on
- The second bedroom had no mirror!
- There was a foul smell in the corridor
- The communal bins were too far from the apartment
- There was inadequate lighting outside from returning from a meal out, even worse for those with young children
- The apartment needed a good clean!
To top it off when we were due to check out at the agreed time the agent was nowhere to be seen! When we did call first we were told he was on his way, and then he called to say someone else was coming. Luckily we had a kind taxi driver who waited for us whilst telephoning Overseas Keys. No one did arrive and after waiting 20 minutes we left! In the end we gave the keys to the taxi driver who said he would drop it off. We didn’t even get a chance to complain; even when we arrived back to the UK I thought someone would contact us but nothing.
Overseas Keys are very unreliable, they only care about the money then they leave you to it. On the website I booked through they have not allowed people to leave reviews, I wonder why. Everyone else does so I wonder what they have to hide. Save your money and book through another agent or directly with the owners if possible. Unfortunately the owners of the apartment we stayed in will never know how bad it is and how many customers it will lose over the years as a result of this!