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Villa/Apartment in Tuscany ...Looking for reccomendations on which company to book through,

Villa/Apartment in Tuscany ...Looking for reccomendations on which company to book through,

Sep 10th, 2002, 11:56 AM
  #1  
Dick
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Villa/Apartment in Tuscany ...Looking for reccomendations on which company to book through,

We want to spend a week in Tuscany sometime between mid April and Mid May.

I'd be appreciative of any first hand experiences with companies used to book your place.

Were you pleased with the place you booked? Was it what you expected it to be?

Thanks

 
Sep 10th, 2002, 12:29 PM
  #2  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Dick, Do not start with a company but rather with www.slowtrav.com There you will get objective reviews and a list of several rental agencies. The best way is to book direct with the owners and skip the middle man--about 30 % better. Read slowtrav and then come back. It can be confusing to shop rentals. My advice is to set your critiera first--those being:
LOCATION--PRICE RANGE--BED/BATH RATIO.
AND LOCATION ! Good luck !
 
Sep 10th, 2002, 12:42 PM
  #3  
Dick
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Bob,


Thanks for slowtrav.com ...it's a great site!

How reliable is it to book direct with owners.

What if there is problem etc?
 
Sep 10th, 2002, 08:50 PM
  #4  
Shar
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We have rented from the Praker Company before www.theparkercompany.com for apartments/villas. They were okay but you have to reserve early as we had to go pretty far down our list of the apartments we were interested in before we found one that was available and we booked 9 months out. The apartment was adequate. The apartment was a lot smaller than the picture made it look like but the view was great. we were right ont he water and convenient to all the local shops, etc. Like I said it was pretty far down the list of what was avaiable. Our last trip we rented thru a private person and got the most fabulous place ever but it was in Umbria and not Tuscany which is equally as beautiful. It was an updated 600 yr old farmhouse on top of a hill overlooking the hills and valley below below with a wonderful stone patio where we ate our meals. If you are intersted it is
called "Calboccia". You can reach Jan Behrsin who owns it at 89 Edgecroft Road, Kensington, CA 94707. Sorry don't have the e mail address handy right now. YOu might try www.calboccia.com. It was the best vacation we ever had. If it is your first time in Italy, I don't recommend it but if it is repeat and you like dealing with the local markets, etc. then go for it. We were there in late May both times. Shar
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 04:49 AM
  #5  
Alice Twain
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You can also check www.agriturismo.regione.toscana.it. The site lists all agritourisms of Tuscany, detailing the characteristics of every agritopurism, and allows you to get direclty in contact with the owners, therefore allowing you cheaper rents. Many agritourisms offer plain rooms where to sleep, many also offer the opportunity to have dinner (usually dining there means eating good homemade food), many also offer indipendent apartments in the middle of Tuscan counstryside.
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 06:56 AM
  #6  
Pam
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Dick, We spent several weeks in Italy a year ago, with one week in Tuscany. We booked through Interhome. Check out their website and you can also call them or request a huge brochure (a book!) on line with pictures, locations, etc. We were very pleased, ended up on an olive farm in Tavernelle val di pesa, perfectly located for us between Florence & Siena. Everything was very smooth with them, and we loved our home there.
Ciao!
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 07:12 AM
  #7  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Dick, A good compromise is to book thru www.tuscany.net. They add a small fee to the cost, but nothing like the 30 % plus that the boutique agencies charge. But, pick your location first--that is the key to enjoying Tuscany.
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 08:47 AM
  #8  
Wayne
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Dick---
while it's true that rental companies charge fees for their services, they also deliver value for your money. The fees are normally built into the rental rate, so you never really know how much they are. A good, reliable outfit like theparkercompany.com or rentvillas.com will provide assurance of good service, decent accommodations, and will also take care of a few odds and ends for you that might not be handled if you deal directly with the owner.

And above all, don't be deceived into thinking that if you deal directly with the owner, you'll avoid paying fees. Every web service that lists properties for rent by owners will charge some kind of fee to the owners; that's how they make money. Again, the fee will be built into your rental costs, this time by the owner including coverage for his fee payment in the rent he charges you.
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 10:01 AM
  #9  
janet
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Be careful about renting directly - we did and were very very sorry - booked a place in nice, france through a private owner - he sent pictures that were gorgeous and we spoke on the phone and he was very nice - one week before our vacation he said he would not be there to meet us since he had to go out of town, so he said he would leave the key with a neighbor - no problem we thought - we got there and it was dirty (unemptied trash, wet towels on the bathroom floor, open cereal boxes on the kitchen table, etc) - then, to top it off, the shutters on the windows, all operated electronically would not open - the neighbor spoke NO english and we speak a little french, but not enough to figure out anything beyond "this is not normal!! this is not normal!!" - no kidding - well, we couldn't stay there since it was dirty and no a.c. - tried to find an affordable alternative (good luck on the french riveira in august), could not, so spent in three nights what we would have paid for the apartment for one week - ran over budget between the increased lodging cost combined with increased food costs since we could not cook, and finally paid $150.00 each to change our plane ticket to come home - a cost that actually saved us $ in the long run - the experience still makes me sick thinking about it

the other times we have rented we went through private real estate agents or rentvillas.com and have had no problems

good luck
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 10:12 AM
  #10  
canuck
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In Tuscany, we got the same property through tuscany.net that was offered through InItaly.com and it was much cheaper..I dealt directly with the owner on the tuscany.net site.
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 10:13 AM
  #11  
Suanne
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We rented directly through Castello Montegufoni (after doing a ton of research). I did everything via email and they mailed the confirmation paperwork and information to us.

http://www.montegufoni.it/

We had a wonderful time and I could not recommend it more highly. We stayed in an apartment for 6 and dined in the castle 2 nights. There are reviews on the slowtrav website. Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 10:51 AM
  #12  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Of course, you need to be careful and smart to rent well. I have booked several rental properties for others and often find the same property listed under different agencies and sometimes a direct link to the owner. A recent example makes my point. I found a place that met the criteria listed thru a major agency at $3500. After some searching, I found the same place thru another one for $3200. I ended up renting it for $2500/week thru the owner who lived in the UK and was very helpful. I do not think the boutique agency could give me $1000 of added value. It pays to shop. The client loved it !
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 11:00 AM
  #13  
Mark
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Hi Dick. We had very good luck renting a Florence apartment for a week in May 2002. We used Windows on Tuscany (www.windowsontuscany.it -or- .com, I can remember which). I would definitely use them again. Buon viaggio!
Mark
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 05:37 PM
  #14  
Roberta
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I highly recommend InItaly.com. I rented agriturismo accomodations through them this spring -- Palazzo Bandino -- and was satisfied by accomodations and service. Their web site is exceptionally comprehensive.

 
Sep 11th, 2002, 05:43 PM
  #15  
Kathleen
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We have rented from Doorways, Ltd in Bryn Mawr, PA 6 times and have been extremely happy with the properties and the service. During one trip the owner of the agency was in Tuscany and took us to see a new villa that she thought might suit us for a future trip with a large group of friends. I was very impressed with her thoroughness in examining the property. You can find Doorways at villavacations.com. It is really nice to talk to someone who can speak firsthand about a potential rental, since we all have different needs and expectations.
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 01:15 PM
  #16  
mary
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try parkercompany.com
Send for their 300+ page catolog that is FREE. It ROCKS...
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 01:26 PM
  #17  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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The Parker catalog is super and free. But,it would have cost my client $1000.
Homework pays !
 
Sep 13th, 2002, 11:59 AM
  #18  
Dick
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I really appreciate the suggestions.

I just got the Parker Catalog, today....certianly an impressive publication.

Some of the larger places look fantastic. It looks like it wil be just the two of us. Is it just me, r do the places for 2 look less desirable. Should I book a place that sleeps 4 for the two of us.

Thanks, again.
 
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:43 PM
  #19  
Janda
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I would book a place for 4 if it is within your budget. Why not !!!
 
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:45 PM
  #20  
Mary
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Bob,
Why would it have cost your $1000.00 ?
 

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