Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Why would an apartment owner ask such a personal (and strange) question? (

sarge56 Jan 18th, 2011 03:28 PM

Why would an apartment owner ask such a personal (and strange) question?
I am renting an apartment in Rome at the end of March. It is a two-bedroom, one bath apartment.

After I secured the apartment with a deposit, the owner emailed me and asked, "Will you sleep in the same double-bed?"

I considered this a lot strange and a little intrusive. Why on Earth would someone ask that?

(I replied that, "no", we were two middle-aged female cousins and we would not be sharing a bed- that was why I booked a two-bedroom.)

All eight reviews (VRBO) had terrific things to say about the apartment and the owner. So, I feel ok about it. But I thought it was really strange.

alohatoall Jan 18th, 2011 03:31 PM

The owner may simply have wanted to know if both beds needed to be made up and phrased the question rather inartfully.

StuDudley Jan 18th, 2011 03:33 PM

My wife & I quite often rent apts & gites with more than 1 bedroom - so we can have a place to store stuff and I usually keep my clothes in the second bedroom. We sleep in 1 bed. They are probably asking you this to determine how many sets of bedsheets to supply.

Stu Dudley

Lynnaustin Jan 18th, 2011 03:34 PM

Perhaps the bed is one that can be made into two twins or one double and he wanted to know how to arrange it.

mztery Jan 18th, 2011 03:45 PM

Perhaps the bed is one that can be made into two twins or one double and he wanted to know how to arrange it.

That was my take as well.

nytraveler Jan 18th, 2011 04:47 PM

I would assume he was asking so he would know what to do about the linens. (No point in making up a bed that's never gong to be used.)

KayF Jan 18th, 2011 05:03 PM

It may have sounded rude or intrusive but you have to make allowances for the language difference. If English is not his first language then it may have been worded clumsily to you. I agree with the others, he probably needs to know for bed linen, not just for when you arrive but to instruct the cleaners at the end that there will be one or two sets of bed linen for the laundry. Also, the beds in Europe are sometimes joined together with long zippers to make a double, so he may need to know whether to split the bed or not.


StCirq Jan 18th, 2011 05:56 PM

Lots of large beds in Europe are actually two beds put together. They can be made up as one large single (matrimoniale in Italian) or two separate ones, in which case the linens required are separate.

The owner's not asking you a personal question; he's asking you a practical,logistical one so he knows how you want the room to be prepared before you arrive.

I always did that when I rented my house.

sarge56 Jan 18th, 2011 05:57 PM

Thanks, folks. That makes perfect sense, but was not something I'd thought about. That's why I have y'all. :)

I'm sure that is why she asked. :)


sheila Jan 19th, 2011 12:23 AM

Equally, they may have a policy against letting unmarried people sleep together. As you may know, this is currently causing a huge stushie in the UK

Dukey1 Jan 19th, 2011 03:16 AM

As a gay person I've been asked this question more than once.

I honestly don;t know what is "awkward" about the question (possibly because I've heard it many times and also much worse) is straightforward...are you or aren't you?

You aren't; no problem.

kerouac Jan 19th, 2011 03:19 AM

I like it when they call a double bed a "matrimonial bed." :)

k9korps Jan 19th, 2011 03:29 AM

He was trying to figure out where to place the Web cam.

tarquin Jan 19th, 2011 04:07 AM

No huge stushie in the UK, those B&B owners were unusual (and loons.)

zeppole Jan 19th, 2011 04:09 AM

I once rented a very large apartment in Italy to share with my mother because a smaller one wasn't available. The owner asked if we planned to use the third bedroom, and when I replied no, she automatically lowered the rental cost slightly because she felt it would be unfair to charge me a cleaning fee for a room we didn't use.

sarge56 Jan 19th, 2011 07:24 PM

zeppole- very interesting!

Dukey-I didn't think it mattered- gay or straight- in the US, I would consider it rude to ask. However, I do believe it was a simple translation issue and might have been better stated as something like, "If you are not going to be using the smaller bedroom, please let me know." As opposed to pretty much asking me if I was sharing a bed with someone.

kerouac-only for the Europeans. Alas, most Americans I know would not fit 2 (comfortably) in a double bed.

k9- <i>She</i>. :)

bookchick Jan 19th, 2011 07:39 PM

Sheila, please tell me you're kidding. This is a cause for concern in the UK??? The same country that plasters their Page 3 girls' images everywhere they can??? Um, you peeps do <i>know</i>, do you not, that there are unmarried folks sleeping together, often even in the same bed?? Some of these unmarrieds are actually rumoured to be Royals, too, fancy that.

I do believe it's a practical matter involving linens and possibly the size of the bed itself. I don't think the landlord actually cares what you do there, just as long as the property is able to withstand whatever it is you do with whomever. Really. :)


WillTravel Jan 19th, 2011 09:22 PM

Bookchick, I think the reference is to this case:

sheila Jan 20th, 2011 06:36 AM

bookchick Jan 20th, 2011 07:12 AM

Thank you both for the links.
Who'd have thought? I mean, this IS the 21st century, unless my calendar is broken.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:44 PM.