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Review by Kim Kent Harrison3 years ago
This was our first time booking a vacation through Natural Retreats. We found a beautiful home at Lake Toxaway Country Club in NC. We booked in January 2017, and over the ensuing 6 months prior to our stay, we somehow got the week of our stay wrong in our heads and showed up on a Saturday a week early. The Coursey home was already booked from that Sunday, and when the property maintenance crew showed up on Sunday morning, we realized our mistake, but had family coming in from all over, and needed to make that week work. Natural Retreats was very helpful in getting us into another home they managed at the club. The cost was quite a bit more, but we bit the bullet and ponied up so we could have the week we had planned. Because the Coursey home, our original choice was so fantastic, and even better than we had hoped, we felt that Natural Retreats must have a rigorous vetting process and that all of their homes were very well maintained and indeed, luxury.
This is were things went terribly wrong. After paying about 40% more for the McCord lakefront home, we arrived to find the home in less than satisfactory condition. First, the house was filthy. Cobwebs, dead bugs, crumbs and food scraps in kitchen drawers, dust piles under beds and furniture, and mouse traps under cabinets, in the living room and bedrooms. The windows, window sills, and blinds were caked with crud. There was also a horrible smell of mildew and dankness.
Secondly, the furniture, beds, accessories, pillows, and decor was old, broken, and non-existent. I mean, the mattresses were so old, they sank in the middle. The master bed comforter was a sleeping bag. The sheets were cheap. The pillows were $5 Walmart specials. The towels were mildewed and faded/miscolored from being just plain OLD. There was no blender, not enough pots and pans, kitchen utensils were old and mismatched. All the knobs on the dressers were broken. Appliances were dated and dirty. Some door locks were gone. Lakeside furniture was falling apart with nails sticking out, and dangerous. There were exposed TV and cable wires. Lamps were missing lampshades. The shower door in the master did not close properly, and the fixtures in some bathrooms were coming loose. We felt like we were the first people to stay there in a long time. We did not get a good nights sleep the entire week.
Once we got in there, we communicated with Amanda Reid from Natural Retreats with some of the issues, and I must say, she was wonderful with getting us some new towels and a blender, so Natural Retreats does have some pretty good people. Even Alan, the maintenance fellow was very pleasant and understanding.
This home should have NEVER been allowed into the line up at Natural Retreats. It is not a luxury home. We are not snobs, and can deal with a few inconveniences, but this place was filthy! Just because the McCord home was lakefront, and maybe a higher value piece of real estate, does not make it an upgrade. It was clearly a downgrade to us. And when we asked for a partial refund, we were flatly denied. It seems that Natural Retreats either cannot hold their property owners to any kind of standard and demand price breaks for clearly substandard upkeep, or, they are unwilling to fight for their PAYING customers. In my opinion, they are hurting their own brand by maybe offering quantity over quality. Buyer BEWARE! So, Natural Retreats local personnel may get 4-5 stars, but the McCord home gets a 1. The Coursey home gets a 5++...too bad we only got one night there. This site won't let us add pictures proving our point, but you can see them on my FB page.
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