Don't Use Cross-Pollinate in Europe!
We had high hopes for this agency, which my daughter used for booking an apartment in Rome two summers ago. Cross-Pollinate is owned by an American couple who make the claim that "What makes Cross-Pollinate different from other reservation systems is that all of our properties are personally researched, inspected and revisited so we can confidently recommend places we feel reflect the best value." This is CLEARLY NOT the case.
Here is what we encountered in Casa Alice, billed as a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment near the Pantheon in Rome:
-Rank smell. Like a sewer.
-One of the toilet seats was missing.
-We were not given enough sheets. One guest slept uncomfortably with NO SHEETS on her bed.
-Water pressure in the kitchen was NIL, and there was no hot water either. I was hauling water in from another room and boiling it on the small electric stove in order to wash the breakfast dishes.
-We were given ONE set of towels apiece. Now I don't mind, and fully expected, to launder towels on our stay, but since this place has no dryer wouldn't we need TWO sets each.....one to use while the other is hanging out to dry? It was positively unsanitary.
-Wall-hook which was supposed to hold the shower head in the back bathrooom was broken, which resulted in much water spraying around. Of course, we couldn't clean it up (because of no towels) so that room stayed a swampy mess for our visit.
So by Day 3 of our 7-Night stay and after contacting both the apartment owner and Cross-Pollinate owner repeatedly, we are weary with feeling like we are CAMPING in this Rome apartment. I contacted the Cross-Pollinate owner and told him we were leaving the next day and could he please refund the remaining 3 nights.
The answer? No, he would not.
I cannot emphasize enough that you do not want to be doing business with these people. We travel quite a bit, both overseas and in the States. Amazingly, I've only had one negative experience (nothing like this) and that was with VRBO. One would think that using an agency would eliminate problems such as these. So much for taking responsibility for your business, Cross-Pollinate!