Firstly, the good points:
Lovely large roof terrace - with good sea views and plenty of seating
thick clean towels,
Now for the disappointing points:
Extremely poor quality/cleanliness of furnishing/fittings/equipment.
After a French traffic control delay of an hour, via a few texts and a call - we eventually arranged to meet Paolo near the entrance to the old town early evening. He showed me to the house (the one with the most photographed steps in Polignano), but just gave a me a very brief tour. Foolishly, I didn't check on the condition of everything before he left. To be honest after a long day's travel we just wanted to settle in. Last year, I stayed in lovely Casa Dorsi which is only seconds away so I do know the vicinity well, sadly the suite I booked last year overlooking the sea wasn't available.
Back to NEL BLU DIPINTO DI BLU
I booked this accommodation because it offered 2 bedrooms (it actually has 3), my partner and I prefer to sleep separately. It was obviously assumed however, that we were to share the main bedroom on the street side, because when I went to bed in the back room - to my chagrin - no bed linen (except for a light cotton bedcover). I have rented in many self-catering properties across Europe, but this was a first! It was noisy in the front bedroom, so I had no option but to sleep on the bed with the bedcover wrapped around me, no pillowcases so had to use my scarf to cover them. I wasn't happy!
Next day we bought some goodies for the fridge, only to discover a big red wine stain on the bottom of it... yes, I could've cleaned it with the grubby washing up sponge provided - but why should I? So, I contacted Paolo about this - he said that I should have asked for both bedrooms to be made up when booking (why, if I booked a 2 bed property?), but after a text exchange he kindly arranged for a lady to come around in the afternoon to put these matters right, which she did - promptly.
I don't think we're particularly fussy, - we certainly didn't expect luxury, but we did expect to find everything in order and sparkling clean.
Upstairs toilet - the seat is old, tatty, and completely loose - my partner nearly slipped off it!
Shower room/loo - the old plastic seat is also loose & yellowing - the bowl of the toilet itself needs a good clean with bleach. We couldn't put the shower back on it's holder because the screw holding it up was hanging out of the wall and wobbling - didn't want to risk the whole thing falling off.
Kitchen area - the plates are old, chipped and some with old cracks in.
Living room area - TV was an old CRT (circa 1990s) with a digital box attached, TVs in other rooms were a waste of time too.
Bedrooms - there are 3 bedrooms:
2 at the front (main & childrens), 1 rear (no window just a skylight - this is normal for Polignano though).
Be aware that the windows are not double-glazed so you do get noise from the street below - it can be noisy throughout the night at weekend with passing groups of people chattering (because it's a narrow stone street the noise is exacerbated). The windows should open out onto the street if they were easy to open, but they weren't - judging by the poor fittings through the rest of the house we thought better than to force opening the shutters so we had gloomy rooms throughout our stay. Luckily it wasn't warm - otherwise the only option you would have would to use the ceiling fans which had layers of dust on them.
Am I being picky? Maybe - but it isn't much to expect a clean, safe toilet seat, fully assembled shower and a decent dinner service - none of these things are expensive. I have attached photos. I personally recommend people should always take photos of self-catering accommodation when you arrive and before departure for your own records, whether in the UK or abroad.
The floor was dark tiled throughout, I suspect it wasn't cleaned from head to toe after each booking. I could have raised all of this with Paolo - who was very nice, but my Italian is virtually non-existent and I don't think his English is up to dealing with complex issues.
Conclusion: It all depends on expectations, if you are happy with all I have described - go ahead and book (you need to pay a deposit on booking). The roof terrace is a good size, it has a sink & shower and BBQ facilities if the weather is nice.
In my opinion, if the owners just spent a few hundred euro's sprucing the apartment up, or maybe a bit more and put secondary glazing in - they would have a winner. It's already one of Polignano's famous sights - almost everyone has their photo taken on on by the steps leading to the house.
All it needs is a bit of TLC and it would be fantastic! It's in a great location.
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