FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why should I book a Private Apartment vs a Hotel or Bed & Breakfast?
Private apartments compared to hotel or B&B rooms provides:
• Much more space
• More privacy
• A more familiar and "live like a local" experience
Hotel rooms compared to a private apartments provide:
• A 24h Reception (in most cases)
• Breakfast facilities
• The standard set of service you can expect from hotels
Why should I book with you?
Because we are passionate about Vacation Rentals and about Italy. We want our customers to get the best from their vacation, we work hard to make all things go as smooth as possible and we love when we hear from our guest how 'special' their vacation has been.
Professionally managed accommodations mean you get high standard accommodations, no surprises, no inexperienced owners to deal with.
We are not a "listing" site where owners are free to enter any description of their property without any verification and are interested in pumping it up a little. We have reputation and standards to keep and we inspect each single property. We only work with honest descriptions, transparent and fair pricing, untouched photos.
Having helped thousands and thousands of travelers over the years means we have seen all sorts of things and we have learned how to prevent troubles and manage unexpected situations.
Little things can make a lot of difference in your vacation.
You should book with us if you want quality accommodations, peace of mind, someone that is with you in every step of the process, someone that is there in case you need help.
Can I trust you?
Yes but don't take our word for it.
Check what previous customers or portals are saying about us on independent channels and websites.
We are Certified Property Managers on a number of travel friendly websites including: Tripadvisor, Homeaway, Holidaylettings.co.uk, VRBO.com, Slowtravel.com.
A certification process with these companies means that we have been verified in many different aspects from each of them: i.e. via in person meetings, via a bank, company or address verification process, by reviews from previous guests, etc.
And most important..it means that our relationship with them and our promise to travelers remains healthy over the years.
Check independent reviews on Tripadvisor: we have more than 150 independend and unsolicited reviews and an average scoring of 4.7 out of 5 stars. We have just been awarded with the "excellent" badge.
Check out our Facebook page, we have more than 1.000 fans constantly engaged.
Ask as many questions as you want before booking, we will be more than happy to answer and help you out.
Search on the Internet and you will not find a single complaint about us, if you do let us know.
Do the other options you are considering have a similar proof of confidence?
How does the booking process work?
You submit one or multiple your inquiries about the properties that interest you the most.
We reply to you within 24/48 hours confirming availability and total final cost or alternatively we provide a list of proposals to match your request.
You are free to ask as many questions as you want or just confirm you are interested in renting a specific property.
We send you a booking recap and a link to an online confirmation form where you can securely pay the reservation deposit via Credit Card or Paypal.
We will reply shortly after to confirm your reservation and we will send you a confirmation email with all details of your reservation. (i.e. apartment details, checkin and checkout dates and time, final total cost, remaining balance to be paid, full address of the apartment, directions to reach the apartment and contact numbers of the owner, etc.)
After sending all details of your reservation we will ask you to provide us your arrival details (i.e. flight schedule, etc) in order to organize your checkin and a car pickup if required.
Are your prices all-included?
Yes our pricing is absolutely transparent, no surprises and no hidden costs: electricity, gas, cleaning, supply of bed linen and towels, VAT are all included in the price.
A late checkin fee may apply if you are arriving late at night, this will be clearly stated in the confirmation email or as soon as you send us your arrival information. If you plan to arrive late at night you can just ask us in advance.
I'm interested in a property but I'm not ready to book yet, can you hold it for me?
During the discussion/proposal stages the properties mentioned are not held until you reach back to us confirming are ok and interested in proceeding with a booking. From that moment the property will be on hold for you for 24 hours. If we don't receive the payment confirmation within this timeframe the property comes back available for other guests to book.
How far in advance do I need to book?
Our most popular properties tend to fill up 4 to 6 months in advance for high season dates (i.e March, April, May, June, September, October). Christmas and New Year's weeks tend to fill up 6 to 9 months in advance.
If your travel dates are not flexible, it's best to book early in order to have the broadest selection and availability.
We don't work very much with last minute bookings as Vacation Rentals have a higher occupation rate than hotels and need some preparation, however discounts are possible if you find an available property in 2 weeks from the booking to the arrival dates.
Can I rent an apartment for less than a week?
Yes. The minimum stay varies from 3 to 5 nights depending on the season.
Can I start my holiday on any day of the week?
Yes. There are no fixed day change over the week.
Can I rent a property of yours for 1 mont/several months/1 year?
We generally don't work with long term stays and our apartments usually have reservation with up to 9 months to a year in advance. However feel free to reach us for any specific long term need, we can work with the owner for special agreements.
How will I get the keys of my apartment?
You will be given the keys at the apartment when you check in.
Is there a cautionary deposit?
A cautionary deposit is requested for some apartments. The amount payable will be indicated in your e-mail booking confirmation.
The deposit will be returned at the end of your stay provided that no damage happens to the property.
What's your cancellation policy?
Please refer to our Terms and Condition Rental Agreement, which is stated on our homepage and next to any booking inquiry.
Major highligths are:
• If you cancel with more than 60 days before arrival – the Reservation Deposit (the one you paid to confirm the reservation) is due to the agency as cancellation penalty
• If you cancel between 60 to 11 days before arrival – 50% of the total final cost is due to the agency as cancellation penalty
• If you cancel between 10 to 0 days before arrival – 100% of the total final cost is due to the agency as cancellation penalty
Refunds are provided in accordance with the previous cancellation policy.
Such cancellation policy is pretty standard across all vacation rentals (both owners and agencies), you'll notice that it's not just us.
Cancellation policies for vacation rentals are stricter than hotels. In fact Hotels have many identical rooms that often go unsold. Private apartments instead are unique properties often booked with several months in advance: if you cancel with a late notice the apartment will most probably not be rented and the owner will lose the opportunity to make his/her profit on which they count for living.
Will I lose all my money if I have a last minute problem and can not come anymore?
To reduce the risk and impact of unforeseen situations we suggest to buy a travel insurance.
So after providing evidence of the expenses for your accommodation and of the fact that you haven't been able to travel as per your plan the Insurance company will give you a refund.
Travel Insurance also come with additional advantages that go beyond just accommodation expenses protection and include injuries, flight cancellation and delays, etc.
We highly recommend considering it.
You can take a look at: travelguard.com or similar or to any insurance company you are already working with.
Can I pay or get a quote in $/£/other currencies different than €?
All our prices and payment are stated and due in Euros (€).
We do our best to give you a good estimate of what the final price will be in your own local currency but that might not be precise because of many factors (foreign exchange rates, your card or bank fees, etc.)
When paying online via credit card, your bank or credit card company will translate the price in euro to your own local currency according to your agreement and to your bank's currency exchange. We have no control on it.
Cash payments are accepted only in euro. No travel cheques, no other currencies.
Are all your properties centrally located?
Yes. We only deal with accommodations located in the historical city center of our destinations. You will be able to walk anywhere, which is the best option to explore and live the city.
Accommodation that are not centrally located usually are more affordable in terms of rental rates but are a significant burden in terms of time wasted on public transportation, transportation costs that add to the bill, and in the and are a completely different experience.
We have chosen to do no compromise on the location of our apartments.
Are all your apartments supplied with bed linens and towels or do I have to bring my own?
Yes. All our accommodations are supplied and equipped with towels, bed linens, and covers. All will be provided for you.
How does Apartment cleaning work?
Apartments are cleaned in depth before your arrival. Vacation Rentals on the contrary of hotels do not come with daily cleaning both for privacy and for cost reduction reasons.
Should you need additional cleaning during your stay this can be arranged on request.
Who do I call in case of any issue with the apartment?
On the confirmation email both the owner and The Key to Italy's contact numbers are clearly stated. If you have any issue related to the apartment you are supposed to call the owner, he or she will take care of you.
For any question related to the reservation and any other service you can refer to The Key to Italy's contact numbers provided.
Will there be other be people in the apartment I have booked?
Absolutely not. You will have exclusive use of the whole apartment including the kitchen and the bathrooms throughout your stay.
What are the standard bed sizes in Italy?
In Italy a double (matrimoniale) bed is normally 1.60 m wide, while a queen size (alla francese) bed is 1.40 m in width, a narrow double bed (una piazza e mezzo) has a width of 1.20 m and a single bed (singolo) is 80 cm wide. All Italian beds are 1.90 m long.
Are pets allowed?
No. Pets are generally not allowed in our properties. If you have specific needs please reach to us in advance and we will see if there is any option available.
How does the check-in process work? Who will meet me at the apartment?
Either the owner or a representative of The Key to Italy will be waiting for you at the apartment at the time agreed according to the Arrival Form sent to you after confirmation.
The greeter (either the owner or a representative) will show you the property, answer all your questions and leave you the keys of your accommodation. The greeter will speak perfect English.
Only for Venice: If you are coming to Venice you are required to step to our office first where you'll be given a welcome pack with keys and directions to the apartment and you'll get to the apartment by yourself (we are available on the phone should you need any support or clarification). Venice is a very specific city, there are no cars, our office is conveniently located at the entrance of the Island and on your way to your accommodation.
A contact phone number will be provided for you to call in case of any delay, issue or change of schedule.
At what time can we Check-IN? Is it flexible?
Checkin time is stated on the confirmation email and it is usually 14:30 in the afternoon.
If there are no other guests leaving in the same morning of your arrival the owner is usually flexible and accepts early check-in for free.
If other guests are leaving the same morning you might be allowed to leave your luggage at the apartment on your arrival in the meantime that the accommodation get's cleaned (usually between 10:30 and 14:30 in the morning).
Such decisions are at owner's discretion, we have no control on them.
For early checkins it is important that you check with us a few days before your arrival if it can be arranged it.
My flight/train is arriving late at night is that a problem?
No problem as long as you let us know in advance when we ask for your arrival information. Be aware that a late check-in may apply if you arrive after 7:30pm, if this is the case the cost will be clearly stated in the confirmation email.
What if I my flight or train is delayed?
In the confirmation voucher you'll be provided with the mobile phone number of the person assigned to your checkin. In case of any delay, issue or change of schedule please make sure to get in touch with him/her.
If your arrival details have changed with several days of notice from your arrival date, you are kindly required to send us an email with your new travel arrangements. We will manage to inform the owner and the check-in representative on your behalf.
In case you want to make sure the apartment is available early at your arrival you are required to book also the night before your arrival.
Is there a place where I can leave my luggage in the meantime that I wait to check-in?
Both Rome and Venice have places at train stations and airports where you can store your luggage.
Venice has a convenient luggage deposit at Santa Lucia Train Station, just at the entrance of the Island of Venice and few minutes from our office. You can store your luggage, have a quick walk/preview of Venice and then step to our office to pickup the keys and get to your accommodation.
Rome has a luggage deposit at Rome Termini station which is also on the line A & B of the underground, so very well connected to most places.
Do you offer Car-Pick Up service from the Airport?
Yes. We offer a car pick-up service to/from the Airport at a fixed competitive flat rate depending on the number of people.Our driver will be holding a sign outside the arrival area with your name on it. He will take you straight to the apartment...a quick trip without any line and waiting time.
The driver will check your flight for delays, he knows the address the address of the accommodation and will call on your behalf the contact numbers we provided to confirm your checkin.
It's a very convenient service and we strongly recommend it on your arrival especially.
All information to request a car pickup with us will be given at the time of the confirmation or when your travel arrangements have been finalized.
Note: Not applicable for Venice. Full instructions and tips for public transportation will be provided on the confirmation voucher.
How will I find the Car Pickup driver at the airport?
The driver will meet you when you come out of the baggage claim area, he will have a sign with your name. If you don't immediately see your driver, you should stay at the exit of the baggage claim area and not go away from this area as this is where the driver will meet you. If you have any difficulties you can call the telephone number on your voucher to speak directly with the driver service.
At what time can we Check-OUT? Is it flexible?
If there are no other guests arriving the same day you are leaving the owner might be flexible enough to allow you a late check-in for free.
Such decision is at proprietor's own discretion, we have no power on it. You can check with the owner at your arrival during the check-in process.
In case you want to be absolutely sure that you can have a late checkout you are required to book an additional night to your total stay.
GENERAL INFO ABOUT TRAVELLING IN ITALY
Which airport is closer to Rome, Fiumicino or Ciampino?
Both airports are a similar distance, the only difference is if you are taking public transport to arrive from the airport to the city centre. Fiumicino, also called Leonard da Vinci airport has an express train which takes 30 mins at a cost of Euro 14 per one way trip. From Ciampino there is a bus to take you to Termini station which is only 4 Euros but the trip will depend on traffic. You can also use a bus, metro combination from Ciampino but with luggage it's not a very convenient way to travel.
Can you help me out with booking tours, museums or day trips
Yes, we collaborate with leading tour agencies since many years and we are happy to suggest you the best guided tours or trip and help you arrange it.
Can you help me out with booking flights, restaurants, events or other reservations
Although we don't manage such services directly we are happy to point you to the most useful resources at our best and support you in the process whenever possible for us.