Les Terasses des Oliviers Cappicioli Corsica  » Travel  »
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Cappicioli, Corsica, France
  • As we came by car from the UK that wouldn't have been a problem at all
  • In fact, the issue of our security deposit was made a complete mockery of on the day of our departure
  • I noticed that both weeks we were there in June, only four of the nine apartments were occupied
  • The cost issue is exacerbated further for British people because of the drop in the value of the pound against the euro
  • If you are going to Corsica for two or more weeks, it is worth to consider driving there

    • by Chief Running Nose
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      Les Terasses des Oliviers, Cappicioli, Corsica and travel to Corsica

      LES TERRASSES DES OLIVIERS, CAPPICIOLO between Sunday 8th - Sunday 22nd June this year.

      I had intended to do this review soon after our (my wife’s and I) return. However, it probably is better that this is being written now rather than directly after our return to the UK as it has given me time to clarify a few things in my own mind.

      Let me start with the positives of which there are many. The situation of the apartments is spectacular - the view across the bay, stunning! Our apartment (No. 5) was attractively fitted out and very clean, as were the bed linen and towels. These were happily changed halfway through our stay without us needing to ask. There was a constant supply of hot water and good water pressure. In other words, the property matched up to the description given of it on the website (see below).

      There is just one minor factual error in the description of these apartments. There was only an iron & ironing board in one of the laundry rooms. In the other, there was a redundant fridge! My wife also feels that there ought to be a ‘health warning’ regarding the steep nature of the access road to this property. However, I had no problems driving up & down it as long as I stuck to first gear!!! But others (like my wife ;-) might find it quite frightening.

      I was a little annoyed that, when we arrived, we found that the kitchen light was faulty and a bulb was missing from one of the bedroom lights. But to be fair, the caretaker got two maintenance men to call first thing the following morning to fix the electrical problems and also kill the ants that were invading the terrace and the front entrance.

      However, what did disappoint us was the supply of crockery, glassware, cutlery, saucepans etc. Whilst there was a sufficient number of most things for the two of us, there certainly weren’t sufficient quantities for 5 or 6 people which the apartment is meant to be capable of accommodating. And some basic things were missing. For example, the apartment comes with a full size cooker with an oven, but there was no baking dish of any sort to use in the oven. This may explain why the oven was so spotlessly clean! Nobody has been able to use it! We were also provided with a broom to sweep the floor but no dustpan & brush to collect the


      resultant debris. Nor was there a dedicated rubbish bin.

      In many respects, these problems arose because of the absence of any form of inventory being sent to us in advance of our stay. If we had known what was, and what wasn’t there, we would have known what we needed to bring with us and what to leave at home. As we came by car from the UK that wouldn’t have been a problem at all ;-) Even when we arrived, no inventory was produced. Yet we were asked for a security deposit of 100 euros but with nothing to check against at the end of our stay, to prove either way, whether we had broken or lost anything.

      I contrast this with two canal boats we have hired in the last couple of years, one in France & one in Scotland plus a tent on several eurocamp sites. In all cases, we had listed in advance, all that was provided or not provided ;-). Upon arrival, we were able to check what was supplied against that inventory. And on returning the boats/ tents, the respective owners did a quick check that everything was there before returning our security deposit.

      In fact, the issue of our security deposit was made a complete mockery of on the day of our departure. The caretaker of the property had asked us on the day of our arrival, what time we intended to leave on Sunday 22nd June in order to meet with us, check the apartment and return our security deposit. As we were going to be driving to Bastia to catch the ferry at 15.30 that afternoon, we said 08.30 to which she happily agreed. At 08.45 on Sunday 22nd, the caretaker still hadn’t arrived so we telephoned her. A couple of phone calls eventually roused her and she promised to get to us ASAP. Eventually she phoned back just after 09.00 to say that she was now waiting on the D157 by the ‘Terrasses des Oliviers’ sign and asked us to drive up and meet her there. Seems also she didn’t like to drive down the steep hill! This we did and she gave us our 100 euros back, acknowledging at the same time that she had completely forgotten about us!!! No check was made of the apartment. Maybe we looked honest but we could have stripped & wrecked it for all she knew!!!

      I must admit that I had a very wry smile when I received an email yesterday, offering a 15% ...


      • or 20% reduction in rental costs for bookings in late August and September. I noticed that both weeks we were there in June, only four of the nine apartments were occupied. It struck me then that if the owner reduced his prices a bit, he might get a greater occupancy rate and an overall higher income in return. Maybe the penny has finally dropped! Having done some further research since our return home to the UK, I realise that at 1545 euros, we paid well over the odds for the accommodation that we had, especially considering the inventory issues and the absence of certain items mentioned previously. The cost issue is exacerbated further for British people because of the drop in the value of the pound against the euro. And for everyone, there is the ever increasing cost of travel, because of the massive rise in oil prices.

        I might also like to draw to property owner’s attention, this advice: “It is worth considering that clients generally don’t like to pay lots of ‘extras’ such as linen hire or end of stay cleaning, so these costs should be included in the advertised rental cost”.

        No doubt paying 45 euros in cash to the caretaker for end of stay cleaning, is a simple tax & social security avoidance ploy for the property owner. But the understanding of the views of clients is correct. There should be a one off hire charge & no more!

        We did meet the property owner during our stay. We found him investigating the basement of our apartment one day and asked who he was and what he was doing. He explained that he was the owner and there followed a long conversation in French in which he told us all his life story and all about his current business and property interests!

        TRAVELLING TO CORSICA

        As I am writing, I thought I would also pass on details of a somewhat different and cheaper way of getting to Corsica.

        If you are going to Corsica for two or more weeks, it is worth to consider driving there. You do need to allow two days each way. We live just under 3 hours drive from Dover. We set out early on the Friday morning and drove to Dover and caught the 10.00am Norfolk Line sailing to Dunkerque. We then drove the autoroute into Belgium, passing around Bruxelles and then down to Luxembourg. From there, we drove down back into France towards Metz, before heading eastwards to Strasbourg where we stayed overnight.

        The following day we

        drove to the Swiss border at Basel and then through Switzerland passing Luzern, the St Gotthard Tunnel, Lugano, to the Italian border at Chiasso. We then used the autostrada passing west of Milan, south of Alessandria, arriving at the port of Savona on the Mediterranean coast on Saturday evening. From here, we took the 11pm overnight Corsica Ferries sailing to Bastia which arrived at 7am on the Sunday morning. This then allowed a leisurely day’s drive through Corsica to the apartment near Propriano. Incidentally, a cabin on the ferry is much cheaper than an overnight hotel.

        There are two main advantages of taking this route.

        Although being almost exclusively on motorway/autoroute/autostrada, there are relatively few tolls. The only ones are Metz - Strasbourg 11.30 euros and Chiasso - Savona 13.80 euros. To use the Swiss motorways, you need to purchase a ‘vignette’ which is valid to 31st January of the year following it’s purchase. These cost 40 Swiss francs or 30 euros. We already had one from visiting Bern in January and many other people may have one from winter skiing trips. Even if you have to purchase a vignette on the way to Corsica, you don’t have to pay anything on your way back home through Switzerland!

        Although both Luxembourg & Switzerland are expensive countries to live in, both governments levy far less tax on petrol than the UK, France, Belgium or Italy. Therefore by travelling this route, you can fill up with cheap fuel in Luxembourg & Switzerland en route.

        The other advantages of having your own car are:-

        You can take what you want with you without having to worry about airport security or items being damaged in transit in the hold of an aircraft. My wife was able to take her expensive camera and computer equipment and I could take my walking poles.

        My car, a Renault Scenic, has air conditioning which was highly useful in the warmth of Corsica. To hire the equivalent model in Corsica is much more expensive than a basic two door compact & even that, for two weeks, is quite pricey.

        You can bring back what you want such as bottles of Corsican wine and/ or olive oil!!!!!

        In a Corsican registered hire car, it is easy to be mistaken for a local by other Corsican drivers. In a British registered right-hand drive car, everyone gave us a wide berth!

        FINALLY

        Corsica is wonderful - we will be going back!



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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2008. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 383007415230531/k2311a0730/7.30.08
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