"Worst decision ever!"
06/25/14 Nelle1_12 Christchurch, New Zealand
My partner and I stayed here for 10months from May 2013-March 2014. Because of the length of time I guess you could say we really saw the pros and cons of this building. Biggest piece of advice is, this place is definitely not good for long-term. However we were locked into a contract and would have lost a lot of money if we broke the contract so were kind of stuck once we signed it. Just a note- my partner and I are well travelled and stay in dorm rooms at hostels on a frequent basis, so do not have high expectations. It is my belief that most people would find these living situations difficult, which is why I am posting this- I wish we had known before we signed our contract what we were up for. Pros: -location!! One of the best areas to stay in downtown Vancouver. Down the "quieter" end of Robson St so not loud bars unlike staying on Granville. No.5 bus goes directly down Robson or you can just walk 10mins and be at the skytrain stations or 10mins in other direction and be at English Bay - shared laundry downstairs, however recently there was an announcement made that this will be stopping so maybe ask about this if its something u need - deck off shared area- ok for summer but no sun in winter - constant hot water and heating (all included in the price). However the heating was VERY hot, we actually would sleep with our window open in winter. But can't complain too much, better it be too hot than too cold! - free wifi. Slow at times but generally pretty good. Cons: Without wanting to be too brutal, we did not have a pleasant stay here. We encountered a lot of issues- it may have just been our bad luck but If it were my friends or family coming to Vancouver I would highly recommend staying somewhere else. Issues included: - management do not screen/check anyone who wants to live here (including us- there were no checks done or references needed). For 3 of the 10months we had drug dealers in the room next to ours, and they would keep the apartment back-door open so their "clients" could come and go. To cut a very long story short we fought with management for months to get them removed because of the obvious safety issues and eventually had to threaten legal action before the building mgmt actually got rid of them. It was one of the worst experiences I have ever had and it put a real damper on my time in Vancouver. The other people we had stay during our time here were ok, but not great- just really messy and noisy in general. - the apartment was constantly filthy and we had a constant struggle to keep the place clean. If you are a longer-term guest, like us, and short-term people are placed in your apartment, you naturally end up doing most of the cleaning of things like the oven, bathroom, floors etc- because those that stayed for a matter of weeks or even 2-3months wouldn't think it was their responsibility to clean. There are no cleaners in between guests coming and going so my partner and I literally spent 10months cleaning up after 5other people with next to no help. We are not clean freaks at all, however the constant filth that people seemed to be ok to live in was really unhygienic and disgusting, if I'm honest! Everyone was constantly sick, especially through winter. - the price- because we were longer-term guests we got a deal for $1040 per month. At the time we thought this was ok but we were new to Vancouver and have since realised you can get a private place through air bnb for the same price. For the disgusting state of the apartment and the conditions we lived in, we would have been happier staying in a hostel. - the bed- the bed is only a double for 2 people, Not a queen, which was a bit hard to get used to. However, the mattress was the real issue- it was literally covered in blood stains. We did get a mattress cover but all the bedding they gave us (for an extra charge) was for a single bed, so the cover was constantly coming off. We ended up buying our own bedding as we mentioned it to the building management and nothing was done. - this is not the buildings fault as such, but there is a seafood restaurant next door and they put all the scraps into the bin which sits on the ground on the deck-side of the building. In the summer the smell wafts through the apartment if you leave the windows open and everything u own ends up smelling like rotten fish. We rang up the council about this and it temporarily got better but towards leaving it go really bad again. Not pleasant!! - the general standard of cleanliness of other rooms in the building also was pretty terrible. The apartment below us had a dog for a few months which would bark all the time and would do its business on the deck which was below our deck. As a result we had issues for a good few months using our deck with the stench of dog poo and flies. We found the fact they were even allowed to keep a dog in such a small apartment building really bizarre, and I know it bothered others in the building too. Yet once again – nothing was done about it. - the noise was another massive issue. I've seen another review say the walls are paper thin- this is an understatement and it goes for the floors/ceilings too. We were on the middle floor and we were kept awake constantly by either our flatmates or the apartments below or above us. The apartment above us seemed to think they were a nightclub which would party all nights of the week as late as 5am (bearing in mind that we are young and also enjoy a good party so we are pretty reasonable). We tried asking politely many many times for them to tone it down during the weeknights, to no avail. Because the apartment is mostly full of travellers who dont work there is a general lack of awareness that a party til 4am on a Tuesday may keep the rest of the building awake. This was another issue we bought up with building management but it was like they had no control over it either as they would just shrug each time and say they'll ask them to be quiet. Not a lot of help. - it was a non smoking building however we had two roommates who would smoke inside. Another issue we tried to first sort ourselves and when we were told were being unreasonable asking these people to smoke on the deck (10 steps away from their room!!) we went to building management. Yet again- another issue which was swept under the carpet, as they didn't really know how to deal with the problem. Other notes: - some of the bedrooms (ours included) don't have actual walls- they have frosted glass panels that back onto the living area. As a result, if someone is using the living area the light shines through the glass into the bedroom at night. We managed to get a plastic black sheet to cover this but just thought I'd mention it as it you may need an eye-cover mask if u stay here. As a summary, I would never recommend anyone stay here unless it was super short term or you were desperate. The only exception is if you are in a group of people who all know each other and you rent out the entire apartment, as that would take away a lot of potential issues that come with living in a absolutely tiny, noisy apartment. Over all rating- 2/10 simply for location and good heating.
"Don't let the pictures and description fool you"
05/08/14 Matt H Sydney, Australia
Think very carefully before choosing this accommodation, the accommodation does not match the description. It is no coincidence that there is a no refund policy. When you arrive to the dilapidated building and see the dirty common areas, it is too late to change your mind. The staff are friendly but very inaccessible when you need them. I had to shop for the basics like toilet paper and soap. Steer clear!
"Think of it like a Guest House"
02/28/14 Cheemar London
So I spent five nights here, and the setup is pretty good. Off the bat, don't be thinking it's like an apartment. It's not. It's like a guest house, where different guests have their own bedrooms, which then all open out to a communal living space where there's a TV, breakfast bar, small kitchen and two bathrooms with a toilet in each. Unhelpfully, the bathrooms open out straight into the kitchen area so a) pick your shower time wisely; and b) perhaps save those special deposits for a coffee house! There must be about 6 or 8 'pods' with this same setup, and your keys only give you access to the main door, your pod door, then your bedroom door within that pod. I took a room with no bathroom or toilet of my own, so was strategic in when I showered etc. The place itself is full of mainly students but also people who are new to Canada, awaiting work visas etc, or working small jobs to save a deposit for their own pad. Vancouver is expensive, so they may be there for a while. But as a tourist, it makes for a nice energy to be surrounded by that excitement and enthusiasm. These people are all going to be upstanding Canadian citizens of the future, and I was lucky enough to meet them at the start of their journey and share some of my insights, having been that person in the past. Service - when you book, you arrange a time to meet someone who was there and checked me in easily. There is no one there on the premises all the time, but they are contactable by phone or email in need. There's also a coin-op laundry in the basement for use. Very cheap and handy. Area - it's off Robson St which is one of the main streets. About 10 mins walk to retail central, just any store you would expect on a commercial high street. There is a no. 5 bus which runs frequently and close back up to the shopping strip, and you can then change for other buses on that journey. In the immediate vicinity, you will find a few cheap and cheerful Korean or Japanese eateries, catering for the young demographic. There are some questionable looking restaurants attached to 1980's style hotels on this part of Robson St but let me tell you, each night those restaurants are heaving with patrons. There is also a Whole Foods Market around the corner for supermarket stuff (though be prepared to take a wallet walloping as healthy food ain't cheap!) The kitchen inside the apartment 'pod' has a shared fridge and one cupboard dedicated for each guest room. This is more useful for those on longer-term stays. Because many of the people I met were like that, there wasn't the usual crap you can encounter in hostel/guest house setups like someone taking someone else's food, using their milk, using their higher-quality toiletries in the shower etc. There's a respect in place because it's more like their home. I left my major items - passport, laptop etc - all inside my room when I went out. There's no safes etc so you just do it if instinctively, it feels like you can trust the people in your 'pod' area. For the price - I paid around CAD 60 per night - you could do a lot worse. The other hotels on Robson in the same price bracket are prob the same but wouldn't have that communal aspect to it. So pick the place that suits the type of person you are. If you just want to come home from a day out and disappear into your room, then this ain't the space. But if you want to drop your things in your room, then come back out and share stories whilst you make a tea or have a wine, then RobsonLiving is a good place for this. ps - walls are paper thin so bear that in mind for any middle-of-day (or night) shenanigans.
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