Just so you dont find yourself in a similar situation, I wanted to let you in on a very horrible experience using VRBO for a unit at the Fontainebleau!
We found Avi Earl Cohen’s suite at the Fontainebleau Miami on VRBO under the Listing #233418. When we arrived on the 31st we noticed that there were open food containers in the kitchen as well as food in the refrigerator. At first we thought that they had just forgotten to clean the kitchen but it soon became apparent that they had also not changed/cleaned the sheets we were supposed to sleep on. It also became apparent that the unit he was advertising in the listing (thru photos) was different than the one we ultimately had been put in – different views, furniture and layout! We found cockroaches on the dining room furniture and we emailed Avi to tell him about the condition of his unit. He told us “that is awful” and we arranged with him to have housekeeping go back to clean our unit. We proceeded to go out to dinner and upon re-entering the unit noticed a stack of towels and some shampoo bottles on the coffee table, but the bedding (on both the master bed and the pullout bed) was still unchanged and dirty.
We did everything we could to have our unit changed, including speaking to a manager, but they told us their hands were tied. We called Avi but he didn’t answer his phone. We were stuck in a dirty hotel room with a dirty kitchen, cockroaches and nowhere to sleep. Ultimately the Resort sent housekeeping up with clean sheets at 2:30 AM and she was done making our beds closer to 3:30 AM. We proceeded to write Avi an email telling him how terrible our experience was – that while we had new sheets on the beds the rest of the unit was still dirty - and requested a full refund for our horrific situation. We then tried to get our belonging out of the safe deposit box in order to leave. His safe, however, was defective and it wasn’t until 4:30 that we had security finally open it for us to get our valuables. By that point, while we didn’t want to stay there it became highly unreasonable for us to go anywhere else.
We awoke just a few hours later to an email from Avi saying that he was very disappointed with his housekeeping staff and that “I don’t want someones money in this situation”. We of course agreed with him and got our things together to leave the unit. At this point we had had no satisfaction of enjoying the property and barely slept 4 hours. We wrote and email back to Avi letting him know that we would also not be staying in the unit on Monday as our vacation was very short and there was no way we would risk another hellish night. To this Avi got increasingly brutish and agitated and said he would only give us a portion of our money back as he had to pay for housekeeping (which clearly wasn’t true as they never showed up!).
Avi sent security to escort us out of his unit early and through various emails demanded that we pay for the night we stayed in his unit, even though he had previously told us that what we were going through was awful and that he would never expect us to pay for it.
We spent the rest of the morning before leaving the Fontainebleau Hotel, talking to various levels of Hotel Management and Condo Rental management, all who told us that Avi is commonly running into these issues because he doesn’t run his “condo rental” program correctly and forgets to have the unit cleaned.
I warn you do NOT rent this unit from him, it is a scam! We are now appealing this with our credit card as well as paypal, and while I'm sure we will get the money back somehow - it still ruined the beginning of our trip!