This is part two of a two-part review of Wimdu.com. I was provided with a voucher for the purpose of reviewing their services during my stay in Lima, Peru. All opinions are my own. Click here to read part one.
I met Giancarlo, the property manager for the Lima apartment I picked, last Thursday afternoon.
The one bedroom unit located in the upscale Miraflores neighborhood looked just as it did in the photos.
After a quick tour, I paid the $150 security deposit (using Peruvian Soles), confirmed my ability to access the Wi-Fi, and began to enjoy my first short term apartment rental.
Towels were provided, but there was no toilet paper or hand soap, so I picked up both, along with a Glade air freshener and some groceries (juice, milk, cereal, snacks).
I was surprised to find the act of staying in an apartment versus a private hostel room or hotel made me feel more akin to being an expat in Lima than a tourist just passing through.
At first, that feeling threw me for a loop, and I wasn't sure whether I wanted to feel like an expat. I experience a place more slowly when I'm living there, yet I only planned to be in Lima a few weeks.
I made the mistake of drinking a glass of tap water that first night, and paid for it the next morning at 4 AM with an unpleasant case of traveler's diarrhea.
Being sick abroad always sucks, especially if you've yet to make friends where you are when it happens. On the plus side, I was happy to have a private, comfortable place to recover.
On the downside, I found that living in the apartment can be an isolating experience. Aside from greeting the doormen, there was nobody around to talk to in person.
For that reason alone, I thought apartment rentals might be better suited for friends traveling together, or couples, versus a solo traveler like myself.
Once I started feeling better, I began to eat out in Lima's wonderful restaurants, and see a few of the local sights.
When I was full of energy once again, the isolation of renting an apartment in a big, new city didn't bother me as much.
The rooftop had terrific 360-degrees of the city, including the ocean which was a 10 minute walk away, however the jacuzzi didn't look too appealing.
I didn't end up using the pool either, though it looked more inviting, and was certainly an effective selling point when I was reviewing properties.
The day before I was due to checkout, I confirmed a meeting time with Giancarlo. The following day, he came to the apartment.
After a quick inspection to ensure there were no damages beyond normal wear and tear, he refunded my security deposit in US Dollars.
My preference was to receive Soles, but he'd forgotten, and I hadn't reminded him.
Lesson learned — if there's the potential for leaving a deposit in two different currencies, remind the property manager of which you prefer at the end of your stay to avoid any confusion.
Overall, my first use of Wimdu to rent a short term apartment went well. It was easy to find and book a property online, and the act of staying in an apartment made me feel more like a resident than a tourist.
I'm already thinking of renting the apartment again for the week I'm in Lima between Christmas and New Year's Eve.