My first Airbnb experience was so awful it was nearly my last. Unfortunately for me I endured an embarrassing accident on the second night of a two-week stay when I wet the bed. It wasn’t just a little bit that could be hidden; everything was totally soaked through the mattress to the bed base. I was burning with shame but had no choice but to get up, shower, and change the sheets. In the morning I took the mattress out to dry in the sun and explained the situation to my host along with a thousand red-faced apologies. She wasn’t happy in the least but what was done was done. I remade the bed the next night and tried to put the embarrassing situation behind me. I’d forgotten about it until two weeks later when I received my review and a damage bill for $1200 for a new mattress. My review (which is public and has my photo) said something like “Joel has problems controlling his bladder at night and was made to pay the full cost of replacing the mattress he ruined when he peed on it.” I overheard the host telling two of her friends and a customer service lady from Airbnb. I learned a valuable lesson that stay and every time since I bring my own waterproof mattress protector… just in case.
My wife used Airbnb to rent what was advertised as “a charming fisherman’s cottage” in La Caleta near Salobrena, Spain. There were some nice photos of the view, but no reviews posted. First lesson learned: if there are no reviews, pass on by. The photo showed an uphill path to reach the cottage, but there was no mention of the fact that there were actually over 250 steps, most of the time steeply uphill, to get to the cottage. The renter mentioned the place was “not for [the] disabled” but my wife and I, in our 60s, are both active people; this climb to the cottage was really hard, especially carrying something in the August heat.
A few days after we left the cottage, my wife suffered a complete hamstring rupture in Granada. I am not claiming there was a cause and effect relationship, but a week of doing that climb (and coming back down was also challenging) couldn’t have helped. The information on the cottage should have stated “uphill climb of over 250 steps to reach the front door may be challenging for older renters or anyone with potential leg problems.” That’s all I would ask. Unfortunately, I was too busy tending to my wife’s accident and the aftermath to even think about posting a review on the site before the deadline ran out and there does not seem to be any way to contact Airbnb directly with a problem like this.
I would never, never consider this “service” again. There is no real accountability other than a bad review, but in our case there was no review at the beginning. We missed the two-week window in which to add one. Hopefully, the next renter will be young and athletic. There were a couple of other issues with the cottage, like the fact that the sun shade over the terrace got ripped to pieces by the wind and even after informing the owner, nothing was ever done, making the terrace unusable during much of the midday. But the accessibility was by far the worst part of this story.