Airbnb Experience Different for Older Guests

We experienced our first Airbnb in the US this past week. How we came to be there is that my husband’s nephew stayed at this same place. He is 30. Our tastes in accommodations and his are dramatically different. In his review he gave them seven stars.

Anyway, he said they would give us a deal if we went directly to the hosts. We weren’t sure but that may have been a bad sight. The rate on the advertised room was $35 a night. Even with cleaning costs, that was still overcharging for seven days; we paid $400.

On arrival we met them. They seemed like an okay but aloof couple. After three days our towels start to smell. We texted a request for fresh ones. The host replied Airbnb required us to provide one set… Later on in the day I got a text from her about which towels I wanted replaced. I replied the ones in the bath which was exactly what I got: one damn towel. My husband missed out.

The host advertised on their page that they had European and American coffee pots. She never said or showed how to make espresso. When I asked for the American coffee pot what I got was a pot that was full of mold; it looked like it hadn’t ever been cleaned. It was disgusting.

They advertised they had a balcony. It was there all right… if you could forage through the crap laying all over it. Cigarette butts overflowing in the ashtray, and glasses and cups had been sitting there for days. As far as cleanliness, there were always dishes in the sink and a pot of food on the stove.

This takes the cake. They had a shoe rack outside the hallway and asked us to remove our shoes… no joke. I know there are better places out there and I will give Airbnb one more chance but this was an eyeopener. There was a TV in our room; however, it didn’t work. There were no mirrors and the pillows were as flat as pancakes.

They advertised they were students as their occupation line… this is their way of making a living? I’m not sure. They seem to be living in the bedroom opposite ours. The host mentioned she has a degree in international business and the husband in entrepreneurship. I think they missed a class or two in hospitality. The bottom line is don’t expect a 30-something to know what your expectations are. He tried to do well and we appreciated it. However, it was a lesson learned by us. Too bad, so sad.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. I dislike airbnb’s approach to dealing with issues but $35 per night, what were you expecting? Airbnb is for independent travellers and I would have asked for replacement towels only if there was no washing machine.

    I only had problems with 3 guests over 5 years of hosting and all were over 70! I had no complaints about cleanliness or standard but the expectation for hotel type service was the main problem. Phone calls through the night for taxi services, No food provided, not being on call to answer questions on how to operate electric hob (manuals provided) . I would even throw in extra cleaning and gifts such as wine and expensive chocolates to no avail.

    Then because of my lack of ‘service’ a terrible review. I had one property and was not a hotel checking in 100s of people a month and so a bad review really has an impact.

    Many other good hosts came to the conclusion that this was a ruse to get massive discounts as they all asked for discounts, were all of a similar age and all from the same country.. Guess which one??!!

  2. Maybe their standards are higher when rented through airbnb where their hospitality is up for review, and they’re having to provide the things advertised. You’ll never know!

  3. I agree with the comment above. Also, maybe instead of asking for fresh towels, which is what you do in a hotel, the proper move was to ask if they had a washer/dryer and where to purchase laundry pods if they weren’t provided and if you couldn’t look up the closest grocery/convenience store? That’s an Airbnb guest behavior.

  4. Jen, well, the hosts should stop being “pretend” hotel owners/operators. Even in someone’s home the expectation is to have a change of towels during a week stay. Airbnb needs to get its act together or go out if business

  5. I’m sorry it was a bad experience, and you are right that different age groups probably have different expectations, what did you expect for $400 a week? the whole point of airbnb is you are in someone else’s home and they are not a hotel, so their standards of cleanliness may be different to yours and you can’t expect hotel standards

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