Airbnb was initially very supportive of our situation and processed a full refund but denied me the privilege of sharing my full story because I had initially mentioned the company who was managing the key collection. They did not ask that I remove the name of the company, but they removed my entire review as written below. Your rights to share your experience on Airbnb are very limited. Know your rights and be careful.
We felt cheated staying with these hosts. The whole set-up seems like a scam. The key collection area was unwelcoming; there was a notice to say that it was under construction. A man came up from the basement: no “hello”, no explanation, and zero hospitality. He just handed a set of key to us.
At this point, it all felt like a scam, and we were worried. As we entered the building, there were trucks with graffiti parked on the roads. It didn’t give us a welcoming feeling for a place that is described as a modern five-star apartment. It also claimed to be family friendly. There was a homeless man sleeping at the entrance to the building, blocking our path to use the ramp (we have a baby stroller). There were foot steps and dirt all across the common areas and entrance. This was our first impression of the place for which we paid the premium price of AED 805 per night (167 pounds).
There were alcohol cans and rubbish at the entrance. It was a shelter for the homeless (sleep during the days, take drugs and drink alcohol during the nights). The apartment was serviced, but it was not clean (as a five-star modern apartment). We were also charged AED 200 in cleaning fees (42 pounds). This was what we found as we walked in: pubic hair in the bathroom, hair in the corners of the whole apartment, mold on curtains and edges, salt built up in the kettle – not washable even after I tried. I needed a kettle as I was traveling with young children.
We decided to come home before dark as the area felt unsafe. When we came home at 7:00 PM, there was another homeless guy sleeping at the walkway. We decided to order food to be delivered to the apartment. We felt trapped as the walkway and building entrance was not suitable for our needs and always blocked by homeless people. Our delivery guy had informed us that our food was snatched by one of the homeless who on either drugs or alcohol. That was when we decided to look for an alternative accommodation for the remaining of our stay.
Our apartment door was opened from the outside in the morning while we were still there. When my husband inquired she said she didn’t speak English (Spanish speaker). We decided to check out after our first night there as we were concerned about our safety.
This property was not suitable for family. It is not a modern five-star apartment if the entrance is a home for homeless people. The shower and bathroom was two-star. The cleanliness is zero stars. Both beds were sofa beds (not one bed and one sofa bed as claimed). The amenities were very poor. It was an unsafe area for families.
The hosts didn’t meet me or call me even once although I called the emergency number. She only communicated using the Airbnb messaging and the response was slow. They didn’t provide any hospitality or assurance whatsoever. She claimed to have visited the apartment to take pictures of the cleanliness but didn’t even have the courtesy to come up to check on us. She also said she lives around Camden. It felt like the reason why she visited the apartment was to take pictures after she had cleaned the entrance and walkway to defend herself. Very disappointing. We didn’t want to ruin our holiday and left.
I lodged an official complaint to Airbnb and the host and she only wanted to give us a 20% refund despite us moving out after one night. I logged a safety complaint with Airbnb. The case manager worked on my case and I have received my refund. However they have now removed my honest review of this case and all pictures that I have shared. Airbnb has stripped my rights as a guest who wants to share her poor experience to others.