My wife and I have booked some apartments through Airbnb and we can now say that what you see is never what you get. The property pictures on Airbnb are embellished; everything looks shiny, but the moment you enter the apartment you realize you more or less bought a pig in a poke. Not once did we feel an apartment was more beautiful and better than its pictures. Sofas and chairs looked nice in the photos, but turned out to be very cheap and uncomfortable.
Beware of apartments with old furniture. Some owners advertise them as art, design, or something. This is rubbish. They’re there because they’re old and almost broken, and the owners don’t want to use them anymore. They’re too greedy to buy new furniture. I prefer apartments with IKEA furniture, because at least that’s new.
Once during an Airbnb stay, my wife got bitten so badly by lice from an old bed (I slept on a new IKEA bed) that she had to go to a doctor. We like to cook, but in some apartments the kitchen utensils were also old and broken. Don’t trust five-star reviews. I know for sure that owners can make a guest change a negative review. Once, we stayed in an apartment that had a bad smell in the bathroom. After a week, a previous guest published a negative review mentioning that same bad smell. I even made a print of the review. Some days later, I looked again and… voilà: the review was 100% positive. The bad smell was no longer mentioned. It’s clear that the owner promised the guest a partial refund if he would change his negative review into a positive one.
As bad as a hotel might be, if you have problems you can complain to the staff; someone will be there to help you. Not so with Airbnb. After you check in, most owners disappear.