Cliffside Bali Disaster Almost Leads to Mob Attack


This was the worst Airbnb/hotel experience of my life. We were almost attacked by host’s family/friends upon leaving. We booked two nights at what looked like a beautiful cliffside villa in Bali for my girlfriend and I. We overpaid for Bali so we kind of expected a nice place.

After dragging our belongings down five flights of stairs, we were taken to a room that looked nothing like what we booked. It was a totally different place. It had a pretty view of the sea so we didn’t complain.

When we emailed the host asking for the wifi password she quickly became defensive. After explaining that we were both working professionals who require internet access for our businesses the host became outright offensive. She continually called my girlfriend (who is a doctor) “sweetie” and “darling” after telling her how spoiled she was for asking for wifi. Absolutely not an appropriate way to speak to anyone, let alone a guest who is paying a lot of money.

We explained that we booked this place specifically because the listing said it had wifi, and we overpaid for it as well because we were told it would certainly have wifi. Then the host became abrasive and abusive, calling us names via WhatsApp and the Airbnb messaging app. We decided to cut conversation with the host at that point and asked her not to speak to us that way.

Noticing that the door to the Airbnb would not lock and watching the host’s worker come and go through our room without our permission, we decided we should leave for our safety as well. This turned out to be a good decision. After messaging and calling Airbnb and dealing with one useless customer service rep after an hour we finally got to a manager who read the rude messages from the host and realized how bad of a situation it was.

Agreeing that the host’s behavior was way out of line, she agreed to a refund. We were told the host was penalized for her behavior and misrepresentations as well.

But the story didn’t end there. We still had to get our bags out of the apartment. We quickly ran back down the cliffside stairs to get our belongings. We packed everything as well as we could and began carrying our big bags back up the stairs. Not an easy task even in the best of circumstances.

As we walked up the road a group of local people approached us asking if we were staying at the Airbnb. The man in the group was on the phone with someone and was leering threateningly at us. Being frequent travelers I sensed immediately that this was a threatening and possibly dangerous situation. The group blocked the way up the stairs to the road and asked us repeatedly if we were staying at the Airbnb.

Sensing the danger, we denied that we were going to stay at the Airbnb and said we were from another hotel. We pretended to not speak English as well and were able to pass by the group. The group however followed us to the main road where they continued to ask us questions about where we were staying. We heard the man on the phone mention the host’s name multiple times on the phone. It was obvious that this group was looking for us. One man continued to hover behind us while talking on the phone leering at my girlfriend. I positioned myself between him and her in case he intended her harm.

Thankfully, we were able to catch a rideshare in time and leave safely as more people began to show up. As we drove away the man on the phone made an aggressive lunge towards the vehicle as if attempting to provoke a fight. This was a very dangerous situation that could have gotten out of control quickly. I believe that without quick thinking by us and the luck of having a driver nearby we could have become victims of something far worse than a ruined vacation stay.

We left the Airbnb and went to another hotel but are very nervous and shaken up from the experience. I think this will be the last time we stay in an Airbnb. Not worth life and limb for a pretty view. I wish there was a way to tell more people to stay away from Airbnb. We saw other reviews where similar behavior occurred but we weren’t able to review online because we canceled. Stay away from Airbnb please for your own health and safety.

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One Comment

  1. What a scary experience.

    If you didn’t, report the full story to Airbnb. Mention the other public reviews reporting similar aggressive behavior. Mention you would hate for the press to get this story of how an aggressive host was not banned and if a similar event happens to the next guest it could not turn out as well for them.

    Anytime you feel unsafe, pack up and go then immediately contact Airbnb. The host may say you cancelled because you took your belongings BUT explain you were concerned about the situation escalating.

    About being called dear, sweetie, honey, darling, baby: I live in southeastern USA, every one gets called endearment terms. It’s what we do; no disrespect intended.

    Calling someone spoiled is disrespectful.

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