Darling Harbour Penthouse Airbnb Nightmare

We had two families (six people) staying in a penthouse suite in Darling Harbour, Sydney to celebrate the wife’s 52nd birthday properly. We were travelling six hours to get to the property. After checking in, we decided to go out for dinner, and headed back to apartment at 11:00 PM.

We found that the lift was broken and non operational, so we called the host (no answer). We tried to use the fire stairs to get to the 6th floor with no luck as it was locked from the other side. We tried a couple of locksmiths, but because it was a fire door they couldn’t touch it. We called all the emergency numbers and the host again (no answer).

We then called called Airbnb and explained the situation. We also explained that in the property was heart medication and medical equipment that we needed access to. Airbnb then advised us they would contact the host. At 11:34 PM Airbnb advised us they could not contact the host and they would keep trying. We again explained we needed access to meds/equipment and advised us to find a coffee shop while we waited, saying someone would contact us soon.

At 1:25 AM, there was still no reply from Airbnb or the host so we had to find alternative accommodation with only the clothes on our back and no access to our meds/medical equipment. After finding some emergency accommodation for the night, the next morning I received a call from host apologising after reading my messages and stating that he was asleep. This was a complete joke; we had vital medication/equipment that we could not access, we had absolutely no help from the host, and we had no help from Airbnb.

We are out out pocket with additional expenses from finding emergency accommodation, and its been two weeks since anyone has got back to us from Airbnb after promising we would get a call. All this can be verified as we have transcripts of our conversation, even a message from host telling us how much of a disaster it was for him.

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  1. The host should have a way for the guests to reach them in case of emergency. If they are not available then they should designate someone else who will be available. Too many things can go wrong for them not too.

  2. Your experience with lack of access to your penthouse sounds miserable. Having guests with you and wanting a festive birthday for your wife makes this AirBnB rental a hospitality disaster. I am sorry your celebration was marred by something completely out of your control. You have my sympathy.

  3. I’m not sure you can complain about the host? You can about the faulty lift but you can’t expect people to be on call 24/7. Unless you were in a hotel then it would be expected.

  4. I am not sure what you mean by it was a complete joke that the host was asleep. As hosts we are not allowed to fall asleep? How could the host have known you would be contacting them that late in the evening after a successful check in?
    That being said, I hope you can get your extra money refunded.

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