My daughter and I had just left an Airbnb in the same general area of an island, pushed out by an arriving guest who got there first. This new place cost us $100 more a night than the cute, clean, architecturally-safe beach “shack” which we had just adored.
We drove up to the “new” place and couldn’t figure out where to park our Mini; there were cars parked in what might have been a front yard with their rear bumpers protruding out over the sidewalk. I hated to but I left the Mini stuck out past the edge of the concrete as an invitation to neighbors who hate Airbnb to spray paint its bumper.
We became symptomatic right away: sneezing, clogged noses and ears, shortness of breath. I have a bum knee, but my daughter is much younger than I and has perfect runner’s knees. Yet, she slipped every time she navigated the shiny, varnished stairs. When I grabbed a railing that had been installed at the front picture window, it came close to pulling right out of the drywall that held the bracket-thing that kept this banister holding the draperies in place. It became obvious that this makeshift grab-bar was intended not to assist a guest in climbing the stairs but to hold the curtains shut for some unknown reason.
Perhaps the worst feature of this Airbnb besides its shared space with a natural healer who kept office hours and left the entrance door unlocked with an invitation just to come in and who demanded that “the front door (porch) light be shut off at night because the light disturbed the children” by coming in their bedroom window were the bugs that seemed to cause new itches every morning and – probably the same itchy species – gathering in the bathroom at toothbrushing/makeup time.
It was obvious that these guest quarters were an afterthought, maybe up to code, maybe not. The ceiling in the sleeping loft was less than five feet high in areas with the supporting beams being so low as to invite a good solid head whack regularly. Crawling soon became the method of ambulation in and out of the upstairs spot.
And the TV. I am a regular television viewer but my preferences are not unique nor costly. In this Airbnb we got some kickboxing and some reenactment crime stories that are short of documentary quality. We got no basic cable (MSNBC, CNN) news stuff nor local news either. The TV was up in the “penthouse” and crawling wasn’t always on the game plan for the day. The stove worked, the fridge worked, and I think the microwave worked.
I worry all the time about damage or theft occurring to my precious 2009 Mini. Furthermore, it seems the place is either freezing cold or, until the AC has been on for over an hour, blistering hot.
Thanks for reading this, if you did. In summary, the first host was genuinely involved in making a guest’s stay pleasant and worth the money. The second host’s goal clearly was to decorate the place with dusty, cheesy artificial ivy and orchids and wait for the dough to roll in.