Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Airbnb Hell

We booked a stay with a couple in Edinburgh for the 2015 Fringe Festival. It was our first experience using Airbnb. Although the room looked nice in the photos and was fine in real life, it turned out the young couple renting the room were renting themselves – evidently from a very cruddy landlord – and had decamped to the lounge for the Fringe in their one-bedroom flat (up six flights of stone steps). We therefore had access to a cramped and windowless kitchen and a cramped and windowless bathroom only. The water pressure was ridiculously weak throughout the flat and the WC didn’t flush without pouring a bucket of water (which took ages to fill from the low pressure taps) into the cistern. The shower also leaked, as did the wash hand basin.

The couple were obviously getting drunk every night on their rent money from us and the woman barged into our room one night and nearly got into bed with us, evidently having forgotten they had rented their room out! They also needed to go through our room to get to their washing machine, which was in a tiny room behind the bedroom. The kitchen was very poorly equipped and we were given nothing with which to wash up and no space to put our breakfast things. The man was pleasant enough but his partner was sullen and avoided us. Luckily we were out most of the time at shows or our stay would have been unbearable. They had the cheek to press for a review when we left, but we felt the kindest thing to do was say nothing as we had nothing good to say about our stay. Never again!

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Review…..Not review……what does it matter. Anyone who uses Airbnb without extensively protecting their money via credit card and receipts, and without actually physically inspecting the accommodations before making the reservation must be out of their mind.

    I’ve traveled extensively (for a vacationer), 30+ US States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, and knowing human nature as I do, I would expect this story to be the norm at Airbnb rather than a horror story.

    Did anyone really think that when Ronald Reagan got rid of the bank regulators and examiners that the sharpies wouldn’t then rob (US Savings & Loan debacle) the banks? When you turn the lodging industry into a free for all, does anyone really believe that the scam artists will not crawl out of the woodwork to fleece the lodgers? When UBER makes tons of money by repossessing the overpriced used autos their minions sell their drivers, that UBER won’t cut rates to force more drivers to have their vehicles repossessed so they can be resold over and over and over and over……..

    There’s one born every minute.

  2. You have done future possible guests a disservice by not reporting these hosts to Airbnb. And by not eating future possible guests about the hell hole. Reviews are not for the hosts they are for guests like yourselves to warn other guests about the place or to recommend it. You are guilty by ommision.

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