Harassed after a Stay at an Airbnb Hostel

My first experience was so bad and eye opening that I refuse to use Airbnb again. I was heading to Toronto for a wedding and needed a room for the night. I knew I’d just need a place to sleep so I found an inexpensive room. I can’t remember what I paid, but it was around $45.

The way it was written, it sounded like it was an in-law suite. I figured they probably meant it was just a single room with a shared kitchen but the description was badly written.

When I pulled up, it was one of the largest houses I’d ever seen. I knocked and several Chinese people answered the door. I’m an ESL teacher specializing in Chinese education and it’s Toronto; I wasn’t put off by this… until I found out none of them were the owner. They said I needed to call the host and they gave me his number.

He appeared a minute or two after I called. He started giving me a tour, asking what room I’d like. I noticed very quickly there were like ten people living here and room for probably twenty – all Chinese. He appeared to be running a hostel. As he was giving me the tour, it was clear he had no idea why I was there. I explained again that I was there for Airbnb.

“Oh!” He says. Gone goes the offer of big rooms upstairs. He led me to a small room in the basement. It was relatively clean, just a little dingy. I got ready and then left for the wedding. When I got home after midnight, the residents were in the kitchen and super loud. I debated just abandoning it and driving home at 2:00 AM tired, but didn’t.

I got home and the host starting texting asking I leave a review. He left me a nice review; I didn’t return the favor. I left an unfavorable review explaining it was a hostel with loud residents and a host who doesn’t know who is coming and going.

He then proceeded to text my personal phone, harassing me about it, saying I was an idiot for thinking I would get an in-law suite for that price; I should have known there would be other people, etc. At this point I blocked him and contacted Airbnb. He was apparently “talked to”, and I was told to block him. No offer of compensation, which is fine because I said outright I wouldn’t be returning.

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


  1. You found the listing description ‘badly written’ and thus were not entirely sure if your Private Room was simply just a room or an in-law suite. However, you couldn’t be bothered seeking clarification from the host and just went ahead and booked anyway.

    How is this anyone’s fault but your own? You paid around $45 per night for a Private Room advertised as a Private Room, and you got a Private Room. I’m not surprised the host is annoyed with you.

    • I can’t help but notice that you make comments on this site that always seem to suggest that the guests who have had bad experiences with a host should have been mind readers and seen it coming. It makes me wonder who you are and if you are doing some kind of damage control for Airbnb. It’s suspicious to me that you seem to be everywhere on this site and you have no sympathy for a bad experience.

  2. What exactly do you want? Bowing and scraping? Report him. You used the service and paid for it and never complained. Game over. If you don’t like Airbnb, don’t use it.

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