Injury, Infestation and Impertinence at Shendoah Solitude

I stayed at the Shenendoah Solitude in April, 2019. The listing notes “A 4WD vehicle is required to access the property in the winter.”

We went on a sunny, spring April day and could barely access the property. One of our guest’s cars was damaged en route, as the road was pure dirt and rocks, piled up to 1.5 feet high at places dues to a tractor having come through to ‘smooth the road.’ One car (a Mini Cooper) had to stay down in a parking lot at one of the local businesses for fear of getting stuck.

We were all rattled and annoyed as soon as we arrived. We saw a sign for “wildlife sightings” and began to fill out our experiences. During the trip we sighted: 1,000s of ants, wasps, water bugs, crickets, spiders, ladybugs, mosquitoes and coffee filter fungi, all inside the property.

We were provided with one roll of paper towels for seven people, for one night, and no additional rolls of toilet paper in the bathrooms. We could not find more than two towels per bathroom. One of the beds did not have sheets. We called the host and requested these items. She brought them. Upon cooking we noticed there were no oven mitts and no pot holders or trivets and had to do some pretty creative things, like wrapping our hands in the precious few towels, to remove items from the stove and oven.

The second night I took a shower in one bathroom in a very slippery tub that didn’t drain and fell getting out of it, crashing down on the sliding door tray. Getting down the mountain was even harder, and another car’s chassis got punctured.

All things considered: a terrible stay. However, that wasn’t why I am even taking the time to write this; it was the absolute horridness of the host that blew this experience from terrible to utterly despicable.

I emailed the rental property company with pictures of my injuries and reported on the safety issues. No response. I went to review the property on Airbnb and reported the safety issues there. I did not post a negative review about the host because I believe in karma, and if they took care of the issues I noted all would be good in the world.

But no, I accidentally ‘published’ my blank review which unleashed the wretched host’s review of me to the world. She called me “picky” and made fun of why I had called her: “Good communication, but this guest was nitpicky and had a lot of complaints. They called and said they had two towels for six people – the towels were in the cabinet. They called again and complained that the county was doing road work on one of the roads leading to the cabin and said that she was going to have to go get her car looked at because the road was so bumpy, etc.”

This was uncalled for. I contacted Airbnb and initiated a complaint regarding my injuries. I asked for a refund as well as compensation for my injuries and what I was prevented from doing in my life due to a severe hamstring and ACL contusions. They assigned a claims adjuster who looked at the documentation, receipts and my communications with the renter. The claims adjuster awarded me a little over $1,000.

When it came time to sign the release contract I noted that there were misspelling and inappropriate terms in the contract. I sent it back to Airbnb legal. The result? They completely ignored me, the claim, and have simply refused to respond to me any further. The claim is dead. I have been awarded no refund for the rental fee, no damages for the injury, and the property continues to be listed.

In summary: I will never use Airbnb again. It is like trying to get a hold of a foreign fly-by-night company. Airbnb is little better than these predatory sellers.

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

One Comment

  1. That time a one night stay in the back country was supposed to produce perfect driving conditions on a single, sunny day in a Mini Cooper no less. I would love to see how the experience is described in Listing.

    Yes, details in kitchen should be worked on and hosts usually like to hear about it.

    As an experienced host, I specify how much paper product we offer in advance, letting guests bring in additional supplies as desired. It is not unlimited in my homes.

    The slip in fall in tub is subjective. Did all 7 of you take a spill in tub? Yes, a bath mat goes a long way. Still, coddling you in the Woods probably isn’t the spirit of the Listing or the offer. Things happen in the forest.

    This can include lots of things, even a few bugs.

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