Strenuous Hike to Airbnb Cottage: Unable to Warn Others

My wife used Airbnb to rent what was advertised as “a charming fisherman’s cottage” in La Caleta near Salobrena, Spain. There were some nice photos of the view, but no reviews posted. First lesson learned: if there are no reviews, pass on by. The photo showed an uphill path to reach the cottage, but there was no mention of the fact that there were actually over 250 steps, most of the time steeply uphill, to get to the cottage. The renter mentioned the place was “not for [the] disabled” but my wife and I, in our 60s, are both active people; this climb to the cottage was really hard, especially carrying something in the August heat.

A few days after we left the cottage, my wife suffered a complete hamstring rupture in Granada. I am not claiming there was a cause and effect relationship, but a week of doing that climb (and coming back down was also challenging) couldn’t have helped. The information on the cottage should have stated “uphill climb of over 250 steps to reach the front door may be challenging for older renters or anyone with potential leg problems.” That’s all I would ask. Unfortunately, I was too busy tending to my wife’s accident and the aftermath to even think about posting a review on the site before the deadline ran out and there does not seem to be any way to contact Airbnb directly with a problem like this.

I would never, never consider this “service” again. There is no real accountability other than a bad review, but in our case there was no review at the beginning. We missed the two-week window in which to add one. Hopefully, the next renter will be young and athletic. There were a couple of other issues with the cottage, like the fact that the sun shade over the terrace got ripped to pieces by the wind and even after informing the owner, nothing was ever done, making the terrace unusable during much of the midday. But the accessibility was by far the worst part of this story.

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