Don’t Fall for Airbnb Listings like this House

There were three big issues and a whole lot of headache for nothing in return. We were deceived by Airbnb. A weekend ruined due to this host, her husband, and Airbnb.

A hot tub was listed as part of the home. Five beds for eight people were in the listing. Free wifi was to be included. The supposed “hot tub” is not a hot tub but a container that one would have to actually put water in it and see if it would even get “hot”.

When someone advertises for a hot tub it should be that, and ready to use. Especially because I asked the host prior to booking if she had certain hours on when it is open – is it a community pool/hot tub? She said it was at the house so I could use it any time. Is it not suspicious now looking back that there is hidden fine print that one needs to pay them to use it each time?

If I specifically tell her this is a main amenity I was looking forward to, why would she hide this information? Why would she wait until I arrived to find the tiny one-person plastic/inflatable kiddie pool tub that did not even have water in it, let alone ice? The host said “Well, you know it is cold outside so how do you expect us to keep the hot tub warm?”

Should I send photos of what a hot tub is in the winter? I was just in Washington State with snow outside and 20 degrees with a real hot tub we used outside. It’s not rocket science. Do not advertise for things you do not actually have . Just like if a hotel says there is a pool would they tell customers to go fill up a pool with water? Who the heck in their mind would think this is acceptable, to go skiing all day and then have to do work to put water in a tub outside and see if it would even heat up?

The host is not that bright or they hid this information from me to find out when I arrived. It gets better. As stated above, there were holes all over the walls, and sockets hanging out, like where the TV and electronics were plugged in. Not safe. A fire could have started any time. This is right next to a fireplace. Are they trying to set up a situation for an accidental fire and then take the insurance? I wouldn’t put it past them.

We were so disappointed, but in addition, all of the furniture in the house – especially the living room and dining room – was patio furniture, cheap and wobbly patio furniture. How does anyone feel comfortable with that?

The description had said “five beds” for up to eight people. Before arriving that week, I told the host “I noticed the five beds, and eight people however I only originally planned for five people. Do you mind if I bring one more? There should be plenty of room, right?”

She actually responded saying, “There will be a $20 per person charge if there are more than six people.” Really? I am so glad nobody else came because in reality there were only three beds. The host said there was a futon in the living room. The futon which is the couch we sat on is supposed to just count as two other beds? Where is the fifth bed?

“Well, there is an air mattress that someone would have to blow up.” How do you list five beds but only have three? I am so so glad I did not invite more people. Nobody would have been comfortable sleeping on that futon of wood slats that hardly even passed as a couch, as it was an outdoor style temporary usable chair.

This one takes the cake: The TV is totally internet run. The internet and wifi were not working. We were out in the sticks so we hardly got our own phones to work at all. Without the free wifi/internet as advertised we would not have had anything to do. Not even basic TV channels. There were no board games or cards, nothing.

The place was much smaller than advertised. There were many locks on the kitchen cabinets like they were using most of that for storage. I didn’t even bother to check out if there were pots/pans/dishes so probably plan to bring your own things to cook with. The basement was locked.

Essentially guests would have the three bedrooms, and one open living room with kitchen attached. That is all. Meanwhile it was advertised as the “entire house”.

The host messaged me the wrong address, so it took longer than expected to even find the home. We found this gem of disappointment. I called the host right away. He told me after five minutes of talking and saying he was going to call the cable company to see if the internet could be fixed, that if I was unhappy he would call Airbnb for a refund. I said to refund me now and we would leave.

He told me multiple times that he was on the phone with them and trying to get me a refund/cancellation. He asked if I was leaving the property. It was a decision not so easily made because we just went skiing all day; we were all sweaty and tired. Nobody had changed or showered.

Home was three hours away in the snow that night. We tried to use our phones to find nearby hotels but no wifi was working. Since the host said he would just give me a refund we sucked it up and drove home in the snow, after only 40 minutes of being there on my anniversary celebration weekend. Our weekend was done at that point. Ruined. The snow was heavy; it was not an easy drive.

To make things even worse, the host told Airbnb (I found this out after I got home) that he did not promise me a refund. Well I have all the text messages and witnesses to this fact. I have video of the disappointments. I tried to contact Airbnb many times using many routes. I only got to speak to a live person once. That person said a case manager already looked at the case and said it was closed, that I should not get my money back.

I did not even get to talk to these people. I messaged and emailed Airbnb several times telling them to call me. Why are they not allowing me to talk and state what happened? I have evidence and witnesses. They are not giving me the time of day at all.

So beware folks. This house is a total scam. Nobody would be happy here for $250 a night. The title of the property also listed “free skiing and horse back riding”, yet the host also tried to tell me she charges $50 more if we wanted to use their community hill to ski. What? How does that make any sense? It says right in the title: “free”.

I challenged that before we arrived and only then did she say she would make an exception. I should have known it was a red flag. She is just trying to take money from people. I say “she” because the host is listed as a woman’s name but it was only the husband I spoke with on the phone when we arrived.

Lastly, she asked me if they could allow a realtor to show the home while we were there and it would have been during the time we paid to be there. Who has the nerve to even do that? It’s not like we were booked to stay there for a week. Who would want to buy this place anyway? A lot of work to do and definitely not in shape to be renting out on Airbnb.

The company needs to have reviewers of these places and listen to customers. I am never using Airbnb again. So upset. I have used it five times without issues.

These hosts are not good people and have no integrity. How could they try to keep my money when we left the place after shortly arriving? They made an agreement with me to give a refund, and then did the opposite. They ruined my weekend and what was supposed to be a memorable time with my loved ones. Despicable people.

There are too many Airbnb Reviews, Period

Here’s my beef: the reviews. Every time a guest checks out, I review the guest, and I’m asked, “What could the guest do better?”

Now, the guest is my customer and a customer of Airbnb, so Airbnb asks that I criticize this person who has just come to stay the night and doesn’t want any trouble. Likewise, the guests review me and must be asked a similar question because every single review I get, there is an area for personal comments and the guest always leaves a little nastygram, telling me what I can do better.

Whereas an occasional host might take that question seriously, and the guest gets some feedback – Like what? “You shouldn’t leave your snot in the shower drain” – all guests take it seriously, and put themselves in the position of Reviewer of the Year.

There are many things I provide to be nice. These are things I don’t have to stock. I get complaints if the bar of soap is small. I was providing one Fiji water per guest (in their private little fridge) and they were complaining there was not enough free water.

I’ve received complaints about the snacks: about some of the plates arcing in the microwave, not having a hand towel, having to stir their coffee with a knife. Someone found a hair on one of the towels. Someone complained the ceiling was dirty. The window sill was dirty. There was a suggestion to wipe out the shower (make sure it’s dry for guests). The shower drips for a while after it is turned off.

A bug was found under the couch. A cricket came in under the door. There are tiny spiders in the corners of the ceilings. There’s a musty smell. I’m too noisy upstairs (it’s just me and I tiptoe). Buy a Keurig (there’s already a coffee maker, and free coffee and tea). Buy new nightstands. Buy a coffee table. Put in a TV. Make it lighter, use LED lights from now on. Keep the computer turned on or make it easier to turn on or take it out altogether.

Change the electrical wiring. Get new pillows. Get a luggage rack. Provide a place to hang clothes. Give more heat. Give more parking space. Love my emotional support pet. Did you slam the toilet seat or was that the heater?

Two naturally-oriented guests left the double doors open during a rain storm and put the couch in front of the open space to look out. When they were done, they didn’t close one side completely and for a while, worms were coming in to die, seeking the cool tile floor. Complaints from the next four guests because I couldn’t figure out why they started coming in so much.

I internalize and act on the comments. After being fully booked for a year, all those complaints I listed? They’re all fixed. I’ve made the place better and better. There are new floors, a new TV with all the channels you can get, a dehumidifier, a new heater (which two guests say is too loud and one even suggested buying a second new heater), new nightstands, the luggage rack, the LED light bulbs, plenty of plastic silverware, unoffensive everlasting snacks, lots of water (no longer Fiji), new paint on the walls and ceilings, and even a strictly regimented cleaning process, which I would happily attach if it would make dear reader happy.

My suggestion is, if they have a complaint, let them leave a complaint. But don’t encourage them. Hosts get worn out by constant suggestions and complaints. A guest might get one suggestion in a year. I have received more than one hundred. And that – on top of cleaning the place 120 times (they don’t all leave reviews) and having strangers in my basement.

I know it’s helpful. I should unpack and cherish every complaint like the little gift (of crap) it’s meant to be. But it hurts my heart. I am caring about these people and making the place super nice (it’s five stars, I’m a Superhost, and it’s a three-room suite in my very nice basement area for $45/night in a touristy area) and yet the complaints keep pouring in with every review. It’s not public (although some guests can’t help themselves) but it still undermines my joy in the experience, considerably.

Could Airbnb maybe only ask half of them to tell me what I could do better? Let the other half think for themselves whether they want to tell me what I can do better. I have many other tangents I can run down regarding Airbnb, Heaven or Hell, Depending on the day, but I will save that for another time. Until then, enjoy the host experience…

Airbnb Nightmare after International Trip

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We decided to book an Airbnb property  as part of my partner’s 40th birthday trip to New York. From booking all the way through to leaving the UK for the USA, the owner’s communication was just as you would expect from who we thought was a good host: at first, responsive, informative, and helpful. Unfortunately, we soon learned that this was as good as things would get; his manner soon turned into being patronising and condescending when issues arose once we arrived (this is evident in his responses to negative reviews), even at one point via Airbnb text message, referring to my partner and I as squatters.

We arrived at the property at approximately 15:30, and we were disturbed and extremely disappointed by what we were greeted with. The Airbnb photos were of the property, but they were very old. The outside of the property was unwelcoming and off-putting, with overgrown weeds and litter strewn on the driveway. Security was a concern, as the front door was only secured via a single deadbolt, due to the whole mechanism for the door handle being totally removed.

Entering the property, we were immediately struck by how tired, dark, and filthy the property was. It seemed like the property hadn’t been properly cleaned or repaired in years: lights that didn’t work or were missing; dirty grubby walls and doors; ceiling fans caked in dust and dirt; a bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned since the last occupant, complete with an unflushed toilet featuring a toilet seat caked in what looked like mould/urine; the heating was turned off and could only be controlled by the owner, who refused to turn this on despite calls and messages; the bedding was dirty and beyond worn, and was only good for throwing out; the ironing board was covered in stains. I could go on; the flat was just dirty and a dive.

We refused to stay there and booked a hotel for the night following 10 hours of waiting for a response from Airbnb for a resolution. Booking this flat resulted in us losing two days of our holiday (waiting for correspondence from both the host and Airbnb), being pushed beyond the breaking point trying to resolve the matter, and leaving me short of £497 (a combination of hotel fees, phone call costs, and transport). Airbnb did give me a full refund of my booking and payment for one night’s hotel stay.

Is a Kitchen a Kitchen without a Sink or Stove?

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This is most of the message to our “host” after fleeing an Airbnb… I tried to be polite. Airbnb support was no support at all. They left me hanging and kept referring to their TOS (which is very lengthly; kind of unreal, really) instead of just walking me through it. They sided with the host.

“You advertised your “entire apt” as having a kitchen. A kitchen would include a kitchen sink (and some kind of stove, but I will concentrate on the sink as that was my main concern). Saying that you have a kitchen would be like saying you have a bathroom and then when the guests show up, it has no toilet.

I know that you mentioned in your listing that there was a fridge and microwave; you even picture the toaster and a kettle but you fail to mention that you do not have a kitchen sink. With all the explaining you do on your post, why would you fail to point that out? It is very deceptive.

A kitchen means that you have a sink to wash food, hands and dishes. It seems that you expect guests to use the bathroom sink, which is gross and unsanitary, but not even feasible as it is a small sink and very slow moving drain. Using the same analogy as above, it would be like describing the bathroom as a “nice bathroom with walk in shower and hold bar, pretty red rugs and a small sink to brush your teeth” and then when the guests show up they find out there is no toilet.

It is a given that a kitchen has a sink. It goes without saying. It is listed as an amenity on the front page and comes up in the search as such. It also comes up as an “entire apt”. It goes without saying that it would have a door to it, such as the door into your quarters. A shared entrance does not explain the situation. Again, with all the words and long explanations, this is something that would need to be clearly stated.

Having a lockable door to an “entire apt” goes without saying. Just like the one you have to your quarters. Guests would be out in the open just coming out of the bathroom (which is too small to get dressed in). This is not private or secure. It took me trying to make a can of soup for it to really sink in.

We realized how unsafe we felt and that it was not a livable situation. I texted you a polite message as it was in the middle of the night, to which you did not respond. We called an Uber and left immediately. I did not hear from you until much later.

Other facts: The walkway is not well-lit as advertised (it was so dark I could not see the items we dropped). Flushing the toilet directions should also be in your explanation as you expect your guests to use very little toilet paper and keep flushing and flushing. There is obviously a problem with the plumbing as evidenced by this and the slow moving drain.

You asked us to be discreet (very strange). The boiler would not turn on; there was no heat. There was a stain on the heated mattress pad that you didn’t know how to wash (meaning the bedding was unclean). The ceilings were low with no noise protection at all.

You mention in your ad that we would hear footsteps as you got ready for work, but that is an understatement as we could hear your TV. It sounds like elephants are tromping on above your head. The ten steps into the “lower level” are very steep and narrow, which definitely should be noted in your ad since you go to the trouble of saying you have the bar in the shower. For someone with a minor injury, how would you expect them to go down those steep stairs? This is a bit deceiving. The single bed was just a cot with no room to get in and out comfortably.

Please refund the full amount less one night and the cleaning fee. The condition of your “entire apt” caused us to cancel our trip and return home as we had counted on these lodgings. This will be the last attempt to settle this with you amicably. I will take further action if necessary.”

Obviously, she is not refunding our money (about $2000 for a month’s rental). Even though I pointed all of this out to Airbnb support, they have sided with the host, ignoring this falls under travel issues per their TOS.

Here is the link to the advertised “entire apt”.  ‘The photos I took were not good (I admit it) but you can see beyond the table the supposed kitchen area in which there is no sink or stove. She admitted she had to take the kitchen out due to complaints from neighbors. How can you take a picture of something that is not there anyway? The cot was right up beside the bed, with no way to get in or out of it other than crawling from the bottom. I thought the cots she mentioned in the description must be extra as it listed a double and single bed in her ad.

Afraid of Confronting Airbnb Host When I Leave

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Here I am sitting in my car, the night before I check out, and I’m afraid to go in to pack for fear of my host cornering me again. I feel like I can’t even complain to Airbnb because I let her behavior continue hoping it would stop. I also moved to communicating over WhatsApp as requested by my host – which I usually never do and definitely will not be doing again.

I arrived at my Airbnb in Cascais, Portugal three weeks ago. From the second I arrived here, I knew I was in for a bit of a wild ride. Firstly, we agreed at a check in time of 3:00 PM, very typical and normal. I had arrived to Cascais earlier than expected and told the host I was ready whenever she was but that I was with friends so there was no rush. I’m not sure what she understood from that but she told me she was at her father’s birthday lunch. She said she would leave immediately mid-meal to check me in. I thought it was a bit odd since I insisted there was no rush over the phone.

When we arrived the host showed us (my friend came along) the apartment, how things worked, the keys, etc. We expected her to leave quickly as she said she had to return to her father’s meal and I said I was also in a rush. However, she stayed for nearly 30 minutes talking to us about her life, her job, the history of the building, etc. Eventually she left and my friend and I were left perplexed by her complete inability to read the room. Anyhow I settled in and life went on.

The issues I raised over the month were:

1. No kettle – this was given upon request, which was great.

2. The front door entrance to my basement apartment was pitch black – I was told nothing will be done about this, to use the light on my phone. That was scary but I’m used to now.

3. I can quite literally hear a pin drop from from the upstairs apartment. It was so bad I have woken up thinking I am being broken into or haunted more time than I can count. Every single thing my neighbours do sounds like it is coming from inside my apartment. The host says it’s normal and if I really want she can tell them to stop wearing heels but it’s nothing to do with walking around; the key inside their door sounds like it in my door, their dog sounds like it in my apt. Again, I am used to it now; my dog is not though.

4. Then the wifi went down, and is still down two weeks later. She said it was my fault. I don’t know how it’s my fault as I barely used it but again there was nothing that could be done.

5. At check in, the host said there was no washing machine but to give her anything I need washed and when I wanted the place “serviced” to ask. When I asked, she only dropped off clean sheets for the bed. The second time she said to use the local self service laundry. The third time I asked she said it was not included as I’m not paying the cleaning fee, that she only offered the weekly service to me at check in because “I offered you that in case you read all the advertised amenities.” I have no idea what that means, but I had to buy a mop and sweeping brush.

6. Entering the apartment when I was not there. I had to specifically tell her not to go inside the apartment unless I have given permission or was there. Her response: “Besides, Airbnb is like a family where people should trust one another as if we were in one.” My mother was visiting and was asleep; she woke up to this host standing over her. What the actual ****?

Weirdly enough, all these issues haven’t bothered me as much as when she approaches me in person. She’s so odd and her English is really backwards. I don’t really know if she knows what she’s saying.

One time she woke me up to tell me the neighbors have been complaining about me for throwing my trash bags out the window. I asked to see the trash in question, so to claim my innocence but was denied. I was told it was definitely me, cause the lady next door said so. I had to literally close the front door on her face as she wouldn’t stop ranting at me. She just kept getting louder and more angry talking over me, so I left the conversation.

One time she knocked, just walked into the apartment uninvited and started a rant about me disrespecting her and her house and that the money I pay is going to her and not her neighbours. That I need to more respectful of her and her house. She then told me to move my clothes to a different part of the apartment that she doesn’t want to have to call over a builder to fix the damage I am causing by using that particular clothes rail.

Last week she cornered me in the hallway to tell me that my dog has been pooping in the neighbour’s yards – I quickly apologized and went to clean it up. All I found was cat poop. I picked it up as she was watching from her balcony, even though it was not my dog’s mess. I should have told her to shove it up her ***.

A couple days ago I told her I’m blocking her on WhatsApp and to only contact me via Airbnb so I have some proof of her madness. It’s a bit late now; I haven’t seen or heard from her since. I leave tomorrow and I think I would rather leave in the middle of the night than face her. She is tiny in size but is definitely psychotic.

No promised garden, no heat, no hot water at this Airbnb

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We booked a cute garden flat in Haymarket, Edinburgh. There was no garden. Instead there was a dog potty area during ongoing construction. The host never apologized in person or tried to admit his blatant “misrepresentation of the amenities” of the flat which is contrary to the five core obligations as an Airbnb host.

My sister and I reviewed many other apartment options and carefully planned this overseas trip for over seven months. Finally the main reason we booked was the expectation of having our morning coffee and evenings chats in the “garden”. As guests we were completely disappointed. To add all of the other seemingly minor issues one thing after another just piled up to make this a “horrible” experience.

I did as per Airbnb suggests make the effort to negotiate a reasonable solution with the host prior to escalating to the resolution team. With no results, I was left with no other recourse. We are well educated ladies in our early retirement years that expected that the host would understand that offering an amenity that was not accurate or accessible for guests who pay, in good faith.

To add to the situation the heating was not working properly for three nights and television operation had not been explained. When it did work, it was sporadic, as was the internet. Eventually the entire seven-day holiday deteriorated as each issue that could have originally seemed minor piled one on top of the other. This listing was sub-standard, and absolutely misrepresented, our trust in the reliability of Airbnb hosting was ultimately shattered.

Airbnb Doesn’t Live up to Expectations

I recently booked an Airbnb in Toronto to visit my granddaughter. The apartment is in what looks like a city housing building in a very rough area of Toronto; the building and grounds are in a state of disrepair, and the elevators were scary to ride. I would never bring my granddaughter there for a sleepover. The apartment was a mess; food was left over from other renters, and all the dishes were sitting in a dirty dish rack on the counter. The beds were just a bunch of mattresses thrown on the floor with no couch and no living room. The furniture was all beat up with blankets thrown over them, and broken old pictures taped for repair. The stove was not fit to cook on.

I have been trying to reach the host, and much like Airbnb he took my 500+ dollars and became unreachable. The Airbnb folks are turning their backs on me. When I asked them how this location was approved, they stated they cannot check each location, and became very rude and short on the phone. If you are booked into an unacceptable location, Airbnb could care less. I have resigned to the fact that I have been ripped off by both Airbnb and the host and am hoping this post will avoid anyone else booking this Airbnb hellhole. I stayed there one night, paid for five, slept in an office chair and picked up take out. So much for Airbnb.

Airbnb: A Horrible End to our Honeymoon

I booked this property for the last part of my honeymoon in Italy. Upon arriving the place was great. The day we got there we had travelled from Turin to Rome to Naples to Sorrento so it had been a long day; we wanted to shower and nap. When trying to shower, I got only ice cold water. I told the host about the issue and she sent someone to look at it shortly and told me it should be fixed. However, she wanted to send them again in the morning just to be safe.

The next morning they came and take a look and then we left for a tour. After coming back from the tour we really needed a shower but again, there was no warm water. We had a special dinner to go to so it was very uncomfortable coming from a full day tour and not getting a proper shower.

All the way through I communicated the issues to the host through Airbnb. I even told her that this issue would be in her review. Her review for me said I was dishonest and would not recommend me. Why would I lie about this? And how is it a lie if she had someone look at the issue multiple times?

This was an extremely horrible experience especially as it was for my honeymoon and the first time I’ve used Airbnb for a trip. I tried getting the review from my profile removed and compensation for the horrible experience but Airbnb did not help. They only said if I had called during the stay, then they could have done something. This made no sense to me because their site recommends that you work it out with the host.

Airbnb Makes Fawlty Towers look like the Hilton

Do not stay at a certain Airbnb property at Newport beach in Sydney. It’s not a house; it’s an apartment in the middle floor of what once was a house. It has the most dangerous flight of stairs leading down to the apartment with no railings, loose pavement, and roots growing across the pathway. The security lights don’t work properly so at night you get halfway down and you are plunged into complete darkness.

It has the most uncomfortable lounges I have ever sat on; a bed of nails would be more comfortable. The place is a bit old and tired. Parking at the place is impossible on the street; it’s a narrow goat track and while she might give you one spot in her driveway, she advertises the property as sleeping nine guests. In reality, there are two bedrooms stuffed full of bunk beds and a master bedroom.

The host is bordering on a psychopath. The cupboards are stuffed full of unsorted junk from cables, broken toys, and scratched CDs. I think she is a hoarder. She seems pleasant at first but if you cross her watch out. One day I was parked illegally because we came out at night and couldn’t see the one rusty, tree-covered sign which had a 4-hour no parking zone on a Wednesday so the garbage trucks can get around the goat track. She was so vindictive she rang the ranger and had me booked; it cost $120, which I am appealing.

She was endlessly complaining about the noise we made but she spent her day dragging something across the floor which we heard in the apartment… probably dead bodies of other complaining guests to bury. She endlessly texted us about the most trivial things but couldn’t come downstairs and tell us to move the car. We couldn’t wait to leave.

The worst is when we left we photographed the entire place and three hours later she hit us up for an extra $360 for extra cleaning. We left it spotless. So I pulled the metadata off her photos and found she had gone in and messed up the place three hours after we left as the metadata has the time in the data. I showed her and Airbnb our photo metadata and hers and thankfully it was dropped.

We left a blender motor there in our rush to get as far away as possible so she said she would mail it back if I sent down a return postage bag. $30 later after saying she had mailed it has never arrived. If you want a holiday from hell, stay here. Airbnb was sympathetic but did nothing in the end. She has all these excellent reviews and I’m sure if you don’t cross her path it might be a reasonably pleasant stay, but don’t complain. The photo she uses on her page of sweeping views of Newport is not the view from the apartment. You’re in a gully with a tree obscuring most of the view; the place is hell. It makes Fawlty Towers look like the Hilton.

Airbnb Stripped away my Rights as a Guest

Airbnb was initially very supportive of our situation and processed a full refund but denied me the privilege of sharing my full story because I had initially mentioned the company who was managing the key collection. They did not ask that I remove the name of the company, but they removed my entire review as written below. Your rights to share your experience on Airbnb are very limited. Know your rights and be careful.

We felt cheated staying with these hosts. The whole set-up seems like a scam. The key collection area was unwelcoming; there was a notice to say that it was under construction. A man came up from the basement: no “hello”, no explanation, and zero hospitality. He just handed a set of key to us.

At this point, it all felt like a scam, and we were worried. As we entered the building, there were trucks with graffiti parked on the roads. It didn’t give us a welcoming feeling for a place that is described as a modern five-star apartment. It also claimed to be family friendly. There was a homeless man sleeping at the entrance to the building, blocking our path to use the ramp (we have a baby stroller). There were foot steps and dirt all across the common areas and entrance. This was our first impression of the place for which we paid the premium price of AED 805 per night (167 pounds).

There were alcohol cans and rubbish at the entrance. It was a shelter for the homeless (sleep during the days, take drugs and drink alcohol during the nights). The apartment was serviced, but it was not clean (as a five-star modern apartment). We were also charged AED 200 in cleaning fees (42 pounds). This was what we found as we walked in: pubic hair in the bathroom, hair in the corners of the whole apartment, mold on curtains and edges, salt built up in the kettle – not washable even after I tried. I needed a kettle as I was traveling with young children.

We decided to come home before dark as the area felt unsafe. When we came home at 7:00 PM, there was another homeless guy sleeping at the walkway. We decided to order food to be delivered to the apartment. We felt trapped as the walkway and building entrance was not suitable for our needs and always blocked by homeless people. Our delivery guy had informed us that our food was snatched by one of the homeless who on either drugs or alcohol. That was when we decided to look for an alternative accommodation for the remaining of our stay.

Our apartment door was opened from the outside in the morning while we were still there. When my husband inquired she said she didn’t speak English (Spanish speaker). We decided to check out after our first night there as we were concerned about our safety.

This property was not suitable for family. It is not a modern five-star apartment if the entrance is a home for homeless people. The shower and bathroom was two-star. The cleanliness is zero stars. Both beds were sofa beds (not one bed and one sofa bed as claimed). The amenities were very poor. It was an unsafe area for families.

The hosts didn’t meet me or call me even once although I called the emergency number. She only communicated using the Airbnb messaging and the response was slow. They didn’t provide any hospitality or assurance whatsoever. She claimed to have visited the apartment to take pictures of the cleanliness but didn’t even have the courtesy to come up to check on us. She also said she lives around Camden. It felt like the reason why she visited the apartment was to take pictures after she had cleaned the entrance and walkway to defend herself. Very disappointing. We didn’t want to ruin our holiday and left.

I lodged an official complaint to Airbnb and the host and she only wanted to give us a 20% refund despite us moving out after one night. I logged a safety complaint with Airbnb. The case manager worked on my case and I have received my refund. However they have now removed my honest review of this case and all pictures that I have shared. Airbnb has stripped my rights as a guest who wants to share her poor experience to others.