Host Left a Bad Review Because Kitchen… Smelled like Cooked Food

Let me start by saying I have OCD and am generally kinda fussy about other people’s space, so I clean pretty much everything before I leave wherever I’m a guest, whether it’s a hotel room or a friend’s house or an Airbnb. I’m a total rule follower (I admit it) and my goal for wherever I stay is to essentially cause as little bother as possible. So all of my Airbnb reviews have been stellar, with one exception.

I stayed at a cabin in a fairly rural area with my wife for a long weekend. The day we checked out, I got up and made breakfast, then cleaned up, packed, and left. The trip was completely uneventful, and I left a positive review. The host left me a lengthy negative review because she went into the cabin right after we checked out and found a problem: she smelled cooked food in the kitchen area.

It was a tiny, one-room place where the windows didn’t open, and even if they had, it was January. Also, there was no vent system on the stove. Everything was put back where it belonged, we followed all the rules, the dishes were clean and put away, the pots and pans and utensils were all clean and put away, I took the trash and recycling out, and even cleaned the stove, countertops, etc. But none of that bested the part where it still faintly smelled like scrambled eggs and bacon (it wasn’t even smelly or unusual food, or something that permeated even the entire cabin — just the kitchen area, by her own admission).

The review went on and on about how offensive it was that I had left the air dirty, I guess? I actually contacted Airbnb, just because this was my first negative review and I was fairly baffled. The customer service rep was audibly suppressing laughter and finally said (this is not a direct quote): “You didn’t do anything wrong, but also we can’t take the review down because there’s nothing false in it.”

I don’t disagree with this — nobody broke any rules, it’s just petty, and hopefully that CSR at least came away from it with a funny story. I’m probably never going to use Airbnb again for other reasons — just because nothing bad has happened to me doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore what happens to other people — but if I did, I hope future hosts look at my reviews and get a good giggle out of the only negative being “the air smelled kinda like food in the kitchen, an hour or so after somebody cooked.”

Anyway, I just wanted to share a story where no one’s life got ruined and nobody got scammed out of a ton of money. Turns out you can do everything technically correct and your host can still get salty because you didn’t clean the air.

A side note: my parents gave me a fairly androgynous name that a lot of English-speaking people assume is male, especially online, so it’s possible she didn’t realize she was renting to a lesbian couple until we showed up. But I don’t want to assume it was ‘homophobe looks for things to be mean about’; that’s just the only thing we could think of that might’ve made her weird towards us specifically, as she had been completely normal and friendly until she saw us in person.

Honeymoon Ruined Thanks to Airbnb and Croatia Host

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We had an awful experience with Airbnb, and would not recommend it to friends. The short story is we booked a month for our honeymoon and had to leave two weeks early because the conditions were unacceptable.

The air quality was so bad, that our brand new white foam pillow we bought that first week looked like a yellow cigarette bud when we left. The place was very dirty, having paw marks in the dust under the bed along with random socks and other trash, and even a black hand mark on the mattress. The bed was broken and never fixed even until the day we left. Even after bringing up all these issues, the host would not even refund the unused two weeks.

I traveled 14 hours from the United States to Croatia for our honeymoon. From the moment I got into the apartment, it smelt bad. I thought it was because it was poorly ventilated and the host had a weird smelling fragrance in the house, I had to ventilate it and buy things that made it smell fresh (I should not have to do this). When done, I had to go to the Airport to pick up my wife, since we came on different flights, and arrived to the apartment late.

We were both very tired and jetlagged, waking up late and missed the very narrow 24-hour window that Airbnb has to report any problems. We would later find out that this is the policy that Airbnb uses to wash their hands of any problems and not help you in anything whatsoever, even when we checked in a day later and had photographic proof of the issues.

We thought we were just experiencing jetlag, and that the pillows were uncomfortable, so we bought a nice memory foam pillow, but after a few days we noticed that it was the bed that was sinking. We had back and neck problems because of this through our whole stay: having to sleep on the couch as an alternative, then placing mattress and sleeping on the floor.

We contacted the host but they said everything would be addressed “tomorrow,” which could sometimes take more than two days and even then I just got excuses that the bed was just soft, and got a thin bed cover to fix the issue. Nothing really began to be fixed until I checked the bed, and noticed the the middle legs were broken, and sent the pictures through Airbnb. By then it took another four days, and two more attempts to fix it. We were also waking up congested and our nasal passages full of mucus. We would snore during the night and we did not normally snore.

Only when we had been out walking for hours and came back, did we realize our clothes stank, but that trash was so engrained in our noses we could not tell. After leaving to another apartment we realized all our clothes stank like cigarettes, even the ones in our luggage that we had never used or taken out. We had to rewash everything and our brand new $100 pillow we just bought not only stank, but was yellow on the end that the pillow cover did not reach all the way.

This might not be an issue for you but we also had to call the host because two out of two bulbs were out in the bathroom. We moved the couch so we could set it up to sleep and found an unknown civilization of dust bunnies which we had to clean. Because of this we tried to peacefully ask Airbnb to refund the unused two weeks as they had pictures of these issues and proof we had already rebooked. In any situation, this is a terrible experience. Specially when you are in a foreign country and are dependent on intermediaries.

The host refused, and Airbnb washed their hands of any wrongdoing because we “failed” to report things within 24 hours of our booking. We booked for the 22nd and did not check in until the 23rd. Then all of this happened. You judge what is correct and what you want to gamble on, but I would definitely not recommend this stay. Be an Angry American and complain about everything you see and smell the first 24 hours to Airbnb. If not, this garbage could happen to you.

No Better Way to Put it: Airbnb Guest Smelled

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I had a guy book for a week in my very nice home since my kids are off in college now. He claimed he worked in accounting at Powell’s Books and was needing a place while he looked for an apartment. From the second he stepped into my home, I knew something was wrong. He was twitchy, awkward, and filthy, smelling of vomit and feces. He had horrible shoes, filthy clothes, no socks, and a trashed suitcase he drug over my good wood floors.

I left the house and called Airbnb. They said that I would be penalized if I cancelled the reservation and they were reaching out to this guy. He promised he’d get to the laundry. I had a sleepless night with the stench in my very clean house. The next day he never left. The stench got worse and worse and he clearly had no job. I left for two hours in the evening and when I returned my bathroom was flooded; glass was all over the floor.

I marched into the room and almost choked. I told him to get out. I called Airbnb and they treated it like it was nothing. I got him out at 1:00 AM and stayed up all night hauling out fouled mattresses and bedding, cleaning up glass and feces. I am on day three with Airbnb and have spoken to no fewer than eight people. They are still not helping me.

Airbnb Raw Sewage Nightmare over Spring Break

We had our vacationed ruined by Airbnb and a host who was an absolute nightmare. Upon arrival at our condo we opened the door to an overwhelming smell of raw sewage. I’m not talking about a slightly unpleasant smell but a “you had to cover your face and eyes watering” smell. The condo looked nothing like the pictures that were on the Airbnb website. It was listed as a two bedroom but was actually only a one-bedroom condo with a three-foot crawl space with two mattresses thrown on the floor, which I guess made the second bedroom. In the end, none of that mattered as the condition and smell of the unit made it unlivable. We tried to phone the owner who told us to throw a couple of cleaning tablets in the toilet and the smell would eventually go away. There was no way this smell was going away anytime soon and the fact that we could not air it out due to the cold weather with open windows and doors only exacerbated the problem. The ultimate insult was when we stated the smell was not going away and the owner hung up on us. At this time, he is still refusing to return any calls.

We could not live in the accommodations and so literally had to spend our evening wandering, trying to find a place to lay our heads during spring break. We finally found a place that could take us for two nights for literally double what we had anticipated paying but we had no choice as we were at their mercy. I guess we will spend the rest of our stay trying to find accommodations for the rest of our stay. I have tried to call the Airbnb customer service line only to be disconnected before I ever reach a live person. The reward is not worth the risk. Don’t risk ruining your vacation and being put in financial distress by using Airbnb; it is just not worth it. I would not wish what happened to us on our worst enemy.

Airbnb Customer Service Still Won’t Refund My Money

We stayed in an Airbnb apartment that had not been cleaned when we arrived. The place was filthy and smelled bad. We contacted our host who said the cleaner was running late because of the recent holiday period. We were very annoyed because we had both traveled a long way that morning and had already waited outside the apartment for two hours in the heat, as we arrived before check-in time. We asked for a partial refund due to the inconvenience, which our host kindly agreed to. Seven business days later and we still have not seen the refund in our account. First of all, it was really difficult to get in contact with Airbnb, and when we finally did after being on hold for a long time, the lady that answered was very rude and not helpful at all. We originally paid for our stay with my friend’s PayPal account. Months after we paid in full for our accommodation, her account was hacked, her money stolen, and then her account was permanently closed by the hacker. Airbnb refused to pay our refund to any other account other than the one with which we paid, fully aware of my friend’s unfortunate circumstance. Calls were made back and forth trying to get our money back and we spent a lot of time on hold. In the end, they did not give us our money back, even though PayPal customer service said it was their responsibility. Not only has our host missed out on money, so have we (and a substantial amount of time), Airbnb was the only one to benefit. I am really disappointed and annoyed, and will let everyone I know not to trust them. Their customer service is horrible, they are not empathetic at all, and their policies need some serious reviewing.

What has happened to Airbnb? Why are guests so bad?

I’ve been hosting for three years. The last guest turned up at my house drunk, took his shoes off to release a cheesy foot odor that I could taste but still declined a shower and drank another bottle of wine while I sat with him. Then within one hour after I went out, he broke my ceramic toilet lid, left his light on, went out, and wouldn’t respond to calls. Unfortunately, I have to say, though this person was a little extreme, most guests lately are just rude and horrible. Is it because Airbnb encourages through their advertising that people ‘make themselves at home’ at another person’s house (read, hog the bathroom and splash water everywhere, sit around in the open-plan kitchen all day, help themselves to condiments from the cupboard, get packages delivered that hosts have to pick up because it’s their address, get drunk in their room, slam doors while people are sleeping, etc)? What is the solution? My house rules are comprehensive. Should Airbnb politely ask guests to mind their manners while they are in another person’s home?