Bad Experience with Fake Studio in Hamburg

My husband and I wanted to spend some time in Hamburg, Germany. We booked four days in September 2017, during my husband’s birthday. I was looking forward to this event and we also booked tickets as a birthday present for the Elbe Philharmonic.

When we arrived at the Airbnb, our host wasn’t there at first. He showed up telling us that there was no electricity at the moment because of a short circuit and he wanted to get it fixed (which he successfully did). The moment we entered the apartment, my husband turned around and looked at me horrified: the stench of a dog was just unbearable. He wanted to leave immediately. I stopped him and thought that maybe ventilation would help. Despite the fact there were strict house rules concerning the guests like “no pets allowed ” (and this made me believe that there would be no cat or dog living there), at least one dog was sharing the apartment with this “host “and his two kids.

The apartment didn’t conform to the pictures in the listing; there was no table in the room, and no chairs in the kitchen. Instead of a bed, there was an old 120-cm sofa for the two of us, and setting up the bed was only possible by putting some support items below one part of the mattress. The apartment was raised off the ground floor with huge windows and no way to darken them – no curtains or other items – but the pictures showed something else.

We found the dog’s food bowl in the kitchen sink. Worst of all: the disgusting smell of the apartment wasn’t gone when we came back into the “studio” (the space offered on the website), just the opposite – the smell increased. We found out that the smell was worse because one of the pillows must have belonged to the dog.

Because my husband suffers from dog allergies he could not stay in there any longer and had to leave the place, spending the night in our car. Of course I couldn’t get any sleep but preferred to stay in the room, waiting for my husband to come back and take me somewhere else (it was his birthday that day – what a pity). Meanwhile I had already informed our host (who had left with his kids to stay somewhere) via WhatsApp that we couldn’t stay any longer, telling him exactly what was wrong with his apartment and that it doesn’t deserve the word “studio” (which he has changed now into “apartment”- and this is also flattering). The terrible smell wasn’t disappearing, despite the fact windows were cracked open all night long (with no way to darken the room – and the surrounding area was crowded, being next to the Reeperbahn).

We both had a very horrible night: he in the car and me all by myself in this room. The host answered my SMS, telling me that he agreed to a refund and that he had already informed Airbnb, letting them know that he agreed with our refund request. We had paid 91 € a day for four days and were assured by the host that we would get the overpaid sum back (273 €). All we had to do was send Airbnb a message telling them about the refund and that the host had agreed to it.

This was exactly what we did – and what happened? Airbnb told us that our “host” had already taken payment and we had to get along with him. Great idea! Of course I did never expect to get any money back from this guy, but I thought that this should be the duty of Airbnb – after all, they take money from their customers. Nothing had happened until now, no answers to my complaints. This is not the way a respectable organisation should act. It was our first experience with Airbnb and for sure our last one. Besides I will tell all my acquaintances to free their hands from this company; it is not to be commended.

Avoid this Airbnb Nightmare in Bordeaux, France

We (a couple with a child) have nothing against simple. Some simple apartments are good, but this host’s apartment in Bordeaux was not. It was much older than shown in the pictures. In fact, every single thing in her apartment was old and of low quality. The pillows and blankets were so old that they had yellow stains and smelled moldy. It was summer, but the host and her boyfriend only gave us two heavy winter blankets (the only ones they had). Our things had to remain in the suitcases, because the whole apartment was crammed full with her belongings. In the tiny kitchenette, there was no free space to prepare a meal. The bed was uncomfortable and the sofa bed was a joke: very old with a very thin “mattress” (almost the same as sleeping directly on the floor). With the windows closed, one could hear every single word spoken on the streets. The apartment was not clean, they vacuumed only the floor (there were hairs on the bathroom door). Two light bulbs were broken. On the third day, it was very annoying: we had to open the door for her boyfriend because he wanted to have one of his books. On check-out day, instead of coming to collect the keys, he wanted us to bring them to him at his workplace. After I gave the place a negative review, he had the nerve to send me a very angry message. Going to Bordeaux? Avoid this terrible apartment.

Filthy Condo Forces Couple to Leave Early

My wife and I were very disappointed with our stay at this property in Laguna Niguel. I would not recommend this condo; it should be removed from Airbnb. We only stayed three nights then could not stand it any longer so we booked a room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Irvine. Upon entering the condo, we noticed the place smelled. We found the property to be very dirty. Countertops had dirt and grit and had not been wiped or cleaned prior to our arrival. Toilets had not been cleaned and had dirt and hair on the tops of the bowls and rims. Bathroom countertops had not been cleaned and had dirt, hair, and grit. When we tried to clean the area with wipes, they came away with quite a bit of black stuff and dirt.

There was mold in the master bathroom’s shower. This concerned us very much. The sheets for the master bed were washed and folded on the bed, but when we made the bed we found the sheets were stained and made of a very cheap, thin material. We did not use the second bedroom with a twin bed as it was only the two of us. The towels and washcloths were very old and grey from long-term use and multiple washings (in other words, not white anymore); one washcloth even had very dark stains. It made us uncomfortable to use them.

The shower wand in the master bath was lying on the floor of the shower and I thought it must have fallen. When I put the wand in the holder it was dripping. Attempting to turn the hot and cold faucets off securely did not stop the dripping and this was the reason the shower wand was left on the floor of the shower (otherwise when sleeping you would hear the constant drip).

The condo only had a toaster oven and no microwave. The toaster oven was dirty. The coffee pot was a very old drip type with no cup markings on the carafe or water reservoir to tell you how may cups of water for filling so it made it difficult to determine how much coffee (scoops) to put into the filter. There was spilled and crusted food on the shelves of the refrigerator.

On Wednesday morning we got up early and washed the sheets and towels as instructed (this took over two hours to wash and dry, so we made sure to get up early to complete this task). We mopped the floors (the mop we found was filthy). When I went to vacuum the carpets, I found the filter was completely clogged and caked with dirt. I cannot imagine how this vacuum could have picked up any dirt from the carpets. For a filter to be clogged and caked this severely must have been from neglect over a matter of months. The connecting hose from the vacuum head to the filter was duct taped. I cleaned the filter as best I could between each of the pleats.

We just could not stay in this condo, so we left early and reserved a room at the Hilton Garden Inn at John Wayne Airport. This added an extra $300 on top of the $480 we paid for four nights in the condo. The host responded to our review stating that we were “scammers”. This was my 67th birthday. I am a professional engineer and very responsible and very clean. We keep our home immaculate.

My Trip Motto: Expect to be Disappointed with Airbnb

We went south of the U.S. for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The host had good reviews but I had a different experience. It was so hot and humid, there were strange odors of mildew and urine, and the phone, wifi, and TV didn’t work. The fridge was moldy. I was afraid to touch anything. The worst part was when the owner came down and apologized if I saw him looking in my window: “I wanted to see if you were there.”

At the time I thought it was an honest mistake, though he could have knocked on the door. I was a little freaked out but figured he wouldn’t have said anything if he meant to be sneaky. Then I turned around and saw his friend, with a drink in one hand and a beer in the other and he was clearly drunk. There I was in a foreign country standing between a drunk guy and a peeping tom. I was told there’d be wifi but it never worked for me.

This was all happening on my birthday. I couldn’t call, text, or email anybody. It was the worst, loneliest birthday in all my 51 years of life. I left early. Kudos to Airbnb for cancelling my reservation for the rest of the week but now the hosts are upset that they were only paid for two nights instead of seven. It sucks for the hosts, too. I’m sure they don’t understand my consternation. I’m sure they’ll give me a bad review but I don’t care because Airbnb and I are never ever getting back together.