The words ‘sweet’ and ‘cosy’ and ‘paradise’ should be banned from Airbnb. It is possible to find cheap accommodation on Airbnb which is actually of a good standard, not too spartan and actually very pleasant to stay in.
The correct choice of budget accommodation on Airbnb is not helped by the fact that the company sifts out the worst reviews and a reading of the reviews of a property like this actually looks fairly positive. This landlord has also re-listed his property many times to eliminate bad reviews.
The couple running this venue are in their 20s and have had the immense good fortune to have been handed what was a very nice house with a lot of character with a big garden. Sadly the way in which they run the venue is very disappointing and disconcerting to experience.
I stayed with them at their old venue in 2016, which was rustic but not unpleasant, and at this venue in 2017. You will enter the premises via a side gate, next to which the domestic bins are, plus a big pile of domestic rubbish under a plastic cover. The garden is visibly neglected, quite over-grown, which creates a secluded but rather depressing impression.
The house is wooden, with a very characteristic hallway, but which has seen a lot of human traffic: the floor and doors are scuffed and grubby, there are cobwebs, blown light bulbs, and a wooden staircase which also needs cleaning. There is an odd smell probably due to the result of lack of proper cleaning. The entire downstairs is private to the operator.
A glimpse through the dirty windows reveals a catastrophic hoarder kitchen and a very untidy living space on the ground floor. The downstairs common bathroom and toilet is actually quite good.
The owner says that he does not allow access to the kitchen because it ‘f*cks up my energy.’ The kitchen is not even usable for any conventional purpose and would require many days of cleaning to restore.
There are two upstairs bedrooms. They are both a good size. The bigger one is an en suite with a nice shower, but the shower has been out of action for a few months because of a leak. The sliding door to this room could be locked with a padlock, but there is no padlock. The other room has no door but a curtain. The beds, although pallet beds, are comfortable. There is also a rustic wooden building in the garden which is a cluttered, dirty, untidy workshop, with filthy windows which is sometimes available for rent.
I was asked my views on the property by the owner and I told him that he could probably double his income by providing a mini-bar fridge, fridge space for the guests, basic tea and coffee making facilities, real beds, an inclusive simple breakfast (and not the vegan breakfast he has sometimes insisted on) and by cleaning the windows. The venue does have a good washing machine and dryer which I suggested that the owner charge guests for using.
The central heating is on constantly for some unknown reason, so it is also possible to dry clothes on the radiator in the bedroom which you can turn on and off. I asked the owner about pegs for drying on the washing line but he could not be bothered to look for them.
There is wifi, but it goes off all the time when the owner’s phone goes out of range of the router. He will not change this so that guests can go online with greater convenience and is often too under the influence of drugs to connect it when asked, particularly in the evenings. I constantly had to ask him to reconnect it and towards the end of my five-day stay he could not be bothered to do it. He told me to get KPN for internet access which cost me 15 Euros and did not work at all well.
He has ideas of starting a second or third operation, when the one he has got is operating at such a poor level. He even thought that I would be interested in running an Airbnb operation with him in the future. In 2017, I was almost offered the option of running the current Airbnb operation so that the owner and his girlfriend could go on holiday, with no mention of any kind of payment or profit-share for this work.
The owner/operator is a young man approaching 30, whom I do have previous experience with. He is not at all unpleasant or dishonest but sadly he is addicted to processing and smoking dab cannabis every day. This is the principal reason why the property is run at such a low level. The Airbnb operation exists like this so that he can take drugs every day and hang around in the house.
Our previous acquaintance going back to 2016 and 2017 probably explains why he did not bother to vacuum my room before I arrived. His girlfriend was away, so he would hang out in my room, passing out on the spare bed a few times and even wanted to eat a meal of particularly smelly fried food in my room, but was prevented from doing so, because I was going out. On two other occasions he actually did this and then started asking about the food that I had. The operator consumes a lot of fried food, often late in the evening and because he does not air the downstairs area, the smell travels up the stairs.
You might actually enjoy having the owner’s two dogs running in and out of your room and trying to jump on you or on your bed. As I mentioned, the owner isn’t a bad person at all, but rather overly sociable and seems really to have no interests except drugs. He will talk a lot about conspiracy theories and his wish to start a company and change the world. It becomes grating after a short time or if you want to go to bed. I had to wake him up and eject him from the room when I wanted to sleep.
The owner is also under the impression that he is ‘helping people’ by offering such a low-rent property. You also cannot obtain a key for the house, the owner relying on keeping a key under a flower pot in the garden. This deficient security was quite a worry and travel insurance would definitely not be valid in the event of theft.
The motivation in running this operation is in fact very casual and shows a commitment to making the minimum of effort. Alternatively the operator can be quite fussy about an open bedroom window because of a mosquito problem, which I did not experience at all. He complained about this twice after he woke up from passing out on the spare bed in my room. He was also very intolerant of my opening the skylights at the top of the stairs slightly.
One of the things which you must not do is to become too social with the owner. A trip into Amsterdam means that you will suddenly be paying for his travel, food, drugs, etc. I was repaid because I kept reminding him, but had to avoid this kind of venture after that. I am writing this because I don’t see this operation lasting very long because of the ongoing level of deterioration to the property.
The painted exterior of the house is starting to deteriorate visibly in places. The operator told me back in 2017 that no exterior work needs to be done for ten years. I don’t want to be one of the succession of strangers or somebody claiming to be a friend, who said all was well with this venue, when there are severe systemic problems and standards which are non-existent.
I did tell the operator this when I was asked and my further critique here is given here in the hope that things really improve, because as a friend that is what I would like to see most. I also want to prevent strangers from having their vacation totally spoiled. This Airbnb rental is not at all suitable for children or for people with mobility or allergy issues.
Airbnb most definitely sanitises the reviews for this property so that it can stay in business, generating a sustained income for the company. I raised my concerns with Airbnb back in 2017, but they seem to have no interest in basic standards, ordinary hygiene, organisation and the constant use of drugs in the house. They are not at all concerned that cheap accommodation should be of a good standard, pleasant to arrive at and stay in.
My intention in writing this review is so that the operator is provided with a very necessary wake-up call and gains the long-overdue insight to massively improve the venue, which is entirely in his own interest to do so. It is not my business to tell an adult how to live but there is so much wrong with this operation and his alternative way of living would not be acceptable to most people.
My reading of quite a number of the original reviews more than illustrated the level of dissatisfaction and frustration felt by a lot of people who have stayed at his house. If you simply want to pass out every night when you get back from Amsterdam then this venue might suit you perfectly.