Airbnb: the Good, the Bad, and the Ruined Birthday



It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of using Airbnb when I travel.

In fact, I probably stay in more Airbnb apartments than I do hostels, guesthouses, and hotels these days. I’m even writing this post from one in Granada! I first tried the site in 2012, and since then, I’ve used it in Austria, Croatia, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Belize, The Maldives, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

Why do I love it so much?

It’s cheap, especially if you’re travelling as a couple. In a lot of countries, I’ve found Airbnb apartments work out to be similar in cost to a private room in a hostel, two dorm beds, or a budget hotel room. Long-term stays of a month or more work out to be even cheaper. Bonus: if you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can grab $30 off your first booking by using this link!

It’s comfortable. Most of the Airbnb apartments I’ve stayed in have had a kitchen full of utensils and cooking ingredients. I love having a private bathroom I’m not sharing with 20 backpackers. An unshared Internet connection makes work easier and faster. Having separate rooms rather than just a bed and a desk, like in most guesthouses I stay in, keeps me sane.

Lots of unique accommodation options. Through Airbnb, I’ve stayed in a tiny home in Portland, a beach house in Los Angeles, a artist’s gallery in New Mexico, and I’ve just booked a stay in a houseboat in the Netherlands for next month! Did you know you can even stay in the clock tower at St Pancras Station in London? When you jump from room to room to room as a long-term traveller, your surroundings can kind of merge into one. Yeah, you can stay at quirky hostels, but I’ve found Airbnb to have some really awesome options.

It gives me a slice of home in an unfamiliar city. I love travel but it can be disorientating and overwhelming at times. Staying in a home instead of a guesthouse bedroom gives me a little slice of comfort and normality in my unconventional life.

You guys know I love showing you both the good and bad side of travel, and as much as I love Airbnb, my stays haven’t all been wonderful. Here, then, are some of my favourite apartments I’ve stayed in, some of the truly terrible experiences, and that time Dave’s birthday surprise didn’t quite go to plan.

All prices quoted in the post are what we paid at the time, and include Airbnb service fees plus the owners’ cleaning fees.

The Good

 

Lauren celebrating

The Rustic Tiny Home in Portland ($1500 for a month/$50 a night)

The moment I fell in love with Airbnb and Portland was when I walked through the door of this place. Swoon. This is my favourite apartment I’ve ever stayed in and I’m so bummed they’ve since upped their price. The owners were concerned how we’d cope in such a small space but after living in guesthouses and hostels, it felt like a palace. We were in the perfect neighbourhood, five minutes from my favourite restaurant (Tasty N Sons), had a little garden outside to sit in the sunshine, enough space to get away from each other, and the most gorgeous surroundings to live in.

This place also kickstarted my obsession with tiny homes.

 

The Cottage in Tacoma ($950 for 14 nights/$68 a night)

This gorgeous cottage is the first time I went to a city solely because of the accommodation. Dave and I were looking for apartments in Seattle when I happened to spot this place as a suggested listing. Even better: it was half the price of similar quality places we’d seen in Seattle. What did I know about Tacoma? Nothing! So I booked it.

I’m so pleased I did because this apartment was amazing. It was located a couple of blocks back from the waterfront with half a dozen great restaurants and bars nearby. I loved the spacious kitchen and cosy living room. The only downside: climbing that scary-looking ladder to get to the bedroom. I didn’t really fall in love with Tacoma, but I’d go back just for this place.

 

The First Private Room in Flagstaff ($250 for 3 nights/$83 a night)

I’m pretty introverted and the idea of staying in a private room on Airbnb (where you have a private room but communal living areas) over an entire place made me nervous. Being around people saps my energy big time. Flagstaff, though, was crazy expensive, and this house had amazing reviews, where everyone mentioned how great the owners were.

I actually really enjoyed it, and discovered there are an immense amount of benefits to booking a private room. The owners had a crazy amount of knowledge about the Grand Canyon, and we spent a fun evening poring over maps and making plans. It was thanks to them we found a Grand Canyon walking trail with no tourists, picked up a delicious packed lunch from a nearby store, timed our Monument Valley trip perfectly, and managed to avoid roadworks on all our drives. The apartment was cosy, we had plenty of privacy so I didn’t go insane, and the free breakfasts were huge and delicious. I’d do it again.

Guanajuato close up

The Incredible Guanajuato View ($300 for 8 nights/$37 a night)

And the winner of the best view of any apartment I’ve stayed in goes to this stylish place in Guanajuato, Mexico! The kitchen was huge and and there were plenty of places to work. Behind those bricks in the photo is the bedroom, and the sofa was perfect for snuggling and watching movies at night. What really made this apartment, though, was the spectacular view from the roof terrace. I loved polishing off a bottle of wine as I watched the sun set over this colourful city.

airbnb portland home

The Second Portland Tiny-ish Home ($1500 for a month/$50 a night)

After my beloved tiny home in Portland shot up in price, I was looking for somewhere new. I took a shot on this place because the photos on the listing were terrible (if you click the link, the first five photos are the only ones we had to go on. They’ve since added more), but it paid off as it ended up being a cute and homely place to stay. I especially loved that we had a spare bed, so we could repay friends’ generosity and invite them to stay with us for once!

 

The Brixton Base ($2000 for one month/$67 a night)

London is insane when it comes to Airbnb. You really need to book six months out to find somewhere for a month and everything’s so expensive! Dave and I were hoping for somewhere central, but ended up in Brixton — somewhere we immediately fell in love with.

I loved this house because it had three floors! It sounds ridiculous but I love having a bedroom on a different level to the living space. It was tastefully decorated and in a great location. My favourite part was the snug: a top-level area filled with beanbags and blankets, and a big TV. Also, it was amaaazingly decorated!

The Bad

 

The Vancouver Apartment That Made Me Cry ($125 for 2 nights/$62 a night)

Oh god, possibly the worst place I’ve ever stayed in. My parents were in Vancouver for a few days, and I booked a cheap-ish apartment in the city so we could hang. It was fine enough during the day but at night?

That room must have been well over 40 degrees C — no exaggeration. There was no air conditioning, there were no windows (that blind in the photo masked a brick wall!), and the door was this thick, heavy, fire-proof monstrosity. It was so hot and humid I had beads of sweat dripping off my face and felt like I couldn’t breathe.

In fact, it was so bad I ended up wrapping myself in the sheets and standing under the ice-cold shower water to cool down. I did this every 15 minutes throughout the night. Did I mention I also had a really bad cold? I genuinely considered sleeping on the streets outside.

 

The Cold Guanajuato Christmas ($400 for 6 nights/$67 a night)

Remember that amazing Guanajuato apartment I mentioned above? Well, sadly it was booked over Christmas, so we moved to different one that looked just as nice. It was cold. Guanajuato isn’t usually freezing cold in winter but it was while we were there. What this meant is that the houses have poor insulation, and with mine and Dave’s limited wardrobe, we were miserable.

Even worse, it was in a terrible location. There were only two shops within a half an hour walk, and a few street food stalls along the way. What we didn’t realise was Guanajuato closes for Christmas, so nothing was open but a tiny grocery store. We spent Christmas day eating packets of crisps and eggs.

The room itself was actually really nice, and the owners were lovely — it wasn’t their fault it was cold and Christmas. But yeah, we left after two nights.

 

Scammed in Guraidhoo ($350 for 6 nights/$58 a night)

I’ve written a whole blog post about the time I was scammed in Guraidhoo, but the quick version is that the shady guesthouse owner quoted us a price for a ferry transfer, and then when it came time to check out, doubled it. I’ve since heard from others that the guy has a bad reputation on the island — unfortunately, none of the guesthouses on Airbnb in the Maldives had reviews, so we didn’t know.

 

The Cat With the Cone Head ($170 for 2 nights/$85 a night)

I thought it was a bit weird when the owner of our Montreal Airbnb place sent me a message telling us she had a small cat and asking if we could we look after it. We said yes — Dave knew how to look after cats; I had no idea — but it still felt a little strange. We met the owner at her apartment and while we were talking to her, the cat jumped out the window onto the balcony of her second floor apartment, and prepared to jump. She freaked out, collected him, and told us he’d never done that before.

What she hadn’t told us was that the cat had some kind of infection on its face and was wearing one of those plastic cone things around its neck. The infection was itchy and how do I know this? Because the cat scratched its cone all day and all night, keeping us awake and irritated. The apartment was fine but it was all a little weird. Flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, all day long.

The Ruined Birthday

The Austin Apartment of Crappy Surprises ($425 for 4 nights/$106 a night)

It was Dave’s birthday and as a present, I was treating to him to kickass apartment in Austin.

We walked in to find a crumpled duvet lying at our feet. That was weird. There were no sheets on the bed. Also weird. No towels in the bathroom. Dirty dishes strewn across the kitchen. The entire place was filthy, messy, and disgusting, nothing like the photo above.

“Happy birthday, baby!” I cooed while trying not to burst into tears. We sat in the mess while I tried for an hour to get through to the owner, at which point she told me I wasn’t supposed to be arriving today. At which point I checked my booking and told her I definitely was.

She jumped into action and called her friend to clean the apartment while Dave and I — exhausted from our six-hour drive to get there — went out for a meal when all we wanted to do was sleep. Needless to say, it wasn’t the greatest birthday surprise I’ve ever pulled off, and I spent our stay beating myself up over it.

How to Have a Successful Airbnb Experience

The good experiences I’ve had with Airbnb far outweigh the bad, and most of the bad could have easily been avoided. Here’s how to make the most out of your experience:

Read the reviews. It’s common sense but I’m going to tell you to do it anyway. If I’m looking for a long-term stay, I especially read reviews from other people who have stayed for a month or more — it lets me know if it’s a liveable space. If there are no reviews for a property, don’t stay there unless it’s extremely good value. It’s not worth the risk.

Ask the owner questions. Often, I can be preoccupied with just trying to find somewhere rather than making sure it’s the perfect fit. If you work online, ask the owner how fast the Internet is. Ask what appliances there are in the kitchen if you love to cook. If public transport is in close proximity.

Don’t scrimp on quality if you’re going to end up crying. I like to think my years of living in hostel dorms have prepared me for crappy rooms, but sometimes, like in Vancouver, I should have just paid a bit more for somewhere with air conditioning.

Make a note of what’s important to you. One thing Dave and I like to do when we’re looking at accommodation is make a list of what we need to have and what would be nice to have. It’s easy to get sucked into an apartment listing because it looks beautiful, only to realise it’s only accessible by car, or there isn’t Wi-Fi.

Long-term stays save you so much money. You’ll typically be able to save around 50% on the day rate if you book for a month. Also, if you’re going to stay for more than a month, email the owner separately and ask for a discount. I’ve done this before and ended up saving about 30% on the advertised monthly rate.

 

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57 Comments

  1. Jessica C. (A Wanderlust For Life)
    March 18, 2015
    Reply

    We love Airbnb and have only had two kind of strange, but not too big of a deal moments. I know people who have had bad experiences their first time and will never use them again. It’s such a great idea, but there are always going to be bad apples.

    I want to do some of the more interesting places! KLM did a limited time thing where you could sleep in a plane that was designed as an apartment in Amsterdam. but I think it was a lottery system to get it. But a boat house sounds great! Even though we live in Amsterdam, we haven’t been in/on a boat house!

    • Lauren
      March 21, 2015
      Reply

      Yes! I saw that — would be so cool to sleep in a plane. So excited for the houseboat :-)

  2. Teri D
    March 18, 2015
    Reply

    Lauren – Good read this AM. My first AirBnB experience was a total nightmare. I rented a garage apartment in Washington DC for a month and the 3rd day after I was there, the owner had the building re-pointed (drilling out the cement between the 200 year old bricks and having it replaced). I thought the building was going to fall down. When I complained, he asked me to leave within and hour and tried to keep the money for the rest of the month. This was in 2012 – honestly AirBnB did not handle it very well and I swore them off. I do rent a lot of vacation rentals though. Finally this month, I have tried AirBnB again in the hopes that their business model and renter protection has evolved. Ultimately… it is a bit of a luck of the draw but experience helps in picking your stays. Love your tips… will be adding a few to my own.

    • Lauren
      March 21, 2015
      Reply

      Wow, that’s terrible! I think their service has improved within the last year or so.

  3. Kiara Gallop
    March 18, 2015
    Reply

    The only thing that puts me off AirBnb stays is their stupid pricing structure/system. I want the price I see to be the price I pay but there are always cleaning fees and security deposits on top. I’ve also found that even if I do a search for, say, 2 people with 1 bedroom, 1 bed, and one bathroom, the results it returns do not always seem to be just properties which meet those criteria, so when I click ‘go to book’ the price is always higher than the initial nightly rate I was quoted. Maybe it’s just me, but I like my accommodation booking sights to be straightforward!

    I have however used them once and stayed with a lovely couple in their beautiful apartment in central Ljubljana, so I should really attempt the experience again. In fact, I may just make that one of my 2015 resolutions :-)

    • Mark Copple
      March 20, 2015
      Reply

      While I use Airbnb a lot, I agree with you on this. It defintely adds an extra layer of work to the search process. I’m currently traveling in SE Asia and since an apartment is usually overkill I’ve been using Booking a lot. Cheaper, the price quoted is the actual price, and they have at least some sort of customer reward program. It wouldn’t kill Airbmb to implement some type of reward system for frequent users.

      • Lauren
        March 20, 2015
        Reply

        Yeah, I haven’t used Airbnb in Southeast Asia because it’s so much easier to negotiate a cheaper rate in person. Plus, as you say, it’s more expensive to use it there.

    • Lauren
      March 21, 2015
      Reply

      I agree, I wish they would just put the service fees and cleaning fees into the price you see.

  4. Martha
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    I have only used Airbnb once, for a trip to New Orleans, and it was great. I stayed in an old house just off of St Charles St and it was only $50 a night. I liked having a kitchen to use and liked chatting with the women who lived there, there is nothing like getting the inside scoop on where to eat and what to see.

    • Lauren
      March 19, 2015
      Reply

      Yeah, I’ve been really happy with the places I’ve stayed at in the US, especially when it comes to cost. With the tiny home in Portland, $1500 for a month’s accommodation is really pricey when you compare it to standard rent costs in the city — you’d probably be paying a third of that. But when you compare it to the price of hostels — $25/night each? It’s just as cheap as a hostel but with all the added conveniences :-)

  5. Katie
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    I am yet to have a bad experience on Air Bnb as a host or a guest, but I haven’t stayed in as many places as you. I would love to stay in a tiny house as will be building my own one day. I am looking at staying in a tipi on Salt spring island and a tiny cottage on Galling island this summer – I love quirky accommodations too! We lived in a houseboat on the Thames in London for a year and would love to live in a tree house (a tree house tiny home would be pretty damn awesome! )

    • Lauren
      March 19, 2015
      Reply

      And this was just a small selection of where I’ve stayed. I decided not to mention the dozen or so that didn’t have anything particularly amazing or terrible about them. After our stay in the tiny home in Portland, Dave and I have been seriously considering building one in New Zealand next year :-)

  6. Hannah @Getting Stamped
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    We have had more bad than good with Airbnb. The worst was the apartment in Brussels, we walked out that is how bad it was. Thankfully they refunded our money and helped move us to a safe place. In Chiang Mai we rented a 1 bedroom that clearly was a studio, that was more of hassle….

    Great list of tips!

    • Lauren
      March 19, 2015
      Reply

      Sorry to hear about your bad experiences, Hannah! I have found Airbnb to be super responsive and helpful, though. I tweeted about their being a mouse in a place where we were staying (without tagging them or anything) and they immediately messaged me to see if they could help. I didn’t really care but I appreciated them doing so! I know a few people who, like you, had bad experiences and Airbnb moved them to a better place to compensate.

  7. Carrie @Jetwayz
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    So many people rave about Airbnb, but I have heard a few horror stories as well. Great list of tips to a hopefully successful booking. I think chatting with the owner would be great, hopefully get some answer before booking.

    • Lauren
      March 19, 2015
      Reply

      Yep! There were a few times where I should have messaged the owner but didn’t because I was so desperate just to find somewhere.

  8. Adam @StreetFoodWorldTour
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    I have also found sometimes it’s cheaper to book the apartment for a week if you are only staying 5-6 nights. Like you mentioned email the owner and work out a rate between the two of you. Great set of tips Lauren!

    • Lauren
      March 19, 2015
      Reply

      Yeah, good point, Adam! I’ve done that, too, and booked for slightly longer to get a cheaper price.

  9. Ann
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    I’m a big fan of AirBnB too. I’ve used it for long-term stays and quick get-aways. Sometimes I just rent one room & other times, I have the whole place. For the folks who’ve had negative experiences in the past (or those skittish about trying AirBnB for the first time), know that AirBnB hired a Hospitality Director late 2013 and he has significantly improved their customer service levels. 6 months ago I arrived at an AirBnB property & it was a different apartment from the photos of what I believed I rented. I reported it, and AirBnB’s handling of the situation was swift & appropriate. I was impressed!

    • Lauren
      March 21, 2015
      Reply

      I’ve been impressed with their customer service, too! Whenever I’ve ever tweeted something even remotely negative about an Airbnb place (without tagging them) they’ve immediately replied to ask how they can help.

  10. John
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    I am at the lower end of the budget when it comes to accommodations but have been unable to make a booking with airbnb. I have booked places that have been rejected for being full when the calender showed it as empty. One time the price doubled because I booked as a single and they said the price was per person and needed 2 people. Most often I do not get any type of confirmation or rejection within a timely manner so end up canceling the booking so I can book somewhere else.

    I also believe that a number of blogger get something in return for their airbnb post. I think this is great but just feel they should say they received something from the company in return for the post to be honest to their readers.

    • Lauren
      March 19, 2015
      Reply

      Hi John,

      I’ve regularly been rejected by apartment owners and I think a lot of them forget to keep their calendar updated. I usually contact between 5 and 10 places at a time to give myself the best chance of finding somewhere.

      I received nothing from Airbnb to write this post. I have a strict no freebies or sponsored travel policy on Never Ending Footsteps. I pay for absolutely everything myself — no exceptions. Additionally, I have stayed in 24 different Airbnb apartments since 2012, all paid for out of my own pocket, and have had no contact with the company at any time. I just wanted to share the good and bad sides of Airbnb, and explain why I use them over any other type of accommodation.

  11. Angie
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    This is such great information. I love AirBnB! I have had wonderful experiences so far.
    That Tiny House in Portland looks amazing!

    • Lauren
      March 19, 2015
      Reply

      Easily the best place I’ve ever stayed in. Shame they upped the price by something like $1000 per month!

  12. Jodie Young
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    I had my first stay in an Airbnb property last year and have two more stays booked for this year. It is fast becoming my favourite type of accommodation. This is a great round up of places – good and bad – with some great tips for first timers. That first tiny portland house looks awesome :) (although I couldn’t get the link to work for the second one).

    • Lauren
      March 21, 2015
      Reply

      I think that the longer you spend in hostels the more you appreciate staying somewhere a little more homely, especially when it’s a tiny house :-)

  13. Becks :-)
    March 19, 2015
    Reply

    Good to see you are blogging more. Some of the places you stayed are amazing! !! I am also a big fan of AirBnB from the other side. I am sometimes a host, it is a great way to make some extra money when I’m saving for my next oversea adventure ☺

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2015
      Reply

      I’m so happy to be back! And writing my book has taught me so much about productivity that I can’t seem to stop :-). I’d love to try hosting on Airbnb, too, if Dave and I ever get around to building that tiny home.

  14. Beth Andrews
    March 21, 2015
    Reply

    I used to be a fan of Airbnb, but not anymore. It’s too much of a risk. True, there are some treasures; however, the failures make for a miserable experience, and life is short. We often travel to get away from frustration. I don’t like the way Airbnb handles issues. You can go through the host, and if that doesn’t work, the “help” contact option seems to lead you on a wild goose chase. I’m going to use VRBO and hotels for now on, and, in case I do end up back w/ Airbnb, I will be VERY cautious.

    • Lauren
      March 21, 2015
      Reply

      Interesting that you feel that way because there’s pretty much the same risk with booking a hotel, isn’t there?

  15. Amanda
    March 24, 2015
    Reply

    Funny that I’m just reading this now – I just spent about an hour on Airbnb looking for a flat in London for me and my mom! I like Airbnb and have used it quite a few times. Usually when I’m traveling alone, I just book rooms in houses so it ends up being like a B&B experience. But, in this case, I’m looking for a 2-bedroom flat for 4 nights so my mom and I can have a nice base in London. Lots of options out there!

    • Lauren
      March 24, 2015
      Reply

      Oh, nice! Yeah, London has a huge amount of options, especially when you’re not searching for a month like I was :-)

  16. Carol
    March 24, 2015
    Reply

    I always use Airbnb. Never have a problem with bookings and so far
    have had great homes and apartments. I book whole homes or apartments only.
    Have all my apartments booked for June in Italy so will see how they
    all work out.

    • Lauren
      April 3, 2015
      Reply

      Nice! Hope it works out well for you :-)

  17. Jenny @ Till the Money Runs Out
    March 24, 2015
    Reply

    Oh man, I’ve LOVED airbnb ever since we discovered it in late 2011, about a year into our travels. I don’t know if Tom and I would have been able to continue traveling as we have if it wasn’t for airbnb. It has made it so that we can feel like we have a home in every city we are in, and has made it more comfortable for us to set up workspaces and run our business from the road. Can you tell I’m a fan? We’ve also had a few bad experiences, but probably less than if we were still staying in hostels around the world!

    • Lauren
      November 26, 2015
      Reply

      I feel the same way! Having to stay in hotels or guesthouses for months at a time? It would work out so expensive and you’d have so few amenities.

  18. Kathryn
    April 27, 2015
    Reply

    I’ve used Airbnb a lot and usually had good experiences. The main issue I’ve had is with hosts who are used to their neighbourhood so don’t give you the kind of directions you need as a visitor to get to the apartment. That can be stressful when you are travelling and don’t have a phone.

    But then I’ve had lovely experiences like staying in a gypsy caravan in the Netherlands and getting the most fabulous home cooked breakfast and getting an upgraded apartment in Tokyo because my host had a longer term booking for my original apartment.

    • Lauren
      June 30, 2015
      Reply

      You positive experiences sound amazing! You do often need to get in touch with the owner before you arrive to sort out directions, which, uh, I never do. I usually just rely on Dave having data and being able to put the address into his phone. I always forget about important details like those until I’m actually trying to find the place!

  19. Tonja
    May 21, 2015
    Reply

    Hey Lauren, could you tell me the official name of the second Portland tinyish home? I think the link just takes me to airbnb and I can’t figure out which one it is. Thanks! I love the blog!

    • Lauren
      May 21, 2015
      Reply

      Hi Tonja, I can only view the listing if I’m outside of the US. I don’t know if the owner blocks people in the US from seeing the listing? Try using a VPN to set your location as the UK and you’ll be able to see it. (I use ZenMate as a VPN)

  20. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home
    June 9, 2015
    Reply

    AirBnb is great travel platform. Booking is also great, but for apartments AirBnb is the best option! Expedia is not a bad option, too.

    • Lauren
      June 12, 2015
      Reply

      I prefer Agoda to Booking and Expedia. It’s generally cheaper than both.

  21. Maddie
    June 17, 2015
    Reply

    I am making a trip to Manhattan soon and seeing as the hotels there are incredibly pricey, I plan on using Airbnb for the first time. Knowing this is definitely helpful and I feel much more confident that I will be okay now that I know how to carefully book my rental. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and advice! I don’t doubt that it will improve my future stay.

    • Lauren
      June 30, 2015
      Reply

      No problem, Maddie! Hope you have an amazing time! :-)

  22. Faisal
    June 30, 2015
    Reply

    Hi, planning a trip to Maldives with my wife and two kids. Can you suggest a safe and great location place to rent. Love ur blog it’s really very informative. Thanks

    • Lauren
      June 30, 2015
      Reply

      Through Airbnb? I recommend Thundi Guesthouse on Fulidhoo!

  23. Dorothea
    March 28, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, this sounds like a great way to find an apartment. I think an important part of this is being a good guest. It wouldn’t work out well if everyone was a poor guest. This was fun to read. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Greg
    June 15, 2016
    Reply

    My first and last experience with AirBnb. Host profile said she was spiritual but she’s far from it. House was filthy, kitchen was nasty with dirty dishes everywhere and gross refrigerator. House was bare and smelled of incense. Listing says cancellation flexible but Aneta refused to refund my money when I couldn’t stay there any longer. Be careful when looking for a place in Henderson, NV

    • Lauren
      June 16, 2016
      Reply

      I’d recommend contacting Airbnb directly and they’ll most likely offer you a refund. If a place isn’t as described, they always do. Don’t go through the host for a refund.

  25. Whitfield - Seattle Tacoma Guide
    December 15, 2017
    Reply

    I lived in Tacoma for 27 years and I am not in love with it, but I do love the Downtown Area, and I didn’t know about that cottage! I love it. If it is still on Airbnb, it could be a home away from home.

    • Lauren
      January 2, 2018
      Reply

      Fingers crossed!

  26. Sharon
    November 21, 2018
    Reply

    I am on the look out for a good airbnb property in Canada and after reading this article I am a little worried but also a little more enlightened on what can happen. Thanks

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2019
      Reply

      Just make sure you read the reviews and you’re probably going to end up having a wonderful time!

  27. Sarah
    June 21, 2019
    Reply

    They really put blinds over a brick wall to make you think it had a window? That is just wrong. I hope you left them a super bad review after that.

    • Lauren
      June 22, 2019
      Reply

      Yeah, it was super shady!

  28. Alida
    July 17, 2019
    Reply

    I love the friendly vibe of air bnb, but I’ll never book with them again.
    I suffer from middle ear issues which causes imbalance/vertigo, especially after long flights. I contacted a host prior to booking and asked if I could check-in early so I could lie down. She said that was fine. I booked at her place, but on arrival, she told me that someone was in my room and I couldn’t check-in. She wouldn’t even let me lie down in her house. Link to her room – https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/25340836?source_impression_id=p3_1563338167_%2FqpWrhVFg7WONI%2Bt
    I was so dizzy I could barely walk. I had to leave my suitcase at her place and walk down and lie in an oval for 6 hours. While there, I had no water, food, and I was nearly mugged (I had my laptop out and a guy on a bicycle kept circling; I had to finally lie in the full sun because it was near a couple of other guys; I ended up sun burnt). Air bnb contacted me and promised they would help me find other accommodation. I needed somewhere close by because I’ll be catching up with friends in that area in a couple of days. I couldn’t find any nice cheap accommodation in that area, so I sent a link for something just a little more expensive (not much considering what I’d gone through). Air bnb stopped getting back to me and wouldn’t confirm if I could book. My phone was nearly flat and I didn’t know what to do, so I found another, cheaper, place in London and quickly booked (I didn’t have time to google the address because I had 2% battery). When I went back to get my suitcase, the host had locked me out of her house (I had a key, but she’d locked both locks). I then had to sit on her doorstep for long time. When she arrived she laughed in my face and said- because you asked me to cancel the booking, you can’t write a bad review. I began to cry. It got worse. My phone went flat and then I had to walk my suitcase up a steep road to a cafe, charge it, and then call a taxi from there. It was then that I found out that my new accommodation was 3 hours on public transport from where my friends live (also a 1 hour taxi ride which cost me $100.00 AU; I sent Air bnb the receipt asking for refund and they have manually removed the receipt from the conversation). I rang airbnb and they told me that they would help. The gentleman said he would personally fix this terrible thing that happened to me and move me closer to my friends. He promised me that Air bnb would make up any financial losses. He promised me he would take on my case personally until it was resolved. But then I received a message through air bnb, where he stated that he won’t take on my case, and that it was being passed back to the person who didn’t fix things last time and who left me stranded in an oval, spinning like a top. It has been hours and I still haven’t received any contact from air bnb. Now I’m stuck on the other side of London, 3 hours on public transport from where my friends are. The first week of my holiday is ruined; and worse still, air bnb are no longer answering my calls!!!! I just want to cry. I wish a booked a hotel room.

  29. Luke
    August 22, 2020
    Reply

    Airbnb has ruined our apartment building. They are horrible neighbors, pop up bordellos, large parties every weekend.
    All my neighbors hate Airbnb as well. If you stay at an Airbnb at Evoq Apartments in Las Vegas… expect to be greeted by angry neighbors with pitchforks!

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