My wife and I went on a 5 night trip last week, staying in two separate Airbnb listings. The first was a 1 night stop before the flight the next morning and the second for 4 nights in Berlin.
We were pleased in advance with the first place we booked: a Superhost with 30+ five star reviews. When we checked ourself in it was immediately apparent that the accomodation had recently been vacated and hadn’t been cleaned; rubbish in the kitchen, dirt on the flooring, unmade/slept in beds and a well used bathroom (with several wet towels on the floor). We were taken aback by this. We contacted the host through Airbnb messaging who responded quickly asking us to phone him back. He was somewhat apologetic and advises his accomodation manager must have “missed the booking”. Essentially though, he was hoping we’d be able to put up with the mess and remake a bed for our stay. I advised we were not happy to do this and would be leaving and advising Airbnb. The Airbnb rep we spoke to on the phone was understanding but not definitive on what would happen (we sent photos live to her for consideration through the chat). She was unable to make contact with the host. We left and booked a hotel a couple of miles away (we told the rep we were doing this). The hosts property manager then made contact (message and phone call) extremely apologetic - it was entirely his fault (he thought it was a free night) and apologised sincerely. He offered to come a day clean the place but we’d already left and that would have been 1.5 hours after we’d arrived.
The booking still was open however. The next day I nudged Airbnb for a response; they wished the host to agree cancellation and a refund. I disputed this given that it was clear the accomodation being provided was not usable. A refund quickly followed. To his credit, the property manager provided a refund for out (modestly priced) hotel stay, too. This was unnecessary stress to the start of our trip but ultimately resolved. As we didn’t actually stay and ownership was taken we are not inclined to leave a review - a very unfortunate incident nonetheless.
The stay in Berlin was a lovely studio apartment in an excellent location. This was a Superhost with 40+ 5 star reviews. If anything it was underpriced which in hindsight was perhaps a clue. The stay in the accomodation itself was great and could not fault it. However, the host was quite economic with the truth in presenting the listing. In communication in advance she was stressing good neighbourliness with the following request:
3. We have a bit of problems with Airbnb in Berlin, so please always stay friendly to neighbors and say short “hallo”. You are friends of mine and you just visit Berlin.
We only happened across neighbours once a day we did simply say good morning (in German).
She also had it listed with an incorrect address; we were advised before check-in that it was the next building down (I.e. number 10 not 12). It is apparent that what she means is that, as a whole place, she needs to be licensed to offer STR and she wasn’t (from the outside it was being presented as her home address and she asks guests to advice neighbours we are friends of hers). Perhaps it was being sub-let. Her instructions for checking out also stressed that she did not wish to be reviewed:
4. Please do not write me an official star rating, evaluation or feedback at the end of your stay, because I´m already a super host and I don´t need any more feedbacks. Just write me a private message, if something was not ok. On this way I can lern better hosting. Thank you
I’m convinced therfore that we were part of a deception which makes us feel a little uneasy. We also don’t like being requested not to exercise our right to review the host, which we think is important.
So two quite different experiences but both with with their issues. It won’t put us off but it was interesting to see this from the other side. It focuses us to be as organised and clear in our communication for our listing.