I am not sure if these were instabookers or not - I don’t think so.
Couple prior to trip sent message saying we would not be up to snuff and that Jay has some massive stressors.
Felt bad, gave them a handcarved sloth keychain intended for my friend.
Tons of Air-documentation showing how I tried to help them get food in a massive storm, etc. Asked several times in person and in Airmail if everything was okay. Of course!
Then, vet friend over, talking, they walk by the deck I ask is everything good - all smiles and stuff.
Not ten minutes later I say to friend, “are they sneaking out?” He turns head and says it sure looks like it.
Owners send a follow up note, receive this response, rain down a sh&tstorm on their heads including legal action. I ask for my keychain to be sent back in a taxi.
Thanks to this Forum, I immediately recognized the scam. I gave them an all 1 star review with a slandering review calling them scammers, to warn other hosts. Not published yet:
Thank you for following through for feedback. We had no problem with Jay and the rain was actually a pretty neat thing to experience. The grounds of the property were quite stunning as well. I think the level of accommodations themselves were not exactly what we were expecting. We weren’t quite comfortable. We didn’t mean to upset Jay by cutting our time their short.
Unfortunately, we feel the accommodations were misrepresented based on the description and pictures. What I mean by this is more in what was not shown that we could not have known before we got there. The only picture of the building itself is from ~50 meters off through the bushes, which makes it near impossible to really see the place. The only picture of the bathroom shows the tile wall and the corner of the sink. What this leaves out is the rigged shower head with live electrical wires sticking out, exposed framing, and an ~8 inch hole in the floor behind the toilet which let in fire ants among other critters. The privacy of the cabin was inaccurate and the pictures do not show an accurate representation of the proximity to the main house. The internet either did not work or was spotty and very weak, which was communicated to us as a previously known factor to the hosts but was not represented in the ad. I say this not as a prissy tourist but as an international traveler whose only means of communication is through an Internet connection. This is the reason for the lack of coherent communication above. Since we could not connect to the Internet, we could only see the first 100 or so characters of any message as they come through SMS text message.
Perhaps the onus is on us to be more diligent in our assessment of housing options. We don’t feel this was made possible by the ad though. We have stayed in a number of places ranging from hostels to some of the nicer hotels in the area during our trip and the level of accommodations offered were closest to Rocking J’s hostel. While that in itself is not a bad thing, it was not reflected accurately and for $70 per night we made the assumption that everything “out-of-frame” would reflect a $70 per night room. We were able to go next door to the Villas Del Caribe and get a room for the exact same price that offered security, breakfast, clean rooms, adequate showers, working Internet, and a pool.
A personal email address we can be reached at is (email hidden)
Thank you for your time and communication. Hopefully this hasn’t disrupted your trip or upset anyone too much. I apologize if our assessment above comes off as harsh, we just want to communicate our feelings and impressions so that a similar situation can be avoided in the future, if possible.
Casey and Kyle