A Sydney family were shocked to arrive at their “real-life horror” Airbnb when journeying to the Hunter Valley for a friend’s wedding.
Describing it as a haven for palaeontologists, father and husband Mathew told Yahoo News Australia he wished the host was more transparent about the type of listing it is.
“Checking into our ‘quirky’ listing on Dec 2, we had no idea what awaited us, it couldn’t have been worse,” he said.
“On arrival, the mud-brick accommodation was 700 metres off the main road through two gated animal paddocks, up a dusty grass hill. After arriving at the property we immediately stumbled across a literal killing shed, complete with a sharp axe left out in the open along with a collection of dead horse carcasses and other dead wildlife.
“Our four-year-old daughter picked up the ribs of one of the dead horses when our backs were turned for a moment and we had to bring her quickly inside.”
The listing description of the cottage, located in a wine district on 100 acres of private land, made no mention of the ‘killing shed’ which was apparently in the back garden, 10 metres away from the property where guests would park their car.
“It was just creepy,” Mathew said.
Another key concern for the family was the lack of phone signal, with the listing only mentioning that there was no TV reception and wifi.
“We’ve got a four-year-old in a spot where we were so isolated and having no way of contacting anyone,” Mathew said. “We’re on different networks my wife and I, and we had literally zero signal within 10 minutes drive of the house at all.”
“My wife had tears in her eyes, she was so upset, she couldn’t sleep at all. There was no curtains of any kind or blinds on the windows, so we were just perched top of a hill, with no privacy.”
“We also had to be picked up by a local bus for the wedding and there’s no way the bus would’ve been able to go up a hill to pick us up.”
Family cut Airbnb stay short but no refund offered
He said it was a “combination of things” that then made the family cut their three-day stay short and leave the next morning, after having paid almost $1,600.
“We contacted the host to tell them we had left first thing the next morning, but they refused to offer any kind of support, nor as it later turned out did AirBnB.”
“I’m all for quirky listings but you should just be transparent rather than try pretend it’s something it’s not,” Mathew said. They knew we were checking in as a family.”
“The photos were accurate in what they wanted to highlight. But what they didn’t take pictures of is what people wouldn’t choose the property because of .”
“And what was really funny about AirBnB’s response is that they’ll have the owner come around and remove the bones. I mean they’d need a pick-up truck.”
AirBnB Australia responds to incident
Yahoo News Australia reached out to AirBnB, who stressed that hosts on the platform have a responsibility to be transparent about their listing.
“All Hosts of places to stay – in addition to behaving in accordance with our Community Standards – must ensure they meet our Host Reliability Standards, which include commitments around listing accuracy and communication, among others,” Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb’s Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand said.
It is understood that the guest’s concerns are still being investigated.
Luckily, the family were able to find a “really nice spot nearby” to stay at for the wedding.
“We were a bit worried about finding somewhere else because it was so last minute,” Mathew said.
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