Call your host before you go: Kiwi traveler booked AirBNB villa for $80 a night, only to find rundown building

Kiwi travel writer Bree Robertson thought she booked an idyllic holiday home in Bali through AirBnB last month to celebrate her birthday with her partner. Little did they know that the villa they had booked for $80 a night was actually a dilapidated building.

Talk to Bali Coconut To tell her story, Bree, who is currently staying in Canggu, said she booked the two-story villa on the eastern part of the island for the night of July 16.

“I had chosen him because he was beautiful [on the AirBnB listing]it got great reviews,” Bree said.

That same day, Bree, who founded the travel blog Atypical Adventure, said it took her and her partner two hours on a motorbike to get to the villa from Canggu. Unfortunately the location provided through AirBnB was inaccurate and it took them almost half an hour longer to finally locate the building.

“On the listing it said there would be someone there 24/7. I knocked on the door but there was no answer so I went around the back and I realized the place was obviously abandoned,” she added.

To say Bree was puzzled when reality kicked in would be an understatement, as she told us all she could do was laugh at the whole situation. On TikTok, she downloaded a clip representing the dilapidated building and its broken windows, its emptied swimming pool and its overgrown vegetation. The clip got 163,100 likes and 1031 comments per post of this article.

“I didn’t think much of it when I posted it to be honest. I thought it might get a few thousand views and that would be it. I did not expect this reaction,” she said.

In the clip’s comments, Bree said that because AirBnB gave the host an hour to confirm her villa reservation, she “assumed it was still open,” so she and her partner went to the site without establishing contact with the host.

Luckily AirBnB gave her a full refund after explaining to her what happened. “It was a simple process,” Bree joked.

There was no bitterness in the New Zealander’s tone as she told us her story. Along with always recommending Bali to everyone, Bree shared that she hopes her mishap this time will serve as a lesson to those looking for a place to stay.

“Make sure you’re in touch with the host before you go,” she said.

AirBnB said in a press release that they were “disappointed” with the incident and that the villa listing was removed from their platform.

Comments are closed.