Monday, August 29, 2016

AirBNB Nightmare - Athens Edition

I've always had a good experience travelling on AirBNB with friends, family and even by myself, so it was such a shock when we had such a bad experience with our AirBNB host on our visit to Istanbul, where Serdar tried to pass off another apartment that was not what we rented, which you can read about here

It was an even bigger shock when we arrived in Athens, after much coordination with Emily, our host, that there was no one to welcome us, and it seemed as if we managed to find the most run down apartment ever.  
This was the address where the taxi tried to drop us of,
Emily wasn't there to welcome us, and could not be
After checking and double checking, this abandoned
building looked like the correct address.
The buildings in the area, except for this one in the center
of the square looked quite creepy.

We refused to allow the taxi driver to drop us off in that place, so we asked him to take us to a cafe on the nearby main road instead. I also took this time to try and scout for alternative hotels to stay in, since we didn't have any wifi or data sim.

Then we once again tried to contact our host until we managed to do so. It turns out she was out of town, and has asked someone to meet us, who must have arrived really late so we insisted he come to us at the coffee shop instead, then we went back to the flat together.

Having him with us didn't make us feel much better, because 1. the address was correct. 2. the building did not look much better inside. 

In fairness to the listing of our host, it did look exactly like the pictures she posted on AirBNB once you get inside. It felt like a totally different world up there, save for the internet and hot water that was not working, both of which were mentioned as part of the listing.

Emily was travelling so she sent her boyfriend to help sort us out, but he wasn't really successful, but after all the stress we were under, it was finally good to meet someone who was genuinely trying to help. He managed to get us connected to the neighbor's weak wifi, which worked for some of our devices, but not all.
Look at the bright side, they even have some semblance
of a nice view.

Since they didn't manage to get the internet and water heater properly working, we found an envelope slipped under our door on the last day.
Our host gave us 1 night refund back. So while the area, and the stress from
the unknown won't be forgotten, we did appreciate the effort.

This is us in our 'hood...

Sometimes I just can't believe the situations we manage to get ourselves into, I will definitely be more careful next time. I will never stay in an apartment located in a not nice area, no matter how nice the photos of the apartment are. Good thing our Athens trip was still very much enjoyable despite the rough start, I will definitely come back to Athens. I will just not stay here again. just saying. 

Note: Our apartment was in the Psyri area, very well located near the Central Market, the shopping street on Ermou, and the ancient Ruins. I did not find any listing that matches Emily's flat so I was unable to add a link for reference.

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