Booking accommodation with AirBnB
I was stuck. I needed somewhere to stay. I had a hotel for five days, then nothing. Everywhere I tried was fully booked.
I had no experience of using AirBnB, but thought I would give it a go.
My experience was not very encouraging in the use of AirBnB.
I found a studio apartment that looked ok. I decided to book.
My booking failed. I was referred to my bank.
I knew there was nothing wrong with my card, and more than sufficient funds, and I had only a few minutes earlier booked a flight.
I contacted my bank. They confirmed what I already knew, valid card and I had more than sufficient funds.
I contacted the property via AirBnB, and explained the situation. Could I not simply turn up and pay cash? With reluctance the property owner agreed.
Meanwhile, I tried a purchase through Amazon. No problem. It then failed an hour later, I tried again. No problem. Failed 24 hours later. Clearly something was wrong
I visited the bank again. They knew what was happening. AirBnB is flagged as a fraudulent site. My transaction had been blocked. Not only that, my card was now blocked.
The property Melissonas Hill Studio showed a view from the property, views of interior, no view of actual property.
I asked several questions, all via AirBnB as no contact details.
I was told:
“Near by you can find supermarkets, kiosks, grocery shop, restaurants, and the famous “Pieros Village Tavern”
I asked several times, how to check in, how and where to pick up keys?
Eventually I was told to visit Pieros Village Tavern, ask for Mario who works there, pay cash up front, and he would hand over the keys and take me there and show me around.
All very dodgy. And this highlights another problem, no idea who you are dealing with, no contact number, e-mail address, all done through internal AirBnB messaging.
With friends, we checked out the property one evening as the light was fading.
It took us some time to find it. All we knew was it was near Moonshine Ranch.
We turned off a main road, went along a long dusty track. We found two buildings, some distance past the ranch.
I had a wander around the property. No name or sign. I was looking for Melissonas Hill Studio. The only sign was one warning of the dog.
The best beaches on the island including “Konnos beach” are in walking distance from the studios and only 2km far from the city center!
The studios are located on a hill next to “Moonshine Horse Ranch”. Quiet place with great surroundings and spectacular views.
Near by you can find supermarkets, kiosks, grocery shop, restaurants, and the famous “Pieros Village Tavern”.
We found none of this to be true.
A long dusty track. Nothing.
On the main road. Nothing.
No shops, no restaurants.
And what was described as famous Pieros Village Tavern, no one had heard of.
We passed by the so-called famous Pieros Village Tavern on the way.
It was nowhere near the property. Reviews of Pieros Village Tavern tell me it is overpriced and not recommended.
The main road was far too dangerous to walk along.
Nor was the property anywhere near walking distance of Konnos Bay. We did not even see a footpath.
The view of my friends was, Keith you cannot possibly stay here. The view of another friend who knew the locality, but did not accompany us on this visit was it would not be safe to stay in such a remote locality. I would tend to agree.
After the visit, I found the one and only review of a sister studio (there are two) and says need car.
Mario was very nice, easy to reach and very accommodating. It’s a new , clean studio looks exactly like the pictures and has a a huge balcony with a great view. We really loved staying there and the location is ideal right across from our favourite beach. You will need to have a car or a buggy though.
It would appear I have been mislead and the description on AirBnB, is at the very least economical with the truth.
Why no honest description of how remote, middle of nowhere, no shops or restaurants nearby? And why no images of the exterior of the property or its grounds?
The myth of AirBnB, is for people letting out spare rooms in their apartments or houses, or whilst they are absent. The reality, purpose built apartments.
The reality, tenants being kicked out of their apartments to make way for higher paying AirBnB guests.
Barcelona has banned the use of AirBbN due to the adverse impact on housing for local people.
Traditional hotels and apartments have much to fear, very much like Uber and Deliveroo, it is operating in a grey unregulated area, serfs working for apps, and thus able to undercut.
When I was in Prague, the hotel showed me luxury apartments on AirBnB and said, no way could they compete.
Footnote: Whilst I had problems with AirBnB, the accommodation itself was excellent. I even extended my stay. On arrival Marios apologised for any confusion, explained new to the game. Lovely family. Fresh grapes, figs, pomegranates, excellent red wine from the vineyard. Could see for miles. In many ways, it met the myth AirBnB like to project. But, middle of nowhere.
Footnote: With a friend, we twice visited the famous Pieros Tavern. Not within walking distance. We drove there. The reviews on TripAdvisor misleading and possibly fake reviews. Excellent food, excellent red wine, albeit a tad expensive. It has now closed, we were the last two people to eat there.
Footnote: Moonshine Ranch nearby. Excellent for horse riding. Ten minute walk to main road, too dangerous to walk along the main road. Five minutes walk along dusty track to Grecian Park Hotel. Also nearby a supermarket. Five minutes walk to top of Konnos Bay, where can pick up public transport. Ten minutes walk down to the bay.