Everybody knows about that little knot you get in your stomach before you arrive at an Airbnb when you don’t quite know whether it’s going to look like it does online.
But more often than not, you don’t expect to get robbed, threatened, assaulted or kidnapped at the beginning of what should be a relaxing holiday.
Well that’s what happened to two girls who were looking to holiday in Marbella for a few days in August.
Rae Breakwell and Paige Mitchell arrived at their Airbnb location on August 21, but when they contacted their host, were told she was out of the country and her cousin would be in charge.
Around two hours before they got to the apartment, Rae messaged the man to organise the arrival and he allegedly refused to take the call.
Rae then rang the owner back and was told there was a spare key at the property, so they went straight there.
Rae told UNILAD:
When we got in, the place stank of alcohol and the curtains were drawn. We were sitting on the sofa and then the cousin rang and got angry when we told him we were in the apartment.
We asked him what room we were in and he said ‘the one by the bathroom’ so we went in.
In the room were two girls passed out, they didn’t even move when I opened the door. I rang the owner and she had no idea whether another room had been booked.
We think now that the cousin had been partying in the room with the girls the night before, and that’s why he was being shady.
Determined not to let the hiccup ruin the holiday, the girls went to the next room and began unpacking their things.
To make sure everything was safe, they locked their belongings inside their suitcases before going out.
When they returned, they found their stuff strewn around the room, and most of their valuables allegedly missing.
I rang my dad because he’s a police officer and he told me to politely knock on and ask whether they’d seen my stuff – so that’s what I did.
They told me they didn’t speak English so I was like ‘here we go’. I could see my make-up bag in their room and I was getting really worked up but they got so aggressive and started shouting.
Rae returned to her room with Paige and the two girls began banging on the door and shouting menacingly.
At this point, Rae rang the police to try and fix the situation, but was told repeatedly she would have to come to the station because they didn’t speak English.
After some while, the girls returned to their room and Rae went outside and allegedly saw on the table a massive knife that ‘definitely wasn’t there before’.
After an altercation, Rae ended up outside the flat and Paige was inside, and the two girls had locked the door.
They threw my make-up bag back at Paige and threw other stuff at me, like really heavy plastic bottles. At this point Paige was really quiet which is unlike her so I was trying to talk to her.
She eventually made it to the door and unlocked it.
I do think if things had gone even a little bit further it would have ended up with that knife being used.
Rae rang the cousin to explain what had happened to find he had somehow ‘forgotten’ how to speak English.
Luckily for the girls, Rae’s family were arriving in Marbella a few days later, and they stayed in the villa with them.
However, Rae reckons the two lost well over £1000 thanks to the theft and the hotel room they had to fork out for just to make sure they felt safe after what had happened.
To make matters worse, Airbnb have only just responded to Rae’s complaints, despite allegedly sending numerous emails.
They had this to say to UNILAD:
We have zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour and are providing the guests with our full support. The host has been suspended while we urgently investigate.
There have been over 200 million guest arrivals in listings and negative incidents like this are incredibly rare.
A police report has been filed and the listing is no longer on Airbnb.