AirBnb Personal Experience: Our Galway accommodation


So, this is what we experienced in our AirBnb accommodation in Galway

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and from my personal experience with the AirBnb accommodation/owner. I will also not indicate the name of the owner, even if I knew her first name.

On our long weekend trip to Galway, we used AirBnb for our accommodation. I think it was literally a week before the trip that we decided to finally proceed. And if we were to consider booking a hotel for that trip, we can bet that the price would be quite steep, especially as we have to book separate rooms to accommodate us and my friend.
For that trip, we booked a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom/toilet penthouse apartment. There was another 2-bedroom apartment located at the city center we considered that has Wi-Fi but only had one bathroom. We thought that even if we had to pay more in this penthouse apartment and without Wi-Fi, at least we have the convenience of having two bathrooms.
Let’s get started on my first personal impressions of the owner. To start, it seemed that the owner was “busy” and have no time to be a hands on host. The day we were traveling to Galway, we got a text message from her saying that she was suddenly asked to work that day. And as a result, can no longer meet us upon arrival. My husband gave her a ring so she can give her “last minute” instructions about the apartment and where to get the keys. It was minor, we thought. So we didn’t worry about not meeting her.

Our Airbnb building from the outside. On our way to explore Galway!

When we arrived, we were so happy with the space we had. The living area was sort of clean, spacious, and the rooms really big! We were appreciative of the view – it’s a penthouse apartment after all! We were even talking how nice it must’ve been to stay in that apartment during summer!

Looks promising, right?

Unfortunately, the good things didn’t last long. In the evening, I tried to use the microwave to warm up my son’s food but couldn’t figure out to make it work. I tried “playing around” with it but the only thing switching on was the oven. Also tried to use the stove but can’t figure it out either. After a couple of minutes fiddling with the things in the kitchen, I decided to text the owner. She replied (quite apologetic) after a couple of hours that the fuse must’ve been the issue. I replied asking if she can send any help as we were booked for a couple of days anyway. She replied that the earliest she can accommodate the request would be on Monday – our check out day.
At that point, I was already a bit annoyed as I had to use a longer cooking method that would’ve only taken a few seconds had the microwave’s been working. Still, I didn’t want that to dampen our trip so I just ranted a bit but got over it soon enough.
The next day, we woke up around 9 in the morning. Everybody was tired from walking around the day before so we were a bit lazy to prepare for that day. Plus, we had two bathrooms available so there’s no need to rush with the bathroom usage – that’s where we got it wrong.

Airbnb accommodation
A view from our penthouse apartment that day

My husband was the first to take a bath. My friend and I were still in the living room chatting as I fed my son his breakfast. After a couple of minutes, my husband emerged from the room all clean and freshened up. I handed him my son’s food and turned on the dishwasher to clean the used plates and glasses. While I was getting ready, I heard my friend was planning to take a shower as well so we can all go out as soon as possible.
Before we arrived, the owner gave instructions how to “work around” the shower facilities – so I knew there was a sort of “issue” with the water supply. After doing the work around, I went in for my bath. I noticed immediately there’s not much water coming out from the shower. Didn’t fuss about it since all I need is to be able to finish with my bath. I was shampooing my hair when I noticed the water started to trickle. And after a couple of seconds, no water came out.

Galway City Center
Nice view when the sun is almost shining!

I did not panic and turned off the shower hoping that it is just the boiler taking the time to produce the hot water. At that moment, I decided to continue cleaning my body. I thought that if the water ever comes out, at least I can use the water efficiently and rinse off in one go.
That didn’t happen. At this point, I was desperate and pissed since I have shampoo in my hair and soap on my body. I turned the shower head on and off hoping to get at least a drop of water to rinse but no luck.
Since I ran out of options, I shouted to get my husband’s attention. He took a pan from the kitchen cupboard and filled with water from the kitchen sink (water supply seemed OK over there). And with one splash, I rinsed off EVERYTHING – or I want to believe I did. I towel dried my body and remembered I had the dishwasher turned on. So I went out to turn it off hoping that it can help reduce the demand for the water. I came back the shower hoping that resolved the issue but it didn’t. So even if I knew I was not finished taking a bath, I just accepted that I had to live with it.
On our way out, I realized my friend did not manage to take a bath either! I was definitely not happy and texted the owner to complain. And then, she replied but in a not-so-good way. I was surprised she shot back! She said that how could I experience the problem when I confirmed (I think she thought she was talking to my husband) that I understood the workaround for the shower?
It was probably not the best way to handle the argument but I was so upset, I answered back. So it was  back and forth of pissed off texts until the owner finally “understood” my complaint. I am not stupid not to understand the work around! There was something wrong with her apartment. And to make matters worse, we paid more for her apartment because of the advertisement that it has two bathrooms and ditched the other apartment that has Wi-Fi!
She changed her tone, became apologetic, and offered compensation to make up for it. Days after we came back from our trip, I tried logging into AirBnb hoping to be able to leave a review but it seemed that the only person allowed to make a review is the person who booked it (my husband).
I talked to my husband about leaving a review for our stay but he had a different plan (ugh). He decided to get in touch with the owner to air our disappointments first. She replied and offered another “promise” of compensation. My husband decided to wait on the “promise” as he wanted to give her the chance to redeem herself. But as you have probably guessed, we didn’t get any and haven’t heard back from the owner since!
Finally, my husband got to his senses and tried to leave a review but it was too late. It seems the website only allows the review for a certain period of the stay completed.
I checked the listing recently and it seemed there were other people who stayed after we did. They were lucky they didn’t experience the water issue or maybe, was told beforehand.
To be honest, the apartment was OK (really huge, nice view) but the owner definitely needs to brush up on her “hospitality” skills. Of course, I knew this is not a hotel but to lack the “basic” things an apartment should have or to manage complaints THAT WAY is definitely not acceptable.

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8 thoughts on “AirBnb Personal Experience: Our Galway accommodation

  1. Airbnb is a great opportunity but, unfortunately, you can never know what you will find. I had so many good experiences, and some very very bad too. Thank you for sharing yours 🙂

    1. I knew it is always a gamble – even with hotels! But the thing for me is the way these concerns are addressed by the management and in AirBnb’s case the host. The experience wasn’t good and I had the feeling the host knew we will leave her a bad review that’s why she stalled my “nice” husband with the compensation promise!

  2. I am planning almost a similar trip in Snow Mountains in NSW Australia during coming Christmas/New Year holidays. But you know the weather in OZ is hot during so it will be a fun trip for us. I am feeling excited watching your experience of staying in Airbnb. They have quoted AUD 28 per night which seems reasonable.

    1. OMG, a warm weather during the holidays would be perfect! I miss Australia! Well, AirBnb is a hit and miss. I just hope that your host is a lot nicer than ours!

  3. Oh.. no, sorry to hear that you experience was not what you expected, the lack of basic things is just not acceptable, as you are paying for using it.
    And even worse that he owner didn`t get back to you, so annoying. I hope next time you will have a better experience.

    1. Yeah, it is a bit upsetting that we might’ve fallen prey to the owner’s tactics to avoid getting a bad review in AirBnb. In any case, I hope she will do better on her future guests or better – charge accordingly!

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