Personal Experience: AirBnB and Agoda in Madrid
What happened when I tried to use AirBnB and Agoda in Madrid… and how can you go around that.
Madrid just like any other captivating capital brings an enorumous amount of tourists to enjoy what the city has the best to offer, but just like any other holiday, the problem of accommodation comes in mind. Do you want to stay in a hotel? Do you want to stay in an apartment?
Looking for a more authentic experience me and my partner, we over-watched a bunch of Almodovar movies and decided to rent an apartment. Being European and quite experienced with all the ins and outs of AirBnB, which to those who don’t know is pretty much a company which helps you rent apartments short term and not only. They’re very straightforward, growing and massively popular across the continent and not only and also have a 24 hour hotline and great policies (in theory).
So, of course that seemed like a great idea.
Bear in mind that for some unknown to me reason, you have to really make sure that you check with the host if they have internet as even if it’s checked and wi-fi mentioned, upon arrival they will shrug and say things as we never had internet and your problem. A lot of it is excused in their lack of understanding terminology, another apartment which was renting out a room stated that it was an “apartment” because whilist you got a room, you got access to a kitchen, therefor giving full pricing when it came to the one beaten up room.
Also, it's as if it it’s fashionable here to pretty much state that the accommodation has some commodity when it does not. Trust me, it doesn’t matter if your Spanish is fluent whilst you were talking to them or simply using Google Translate, it seems to be a tendency to also provide older, better looking photos when the apartment is actually fairly beaten up. So if you have the chance try to check out the room before you pay and make sure that all is in place. Check if anything is leaking, if there are ants, if the taps are working just fine. Also for your own safety make sure that you report every single fault to the host so that they do not charge you for it.
Madrid gave us the lovely experience of one of our AirBnB landlords writing us a text stating that we should leave the apartment within the next few hours, just because the host felt like it.
And this is where, frankly you have to quickly find a hotel. Booking engine Agoda may be useful and gives you many cheap places to stay (like guesthouses and others), but unfortunately in Madrid you have to stick with someone else that;s bigger just for your own safety and mental health, unless you want to deal with some aggressive Spanish landlord freaking you out so much that you get a full refund.
In other words, being one of those travellers who always rents apartments, I highly recommend avoiding that for Madrid, as it seems that even the few available apartments are highly risky just because hosts seem to be doing whatever they want and hiking prices ridiculously and stating that they have services they do not have.
When it comes to reporting, the hosts are also a nasty bunch which will defend themselves and something as simple as you leaving a bad review won’t fly as they will fight nail and teeth that their property is great and that you were the bad person, leaving you a bad name. Don’t get into those fights, unfortunately just avoid such services whilst you’re in Madrid, take a smaller holiday, book a known hotel and frankly choose a friendlier place with friendlier hosts.
I don’t think anyone wants to end up like I did, knackered and exhausted from a bunch of unfriendly hosts who are going to scam more tourists or end up getting Agoda on their backs to investigate if they should remove their listing all together for their bad service.
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