Words: Anastasia Santoreneos
When Ian and Denise Feltham planned their arrival at the Las Boas complex in Ibiza, they thought they’d be hopping into a private lift to their £10,000 VIP penthouse.
The Airbnb listing prepared them for a hot tub, a Turkish bath and a five-star experience – and even told them it was dog-friendly, so their Yorkshire terriers Ross and Honey could come along too.
But when the Felthams arrived, their dreams crumbled. “There isn’t such a thing as the VIP penthouse in Las Boas,” the receptionist said.
The couple, who are from Chiswick, west London, told The Times they had been suspicious beforehand, when host “Lux Travel Collective” didn’t give them arrival details in the lead-up to the holiday, but Airbnb said they could only register a complaint if they actually turned up and couldn’t get in.
It didn’t seem to be the first time this had happened. Ian, 75, said: “A gentleman who lived in the building said they get tourists turning up all the time, and that it’s a very big problem.”
Instead, the couple were forced to book a last-minute stay around 64km away from their initial resort.
“What checks did Airbnb even do?” Ian said. “I now realise the photos on the site could’ve been from any one of 30 apartments in the building.”
Airbnb has since apologised and refunded the money.
“Our handling of this issue fell below our usual high standards and we have reached out to the guest to apologise and refund them in full,” a spokesperson said.
“We have suspended the listing while we investigate and are continuing to work with the guest to make things right.”