Bali tourist shocked after turning up to abandoned Airbnb: 'Haunted house'

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A "romantic getaway" turned into a major disappointment for one young couple holidaying in Bali.

Bree Robertson and her partner were horrified after arriving at their Airbnb in the east Balinese village of Sidemen.

Instead of the luxurious villa they thought they had booked for a last-minute trip, they were greeted by an abandoned building.

"Completely overgrown, no one is home, smashed windows," the New Zealander said in a video posted to TikTok.

Bree Robertson (left), gardens and house (middle) and Bali house (right)
Bree Robertson's romantic getaway turned sour when she realised the Balinese villa she'd booked was derelict and abandoned. Source: TikTTok

The clip, which has since been viewed 3.5 million times, reveals a derelict and eerily empty property complete with a green swimming pool.

"I didn’t sign up for the haunted house package," the self-described full-time traveller told followers.

"I was out of there."

'Not the place in the photos'

Despite the modest $80 a night price tag, Ms Robertson said she hadn’t suspected anything before she arrived.

"It looked like a stunning place and had some great reviews," she explained.

"Airbnb also said the host had a response time of an hour so I assumed it was still open.

The Bali property advertised (left) and in reality (right).
It was a case of 'Instagram verses reality' for the Kiwi traveller. Source: Stuff.co.nz

"It was sad to see because it was definitely the place in the photos, just all in disrepair."

While admitting that it was "certainly an adventure," especially after the couple had taken a two-hour scooter ride through the rain to get there, they were able to get a complete refund from Airbnb.

Global issue

Many were quick to sympathise with the globetrotter, conceding that they’d also fallen for the same rouse.

"We got scammed through Airbnb," one person wrote. "Lost $2,500 because of it."

"I booked my accommodation in Split, Croatia through Airbnb," another added, "only to find out that it was closed three years ago."

"Ibiza is crazy right now," someone else said. "Half of the listed apartments/villas are fake. [I] had two bookings that were fake."

While others were quick to see the humour in Ms Roberson’s situation.

"At least you can stay as long as you wish," one person wrote.

"Free late checkout," said another.

"Move in, fix it up and live there," someone else added.

But for most users on TikTok, the message was the same.

"I hope no ghosts," one person worried.

"Run, it's haunted," cried another.

Safe to say the couple checked out before they’d even checked in.

Bree Robertson pictured by two different pools. Source: Instagram
Ms Robertson gave up her 9 to 5 job to travel to Bali. Source: Instagram

Listing taken down

After Ms Roberston raised the alarm, Airbnb was quick to take the villa off its website.

"We were disappointed to learn about this experience and provided our support to the guest at the time, including a full refund," a spokesperson for Airbnb told The New York Post.

"We hold hosts up to high standards and the listing is no longer on the platform.

"In the rare event something isn’t as expected on arrival for a stay, our Community Support team is on hand 24/7 to help."

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