Galway is known as Ireland’s ‘Cultural Heart’ and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle. It plays host to numerous festivals, celebrations and events and we urge anyone making a trip around Ireland to visit this incredible city.
On a most recent trip to Galway, we booked ourselves into an Airbnb. Our experience of Airbnb has always been positive, so we were expecting to be met with a good standard of accommodation.
From the online profile, the property we selected looked suitable for our needs. The host (AirMaintain) had received a selection of generally ‘good’ reviews while the description made the property sound great.
The pictures complimented the online presentation, leaving us feeling confident in our choice. It seemed slightly expensive (£189.95 / € 213.18 per night), but the price was relative to the city and the fact that it was a Saturday booking.
The flat is located in Eglington Court, Galway. It was advertised as sleeping a maximum of 6 people (a double bed, two singles and a double sofa bed).
However, when we arrived, we were surprised to realise the facilities were not as described. We also found the place quite dirty and it soon became clear the accommodation had not been cleaned to a good standard.
Our overall view of the trip is outlined below.
Our less than satisfactory experience began when we were told to collect the keys from a bar around the corner but were left waiting long after the 3pm check in time. This left us quite frustrated as it put our limited exploration of Galway on hold.
There were several issues with the cleanliness of this property. Firstly, the shower was dirty and appeared to have just been used as we found suds still in the shower tray.
But this was by no means our only concern about the standard of hygiene in the flat.
There was a dirty mirror in the bathroom, a filthy drawer in the bathroom and a collection of dirt gathering on the windowsills.
The windows were grubby and clearly had not been washed for some time and there were marks on the walls throughout the property.
Overall, we were very disappointed with the cleanliness of the accommodation and worried what else was in store.
The furnishings of the property also left us disappointed with our choice.
An electrical wire that was coming off a skirting board left us especially concerned while a dent in the wall of the ‘lounge’ made the room look considerably shabby.
It was clear the floors throughout had not been cleaned thoroughly as well as the inside of the windows.
The general presentation of the accommodation reminded us of a sub-standard student flat recovering from a crazy house party. A half-hearted clean up may have been attempted but there was still a lot of work to be done.
After looking closer at the management details of the Galway property, we realised it is overlooked by a company called AirMaintain.
They describe themselves as a service where, “hosting doesn’t need to be a hassle. With AirMaintain you can feel confident that your home is taken care of and earning you money while you are away!”
Considering they are a maintenance company, it might be the case that they are limited in what they can do about the amenities and furnishings.
However, their job is to ensure the property is clean. Something they clearly failed to do.
The original description of the property outlined the amenities as follows:
“Basic amenities have been provided including clean bedding, fresh towels, bathroom supplies, TV, Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, dishwasher and more (including an iron, ironing board and a hairdryer).
“You have full access to anything that you find in the house; it is there for your use and convenience.”
Again, there were a number of glaring issues with the amenities from the moment we arrived. Firstly, there were no regular size towels as suggested, only hand towels.
The decor was extremely dated with what appeared to be cheap floor material.
There was no cover for the ironing board, no sign of a hairdryer mentioned in the description and the toilet lid was missing.
Not only that, the Wifi was poor and only worked when you stood in certain parts of the flat.
Positives of our stay
Despite a relatively disappointing experience of this Galway Airbnb accommodation, a few good points do need mentioning.
The location was excellent and the beds were both comfortable and clean.
The price was considerably reasonable compared to other properties in the area, which leaves us concerned about how this reflects Galway’s value for money as a tourist destination.
Granted, the facilities in the flat were basic but nearly all of them worked as expected.
If you were visiting Galway for a stag do and your group filled all the beds, split the price and weren’t too fussy, you might not complain too much.
However, if you booked this for a family holiday and intended to spend any amount of time relaxing in the property, it really would not be worth the price and we have no doubt you would be left disappointed.
All in all, Galway is a great city where everyone should experience, leaving one certain positive attribute to this property.
The total cost of the property for the night was £189.95 (€213.18) including a cleaning fee of £31.29 (€35.12) and a service fee of £25.46 (€28.57).
We feel that the price we paid, which included a cleaning fee and a service fee, was not good value for money.
If the price was much lower and the description was more accurate, we would not have complained.
However, considering the advertised description and the price we paid (over €200), we expected a lot more from this property.
Response from host
We spoke to the owner on the phone outlining the issues at hand and he apologised.
He said that a party in the flat before our booking had left the place in a mess and they had done their best to restore it.
I have communicated my feedback on Airbnb and suggested that a partial refund would be fair but I am yet to receive a response.
This was definitely the worst Airbnb property I have stayed in as well as the least value for money.
We really hope the host reads this article and considers the points we have raised with a view to making improvements.
The property has excellent potential and we believe that if the owners were to address the negatives it could offer guests an excellent experience of Galway.
Ireland Before You Die, as a website, takes a general positive approach with rare cause to write anything negative.
However, if we see something that is clearly not good value for money and that could have a potential impact on our readers, we feel obliged to keep people informed.