A customer of Airbnb has shared his story about his “holiday from Hell” after discovering that his hotel had been boarded up by its owners two years earlier.

Sebastian Alexander from Hereford, Herefordshire, said his ‘luxury’ trip turned into a nightmare when he arrived at the resort that looked ‘like a prison camp’.

The 33-year-old forked out over £1,000 for a 10-day stay at Hotel Casa Blanca in Tamarindo with his wife Amy.

A listing promised the couple blue skies, a beach covered in palm trees and what looked like a perfect vacation.

But when they arrived at the end of December the hotel was deserted and boarded up with mesh fencing.

LEFT: Expectations. RIGHT: Reality. Sebastian Alexander, from Herefordshire said that his “luxury” trip became a nightmare after he reached the resort which looked like a prison camp.

Alexander was a businessman who claimed that he tried desperately to get in touch with Airbnb, but did not receive a response until five days later.

By then the couple had already been forced to fork out almost £2,000 on alternative accommodation.

He said he was refunded by the company after two weeks but has not been given a reason why the empty property was still on the website.

Airbnb later apologised for their mistake and admitted that they had not followed the high standard of care.

LEFT: Expectations. RIGHT: Reality. The 33-year-old forked out over £1,000 for a 10-day stay at Hotel Casa Blanca in Tamarindo with his wife Amy

Alexander said, “It was really a nightmare.” It was one such holiday from hell situation.

“When we arrived, the place was completely boarded. With no trees outside and the fencing up, it looked quite rundown. The fences were up and there was no foliage outside.

It was like being in a prison camp. It was so gutted that you couldn’t even get inside.

“We looked at” [other websites]Every property in the area was booked to capacity. Tamarindo in Costa Rica is where you want to go for the New Year.

“The only other location we could locate was…” [a large chain hotel] which was £4,700 a night. That was insane.

“We like to travel a lot, and this is the thing that we love. This trip was planned for 3 weeks in Costa Rica, and has now been going on 2 years.

“After my experience with Airbnb, I won’t use it again.”

Mr Alexander booked the trip on Airbnb after finding what he thought was a ‘great’ hotel, with pictures showed excellent surfing beaches nearby.

The abandoned accommodations confronted him and his wife, a mental health therapist.

His reply was: “We booked our holiday in October. The property I saw was great value and in a prime location.

“I received an automatic message to confirm your reservation,” The app says that the host can respond in one hour. But they are far away.

“They stole the money 2 months ago, and they turned us up at a shut down hotel.

“The driver replied, “right, we are here,” but it was just from looking at photos and talking to the guys next door. [that we found it]. The bar was next to our house and we just gave up.

The listing had promised the couple blue skies and a palm tree-covered beach that looked to be a dream trip. Pictured: Mr and Mrs Alexander

Listing promised blue skies, a beach covered in palm trees and the promise of a trip that would be their dream vacation. Pictured by Mr. and Mrs Alexander

He continued: ‘We were sat on the beach and there are crocodiles in Costa Rica. You can see large signs warning you to be careful of crocodiles.

The barman was next to us and helped us. His wife worked at a hotel up the hill and we managed to book somewhere for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for £400 a night.

‘We stayed there for two nights then moved down to the other end of the beach to something that was about £1,200 for eight days.’

Alexander claimed that he was informed by coronavirus when the property owners abandoned gave the keys back to him.

He claimed he contacted Airbnb on the live chat facility but the chats kept closing and they were left without help.

The man claimed that he received several emails about Airbnb’s upcoming stays and asked why they didn’t vet hotels.

He said that Airbnb initially denied him compensation for any amount he had spent on other accommodation.

Airbnb stated that it reimbursed guests who incurred additional expenses during their stay.

But the firm would not answer whether there were processes in place to check in with hosts to see if properties are still available since the pandemic.

Airbnb spokesperson said that the original handling of the matter was below what we have set.

“We apologize to the guest and offer additional support. We have also suspended the host from this platform.

“With Airbnb’s more than 1,000,000 guests, it is rare for negative experiences to occur. But, where they do, our team works hard to fix the problem and our customer support team is always available to help.