I stayed at the "Lovely Eco-Garden Paradise Retreat," hosted by Jenny and Otis for three months. Jenny and Otis were both friendly people, but I had numerous issues arise during my stay at this listing (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/269471).
Before I arrived, there was some miscommunication. I would ask questions only to have them go unanswered, thus forcing me to write a subsequent message repeating my questions. As I was arriving in Los Angeles, they tried to delay the move-in date to one day later, which would have left me without a place to stay for that night.
My biggest complaint is the state of the unit. There were several discrepancies between the actual property and what was advertised: missing or broken furniture, including an absent couch, air mattress, and coffee table. The shower curtain was very moldy. There were spider webs throughout the unit. And the fixtures/appliances were decades old. I am a student who is used to living in less-than-pristine environments, but the state of this location was too much for me.
The owners also used much of our closet and cabinet space for storage, which was odd to me—particularly the toxic paint stored in the kitchen.
I was also surprised to learn that Jenny and Otis host religious gatherings of 10-30 people in the common area every Sunday afternoon. These often last for hours and involve Jenny and Otis preaching the tenants of the religion they started (“New Reality”). At one point during my stay, there was a large banner in front advertising his psychic mind-reading services, spoon bending and her faith-healing.
The hosts’ communication skills were unsatisfactory. They tried to charge us more than we initially agreed upon and only relented after I found our initial emails. They also would sometimes enter the unit—to get paint, and one time to take away the original couch and replace it with a smelly, unsightly, and uncomfortable older couch that I preferred not to sit on.
Lastly, I am still awaiting return of my security deposit despite having moved out over a month ago. They seem to think I should pay a cleaning fee both when I began my stay and after I left.
I did enjoy the central location, the quiet neighborhood, and the ease of parking, but I would not stay here again. If your “Paradise Retreat” involves using appliances and furniture from the 1960s, cohabitating with indefatigable daddy-long-leg spiders, and being introduced to a unique religious perspective, this listing might be for you. If you are looking for a clean, comfortable place to stay where the owners will leave you alone and honor their agreements, you’re probably not going to enjoy this potential new reality.