Airbnb in Bali doesn't look like pictures in listing

@hattymorton/TikTok Oka Diana

‘Just terrifying’: Influencer says Airbnb was ‘prison cell’ that looked nothing like photos

‘Someone for sure used AI to make it seem wholesome.’


Kris Seavers


When traveling abroad, it’s always best to expect the unexpected. But sometimes even low expectations are unmet.

A U.K. travel creator is warning others to stay vigilant after showing up at what she says is an Airbnb in Bali, Indonesia, that was more like a “prison cell” than a cozy rest stop.

Her TikTok about the experience, posted on Aug. 6, received over 1.1 million views by Tuesday.

“Gentle reminder: Always triple-check your Airbnbs when staying in Bali just in case you end up in the same prison cell as we did that night,” wrote the TikToker, Hatty Morton.

The video shows a dark room that leads to a partially enclosed toilet and shower with cement walls and floors. (The Daily Dot reached out to Morton via Instagram message and to Airbnb via email.)

Morton added in the video’s caption that the room cost over $50 for the night and “did come with free bed bugs.” In a follow-up video, she responded to a commenter’s request for photos of the original Airbnb listing.

“HELL,” Morton captioned the video.

The photos from the listing show an airy, brightly colored room. While the setup matches Morton’s photos of the “actual” space, her lens exposed grime on the bathroom walls and a hole in the bathroom floor.

“Someone for sure used AI to make it seem wholesome,” one commenter wrote, surmising that even proper lighting and photo editing alone couldn’t change the appearance of the room so drastically.

Some commenters shared in Morton’s shock and dismay.

“That’s actually so scary omg,” one person wrote. “The way my jaw hit the floor,” another said.

But other commenters had less sympathy and advised Morton on how to avoid a similar incident in the future. Many suggested that the TikToker book a hotel, and others emphasized the importance of reading the reviews of a rental listing before booking.

“The reviews for this one were like, ‘perfect place, so clean and lovely,’” Morton wrote, adding in another comment that her group opted for a hotel instead.

She’s not the first traveler to report an Airbnb that didn’t live up to its promise. One guest tweeted in July that he showed up to his rental property—only to realize it was a large bathroom with a bed crammed next to the toilet.

Bali, meanwhile, has become a hotspot for digital nomads and backpackers, thanks to its reputation of providing tropical paradise on a tight budget. But as tourism explodes—Forbes reports that the island saw 1.4 million foreigners from January to June—hotel prices are also rising.

That could at least partly explain why several commenters on Morton’s videos also said they’ve had trouble with accommodations in Bali.

“But holy smokes,” one person wrote, “Not this bad.”

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