Airbnb has its share of some stunning, unique and impressive properties, but one listing that describes itself as 'simple and minimalist' has taken creative license a bit too far after it was revealed to be a worn-out old motorhome in less-than picturesque location.
Holidaymakers heading to Spain's popular coastal city of San Sebastien might have thought they landed on a bargain after stumbling across a listing for accommodation in a "quiet area twenty minutes from the centre of the city" all at a price of just 20 euros per night.
What they didn't expect was this 'minimalist' space was no modern apartment, but a caravan parked under a motorway overpass. Surprisingly, a couple were not put off by the humble setup as they booked the budget option, but in a cruel twist they may be facing a huge fine for their shoestring choice.
While campervan accommodation is widely available on Airbnb, the problem with this listing is that it's illegal with city ordinance rules, which state vehicles may not be installed for the purpose of rental on public thoroughfare without authorisation or they may face a fine also.
According to Spanish news outlet 20 Minutos, the Municipal Police of San Sebastian set about action against the owner of the motorhome, identified as Joxe Mari, with members of the Guardia Urbana (local police force) swooping on the vehicle and its occupants.
"It is not acceptable to carry out such activities in the city" taking advantage of "the good faith of the people or the interest they may have at a given moment," Local mayor, Eneko Goia, told 20 Minutos. "Given this type of illegal activity we are clear that our obligation is to act and we will do it."
The two tourists could be forced to pay out up to six times what they paid for the budget accommodation (as much as the price of a nice hotel stay) if found in breach of the city's laws.
The listing on the accommodation rental website has now been taken down, but said it could sleep up to three occupants, with one tucked up in the passenger compartment. The price for a stay was listed as 20 euros for one, 30 euros for two and 45 euros for three occupants per night. Despite the less-than-postcard-worthy surroundings the listing had several previous guests post positive reviews including tourists from Poland to New Zealand claiming they "slept very well" and would "recommend it without a doubt".
Airbnb has innovated the holiday market by allowing homeowners rent out their properties to tourists but the service has seen a number of incidents from alleged racist hosts, discrimination claims and even customers reportedly finding dead bodies in properties.