A single mum has been refunded after staying at what she labelled an "absolute dump" of a Piha bach that was a "health and safety hazard".
Whangārei's Sharon Power booked the Piha bach, advertised online as a "cosy two-storey cabin", for herself and her two teenage sons for two nights at $120 per night, but was disappointed and believed the property didn't live up to its billing.
Power posted a series of photos to Facebook showing grime in the oven, missing boards on the deck and empty kitchen shelves, along with other complaints.
Speaking to the Herald, Power said her children had been looking forward to two nights away at the west coast beach, one of their first trips away since her husband died last year after a battle with cancer.
She said her experience didn't start well, claiming the bach's owner didn't meet them as promised online but only greeted them through a window instead.
Power said: "When we arrived he was in his house, which is really close to the bach, and he just called out the window: 'Your bach is over there, I'm going to a party tonight' and that's basically it. That's all I ever saw of him or heard of him."
"In his ad, he says that he meets you, shows you around, but he never did any of that."
On entering the cabin, Power says she was "blown away", saying the property didn't meet her expectations.
She said her children were hit hard by the experience, telling the Herald: "They were so upset, they just wanted to come home. As soon as we got there they were like 'Mum, let's go home.'
"We only stayed the night and then left the next day."
Power said on Facebook: "There was nothing to cook with, no pots or dishes etc, no towels, not enough beds, the oven was absolutely disgusting. There was a broken light bulb on the floor that I stood on."
"It's been a really tough year. So it was really exciting, even a little [stay] like that and we don't have much money."
Power contacted Airbnb immediately after returning to Whangārei but says the internet giant initially refused to refund her for the stay, saying it was up to the host.
She claims Airbnb told her that, as she hadn't raised the matter directly with the host, it couldn't intervene.
Power later received a refund and $100 Airbnb credit.
Previous reviews of the bach were mixed, with some travellers praising the "funky space" and describing it as "rustic and quirky".
Others were less the complimentary, saying the place was "totally dirty" and they found hairs in the bed.
Another commented on their August 2018 visit saying: "This little cabin has so much potential, and I know it's clearly supposed to have a rustic feel to it, but it seems [the host] may be too laid back to put in the little extra effort the place needs to become awesome.
The easiest way to do this would be to dust the place, empty the recycling bin that was full of beer bottles and pie wrappers and inside(!) the cabin, have soap in the bathroom and toilet paper to restock, and to greet us upon arrival."
The Herald has contacted the bach owner for comment.