If it's good enough for Harry Potter. . .

A tourist from the UK was shocked to discover that the Airbnb she had booked into for her holiday to New York was in fact a cupboard under the stairs.

Like the room in which the hero of J K Rowling's children's books was kept, social media was quick to dub the scam the "Harry Potter" room. However for this tourist there was nothing magical about the New York experience.

Zoe form the UK had paid $58 a night for the 'room' only to make the rude discovery about her holiday lodgings.

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However at the beginning the 26-year-old traveller seemed to see the funny side of things. Taking to Instagram, she videoed a tour of the meagre lodgings.

"Okay so I've just arrived in my Airbnb in Brooklyn and I have to show you guys 'because this is hilarious," she said.

Harry Potter room: The traveller found a tiny un-magical space to sleep in. Photo / Supplied
Harry Potter room: The traveller found a tiny un-magical space to sleep in. Photo / Supplied

"I'm guessing a family lives here," she said showing a messy communal living area covered in children's toys. However if the Dursley family did live there, they weren't about to explain her lodgings. Zoe had to let herself in using a key safe.

So there was no warning as to the condition of the bedding. "As you can see its literally a cupboard with a mattress on the floor," says Zoe, videoing the pokey sleeping space.

Zoe shared pictures of her 'budget' accommodation with her instagram followers. Photo /Supplied
Zoe shared pictures of her 'budget' accommodation with her instagram followers. Photo /Supplied

"This is the cheapest AirBnb I could find in the whole area," she said. However, her already low expectations were further lowered when she saw the bedding.

"The sheets and the pillow I am 99% sure they haven't been washed, because there's a 'little hair' on the pillow."

Fortunately the seasoned travel blogger, she had a travel hack for just such an occasion.

Travel hack: Zoe never leaves home without a sleeping bag liner. Photo / Supplied
Travel hack: Zoe never leaves home without a sleeping bag liner. Photo / Supplied

Bringing a light-weight sleeping bag liner Zoe wasn't worried about the state of the bedding. This travel hack she said was a "lifesaver" learned from experience, "because I always end up staying at weird places".

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However, it appeared she hadn't learned not to book into grotty Airbnbs.

The listing which is advertised on the website as an "Economy Brooklyn Space for your NYC Adventure!" clearly shows pictures of the sleeping space, tucked into the Brooklyn cubbyhole.

Describing itself as "AFFORDABLE and AWESOME" (capital letters the listing's own) the space was upfront about the conditions.

Eric the host who is an events manager in the city said "I most certainly would NOT recommend the space for anyone over 6'1 or who otherwise is not comfortable sleeping in small spaces for individual persons."

Eric advertised the space on Airbnb as an 'economy Brooklyn space'. Photo / Supplied
Eric advertised the space on Airbnb as an 'economy Brooklyn space'. Photo / Supplied

This warning is clearly stated on the listing, along with reviews from frugal travellers who praise the space as "good value", "surprisingly comfortable", and "all you need".

More surprising still is that the inflatable camping mattress has a score of 4.29 stars out of five, with hundreds of reviews.


The size of the space was clear, however, Zoe was not bargaining on it being so loud.

Survivor: Zoe got a refund from her host, and a change of linnen. Photo / Supplied
Survivor: Zoe got a refund from her host, and a change of linnen. Photo / Supplied

She shared a bleary Instagram update from the bed complaining about the noise:

"Waking at 2:14 - the amount of crazy conversation I can hear from outside this window …. My gosh."

The traveller later updated the Instagram story to say that Eric had refunded the cleaning fee, and provided Zoe with clean sheets.

The video attracted 5000 views and plenty of ire online.

"Stop being so cheap," said one woman. "Who would ever book this 'room' based on those pictures?"