Airbnb owner reopens viral tents in living room for London tourists – and ups their prices

It now costs £2,632 a month to rent a tent in London

Emma Guinness
Tuesday 07 May 2024 10:18 BST
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An Airbnb advert offering the chance to stay in a tent inside a London flat that was originally removed from the website following public outrage has reopened – and the price has increased to £80 a night.

The unusual stay went viral in January after images of the dwelling in London’s popular Chinatown were circulated online, shocking viewers with the state of the London rental market before hastily being removed.

At the the time, the Airbnb cost £68 a night per tent, but The Independent can now reveal that the property has been relisted and the host has increased the price to as much as £80 a night.

Room without a view: The Airbnb tents in central London
Room without a view: The Airbnb tents in central London (Jam Press/Airbnb)

This means a month-long stay in one tent will set holidaymakers back a staggering £2,240 – or around £2,632 including the service fee.

In the new listing, the host has given a more realistic idea of what visitors can expect, having previously dubbed the tents “romantic” the first time around.

They clarify that the area is noisy and guests should bring earplugs.

The host also explains that while there is a security camera in the property, there are no cameras inside the tents themselves.

The new listing reads: “As our place is near [the] busiest business street, the tent is not [quiet] at night.

“About the security device, there are two watch system [devices] to help to protect the goods of guests. One is on top of the front window and another is on the top of the back window.

“There is [not] any watch system inside of tent.

“We provide mattress and bedding and towels for you. As we near a busy street, our place is not quiet on [the] weekend. So please bring earplugs with you is best way.

“The price is just for one tent.”

Additionally, while each tent costs £80, guests will also have to fork out an additional £14 on an Airbnb service fee.

This means that the total price per tent is now £94 – but this could well be a bargain for the right person.

The Airbnb is located in the heart of Chinatown
The Airbnb is located in the heart of Chinatown (Google)

The first time the property was listed and rented, it received a mixed response.

“The apartment is very well located and easily accessible, [the host] is responsive and responds very quickly,” read one review.

“On the other hand, we had to use a different bathroom every day, including once it was not clean at all (dirt, cigarettes on the floor, clutter...).

“In addition, the toilets in the common areas are not clean, and the sink is not clean either.

“Finally, we suffered the noise for 2 nights of the people from the room next door who went back and forth all night without worrying about being discreet for us.

“For 1 or 2 nights we recommend because it’s pretty decent, but no more.”

The property has a desk for anyone looking to do some work
The property has a desk for anyone looking to do some work (Jam Press/Airbnb)

The Airbnb had an average rating of 4.45 stars the first time around, and its second listing has one five-star review so far.

It reads: “Very kind cleaning lady, the place [is] very well located, you are out and you are already in one of the places to know Chinatown and they were always attentive on our arrival.” [sic]

The listing prompted a wave of memes and jokes about potentially staying in the location when it initially went viral.

One Twitter (X) user joked about the possibility of liaison in the tents.

A second added: “The fact that one tent in a room containing two other tents is on Airbnb for £68 a night in London is... I don’t even have words to describe this.”

“I can’t figure if this is genius or horrendous. Or both,” wrote a third.

While it took until January for the Airbnb to go viral, pictures of the unusual accommodation have been circulating on social media since 2023.

There were three tents in the original listing, but the host appears to have downsized the second offering, placing just two tents in the living room, which could explain the higher price.

A spokesperson for Airbnb told The Independent: “Following an investigation, this Host is being removed from the platform in line with our policies, and the listings are no longer available to book.”

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