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Anthony J. Crowley, Retired Demon and Airbnb Superhost

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Isaac

There are two kinds of furniture in this place: stuff that's so comfortable sitting on it feels like a mortal sin and stuff that's so uncomfortable it seems like it came from some alternate universe IKEA run by Franz Kafka and the Marquis de Sade. One of the ottomans here feels like an actual rock. On the other hand, the floor is heated, which is pretty cool—good for chilly London days!

Also being a herp enthusiast myself, I’m pretty sure this guy used to own one or two really big reptiles based on the heat lamps in the storage closet, the multiple humidifiers, and some book I saw on snake dermatology? Ophthalmology? I forget, it was very specific. However, the vivarium and any herps he had aren’t in the flat anymore, so don’t worry, it’s a no-snake zone at present!

 

Nikhil

Dude this apartment is so f***ing wild like this is Elton John’s take on Brutalism and I am LIVING FOR IT

 

Eleanor

How does this place have a five-star rating??? Have all you reviewers been paid by the owner? It’s almost 31 C degrees in here and there’s no coffee, no hair dryer, no light switches, TV doesn’t work, wifi is horrid except in the kitchen. I don’t care how comfy the bed is or how many settings there are on the hot tub. Everyone here is just losing it over the heated floor, but sorry this place is too weird for me.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I asked the owner where the closest grocery store was and he couldn’t give me an answer. Then I asked how to get to the nearest tube stop and he said he had “no idea.” The old employee ID badge attached to the keys has a random picture of a snake where there’s supposed to be a photo. There’s no way this isn’t a mafia front.

 

Fadia

This place is an influencer’s dream. My stats BLEW UP after I posted the pics from here on my insta, and it’s so color-coordinated it’s like pre-themed for your convenience.

That said, some important lessons I learned:

  1. The lighting SUCKS. Plan to take all your photos at dawn, and if you don’t have a lot of your own lights with you, stick to the plant room.
  2. Be careful with the swinging door! Don’t let your camera die a violent death from ultramodernist decor, that thing is solid volcanic rock.
  3. The wifi is only good right next to the fridge, so plan to bring an extender.
  4. Don’t post a close-up picture of that statue of the two angels, Instagram WILL remove it.

Edit: after I posted this the owner contacted me and told me he was trying to maintain a “dignified private home” and “didn’t want it to become instagram famous” and “nothing about that statue violates the terms of service.”  

 

Fiona

do not sTay her it is a SCAM!! they said the heat worked fine NO it was sweltering  , Gerald had to get a fan just to be able to SLEPE. they said it was comfortable NO there is no COUCH. they said place has all the modern connivances NO lights don’t WORK we were in hte dark. i think the owner may be in the Mob or at leaest is stealing credit cards on the Deep web . do not STAY! SCAM ALERT 

 

Aaron

Mayfair location is awesome, everything you want is within reach. Place looks like what you’d get if you had an interior decorating committee run by Stanley Kubrick, Baz Luhrman, and the Pope. Decor is all over the place: replica of the Maltese Falcon, some fake ancient amphora covered in bronze snakes, giant slabs of basalt everywhere. Owner seems to have a really great sense of humor, too: by the stairway there’s a huge (reproduction?) Renaissance-type painting of a bunch of hideous demons and the plaque under it says “Me and Coworkers at the Company Party, 1514.” 

Nice collection of CDs, lots of moodiness, the kind of music you can nurse a scotch to. The ones in jewel cases are all scribbled on as if they’re songs for plants. Stuff like “Motivational Playlist for Phosphorous Deficiency,” “Motivational Playlist for Wilting,” and “Motivational Playlist for Kicking Aphid Ass”. I popped one of these in, it was all Wagner.

I did find it a little bit odd that the kitchen doesn’t even have salt and pepper shakers. Or plates.

 

Benji

Guy who owns this place has literally nothing on or in his desk except one pen that cost probably three hundred pounds and that’s a power move I can respect.

 

Lupe

Very clean, beautiful plants. Unbelievably comfortable bed that will make you want to sleep for a whole decade. Jacuzzi tub is lovely even if the circular painting on the ceiling above it is a little unnerving (I don’t really need an angel reaching down from a cloud to me while I’m taking a bath, you know?).

The one complaint I have is there’s a weird lack of certain things here, despite the general “luxury” vibe. Went to see if there were any tissues in the linen closet, and there was nothing except one towel with the Gucci snake on it and a giant bottle of hand sanitizer.

I was looking for a mug in the kitchen, and of course there was exactly one in the back of the kitchen cupboard. It’s red and has a handle that looks like a devil tail, and there was a small paper on the inside that said “Finally found the matching one!” I thought maybe it was a sentimental keepsake and would have felt bad about using it so I just used a glass for my coffee.

 

Ebony

OK, the MOST reasonable explanation for this apartment is that the owner is a vampire.

Exhibit A) There are two layers of blackout curtains in the bedroom. No one has two layers of blackout curtains unless they’re trying to sleep during broad daylight.

Exhibit B) There’s a ton of religious artwork all over the place, but no crosses anywhere. Also, most of the art is either the Fall of Man or super dramatic damnation scenes, with the obvious exception of the painting above the bathtub.

Exhibit C) The owner is apparently rich enough to build a custom black marble bathroom but doesn’t own a single fork. (I did find a crepe pan and a juicer.)

Exhibit D) I offered the owner a granola bar when he dropped off the keys and LITERALLY FOR REAL he said “No thanks, I ate last month.”

Exhibit E) He was also wearing sunglasses at 9pm and claimed it was for ‘extreme photosensitivity.’

Exhibit F) I’m pretty sure that the tapestry of the Garden of Eden in the living room is legit from medieval times.

 

Harald

The master bedroom has an incredible bed, it’s so insanely soft it should be illegal. This place is weird as hell (thermostat seems to be set way too high all the time, there’s like an unreasonable number of plants) but I’ve never had a comfier night’s sleep in my entire life, thread counts are all up to infinity here, the sheets are black silk and are basically sex made into fabric. When I die I want someone to lay my head forever on a pillow that comfy bc you could spend an eternity sleeping here.

Edit: So when I was leaving the owner came by to collect the keys, he was with a friend (who seems like he’s really into steampunk) and they were going to see some concert (I think the friend told me the band’s name was Bebop?). I told Anthony he had the most comfortable bed of all time and I wanted to know what company the mattress was from cause I’m thinking of renovating. Anthony said he’d send me the link but when I opened it I just got a bunch of warnings about damage to my computer. Guess I’ll never know!

 

Ursuline

So I always like to look at book collections when I visit places, just to see what’s on the shelves, and I think this is the oddest mix I’ve seen yet. There’s a marked-up and obviously well-used guide to houseplant diseases, a boxed set of Ian Fleming novels, some heavy coffee table type books on astronomy and a really beautiful first edition of a French poetry collection called Une Saison en Enfer with an handwritten note in the front that says Pour un ange déchu (I failed French but I think this is something like “to a ruined angel”). 

There’s also a copy of a Georgette Heyer novel, Venetia , I think, with a truly mind-boggling number of marginal notes which are unfortunately all written in a language I don’t recognize. (Edit: Siri says this is Akkadian, which can’t be right because Akkadian died out thousands of years ago. Way to put the smart in smartphone, Siri.)

There’s also an e-reader which consists entirely of cookbooks. I ended up having a lot of fun looking through these and can heartily recommend the Suzette crepe from The Ultimate Crepe Cookbook . (Edit: it was not just cookbooks, there’s also The Astrological Guide to Seduction and Romance , which has all the Libra sections highlighted.)

 

Sarai

Picked this place over another Mayfair listing because it advertised a rain-style shower. Well, imagine my dismay when I see the whole thing is blocked by plants (this flat is truly the original #jungalow). There’s about 7 quite large potted plants stuck directly under the shower, and for some reason I can’t fathom the owner hung a large laminated picture of a lawn mower that says “Don’t disappoint” on the shower wall, which kind of ruins the whole black marble aesthetic.

Now you might be disinclined to believe this next part, so let me preface this: I have a PhD in Archaeology from Cambridge. My day job is in ancient ceramic restoration. I can tell something that’s 5,000 years old from something that’s just artfully varnished, and most of the time without doing any lab testing. So let me tell you, the bromeliads in the bathroom are planted in an honest-to-God, genuine Ancient Egyptian faience vase, and that 5,000 year old vase is sitting on the floor of the shower .

I’m not entirely sure what star rating to give this.

 

Boris

What a cool place! I was an art history student back in the dark ages, and it was so neat to see so much amazing artwork all in one place (I have no idea how that painting above the tub hasn’t been damaged by condensation, but it all looks pristine). 

I had one sort of odd interaction here: I think the owner might have neglected to tell some of his friends that he was renting the place, because someone showed up here on Saturday afternoon. He was carrying a really large potted plant, I think it was a bird-of-paradise? There was a ribbon around the pot like it was wrapped up for a gift, and I was thinking wow this is a really hardcore flower delivery service.

He was a really odd-looking guy, seemed like he might have wandered off the set of some Charles Dickens miniseries (that seems more plausible than actually owning a velvet waistcoat and wearing it on an errand that involves carrying potting soil). 

Anyway, the guy looked really surprised and alarmed to see me there when I answered the door. I asked him what he was doing there and he launched into this rambling story about how he was taking a stroll around the neighborhood and had just happened to see this plant and thought he would buy it for a lark and deliver it to his “business partner”. OK, pal.

So he asked me what *I* was doing in the house and I said hey man your “business partner” runs this place as an Airbnb and I’m his guest. The guy looked totally shocked and almost dropped the plant. He asked me what I was talking about, I’m not sure he had ever heard of Airbnb before. I was trying to reassure this poor weirdo so I started saying how I ran a little independent bookshop and it was hard to take time away but totally worth it, and when I said that the poor guy looked like he might cry. 

He went away for about 5 minutes and then he came back and was smiling like nothing had ever happened, asked me to please forgive him for the extraordinary misunderstanding, wished me a “truly blessed day,” and then left. I was so mystified by it all, but right then I got a call from my sister telling me my mom’s biopsy came back as benign and then an email from my bank that they were refunding me 10 years of overdraft fees. 

 

Alonzo

If you’ve ever wondered “what would the Palace of Versailles look like if it went goth, got Maire-Kondo’d, and was turned into a greenhouse?” this is your airbnb. This place is really, really strange and the heat seems to be broken because I tried to turn it down repeatedly and nothing happened, but boy is it full of weird interesting stuff.

Sometimes I just wonder what on earth was going through the head of the owner when he was decorating this apartment. As anyone who’s wasted their life watching home and garden television knows, conventional wisdom is it’s essential to immediately provide a welcoming view into the home for guests in the foyer. The first thing you see when you walk in here is a giant statue of two angels having some kind of sexually-charged wrestling match. Hell of an opening statement, dude.

 

Nelson

Loved the place, the decor is extremely cool (the swiveling door! the huge painting of the Fall of Man in the kitchen! the super elaborate fake-gilt desk chair!). I saw some reviews complaining about a lack of lights, but it looks like Anthony went out and got some new ones, since most rooms had a floor lamp when I stayed there.

Maybe it was my fault for watching horror movies, but I had a really terrifying nightmare here and it still gives me the creeps. I didn’t actually mean to watch horror movies here, I just turned on the TV and it was playing some really creepy flick with a bunch of people in trench coats who looked sort of like zombies milling around and I got sucked in. It was really scary, at one point the zombies actually turned to the camera directly and shouted something, and I felt like they were actually looking into the room. 

Now I’m sort of doubting even this part, though, because I swear they were saying something about unemployment benefits, and that just doesn’t seem right for a horror movie.

So anyway, I go to sleep, everything’s fine, and then around 3am I woke up (in real life? In dream life? I don’t know) and felt really thirsty. I figured I may as well get some of the nice filtered water from the fancy fridge, so I walked through the hallway with the plants. 

I swear to God, I don’t know how this is possible, but I totally thought the plants were moving. Not like they were walking around the apartment (I’m not that bad, I swear!) but as if they were...shivering, almost? It was super super creepy.

I was already feeling really weirded out by that when I got to the kitchen, and thinking about that scary zombie movie of course wasn’t helping. I think I just managed to freak myself out enough to sort of lose it a bit. 

When I got to the kitchen, I was one hundred percent convinced that there was a huge, taking-up-the-entire-kitchen-floor black snake. That can’t have been real, but I swear I can still see the big yellow eyes in my mind. I was just standing there holding my water glass, this giant snake was blocking my way to the fridge, and what did I do? I said “Hi Mr. Snake could you move?” It hissed at me, and I, an absolute idiot, said “I just want a glass of water.” The snake hissed again but then slithered away, and I got my water and then ran back to the bedroom as fast as I could and locked the door.

Of course none of that can have actually happened.

To make matters even weirder, I had texted the owner earlier in the day to let him know that the kitchen sink was leaking a little, and he said he would come by and repair it. He never showed up, but the next day the sink was not leaking anymore and he told me he had come over and fixed it and we’d had a brief conversation about it and I have *no memory of that whatsoever.*

 

Darlene

I’ve seen some really particular cleaning requests before, but never in my life have I seen anything like this place. There’s the usual “don’t leave food out, please place used linens in X place,” but also a very clear underlined instruction to take the kitchen shears and place them next to “the plant with the yellowest leaves.” I honestly have no idea what to make of that.

 

Sam

This is a really lovely airbnb in Mayfair. It was actually my second time staying here (the plants look even better this time! I don’t know what the secret is). My one slight criticism is I think Anthony should not let his boyfriend do the checking in, because wow that guy is kind of unnerving. He was super nice but he smiled so much it started to make me a little nervous, and he told me I was welcome to anything in the flat but whispered to me that “the wine has probably been drunk before”—I genuinely do not want to know what he meant by that. I then asked if he could help me take a photo for instagram and he said “oh I’m so sorry, we don’t have any instant grahams here.”