Have you ever thought about staying in an Airbnb?
I travel quite a bit and I have stayed in more hotel rooms than I can count; some luxurious, some basic. I had never considered an Airbnb until my family talked me into it.
Airbnb is an alternative to staying in a hotel. It is an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent their homes with people looking for short term lodgings. As a traveler, you to get to stay in homes, sort of like a bed and breakfast – except there is no breakfast, and there may or may not be a host. It has really taken the hotel industry by storm and is widely used by millennials.
I had never used Airbnb and I was opposed to it. I don’t like the idea of being in someone else’s house – what if they have hidden cameras? I was concerned about security – what if someone else has a key? I was concerned about cleanliness – in a hotel, there are professional cleaners who have to follow a protocol and whose work is supervised. What if the house is nasty?
In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t like uber either. It’s the idea that I am inhibiting someone else’s personal property and that person is a total stranger! That just creeps me out. But I try not to live in fear, lest my world gets too small……
We were visiting the Hamptons for three days in the offseason (the only time I could afford it!). There were three of us traveling together, so we needed either a suite or two rooms. I researched hotels and found one that I thought would fit our needs, a lovely suite in a 4 1/2 star hotel. I was about to book….
Before I booked the hotel, my daughter asked me to take a look at Airbnb, so I did. After downloading the app, I looked at houses. I needed a house with at least 2 bedrooms and at least two bathrooms. I needed it to be priced similarly to the one bedroom suite that I had found.
These are rental options on Airbnb.
Airbnb allows you to choose ” how much” home you wish to rent. You can choose to rent a bedroom in a home,(eww), a room shared with other guest, (double eww) or a whole home. There was no way I was going to share lodgings, so I choose the whole house option.
Scrolling through, I saw several houses that met my criteria. Each had a detailed description and was beautifully photographed. The one I selected was beautifully appointed, 4 bedrooms 6 bathrooms and several fireplaces. It was larger than we needed, but still in our price range. It looked like a real bargain. I sent a request to book, got a quick response and off to The Hamptons we went.
Here is What Happened
This is the house we rented.
The house was fabulous! The main floor had a comfortable den, dining room seating for 6 and a fabulous kitchen with granite countertops and Viking appliances.
This is the den on the main level. Very comfortable furnishings.
Anyone would be happy to have this kitchen in their home.
Three bedrooms, each with their own luxury bath and a sitting room were on the second floor. The master had two balconies.
One of the additional bedrooms.
One of the luxurious baths, complete with TV.
The basement was the icing on the cake. It had an additional bedroom and a game room, complete with a pool table and foosball table! In total, the house was 3500 square feet – far more than we needed and far more than I imagined I would get for what I paid.
The basement was well used during our stay.
The large bedroom in the basement.
Our house was not inhabited by the owner, but was a rental property. There were no personal items in the home and it had the generic feel of a hotel. There was a property manager who was available for any issues.
View from the front door.
I could not have selected a better option. We had a nice relaxing few days in a spacious home that was well maintained and a great location – the village was walking distance away. I felt safe and secure. It felt like a home away from home.
Would I do it again?
Maybe, but only in a vacation destination. I felt comfortable that the Hamptons, being the high rent destination that it is, would have rentals of a certain quality. I felt like the risk of getting a less than desirable house was limited. My concerns about the quality of the lodgings were unfounded – not only was the house nice, it was nicer than I ever could have imagined.
With Airbnb, you get a better value for the money – we got 3,500 square feet for the price of a 1 bedroom suite. I think that is the appeal for most people. It’s a great option when you are traveling with a large group.
I still have concerns about the whole “rent someone else’s private space” concept, but it certainly worked out for us this time. I still will stay in hotels as a matter of course, but I will keep Airbnb in mind for certain trips.
Let me know about your Airbnb experiences. We can share them with the Gracious Girl community!