Air BnB. What a great idea! You get to stay somewhere you’d never considered before for quite a reasonable price and someone gets to make some money by converting their spare room/outhouse/garage into bespoke or quirky accommodation.
We first used Air BnB around three years ago on an impromptu weekend away to Brighton. We stayed in an apartment that belonged to Pete* and it was blatantly obvious that he actually lived there. We’re still not sure where he stayed that night but it was a lovely place and we had full access to Pete’s CDs, DVDs etc so you get a full insight into their personal tastes.
Since then we’ve stayed in the guest wing in a house in Chester, which had its own bedroom, little sitting area with lots of books to borrow, a shower room and a huge bathroom. It became a bit awkward when the owner accused us of letting the claw foot bath, which sat under a slanting window, overflow! It hadn’t, it was only about a quarter full but I then felt uncomfortable using it and that was one of the reasons we decided to book that place!
We’ve also stayed in a very quirky little mews house in Bruges on a Christmas market trip, where the owner, who we never actually met and didn’t come anywhere near the place the whole time we were there, left us a fantastic review about how tidy we were before we’d even checked out!
Oh and there’s also been the two converted garages which were snug, but had proper beds, working showers and wifi so a great use of space.
But the best by far was one we stayed at in the Lake District recently. It was a recently renovated outhouse so all the fixtures and fittings were modern, but it was the personal touches that really made the experience. We arrived to two freshly baked scones with jam and cream, a welcome message on a blackboard, cereals, yoghurts, a variety of teas, filter coffees and little chocolates on our pillows. There was even a foot spa!
We’ve found that generally Air BnB accommodation is that little bit cheaper and more value for money than a hotel, although you have to be ready for the awkwardness that you are in fact staying in someone’s house, albeit their converted garage or shed!
*Name changed to protect identity!