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Airbnb

Airbnb's prices look great compared to some of the hotel prices. Has anyone had good luck using them?

Posted by
1218 posts

Many people. Look at pictures and read many reviews. You can also enter airbnb in the search box above and get recent posts about it (among the results, select "in the last 6 mos" on the left, after selecting for "Travel Forum"...) for further info, thoughts and stories

Posted by
6113 posts

I have used them in the past several times, but now find that Booking.com and Trip Advisor rentals are c 20% + cheaper, often for the same accommodation which is multiple listed.

I don’t use hotels as I prefer the flexibility of an apartment.

Posted by
10442 posts

Personally not a fan of Airbnb but I am a big fan of vacation apartments in general and www.VRBO.com and www.booking.com. Airbnb has very strict policies which is one of the reasons I avoid them. I think their prices have gotten out-of-whack as well. The other two sites have served me well and I also go through tourist sites in some areas which can reveal apartments not listed on the big sites.

If you are going to London, I can highly recommend www.londonconnection.com.

Posted by
6 posts

I’m a frequent Airbnb user (and a host back home), and I am a fan. The company is getting ever more slick, but at its best, it is wonderful for living like a local wherever you go. There’s a huge variety of places, from self-contained apartments to spare rooms, so use filters to narrow your options (by price, type of accommodation, neighborhood, etc) and read the reviews. Especially for short stays, be sure to check cleaning fees, which are usually the same whether you stay one night or a week or more. And check each host’s cancellation policies, which vary from flexible to very strict.

I had a Paris host cancel on me last year, but it was far enough ahead (more than a month) that I was easily able to find another place to stay. That’s the only time that happened in several dozen Airbnb stays in the US and abroad.

Posted by
7116 posts

Yes have used Airbnb to stay in London. Great stays each of them. One host is now a dear dear friend.
All I advise is make certain there are a minimum of a dozen reviews. Contact the host and get answers to your questions. Closest ATM. Closest tube station. Ask if they are located in Zones 1-6. Otherwise too far out of the city center which will cost time and money.
Lastly, make certain there is an image of the host, not Big Ben, the Queen, the Union Jack, but their picture.
To me that shows they own a single property which is what I prefer, not someone who owns a number of places.

GREAT city. Enjoy!

Posted by
94 posts

We used AirBnB for travels in Belgium and Germany and had really good experiences in all the places we stayed. It was more cost effective for us than a hotel since we were traveling as a group of four people. I've booked several places via AirBnB for my upcoming trip to England this Fall also. Like another poster said, look for places with some reviews. And then read through the reviews. That will give you a lot of useful info about the place and help you determine if it's what you are looking for.

Posted by
38 posts

We've used them in London and Paris, and are going to stay in another one when we go back to London next week! - they're great - for the price of a tiny room in a tourist hotel you can rent a small apartment with kitchen and laundry facilities (huge conveniences), separate bedroom, perhaps an outdoor sitting area, etc. in a residential neighborhood and get much more of the feel of living like a local.

The only negative we've come across so far is a host cancelling a booking we made months in advance a couple of weeks before our trip - we had enough time to find a new place, but I could imagine it being pretty devastating if it happened last minute.

Carefully read the reviews and you should have a good idea what you're in for with any particular property.

Posted by
16 posts

How strange - I had the same experience as the post before. Booked in October and cancelled 4 weeks prior to our trip. Horrible! Ended up costing us nearly twice as much to find something last minute. I will never book through AirBNB again however am in London right now staying in a Holiday Letting apartment (I think they are through Trip Advisor) and it has been very smooth. Would recommend them. Good luck!

Posted by
314 posts

Just got back from England this morning. We had fantastic AirBnB experiences in Bristol and Chester. I'd be happy to share if one drops me an e-mail. Couldn't have been better. Also, the Aachen Hotel in Liverpool which RS mentions in Liverpool was incredible for location,price,amenities, breakfast and service. Strongly recommended

Posted by
3936 posts

Used airbnb a few times in London, and have one booked for our trip in July. Never an issue. In regards to cancellation - make sure you read thru the reviews - if they cancel a stay, there is an automatic review stating so - if I see more than a few of those in someone's reviews, I move on. In over 30 stays with airbnb since 2011, only once did someone cancel a night on me - she double booked, and offered us a discount on our other two nights if we still wanted to stay.

Posted by
6037 posts

That's a shocking detail about cancellation. I would guess that they had an offer for 7 nights, which beat your 3 nights.

No one has pointed out that AirBnb is illegal in many places in the U.S., and is under assault across the pond as well. One reason is that permanent residents don't like finding transients clomping through their home building at all hours, giving parties, and driving up rents. I grew up in apartments, and those of you from single-family homes may not understand the close quarters of daily life in an apartment building. But wait: I was in Boston (in a hotel) last week, and found this letter in the Globe, about a suburb with single family homes. It disrupts life there, too:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/letters/2018/04/25/views-airbnb-debate-from-front-door-and-from-next-door/reuun6J4D9ItexY04fzBCN/story.html#

Posted by
294 posts

I've also experienced the AirBnb late cancellation issue others have mentioned. We booked a lovely houseboat in Amsterdam only to have the owner cancel us a month before the trip. The owner double booked, was apologetic, offered to help us find another place. It was momentarily inconvenient, but we found a better houseboat available on the next canal and it didn't become a big deal. It is distressing for a moment or two though, but I've found that risk doesn't outweigh the wonderful experiences we've had in places like Amsterdam, London, Madrid, and Paris using AirBnb.

Posted by
1979 posts

hey dgreeney
everyone has good and bad with airbnb. had a horrible one in london a few years ago. sent 18 year old daughter with teenage friend, knew nothing about essentials in apartment, mother out of country! no lights in bathroom except above sink, slippery shower no handrails, metal radiator cover fell almost on foot, some other guests clothes left in washer half full with water and smelly. called and called no answer from owner, only one key, 2 bedroom was a one bedroom and other was living room, dining room, couch, twin bed. what a joke! says quiet on side street, but above main bus stop, bars, sirens and drunks sleeping below outside entrance. thank god she's no longer on site. things have changed somewhat with airbnb but like others we use booking.com, trip advisor, cross-pollinate, or a reliable local rental agency, read reviews carefully, look at pictures, how many cancellations, can you correspond with them, be very diligent with your search. do a dummy book and when total is clicked look if there are any more fees. this is my 3 cents worth. good luck
aloha

Posted by
56 posts

Just home from Ireland...used 4 AirBNB rentals. All were great.

The only snafu is was that one place (in a remote location) required much more clean-up than was in the house listing or info that was sent to us. We arrived and essentially found this huge manual of how to leave the house before we left it.

I do agree with what others have to say. In the city, I'd probably go with a reasonable hotel so less risk of having to get a hotel room at super high rates if a host were to cancel on you last minute. In the country, I think you are at less risk in the countryside of having a host cancel.

Always go with a airbnb "Superhost". They have a reputation to uphold.

By the way, all our rentals allowed for 48 hour cancellation with no fees. Because so much can happen in life, I did not book anything that was strict on their cancellation policy (by guest). I have heard that if you cancel more than 2 times a year it dings your airbnb record, but so far have not faced that. Our prices through airbnb were super competitive and we just needed the space with family and wanted things like washers and dryers.

Posted by
305 posts

I stayed in an Airbnb in Knightsbridge in May for a few days and a hotel for one night on the way back as we were flying in and out of Heathrow. The Airbnb was much more comfortable and cheaper even though it didn't have a full kitchen. Would stay there again - the hotel - not so much.