People asked me if I knew anything about that Airbnb thingy. You know, it’s supposedly some rental site.
As a matter of fact, I do.
A few months back, I was invited to Click Retreat and attended in partnership with the fine folks at Airbnb, who actually hosted me for the retreat. The entire retreat was actually based from a gorgeous 4000 square foot loft in Brooklyn, known as Shell’s Loft.
I’d only spent minimal time in Brooklyn on our previous visits, so I was excited to find out that Shell’s loft is in the desirable Clinton Hill district. But when I stepped foot in Shell’s space, I knew I was in a truly extraordinary place. I’d venture to guess that not many people can afford to have a several thousand square foot place in Brooklyn. But the truly unique thing about Shell’s place is that she opens her home to other artists (like herself), who often come in and stay for an extended period of time. They sometimes collaborate on projects and even host pop up shops so that the community can come in and shop directly with the artists.
It’s actually brilliant. Like minded people from around the world coming together to share space and create something awesome. But Shell’s space isn’t only available to other artists, she often hosts corporate meetings or retreats. Like ours.
I’ve stayed in other Airbnb properties, but I’d never stayed in a property when the host was staying there as well. And it was spectacular. Shell had arranged to have a chef on hand during our retreat, so delicious meals were prepared for us throughout our stay (this isn’t something that is included, but can be added for an additional charge.) and she was on hand at all times to answer questions about the neighborhood and give us suggestions on anything local. She was the epitome of “hostess with the mostest”.
The wine flowed during our retreat …
And the bedrooms were incredibly cozy and welcoming. (I slept very well, and that RARELY happens when I travel.)
Now, as I mentioned, I’ve stayed in Airbnb properties before and simply put, I’m a fan. The day we learned how serious Mayhem’s food allergies are, changed how we travel. Gone were the days of being able to run into any hotel/resort restaurant with the assumption her needs could be accommodated. I quickly realized that in order to take the stress out of travelling, I’d be looking for places that included a kitchen. And after a few recommendations from friends, the Airbnb site became a new best friend.
Family travel is so different than traveling solo or as a couple. So many extra considerations that have to be made: how many bedrooms and bathrooms do we REALLY need, is there a separate living space that I can work from as not to wake a napping kid, how far would I have to walk for coffee first thing in the morning …. and now that we have a pup in the family, that’s a major consideration too!
But Airbnb has made opened up a whole new world of options for us. I simply enter my preferences on all of the above mentioned details, and up pops a plethora of options. And I love that I can see the options on a map, so I know exactly where in the city, my options are located.
But probably my favorite thing about Airbnb properties is that most of them are actually places that the owners call home. Which means they’re warm and inviting. Which is exactly the kind of place that I want to stay.
As you might imagine, I shared more than those couple friends had (maybe?) anticipated, when they asked if I knew anything about Aribnb. But I’m willing to make a wager that BOTH went home and found themselves searching the site for themselves. And I can’t wait until they come back and tell me they booked and Airbnb property 😉
So what’s your take? Have you tried Airbnb? And do you love it too?