“AirBnB was never meant to be the big idea. It was meant to be the thing that paid the rent so we could think of the big idea.” Brian Chesky
Four adults travelling as two couples to Edinburgh in Scotland for a weekend mini break seemed the perfect opportunity to try out the extremely popular travelling phenomenon that is Airbnb for the first time. Airbnb is the worldwide room rental alternative to staying in a hotel, selecting accommodation tailored to individual needs at the click of a button on an extremely user-friendly website.
After browsing the Edinburgh accommodation available for our dates, we selected a newly refurbished and modern two bedroom basement apartment with an open-plan kitchen/living area (with an additional double sofa bed for extra guests) and two bathrooms, just a short ten minute walk from the city’s most prominent tourist attraction, Edinburgh Castle. As we were all arriving from different places by different modes of transport (train, coach and aeroplane) it was also important that the chosen apartment was also perfectly located near Haymarket Station train and bus/coach stations as well as on a tram route from Edinburgh Airport.
The great thing about the Airbnb website, besides its fantastic layout and hoards of professional photos, is that it lists each property by city and country making it so easy to use. Filters can be used such as price per night, location, outdoor space and wifi to scale down the search and accommodation can be booked for one night, a week or months depending on availability. Respective hosts have an online profile detailing their accommodation/s as well as previous guest reviews/recommendations and the unique rating system. Travellers are also required to set up a profile and once the booking is accepted private messages can be exchanged between the guest and host ensuring a smooth booking process and subsequent stay. All costs are clear at the booking confirmation stage including the one-off cleaning fee (which varies) organised by the host and paid by the guests in advance.
Our host, Jordan Mitchell was fantastic and thoroughly deserves his five-star rating, e-mailing and texting before our visit, allowing us to check in early (meeting me to give me the keys personally and explain the security/entertainment systems) and check out late. The apartment was superb, even better than its photos indicated and surpassed my expectations in terms of overall standard of accommodation, cleanness and location. As well as Jordan going above and beyond with his communication and flexibility, he also provided a welcome pack of some basic foodstuffs and some lovely luxury goodies, maps, attraction leaflets and some toiletries/towels. The apartment was spacious, beautifully decorated with two double bedrooms with large comfy beds, contemporary textiles and separate bathrooms making it perfect for two couples to both have privacy and save time when getting ready. The kitchen was large and well equipped, even though we only used it for preparing breakfast it would be suitable for cooking all meals with a modern cooker, hob, microwave and dishwasher. The bathrooms were superbly decorated and fitted to a high standard. Prints lining the apartment walls are available to buy by contacting Jordan directly.
Located within a short walking distance of the apartment are a couple of small grocery shops as well as many pubs/bars in the surrounding area, public transport (bus/coach/train/tram) stops are so near as already mentioned. I can recommend a quirky little bar, Mad Hatters in the next street that has an Alice in Wonderland theme and serves great cocktails. Princes Street is really near as are Princes Street Gardens, the aforementioned castle as well as other popular sightseeing spots.
Airbnb was started in San Francisco back in 2008 by two friends, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky whose initial idea airbedandbreakfast.com offered guests unable to find hotel rooms during busy seasons an airbed and a cooked breakfast in their apartment to earn additional income as they were struggling to pay their rent. The success of this idea prompted the launch of Airbnb and along with Gebbia’s former flatmate Nathan Blecharczyk, bought onboard to design the website, they launched their business which now boasts 40,000,000+ guests in 34,000+ cities across 190+ countries worldwide with a massive 1,500,000+ accommodation listings available. Anyone anywhere can offer, locate and book unique accommodation from an igloo to a villa on a beach around the globe online via the Airbnb website which connects people to have amazing travel experiences. Airbnb provides owners with a professional photographer, deals with all the monetary issues, provides 24/7 customer support services for both guests and hosts (includes $1 million insurance for the host). Airbnb is a great idea which I would most definitely use again and recommend to others looking for non-hotel more personal accommodation.
The Nitty Gritty…….
Luxury Central Apartment in Torphichen Street, Edinburgh
Entire home apartment that accommodates seven for £125 per night
Two double bedrooms with two bathrooms (one ensuite)
Check In: 3:00pm Check Out: 10:00am
Visit Airbnb UK website: www.airbnb.co.uk
Newly refurbished, modern and clean centrally located Edinburgh apartment with spacious and comfortable accommodation
Friendly and helpful host who was easy to communicate with
Host also rates guests, brilliant for future bookings
Love the easy to use Airbnb website with the ratings, review and recommendations for each accommodation with fantastic photos
The Not so Good…….
Perfect for 4 adults not sure that 6/7 adults would work so well especially using the dining table
Read more about or Edinburgh trip in my previous post In Pictures – A Postcard from Edinburgh
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved. Airbnb logo, featured image and first two photos are used courtesy of www.airbnb.co.uk