Airbnb Review and $25 off your first booking
Cameron and I spent last week in Brooklyn Heights to visit with my grandparents and explore the city. After looking through lots of area hotels, we decided to give airbnb a try.
Pictured above is the front door to our home for the weekend. Our airbnb rental was on a quiet street in Brooklyn Heights and we couldn't have been happier with it.
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What is airbnb? Basically hosts list their entire home, apartments, beach houses, or even just a room in a house for a rent. Usually it is blocks of dates here and there as they are going out of town. The hosts are vetted using their Facebook, linked in etc. So you know they are a real person. They also have reviews listed on their page just like a hotel would.
When you want to book, you contact them with your desired dates as per their calendar and a little information about yourself and they approve or deny your request.
I was really beneficial for us, because we have never used airbnb before to take the time to complete our account and verify our identity through their website. We were approved right away for the rental we picked out.
What we loved
We ended up booking a bigger place (not much bigger, but we had a kitchenette included as well) than the hotel that was nearby for about $50 + tax less. It enabled us to be able to add an extra night on to what we thought we could afford.
This is not the case for all of the rentals we were considering, but it was a huge pro for this one. We were able to have a flexible check in/ check out. Our flight arrived early in the morning and we were able to head straight to the apartment. No wandering around until 3pm like most hotels. On checkout day, we took our time and didn't have to worry about clearing out until we needed to.
It gave us an entirely new take on a city we already love. It's so easy to say I wish I lived here when you are staying in a hotel where the beds are made for you daily and you are usually close to the heart of things. With an airbnb one of the perks are that you actually live like a local. We had the experience of living for 5 days in under 300 square feet, which we found claustrophobic at first but grew to love it. Walking 20 min to the grocery store, carrying them back and then up 4 flights of stairs. Talking to the locals, drinking coffee where they get their coffee, and experiencing what it would really be like to live in Brooklyn Heights.
What we didn't love
You don't know the exact location of what you are booking. This makes sense to me, as they want to protect the safety of the host and guests by not publicizing the address of the rental. The map that you see on the booking page gives you the general vicinity of the rental. Once we booked it and saw the exact location, I was a little surprised at where exactly it was. I wasn't expecting the estimate to be so far off. With that being said, the location was still perfect for what we needed. That was pretty much the only downside we could think of.
Would we do it again
YES! We have already been looking at our next airbnb vacation. We loved feeling like locals for our stay.
final thoughts and RECOMMENDATIONS
Take the time to read through everything and look though lots of photos and rental listings. If there is something that is important to you, and you don't see it clearly answered, ask. Most hosts are very quick to respond to questions and concerns.
When you are booking, remember your location. Most of the less than positive reviews on the place we stayed had to do with the size. Apartments in NYC are small, and most buildings don't have elevators. Make sure you manage your exceptions and are ready for an adventure. I am not sure I would recommend this families traveling with kids. Most of the places we looked at were not listed as "kid friendly". But for a couple, I think it's the perfect way to get away!
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