I know that airbnb is coming under some scrutiny lately, but I have to say that we have had nothing but great experiences using both Airbnb and VRBO to find places to stay that are not only great looking and comfortable, but relatively inexpensive, considering.
I’ve actually been renting apartments for vacation since the middle ’80’s. I was on my own then, and having an apartment meant I didn’t have to eat dinners out by myself — getting “take out” from the food court at Harrods suited me fine!
I remember the first time I rented a flat in London, in the St. John’s Wood section, in the northern part of London, mostly gorgeous apartment buildings and private homes and very chic. I can still remember the apartment (flat), which was just down the street from the Abbey Road Studios of Beatles fame. I often walked across that famous “zebra crossing”. Living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, all wonderfully furnished for what I think was $350/week!
Since then, we’ve rented apartments in London (again), Paris, Lisbon, Chicago, Santa Fe (our all time favorite apartment, designed by an architect and furnished like an art gallery), Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.
All have been very nice. Lots of space to spread around, and very relaxing. I can eat my breakfast in my bathrobe, like I do at home.
The other positive side, is that the apartments are often in residential neighborhoods that you might otherwise never visit. Our apartment in Portland on this trip was in a charming neighborhood of craftsman houses, tree lined streets, with a Whole Foods down the street. We quickly became familiar with the streets and felt like we were coming “home” each day. A nice feeling.
Just to mix things up a bit, we are actually now in a bed and breakfast in Kansas City, Missouri. Not just any B&B, but the Jefferson House Bed and Breakfast. Absolutely gorgeous, elegant, beautifully restored house, high on a hill overlooking KC. Furniture is equally gorgeous and it is filled with modern art work and ceramics (one of the couple who owns it is a very talented potter). And the breakfasts are to die for — we skipped lunch entirely! Take a look at their website. Definitely worth a detour.