As the urban population grows, finding a fitting abode in an ever-expansive city is getting harder by the day. Sometimes you’d just want to break free and get out of the town to have some space and be away from the usual noise. Every year, I try to at least explore, surprise myself and do something different. This year, as life happened, I signed up for a Yoga Ashtanga workshop by Yoga Tribe Philippines. I figured, waking up at 4AM to drive my way to the workshop which will start at 8am and end at 5pm, only to drive back home to face horrendous traffic wasn’t an option; staying at a hotel nearby was the better fit (or so I thought!)
Hotel? As much as I’m passionate on staying at suites and have gone used to the comfort of the hospitality suite life, staying the entire weekend might be hefty on the budget (2 nights, 3 days). Having to search through promotions, it was still steep for someone who’ll just have her bags kept and sleep comfortably on at night. I thought to finally make use of my Airbnb account. Gleefully, my account albeit it was set-up sometime in 2014 was still existing.
I was up for an experience, why not spice it up a little.
FINDING A PLACE
Airbnb has properties available pretty much in all major cities worldwide. The search function on the website was easy to tinker on; it works basically the same as how you search through hotel budget sites. I googled through the workshop area and found Eastwood City the closest and feasible. The best part is, Eastwood City is central to tons of restaurants, malls and other establishments – it’ll be easy to just choose for some grub or things to do at night to celebrate.
As I window-shopped on properties, I found a yogini who happens to also be a life coach having her space rented. I thought, it must’ve been fate. There was a good number of results as I set the filters to apartments however I have found hers as the most affordable one yet would deliver more than you pay for. The photos and amenities were very welcoming.
SECURING THE PLACE
Just like any traveler, decisions had to be laid. My priorities were safety, price and location, in that order. The fun part was the User Experience (UX) of the dashboard was easy, booking was such a breeze. The ‘Instant Book’ function was their reservation system. Just to be sure, I mailed the host and asked if the workshop area is factually near her place. My host was too accommodating and welcoming, she responded pretty quick. What’s even more awesome, we had tons of common friends and interests, it was easy to connect.
What’s nice about securing the place through Airbnb, there’s a sense of security and legitimacy. You can probably negotiate with the host on the rate if you intend to stay longer (weeks or a month); this way, you’ll have more bargaining power. Take the negotiations offline.
Fortunately, the apartment was more than what I expected. My hosts were too generous and kind, they allowed me to make use of the master’s bedroom instead of the room I’ve chosen since it was only me and they knew it was my birthday. Great thing, I was allowed to bring in a guest and treat it like my home.
My hosts met me at the lobby and personally welcomed me to their apartment. I was given a short tour, a little chit-chat and given a copy of the keys for my own keep. The photos were accurate, I only spent about approximately $20 a night for the following:
• A 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment in Eastwood, central to everything
• Has kitchen, ref, airconditioning, washing machine, laundry area
• Fully furnished and cozy space (you can practice yoga!)
• 24-hour security
• The building has a pool, a gym, and a steam
• The building is right next to a mall, a grocery, and restaurants
• It’s high up so you get a great view of the city every morning, afternoon, and night
The place was well-equipped, I need not to worry about anything. It had extra amenities which includes new shampoo and conditioners, body wash, stash of tissues and complete kitchen equipments including cleaning tools. How convenient is that! They also filled the place with extra gallon of water for the dispenser just in case.
My friends and I were able to make use of the kitchen and got to have a good feel of the place. It felt like home.
My hospitable host was patient on the check-in and check-out. We met at the lobby just the same and gave her my review of the place. It’s all very fuss-free without any filling of forms or paperwork. Airbnb is very efficient for both host and guests.
Once my stay was over the check-out was just as easy. The host came by the apartment to take the keys and I was on my way. They were like friends I’ve met before.
The room and bed was too cozy, I barely got myself out from the bed and woke up pretty rejuvenated plus having to add the thug of thunder and rain in the scenic window of the room – it was a perfect rejuvenating staycation and rest from a tiring workshop.
I even got to insert some sun salutations and few other asanas at the spacious living room.
A birthday well spent. Perfectly.
I will definitely make use of Airbnb again and most probably make use of it on my future trips and skip the posh hotels. Sure, for a hotelier, having to stay at other properties is part of the market research but as a traveller, I do now understand now why Airbnb is a better choice. I gave my first experience on Airbnb 5 stars and my hosts 4 stars but since service trumps cons (there were cracks from the previous earthquake which resulted to the condo having few problem areas on the light switches etc), It levelled up to 5 stars.
For super budget travellers, dorms and private hostel rooms probably will likely to be cheaper but still, take a good look and reach out to options. Having to speak with the host may also give you negotiating power and flexibility.
Since you were welcomed hospitably with warmth and grace, do the host a favour by asking them if they would want you to fold the sheets you’ve used and have them neatly folded for them to launder and sweep the floors. Don’t leave the place untidy and chaotic. Leave the place as if you never touched a thing. Be the kind of guest you’d want to be. Pick up strands of hair from the bathroom floor, wash the dishes properly and return them accordingly. Just like how you treat your home.
Keen to try Airnbnb?
If you’re interested to try Airbnb on your next trip, you can get a free $35 credit for your first booking by signing up through my referral link.
Have you tried Airbnb? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!