I, like a lot of travelers, have come to love Airbnb stays over the past few years and actually prefer them much more than hotels. For those that aren't familiar, Airbnb is a wonderful platform that allows people to rent out their homes, apartments, guest rooms, or condos to people on a night-by-night basis. Many people buy separate homes or transform unused areas into guest quarters so that they are able to house in-town travelers. They are typically a lot cheaper than hotels because (most) hosts aren't trying to rip you off, this is just a side gig to make some extra money.
I have definitely stayed in my share of Airbnb's over the past few years. In Australia, I stayed in a wonderful apartment called "Bright and Groovy 60's pad" in St. Kilda East. This was a 2 bedroom apartment that was very inexpensive and great quality. My only downside to this rental was that there was no air conditioning, and at the time it was 90 degree Fahrenheit or above in Melbourne, which made being there during the day almost unbearable. But since we were traveling and had so much to see and do, we didn't spend a lot of time in the apartment during the day. Karl was kind enough to supply the apartment with some jumbo fans which made sleeping easy.
My favorite Airbnb of all time was in Nashville, where we stayed at "Tiny Lovely Cottage." Sara actually has a tiny house in her own backyard that serves as a wonderful Airbnb. She had our fridge fully stocked with snacks and ice cream, which was the best welcome we could imagine after we arrived late at night after a 6 hour drive. Although the Airbnb was only 2 rooms, a bathroom and a living/bedroom space, it didn't feel small at all. It had a full functioning kitchen, a dining table, a big bed, and a tv. Not only was the inside perfect, but our little tiny house had a porch, which Sara's ADORABLE dog frequently visited.
All of the Airbnb's I've stayed to up until my Toronto trip had been wonderful, or at least met my expectations for what I was paying for. But then Toronto happened. The night before our departure, our host messaged me and told us that we could not be in the apartment between 5-6PM because she had a realtor coming with some potential buyers to sell it, but to "not worry about having strangers in the house." I told her that we were driving 8 hours and that we would try to accommodate, but it's hard to plan an exact arrival time when coming that far. However, we had plans to attend the Lorde concert that evening and I wasn't going to be late to the concert just because I wasn't allowed to be in a rental that I had already paid for.
We were already slightly aggravated after our 8 hour drive to Toronto because the last 40 miles took nearly 2 hours to drive when typically that would only take about 45 minutes max. Upon arriving in Toronto, we struggled for over 30 minutes to find parking, as our host didn't leave us a guest pass to use the parking garage under her apartment building (the sign even said guest passes were a thing). Perhaps we were just naive in thinking we'd be able to find somewhere relatively close in the city, but regardless, it started our stay here on the wrong foot. After driving and walking in the pouring rain to the apartment, we finally got in... only to be stuck in a lobby that you had to get "buzzed in" by your host... problem here was we couldn't get in touch with our host. After SEVERAL calls and texts, she finally answered and let us in.
Once we got in, everything was fine... finally. Until it was time to go to bed. The bed frame was made of several 2 inch slats that were so weak they were constantly collapsing. Not knowing about this, we got into bed that night just like we normally would and the bed collapsed. We then had to rebuild her bed, which involved completely taking the mattress off. If this had only happened once it would be tolerable, but this happened at least 3 times a day. Any time you got into bed you had to be extremely gentle and crawl in down the middle from the foot of the bed and gently roll over to your half. This bed even collapsed on us in the middle of the night because Nick rolled over wrong, which lead to a minor heart attack and he crashed to the floor and a 3AM rebuilding session. My last beef with the bed is that none of the sheets fit and sleeping on a bare, used mattress ins't preferred.
^Waiting for the bed to break like...
Thankfully we didn't have to spend a lot of time in this rental. And it wasn't all bad - it had a really great location to downtown and was right across the street from a lot of bars and restaurants. It also had an amazing view from the balcony and a killer full length mirror for my selfie game. But the bed alone was enough for me to tell people to avoid this rental at all costs.
If my last review hasn't scared you off and you're interested in trying Airbnb, use my code. You'll get $40 off your first rental. Have you ever had a nightmare Airbnb experience or an Airbnb that couldn't be beat? Share it in the comments!