Airbnb: Thoughts from a first-timer and the hidden gem I found

Airbnb: Thoughts from a first-timer and the hidden gem I found

I had always been sceptical (to say the least!) about Airbnb. I’d read a few horror stories, seen a couple of bad reports and had never really considered booking with them to be honest because of what I’d heard.

That was until I was desperately hunting for somewhere half-decent but also affordable for us to stay during our break away in the summer. We hoped to extend our seaside break to Scarborough for an extra night in York – a little stop off on the way home if you like.

Hotels were averaging at between £70 and £90 a night without guaranteed parking and with some sort of compromise. Be it location or quality or whatever. It was a lot of money for us to spend on a room we weren’t 100% sure we’d be happy with.

I don’t know what made me consider it (like I say, I never have before) but I thought I’d have a little browse on Airbnb. Just to see what was out there if nothing else.

There were spare rooms, entire houses, bed and breakfasts, apartments and everything in between. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was surprised!

We were torn between a couple but, in the end, we plumped for a cosy annexe in the back garden of a lovely family home just outside of York city centre. We had a good feeling about the place, plus the reviews were incredible and it was super affordable. It was a no-brainer!

We wanted affordable, but it turned out to be even more affordable than we thought. The lovely Em from Em’s Living for the Weekend sent me a link which offered us a massive £25 off our first stay!

The booking process was really easy. Both the Airbnb website and the app are super straightforward to navigate. The only thing I found a bit bizarre at the time was having to upload a photo of my ID. Although, when you think about it, a lot of the time on Airbnb you are being welcomed into someone’s home so it makes perfect sense for them to want to know exactly who you are.

The communication between us and the host was also a massive plus. The chat feature Airbnb include on their website and the app meant it was never difficult for us to get in touch with our host and vice-versa.

We arrived a little later than we hoped. We got stuck in traffic thanks to some less than appealing roadworks and had a huge row after taking the same wrong turn three times (but the less said about that the better). But once we parked up outside we were given the warmest welcome from the lovely Beth, our host for the night, and everything was right again.

I was a bit shy, which doesn’t happen very often! It took me by surprise just how different it felt staying in someone’s home compared to staying in a hotel or a B&B.

Once we had moved our bags in and made a cuppa we really had chance to appreciate the annexe. I knew from the pictures online that it was going to be really well looked after and cosy (just as described!) but I did not expect to fall in love with the place like I did.

The personal touches really made it special for me. From the fully stocked bookshelf to the selection of city guides and leaflets to the posh hand wash – everything was immaculate and beautiful.

Beth could not have been a better host! She was completely attentive whilst also ensuring we had our own space to relax.

Below are a few of the many pictures I took during our stay at the annexe. I hope you like them!

Airbnb annexe door

Airbnb annexe bedroom

Airbnb annexe bedroom

Airbnb annexe bedroom

Airbnb annexe bookshelf

Airbnb annexe bookshelf

Airbnb annexe bathroom

Airbnb annexe bedroom

Airbnb annexe bookshelf

Airbnb annexe bookshelf

Airbnb annexe door

As well as the cosy annexe we stayed in, Beth also has another annexe, a cottage by the beach at Robin Hood’s Bay and a townhouse in York. All of which can be booked through Airbnb. I’ve listed the links below if you’re interested!

If you read the reviews and book with a verified host then there’s every chance you could find a hidden gem on Airbnb, just like I did.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever booked with Airbnb before. Have you found any hidden gems on there?

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This is not a sponsored post and has not been influenced in any way by Beth or Airbnb. I just wanted to share with you how much I loved my stay.

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