When booking a holiday the first place you would typically look would be Hotels. You look at competitive prices and you compare the hotels across different areas. The issue is hotels can be quite expensive. This is where Air Bnb fills the gap, the prices go from affordable to high-end depending on what you’re after. You can get a cosy room or an entire mansion for 15 people, with each offering really unique and quirky options. After such a positive stay I felt it was worth sharing my Air Bnb Experience.
I have had Air Bnb on my mind for a while now but never really felt a need to book anything on there. I had a look at a few places to stay in Amsterdam last year but I was a bit apprehensive about booking it so I stuck with a hotel. As that was my first holiday with no adults so I went with a tried and tested method. But this year I fancied trying something new. Which brings me to the other weekend when me and Mum had a weekend getaway to the Peak District.
When I was looking at places for me and mum to stay I found a really nice Forest Cabin but the price was quite expensive. We wanted to go away for a specific weekend so the dates were quite restricted to where we could stay. We also wanted to keep things quite affordable. So the cost of the location needed to be less than £70 per night.
Both me and mum spent time searching the website. We had quite a large area of places to look at so it took a while to go through all the pages. I would great a wish list with a bunch of properties that I thought it would be worth taking a better look at. I would then share the list with mum. She was able to see the places as well as adding her own. After going through a few properties there was one which really caught my eye.
Then we stumbled across a cosy cottage in East Cheshire which wasn’t too far away and was at a really great price. At just under £50 a night it was a steal. The part that was really unique about this place has to be the stained glass windows. This place is an 1846 church building, which has now been converted into a studio after been renovated over the years. I have to say the owners did an amazing job at keeping its character whilst modernising it for the everyday person.
When it came to actually booking this place I didn’t know what to expect. One thing that did catch me out was the Service Charge and the cleaning fee. These are costs which get added on top and are not included in the prices displayed initially. It is something to keep in mind when looking for places to stay.
In order to book this cottage you had to ‘Request to Book’. This means the host need to approve you for your stay before you can actually book the dates. I had a few questions to ask first which the hosts were more than happy to answer. After that, they saved the cottage for me and Mum for the next 24 hours. Nobody else would be able to book those dates at that time and it meant I didn’t have to rush payment.
The whole booking process was really smooth and wasn’t too difficult. The Air Bnb app is really optimised for the user experience to make things as simple as possible. Once the place was booked we could find out where the property is and save it in Google Maps ready for the journey up. The drive up to location was quite pleasant. It was a long drive as I took a more scenic route along Dual Carriageways which goes through sweeping landscapes. Which appealed more to me than a motorway.
When we arrived at the location we noticed the main family house was at the very front with a narrow driveway leading to the courtyard where the cottage is. To the very right of the house is a church which is what the Air Bnb used to be a part of. On a Saturday Evening and Sunday Morning, you can actually hear the choir singing which is so cute!
Driving up to the back of the property was quite challenging as it was from the main road into the town. Not to mention the gap between the wall and the house was sooo tight. I had to pull my side mirrors in as the gap was one or two inches on either side of the car. I haven’t been driving for that long so it was quite a challenge. By the end of the weekend, my driving skills improved. Driving to the back of the property was no longer challenging.
First impressions really count, so when we arrived we were greeted by the owner who showed me and Mum around the property. It was a very warm welcome to the place. In this particular place breakfast, toiletries and towels were already provided. So we had a full selection of cereals as well as a lot of choices for hot beverages. When you first walk into the cottage there is a sky window above which brings in a lot of light into the area. There was also a fresh bouquet of flowers, which were purple tulips. These are my favourite Spring Flowers and it always brings a sense of colour into any home.
One thing that was quite a novelty was the wood burner. I have never used a burner before so it was lovely to hear the fire crackling away and having that as a way to warm up the place. Oh man, it really did warm the place up. It was a bit chilly on the first day we got there so we decided to light the fire. The place warmed up fairly quickly and was able to keep the heat in once we closed the shutters.
Since my bed was in the mezzanine all of the heat rose to the roof which made it a heat trap. I usually struggle with staying warm during the night, but I might as well have been in Australia with the temperatures at the top there. It was incredibly cosy. So the fire was not needed for the following night.
Overall this was such a positive experience for me and the property and hosts were lovely. I have had such a good experience with Air Bnb that I have already booked a few more places to stay over the next year.
If you are interested in where I stayed you can find the cottage here.
Let me know if you have ever stayed in an Air Bnb or whether you stick to hotels? I’d love to hear aboutexperiences for the places that you have stayed.