I see that the Guide recommends airbnb but see many complaints on the Web. How has everyone’s experience been. We are going to Paris. Any other recommendations?
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Hey there – I’ve used Airbnb a number of times, and am using it again in Croatia next week, and it’s been great. I always go for places that already have good reviews, so I know they’re reliable. I’ve used it in the UK and India, so two very different places but equally good experiences. I’d thoroughly recommend as long as you check reviews!
I’ll put in another vote of confidence for Airbnb. I’ve used it on several city breaks recently – always renting whole apartments rather than rooms – and had a great experience. My hosts both times have been very accommodating and helpful, and having the freedom to cook/relax at the end of the day made a big difference. Price-wise, I reckon the quality is usually higher than a hotel of the same cost.
If I were to offer some first-time tips, for starters I’d agree with Lottie: pick somewhere with lots of good reviews. Many hosts make a business out of Airbnb and have built up quite a reputation. That said, it’s still more personal than a hotel. I’d tell the host a little about yourself when you’re booking, and make sure you keep in touch on arrival day if you have any delays etc.
My favourite part of Paris is along the canal in the 10th and down into the Haut Marais (in the 3rd), and there are some lovely looking Airbnb apartments around there. As for hotels, Mama Shelter is a bit of a trek from the centre, but very cool.
I recently updated the Paris section of our Europe on a Budget guide, so please shout if you have any other questions.
I,too, have had mostly good experiences with airbnb, apart from a place in New Orleans. I used the service around the States and intend to use it around Europe/Morocco next year. Read all the testimonials and conditions of airbnb. You do have an option to leave your chosen place within the first 24 hours (I think) and get a refund.