Planning a trip is one of my favourite things to do but finding a place to stay is at the top of my list. I’m a nosy person when it comes to hotels and apartments. I like to see ALL the options available much to my boyfriends annoyance but really, what happens if the page I don’t look at has the perfect hotel?!
So when booking with Airbnb I made sure I looked at all the Airbnb’s available in Montreal. I was excited for my first Airbnb experience after hearing all the hype about it.
When we arrive to Montreal we took a cab to the Airbnb’s address and the outside was not what I was expecting. In the photos the apartment looked as if it would be on the top floor of a large building but when we got there it was just a regular sized apartment complex. And an odd thing was it smell like a barn. Not an, “Ew poop,” barn but as if there was a stack of hay laying around somewhere. In all fairness to the apartment it was very old as with most places in Montreal.
When we got to the apartment we waited downstairs and were met with the house keeper who was extremely nice and helpful with showing us around. Moments later we were alone in an exquisite apartment with old floors and an open floor plan. It had two bedrooms and it was quite Instagram perfect. Again it wasn’t what I was expecting but it sure was gorgeous. But once you get past the photos and get into real life you start to notice somethings that weren’t in your consideration.
Noise. Our neighbours played music from 9 am to 8 pm. The first few days it was fun and we were “grooving” at one point but by day 3 of nonstop rap it became annoying. While we were told in the apartment description that the apartment had thin walls and you could hear what was happening around you – it didn’t really paint the realist picture. Like how the bathroom was against the wall of the apartment next to us so when you went to the bathroom you could hear people talk in the other side of the wall beside you. Needless to say I turned on the water tap..
Amenities. This wasn’t a big deal because there was a gas station across the street but we alarmingly realized there was only one roll of toilette paper! We searched high and low for a spare roll but none was to be found.
Surrounding. A thing we didn’t really pay attention to in the photos were there were no blinds on the mostly windowed apartment. So at night time, drinking a bottle of wine and looking out the window, you could clearly see a dance class being held in the building meters away. I’m just glad we realized that BEFORE we did naked walks from the shower to the bedroom.
Cleanup. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me but I can’t leave a mess even if we were paying for the cleanup fee. We did the dishes, washed the counters and all that fun stuff. When you’re in a hotel and gone for the day you usually come home to a clean apartment without even thinking about it till you’re back.
Independence. It was really nice to be able to come in whenever we want with a bag of groceries and make ourselves a makeshift dinner of Uncle Ben’s rice and a garden salad. You got to feel the Montreal experience.
Uniqueness. The apartment was gorgeous. I wished I lived there or had the space to recreate where we were staying. It was so nice to be somewhere with a large floor plan without tacky hotel decor.
Live like a local. I think the reason why people choose Airbnb’s is because they get to try something different. They get to be in a place that isn’t “normal.” You come home, kick off your shoes, and live as if that is your home.
I would stay at an Airbnb again, in fact I have one planned out for Paris, but I would definitely read more reviews, the negative ones in particular, and plan from there. If I would have know just how thin the walls were and that there was little privacy when it came to the neighbours being able to see through your windows and hear your other neighbours through the walls as if they were in the room with you, I may not have chosen this specific apartment.
The host was amazing and helpful and the apartment looked like the photos but I will admit – Sometimes it’s nice being in a hotel with room service, daily cleaning and good old blinds!
Have you ever stayed at an Airbnb before? What was your Airbnb experience? Would you try one again? Share your experiences below and help someone else make their decision!