I have been traveling now on and off for about 6 years now already. In most cases, I was staying in hostels, but in some cases in Asia, I was also staying in some guesthouses, homestays, and hotels. The thing that I never tried on any of my trips so far was staying in an Airbnb. The reason for that was mostly because they were just too expensive in the places that I have been to.
This has changed on my most recent trip to Asia. In the biggest city and the capital of the Philippines, Metro Manila, hostels are quite expensive. Last year I stayed in Z Hostel which is the most famous one. Till recently it kinda had a monopole in Manila. That is one of the reasons why they can put the prices a bit higher. Luckily, some other hostels have opened in the past year, so this might turn around a bit in the future. So this situation got me thinking about what could be other possible options there. Then it struck me. I should try to find an Airbnb!
Metro Manila is one of the biggest and most densely populated cities in the world. Some parts are much better and safer to stay at than some other parts. So when I started to search for a place to stay I was mostly focusing in areas around Makati and Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Surprisingly, the prices for some very good looking Airbnbs started at practically the same prices as for a dorm where I stayed last year. That was the moment when I finally decided to book an Airbnb for the first time.
This is when it got a little bit harder. In my shortlist, there were, different places that all looked great, were all in a great location, and had similar prices per night. One of the must criteria was definitely that the owner was verified and that he or she is also a superhost. I was also looking for an entire place and not for a private, hotel or shared room. I was reading through all the reviews, all the descriptions, all the features of all 3 of them. Finally, I decided for one that I thought had the best of everything.
How did the booking go?
Airbnb has an option to use an invitation link for the new users with which you save 30 euros for the accommodation and an additional 11 euros for activities. The person who provided the link gets 15 euros in return as well. After the payment, I had to figure out what am I going to write in the introductory message for the owner. I never did this before but somehow the words just came from my keyboard.
The owner, Mark, responded to my message immediately and was very responsive and helpful throughout my stay as well. The condominium administration required owners to submit all guests identification. So the first thing I did was to scan my passport and sent it to him. After that, I filled out the arrival form that he sent as well so that he could organize check-in on my arrival much more conveniently. I also asked for a possible early check-in. My flight arrived in the morning so I didn’t want to wait until 2 pm. Mark said that if there is not anyone staying there the night before that would not be a problem. Luckily this was the case so I was able to check-in early.
After many hours on the plane, I finally arrived in Manila. After all the airport procedures and things like that, I booked a grab and head to the condominium in Makati. Mark already messaged me before my arrival that Allan (co-host) will be the one meeting and assisting me for the check in at the condominium lobby. He showed me around the apartment and explained how some of the things there worked.
How amazing this place is!
Now I can finally tell you about the apartment itself. It looked great on the photos but when I step in it looked even better. It is located on the 29th floor (yes that high!) and I have never stayed so high floor before. The apartment also has a balcony. This is also quite a luxury thing to have in Metro Manila and from there I had an amazing view of the high rise buildings in Makati. The view got even better during the night.
What I really liked about the place was also that it had so many little details and decorations around the apartment. There was a smaller kitchen with a fridge and everything else essential home needs. On the fridge, there was a guidebook made by the owner in which there are all rules and things related to the apartment written in and in addition there are also tips for places to visit and places to eat. Really nice addition!
Guests also have access to the swimming pool, gym, function halls, kid’s playground, guest lounge, garden patio. I did not have any time to use any of these facilities though.
In conclusion, it was definitely the right decision because everything went really well so I will definitely stay in an Airbnb in the future again. The Airbnb that I stayed at is this one.
Have not tried Airbnb before? Sign up here and you will get 30 euros off for a place to stay and even 11 euros for the activities listed there!