When my husband and I started looking around at hotel options for our Charleston getaway, we were finding that some of our favorite places to stay were booked -- and while others were available, our stay would be costing us a pretty penny.
We were already thinking about more of a bed & breakfast setup, so I decided to hop on to airbnb.com to see what I could find. Lo and behold, this beauty popped right up and I was immediately smitten with the idea! The price was so much better than we were expecting, and all of the reviews I read were just so good. With the cost savings each night, we figured we could go all out on shopping and dining!
The basic concept of airbnb.com is that you can rent out a house or a room from a private owner -- you pay them directly upfront, pay a small fee to airbnb.com, and that's it. The option I found for us enabled us to have a private room and bathroom in a beautiful home (in a very safe neighborhood) that was just a walk away from the historic downtown area.
I do have to apologize for the poor photo quality, but I snapped these on my phone as we were leaving!
The house was just adorable and our host was nothing short of lovely. Our room had a king bed and plenty of space but still with a cozy feel. Our host Cheryl is an artist, so she has such a keen eye for decor.
We also had access to the kitchen downstairs, and our sweet host had coffee and biscotti laid out for us each morning. She also had wine in the fridge that she keeps on hand for her guests. So nice. I brought some O'Douls Amber for myself but Ian enjoyed his glass :)
(Sidenote: when did I become the beer drinker and he become the wine drinker? Total role reversal.)
I think the most important thing you can do when booking through a site like airbnb.com is to check the reviews, each and every single one of them. Staying in someone's home -- especially if your host is going to be there -- can be a really different experience and if you've never stayed in a B&B then the concept may be quite unfamiliar to you.
Speaking for us, our experience truly couldn't have been better -- our host was rarely around, but when she was, she was just a true Southern belle ... completely sweet and hospitable. Our room was completely clean and well-appointed with lots of fresh towels. It was very nice having paid upfront so that when we got there, we didn't have to handle any monetary transactions.
We hope to stay at this very home again and will definitely be using airbnb.com for future trip planning!