Monday, March 30, 2015

My experience with Airbnb in Ala Moana.

I guess the place to start on this is with the room I rented for the week.

It is “Allabout the Beauty!” and is listed by Skye.  From the picture I can see that she’s added a dresser of some sort next to the electric outlet on that wall.  It should make a good place to put your charger and have the phone charge overnight.  The room and the bed are quite comfortable and there’s plenty of storage for clothes.  Here’s the picture I took looking out one of the windows in the room.

Skye was friendly and helped me with the few things I needed help with.  The location is pretty good for food, it’s in the Korea town area so there’s a great deal of decent Korean food.  You can also walk to the Ala Moana Center or Ala Moana Beach Park fairly easily.  Having said that it is probably a twenty minute walk to that beach and if you want to walk to Waikiki it is more like forty minutes.  If you want to be on the beach every day this location wouldn’t be the best choice, but if you want somewhere to serve as home base while you explore the island this is fairly well placed as it is very close to the H1 and everything on the Waikiki end of Honolulu.  Also, the price is lower than any of the hotels I saw at $88/night.

Moving from my particular experience to the overall Airbnb experience there are a couple of watch outs.  The first is that you don’t simply book a room.  Technically, Airbnb is just a platform for individuals to rent out homes, rooms, or couches.  When you go to book a place you’re actually asking whoever listed the property whether they’re willing to host you.  They can say “No” and don’t have to give a reason, so make sure you line up the room ahead of time to avoid being caught without.  Another point to remember is that when you show up at a place you’ve got 24 hours to tell Airbnb if the location doesn’t match the ad.  After the end of that time Airbnb pays the host the full amount for the stay.  This also means you can’t easily cut a stay short.

There are a couple of things you can do to guard against a bad stay.
  1. Most importantly, check the reviews and pay attention to what they say.
  2. Read the house rules.  They probably won’t be front and center when you’re bookig.
  3. You can see where the building is, so do a quick search to see if anyone else has talked about the host or the location.
  4. Check to see what the mapping sites show at the location.

Overall I prefer the certainty of going to a hotel rather than using Airbnb, but for those that want a more personal stay Airbnb is well worth considering.

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