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Our Favorite Airbnb’s Around the World

76 Airbnb’s Under Our Belt

I am writing this blog laying on the couch  in my SEVENTY-SIXTH Airbnb, my 603rd night sleeping in an Airbnb.  Whoa.  That’s a lot of Airbnb’s!

With that many houses, huts, apartments, condos, lofts, shacks and cabins under my belt, I feel it’s time to give you a list of our favorites around the world.  Because even though we carefully research each and every Airbnb before booking, there are of course, some duds. So we like to give a shout out of the best of the best!

Click on the image for a larger view

If you are still hesitating about staying in an Airbnb I really encourage you to try it.  We have had outstanding luck using this hospitality model in our travels. Airbnb has changed and grown ALOT since we stayed in our very first one in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood in 2013.  The changes are mostly good.  For us it has been safe, simple and efficient. We use the following as our guide for choosing an Airbnb;

1. Read the Reviews and look for Super Host and Five Star properties.

2. Check the amenities that are important to you.  We always want a kitchen, wifi and good walkable location.

3. Check where it is on the map…BECAUSE if you search Seattle it might show you a house in Seabeck (this happened to us). If you don’t know the area you would be pretty surprised when you try to find your Seattle house.

4. Contact the host if you have ANY questions.  We have on a number of occasions negotiated a better price based on our long stay.  We have asked many questions such as neighborhood safety, parking, grocery stores etc. We’ve negotiated airport pick up, late arrival, chef service and other necessities.

5.  Look closely at the pictures.  If you arrive and the unit is NOT what the pictures show contact Airbnb right away. But honestly if you have done steps 1-4 above that probably won’t happen.

We do have one complaint about Airbnb…a complaint I have expressed to the company with ZERO response; As a loyal and frequent customer I would like to see the company AWARD me for my business.  Just like an airline frequent flyer program.  At the moment Airbnb has more of a focus on rewarding its hosts than its guests – even guests like me who use it almost every day of my life.  I hope they will acknowledge users more generously soon.

Click on the image for a larger view

Many of our Airbnb’s don’t stand out for anything in particular, but have served us in an efficient, clean, comfortable and functional way within our budget.  That’s all good.  That’s the case for the nice apartment we are in right now in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  It’s got all the comforts of home; kitchen, washer, two baths, a pool.  And it’s in a nice, safe and convenient neighborhood. Our hosts are helpful and even have a car available for us to rent.

So since this apartment is our last Airbnb until next September, we thought this would be a good time to expound on our Favorite Airbnb’s Around the World and what makes those stand out above the rest. We’ve provided link and photos when possible, in hopes that you can consider some of these little gems we have found along our journey. Here is our list;

Most UniqueSan Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

San Marcos Guatemala

We just left Guatemala and the Cave House we stayed in on top of a mountain in San Marcos was amazing.  It had some quirks, but nonetheless it was amazing. You got your built in work out throughout the day going up and down all those stairs.  We give it a big thumbs up.

 

 

Best ViewSantorini Greece

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Santorini, Greece

This Airbnb was three times what we usually try to spend, even while being one of the smallest Airbnbs we have ever stayed in. Oh but that view.  Heaven on earth.  There is nothing like the crater view of Santorini and it was right outside our door.  Amazing.

 

 

Best HostsRio de Janerio Brazil, Exmouth Australia, Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria and Sozopol Bulgaria

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

We have had some really awesome hosts in our 76 Airbnb’s.  And we have had some crappy hosts, usually those who leave you to fend for yourself.  While we don’t want or need a host to manage our stay, we love it when we have a kind, engaged, thoughtful and hospitable host who is there for our occasional need. We have found that in many locations but the four mentioned take the prize.  In Rio our host was incredibly kind with gifts and food and wine.  In Exmouth we loved the darling family who provided us fresh ahi, yoga mats and much kindness.  Two Airbnb’s in Bulgaria introduced us to the most thoughtful Bulgarians who made sure we had everything we needed including a special oven pan when requested, fresh cherries and Bulgarian roses in our room.

Best Bang for the BuckSozopol Bulgaria and Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria.

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Sozopol, Bulgaria

Bulgaria overall is a bargain, and it remains one of our most favorite countries for many reasons including the prices.  These two favorite Airbnb’s were very large, multi bedroom units with full kitchen, exceptional hosts and awesome locations.  The one in Sozopol included  a giant deck with view and a swimming pool. We paid $30 in Veliko Tarnovo and $60 in Sozopol.

 

 

Best Sunsets–  Mal Pais Costa Rica

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Mal Pais, Costa Rica

We spent two wonderful, relaxing weeks with our friends Randy and Sue in this unique and comfortable house right on the beach in Mal Pais Costa Rica.  For fourteen nights in a row we documented the most exquisite sunsets…a wonderful end to each wonderful day.

 

 

Best Private Pool–  Ocotal Costa Rica, Koh Samui Thailand

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Koh Samui, Thailand

Having a private pool is a real luxury for us, not something that is usually in the budget.  Our two favorites listed here happened because we were sharing a house in these locations, so spending a little bit more for the luxury.  The Ocotal pool had an amazing view, while the Koh Samui pool was very secluded and lovely.

 

 

 

Best Shared PoolHua Hin Thailand

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Hua Hin, Thailand

The largest pool we ever had was the full Olympic size pool in Hua Hin Thailand.  Despite the fact the pool was closed for maintenance for an entire week of our three week visit, we still enjoyed it for swimming laps and relaxing pool side.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Breakfast IncludedHoi An Vietnam, Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Hoi An, Vietnam

It’s rare to have breakfast included in an Airbnb, and so we took full advantage at these two favorite spots.  Each morning in both places breakfast was delivered to us.  In Hoi An it was eggs and fruit with the BEST coffee and in Hikkaduwa it was the local Sri Lankan breakfast of either Roti or Hoppers, both which we really fell in love with.

 

 

Best Onsite YogaEl Tunco El Salvador

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

El Tunco, El Salvador

Since I try to do yoga most everyday, I love it when we have an Airbnb with a nice open and comfortable place to do our own yoga.  But even better is when there are yoga classes available onsite, and Balance Yoga in El Tunco El Salvador was the best.  I have only taken yoga classes in Punta Cana DR, La Fortuna Costa Rica, and on a cruise ship, mostly because it has not been convenient anywhere else.  But in El Tunco it was right out my backdoor, there were multiple daily classes, it was inexpensive and it was exceptional.

 

 

 

Best Nature WatchingMal Pais Costa Rica

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Mal Pais, Costa Rica

We loved everything about our house on the beach in Mal Pais, but the unexpected and impressive daily nature show was a big bonus.  Laying in the hammock each evening watching the howler monkeys was truly fascinating…an activity many tourists pay big bucks to see on a tour.  Not us.  These monkeys came to us almost everyday and it was an incredible sight.

 

 

Most Historically Authentic –  Siem Reap
Cambodia and Lombok Indonesia

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Lombok, Indonesia

In Siem Reap we stayed in a historic Khmer home, with the absolutely nicest family living down below.  Breakfast was included and the house was beautiful, historic and authentic.  In Lombok Indonesia we stayed in an authentic Javenese Historic wood house, that had been disassembled, transferred from Java and reassembled on the site of this very remote and small resort  we visited.  Very memorable.

 

Best Daily Service –  Asilah Morocco

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Asilah, Morocco

We adored our full-time housekeeper and cook who came with our Airbnb in Asilah Morocco.  Not only was it the first and only time we have had a cook and housekeeper on site, but she was so incredible.  I gained ten pounds I think during our ten days there.  We would absolutely go back to Asilah again and I hope we will.  Latifah was very special.

Most RusticHikkaduwa Sri Lanka

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

We have stayed in some pretty rustic places, but Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka takes the prize for the most bugs, snakes, and rodents living with us in our hut.  We felt like we were on Gilligans Island.  And yet, we absolutely loved our three weeks here for the wonderful hosts, the incredible beach front property, the great weather and the delicious breakfasts all at a bargain basement price.

 

Best All Inclusive for the Price –  Huraa Maldives

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Huraa, Maldives

We spent three weeks on the itty bitty Maldivian Island of Huraa.  We had a small room with bath, access to the beach, a great secluded place to do yoga and three meals a day all inclusive for $90…not $90 per person, $90 total.  Our time here was spent just kicking back, running everyday, going snorkeling, hanging in the hammock and all for a remarkable price, especially in the very expensive Maldives.

 

FunkiestFunky Truck in New Zealand and Tiny Trailer in Bend Oregon USA

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Motueka, New Zealand

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Bend, Oregon, USA

There are several Airbnb’s we could have given this award to, but these two experiences were so unique they win the prize.  We only stayed two nights in each place.  Both had outhouses and outdoor showers.  Though tiny, both were comfortable and the hosts for both were helpful and hospitable and happy to have us visiting their unique little piece of paradise.

Best BeachMal Pais Costa Rica, Seabeck Washington USA and Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Seabeck, Washington, USA

We have had access to a lot of beautiful beaches in our travels.  Our favorites listed here though all are because we could walk right outside of our door and enjoy a beach.  These three though were all very different; Mal Pais was a beautiful but unique beach just steps from or house made up of rocky pools that provided natures hot tub all day long.  Seabeck Washington was a stunning beach on the Hood Canal with spectacular Olympic Mountain view and although a bit chilly, great summer swimming.  And finally Hikkaduwa was a long beautiful stretch of golden sand beach with a bar right next door and our hut only steps away.  Perfect.

Best Location for HistoryAntigua Guatemala and Malaga Spain

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Antigua, Guatemala

Both Antigua and Malaga are gorgeous, historic and fairly compact cities and our Airbnb’s provided us a great location in the center of these towns to enjoy all the splendor they had to offer, along with the comforts we enjoy like kitchen and wifi.  In Antigua we also had a magnificent patio where we could see two amazing volcanoes and do yoga or just sit and enjoy our morning coffee.

 

Best Place to RunEl Tunco El Salvador, Placenia Belize, Seychelles, Punta Cana Dominican Republic, Split Croatia

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Placencia, Belize

Flat and safe are my requirements for running around the world, and we have run in nearly every country but not in every location.  Often there are dogs, cobblestones, snakes, mountains, crazy drivers or questionable characters that make running unsafe.  But while in El Tunco, Placencia, Seychelles, Split and Punta Cana we ran every single day – safely and with wonderful scenery to enjoy!

 

Number One Out of Seventy-Six, Our Favorite OverallAntiparos Greece (Cover photo at top of this page is Antiparos)

Our favorite Airbnb's Around the World

Antiparos, Greece

There are a few other’s we considered for this BEST OF moniker, but our three weeks in tiny Antiparos in this beautiful home with stunning view on the side of a mountain with a kind and lovely host is definitely our favorite experience, so far, of all our Airbnb’s.  It is the one place that we think we will definitely visit again some day.  As we go forward with our Grand Adventure next fall we have Airbnb’s booked all over; Asia, Africa, Europe.  Time will tell if this favorite in Antiparos can hold its position as Number One.

If you have questions about our Airbnb adventures feel free to contact me.  Other blogs that might be of interest to you on this topic are listed here;

Tips & Tricks with Airbnb

Sleeping Around – Our Adventures with Beds, Baths and Beyond

Preparing To Travel Full-Time

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply Alizon Robertson

    As an Airbnb owner myself this was a great read. I also stay in airbnbs myself and have accumulated a few great ones. I always look out for great ideas to bring back to our own place in Andalucia. Sadly we lost superhost status as one poor review led to us dropping below the requirement. The guest stayed a month for €500 and our housekeeper visited every other day to make sure she was ok. After she left she complained she had been cold but never mentioned it while there- we had a new pellet stove she didn’t get the hang of. I say this only because super-host status can be lost or gained in one stay! And guests, tell us now of any problems so we can sort it out immediately! We’re hoping to regain our superhost status this season though!
    I’m going to bookmark this blog and try out some of the recommendations for future travels!

    May 17, 2019 at 7:09 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you! I know how tenuous Suoer Host can be. Good luck!

      May 17, 2019 at 8:01 am
  • Reply Lori Robinson

    Great post full of information and things to think about when looking for places to stay around the world.
    THanks so much.

    May 17, 2019 at 9:17 am
  • Reply Merryn

    I’ve had such great luck with AirBNB, so thank you for this post; I think I’ve only had one that was a bit not as advertised (but not terrible or worth fussing about) in Paris, but other than that, all have been superb, and I’ll make good use of these recommendations! I hardly ever look for hotels anymore. I noticed you mention Placencia, Belize – looks like we are headed there this winter (or Hopkins) – how would it be for adventurous teens? Lots to do?

    May 17, 2019 at 11:47 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Yes. We also stayed in Hopkins. I think with teens Placencia would be better. Snorkel, sail, swim, bike etc. I did a 5 day kayak trip there too (search it in the blog) and really enjoyed everything about Placencia. Rumfish is my favorite restaurant.

      May 17, 2019 at 12:23 pm
      • Reply Merryn

        Thank you for the advice! We’ll look into Placencia then – we are quite into snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking! And thanks for Rumfish tip, too! I’ll check out the post about kayaking.

        May 17, 2019 at 12:52 pm
  • Reply Sue

    I love this! I stay in a lot of Airbnb’s as well & definitely agree with the loyalty programme idea. Love the look of all of these places & would love to follow your lead & check down if them out!

    May 17, 2019 at 3:08 pm
  • Reply Teja

    I personally only stay at Airbnbs, when the accommodation type does not compete with locals for housing, and ideally where the host is present or otherwise at hand – not so much because I need looking after, but to be more assured that this is really spare housing owned by a real local person. (I’d usually go for a guesthouse or hotel for actual service since I’d feel more comfortable that local labour laws are being respected – yes, I am from, and travel a lot in, the developing world!)

    That said, Airbnb is so awesome for niche accommodation types in odd or remote places! It’s a great platform for guesthouse owners and locals to rent out their space to travellers, and some of my best stays have been in Airbnbs.

    May 17, 2019 at 7:56 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Great article! We’ve been hesitant to try an Airbnb but will use your suggestions soon!

    May 18, 2019 at 8:22 am
  • Reply Ruth Murdoch

    A great article and good timing for me as I’m part way through writing a blog about our current AirBnB experience in Tuscany. I concur about ZERO response from AirBnB as I also sent them a request and have had no response. Pity they’ve become too busy to respond to the very people who make them successful.

    I loved the Motukea stay in New Zealand – very cute. We also adored Asilah in Morocco, particularly their markets but visited there in our motorhome. Thanks for sharing. X

    May 19, 2019 at 8:40 am
  • Reply Kristina

    Looks like you have stayed in some incredible places! Agree that a reward plan would be awesome for AirBnb

    May 19, 2019 at 1:07 pm
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