A tough decision for a first world problem

Edd

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We’ve been on the road up in Maine for a few days. The first two nights were in a nice hotel. Then we checked into an AirBnB to begin a 5 night stay. Pics of the living room/kitchen:
E1E59026-8952-4D58-9BE2-C94489009D44.jpeg

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It’s a restored barn with outdoor hang areas galore, on a cove leading to the ocean. The owner is an artist, I guess. Nearly every object in here is very old and smells like something. Cellular data is spotty, as is the WiFi. Not the stay we planned on. When we went to bed last night we were thinking hard of bailing on the vacation. As I write this, we’ve decided to stay. It’s going to be like camping. No HVAC of any sort so windows and doors must be left open a lot which brings flies. I should mention this place is not cheap (>$400/night), as my wife begins to sweep the whole place. The owner is a superhost and reviews are stellar.

I’d call us savvy travelers normally but I feel suckered this morning. I think I realize I have a distaste for old objects, which can be a diagnosed psychological condition. My wife is kind of the opposite. No more “charming” old places to stay for me.
 

Scepticalscribe

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We’ve been on the road up in Maine for a few days. The first two nights were in a nice hotel. Then we checked into an AirBnB to begin a 5 night stay. Pics of the living room/kitchen:
View attachment 8602
View attachment 8603

It’s a restored barn with outdoor hang areas galore, on a cove leading to the ocean. The owner is an artist, I guess. Nearly every object in here is very old and smells like something. Cellular data is spotty, as is the WiFi. Not the stay we planned on. When we went to bed last night we were thinking hard of bailing on the vacation. As I write this, we’ve decided to stay. It’s going to be like camping. No HVAC of any sort so windows and doors must be left open a lot which brings flies. I should mention this place is not cheap (>$400/night), as my wife begins to sweep the whole place. The owner is a superhost and reviews are stellar.

I’d call us savvy travelers normally but I feel suckered this morning. I think I realize I have a distaste for old objects, which can be a diagnosed psychological condition. My wife is kind of the opposite. No more “charming” old places to stay for me.

Well, I'm an historian by profession, so, by definition, I love old objects, old places and old things, I love the aged atmosphere of ancient town centres - one of the most atmospheric hotels I ever stayed in was a 17th century townhouse in the centre of Stockholm, crooked stairs, astonishing atmosphere, but - yes - with gorgeous working bathrooms.

With, however, two important caveats:

1. I want my antiquities to come complete with modern conveniences (especially re heating, bathrooms and kitchens), and,

2. I want other people to do the work. In general, I loathe housework, - yes, it is a necessity - but, if I am on holiday, I do not wish to have to raise my hand in that area.
 

Eric

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I get your dilemma here and have been on trips where I've booked a hotel that wasn't at all what I expected, there was even a time we got a room in a location that was so remote and tiny that we ended up bailing and didn't even try to get a refund.

Personally, I expect modern amenities and now we ensure wherever we go has them in hotels but get that's not always the case with Air B&B, short of combing through reviews. I'm glad you're able to make something of it though, I have friends like @Scepticalscribe who really dig that sort of thing, too.
 

Huntn

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We’ve been on the road up in Maine for a few days. The first two nights were in a nice hotel. Then we checked into an AirBnB to begin a 5 night stay. Pics of the living room/kitchen:
View attachment 8602
View attachment 8603

It’s a restored barn with outdoor hang areas galore, on a cove leading to the ocean. The owner is an artist, I guess. Nearly every object in here is very old and smells like something. Cellular data is spotty, as is the WiFi. Not the stay we planned on. When we went to bed last night we were thinking hard of bailing on the vacation. As I write this, we’ve decided to stay. It’s going to be like camping. No HVAC of any sort so windows and doors must be left open a lot which brings flies. I should mention this place is not cheap (>$400/night), as my wife begins to sweep the whole place. The owner is a superhost and reviews are stellar.

I’d call us savvy travelers normally but I feel suckered this morning. I think I realize I have a distaste for old objects, which can be a diagnosed psychological condition. My wife is kind of the opposite. No more “charming” old places to stay for me.
Would you say the facility was accurately described? At $400 a night, this is important. I have some second hand knowledge through my brother who owns and rents a cabin in Maine on a lake via something like AirB&B (I forget which one), the B&B service may cater to your complaints and issue partial or full refunds if it is not as advertised or if important info s omitted.

No HVAC, and window AC units?
No screens in windows?
How warm is it?
Fans?

Having to leave the windows open without screens is unacceptable.

My brothers cabin, has a wall AC unit that cools the entire living space, and DSL with a wireless router, and screens on all the windows.

Years ago before the days of internet reservations, we like old places, stayed at a 16th century hotel in Cantabury, very old, pretty cool, but I swear the mattresses were made of straw without adequate support. You had to sleep on your back, on your stomach your back would break. ;) For one night that was a lesson learned. Today that would be a candidate though a B&B service for a refund Imo.

Two years ago, we stayed in a chateau in Normandy, very old, nice hosts, modern amenities Including AC. We loved it.
 

Edd

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Would you say the facility was accurately described? At $400 a night, this is important. I have some second hand knowledge through my brother who owns and rents a cabin in Maine on a lake via something like AirB&B (I forget which one), the B&B service may cater to your complaints and issue partial or full refunds if it is not as advertised or if important info s omitted.

No HVAC, and window AC units?
No screens in windows?
How warm is it?
Fans?

Having to leave the windows open without screens is unacceptable.

My brothers cabin, has a wall AC unit that cools the entire living space, and DSL with a wireless router, and screens on all the windows.

Years ago before the days of internet reservations, we like old places, stayed at a 16th century hotel in Cantabury, very old, pretty cool, but I swear the mattresses were made of straw without adequate support. You had to sleep on your back, on your stomach your back would break. ;) For one night that was a lesson learned. Today that would be a candidate though a B&B service for a refund Imo.

Two years ago, we stayed in a chateau in Normandy, very old, nice hosts, modern amenities Including AC. We loved it.
There are fans. Temps will thankfully be mostly 60s during the stay, which factored into our decision.

We would've just checked in somewhere else, but things aren’t that easy during COVID. The restaurant and lodging situation in northern coastal Maine isn’t what it normally is, with staffing restricting the typical options.

Hotels, particularly corporate ones, typically adhere to a set of agreed upon standards but even they routinely fail to meet them. These rented vacation homes swing more wildly on standards. We’ve had mostly success but my wife always wants to clean something. It’s clear they don’t all use a cleaning service and do it themselves which means all bets are off.

All of my weirder stays involve Airbnb (Iceland, two in New Orleans, two now in Maine). HomeAway/VRBO has been less trouble by far.
 

floridakilos

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I'm the guy that combs through the reviews and reads through every amenity. Had too many bad experiences when you book something online and then it's completely different upon arrival. Once booked a single room in NY and it turned out to be a gigantic common room separated by sheets hung up. Had to bail because I had planned to work from the space as well. After that I was like nope, never again. It can be a lot of work doing your research on a place to stay, but worth it when it makes your trip flawless.
 

Hrafn

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I'm the guy that combs through the reviews and reads through every amenity. Had too many bad experiences when you book something online and then it's completely different upon arrival. Once booked a single room in NY and it turned out to be a gigantic common room separated by sheets hung up. Had to bail because I had planned to work from the space as well. After that I was like nope, never again. It can be a lot of work doing your research on a place to stay, but worth it when it makes your trip flawless.
Lol. I've stayed at places that were formerly barracks. If it has it's own shower/toilet, I'm golden.

At one stay, I was used to low-scale so breakfast omeletts had the option of: eggs, onion, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. I went to a much more expensive hotel in the same town and asked for an omelette with "everything" and my waitress wanted to confirm that I was asking for both smoked and pickled salmon, truffles, blah blah. Yeah, I wasn't really up for all that.
 

DT

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I'm the guy that combs through the reviews and reads through every amenity. Had too many bad experiences when you book something online and then it's completely different upon arrival. Once booked a single room in NY and it turned out to be a gigantic common room separated by sheets hung up. Had to bail because I had planned to work from the space as well. After that I was like nope, never again. It can be a lot of work doing your research on a place to stay, but worth it when it makes your trip flawless.

Yeah, we've done a few VRBOs, the wife (and often her friend, our "travel family", aka, my other wife ...), are masters of scouting places out, doing really in depth research in advance - not only about the digs themselves, but working the location into our plans, especially if we want to walk, etc.

Over the years, I'd rate the stays pretty fantastic, like a minimum of 4 out of 5 (with a couple of stellar finds that were a 5/5 :) )
 
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SuperMatt

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Well you haven’t been assaulted yet, so that rates as a good Airbnb experience? I have never done Airbnb and I never plan to. I will stick with actual hotels when I travel. You just don’t know about people. To me it’s not worth saving a few bucks for the risk of ending up renting a room from a “Karen” or worse. And there are many Airbnb horror stories, but the company pays a lot to cover them up.


But that is just me - I have a low risk tolerance when it comes to sleeping in a stranger’s house. I stayed in a bed-and-breakfast place before and even that made me uncomfortable. Too many scary movies as a kid?
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I know somebody who feels anything less than or different from a 5 star hotel is unacceptable. He finds “rustic” appalling. He’s pretty loaded and feels if you have the money then why settle. That’s a pretty elitist and not all of life’s best experiences have a high price tag. This points to the rich truly living on a different planet from the rest of us. They set a price floor and then don’t even bother looking below it.
 

Clix Pix

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When I travel I much prefer to stay in a hotel -- it is just so much more convenient in so many ways and I feel a lot safer, especially if traveling by myself.

Wow, that AirBNB story on the Bloomberg site is a real hair-curler, isn't it?! Yikes!

As for that "rustic" barn-turned-into-cabin filled with antiques and old items: too much stuff, period, regardless of whether it is old or not! Dust collectors up the wazoo....
 
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ronntaylor

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I've never felt comfortable with AirBnB type lodgings. The couple times we used them in London was really some company using loopholes to run a rental. And the area was gentrifying and close to the conference where hubby was presenting. Otherwise, I would not do it.

I prefer the amenities of a hotel. Especially the security. Of course, I always joke that since it hasn't happened yet, we'll be involved in a Hotel'ing While Black situation in the near future. A couple times I got extra looks when returning to the room solo. No one has dared to ask me for proof that I'm a guest. Yet.

Stayed in a B & B once and enjoyed it after the first night. We stayed 4/5 and got comfortable with just lounging around. Going to the beach and park. Nothing too touristy. We were hoping to have a Staycation and use a B & B in Brooklyn or Harlem. Not sure when that'll happen due to COVID-19.
 

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Although I'm accustomed to a swanky lifestyle, I have to say that place looks pretty cool to me. My only concern would be complete transparency about what you are getting. If there's no HVAC, it should say so in the description and shouldn't mispresent the amenities. A place like that is for a specific, niche crowd and offers an experience quite different from staying at the Marriott. It's not simply a substitute for a hotel room.

And on that point, I've only stayed in Airbnbs when traveling with friends or when my friends and I wanted a party venue and a hotel wasn't conducive to that.
 

Apple fanboy

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So I go away most years with a couple of friends (as I never do with Mrs AFB ). One of my friends is not very well off and would always book a youth hostel where you stay in a shared room with your friends and sometimes strangers as well.

Then a few years ago I decided I'd had enough and I took over the bookings! I figured if he can't afford it I'd rather subsidise his stay in a hotel than rough it. Its certainly worked out better for us. We go away at the end of the month. My first vacation (well 3 days) since March 2018.
 

Runs For Fun

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Well you haven’t been assaulted yet, so that rates as a good Airbnb experience? I have never done Airbnb and I never plan to. I will stick with actual hotels when I travel. You just don’t know about people. To me it’s not worth saving a few bucks for the risk of ending up renting a room from a “Karen” or worse. And there are many Airbnb horror stories, but the company pays a lot to cover them up.


But that is just me - I have a low risk tolerance when it comes to sleeping in a stranger’s house. I stayed in a bed-and-breakfast place before and even that made me uncomfortable. Too many scary movies as a kid?
Same here. I never really got the whole Airbnb thing. I’ve heard way more bad things about it than good. I’ll never consider using that service.
 

Herdfan

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I've never felt comfortable with AirBnB type lodgings.

I won't even do VRBO's. I use VRBO's site to find a place, then simply google that place's name and location and you will usually find a local rental company handling it, without the VRBO fees.
 
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