Our Awesome Experience with Airbnb

Hotels in Singapore can be quite pricey. From what we could tell most moderately priced hotels ($80-$100 range) had horrible reviews and seemed downright dirty.

For our first night’s stay in Singapore I decided to use my free night from the Chase Priority Club credit card that I earned after my first anniversary. For a $49 annual fee I think I got a very solid value. We booked the Intercontinental Singapore  which would’ve cost us around $250 US had we just payed for our stay. The hotel was very nice and is in a great area.
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We procrastinated on booking a hotel for the last night of our trip which was back in Singapore. Since we were arriving from Kuala Lumpur around 9:00pm we’d basically be just showing up and passing out. I couldn’t justify using the Priority Club cash and points option to stay at the Intercontinental which would’ve been 15,000 points + $70. We weren’t going to get much use of the room-  so I really needed to find a place to stay in the $80-$100 range.
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Kim and I searched many different internet sites for a room and nothing was catching our eye. We had a couple of local, budget hotels on our list for consideration if we couldn’t find a better option.
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This is when I started thinking of other ideas. I had heard about Airbnb a while back but never seriously considered using the site. From what I understood, most rooms were in people’s apartments or homes. It didn’t sound like the ideal situation while traveling with an infant.
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We were starting to get a bit desperate to find somewhere to stay. I started  looking up rooms in Singapore on Airbnb and there were quite a few listed. I came across one room that really caught my attention. The name of the listing was “Your room 5 mn walk from ChompChomp“.
The room was in a residential area in an area called Serangoon Gardens, just outside the city. I read through all of the reviews (around 20) which convinced me to take a chance and book it!
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I mentioned the idea to Kim and she was all for it. We both figured at worst it would be a little adventure at the end of the trip. I e-mailed the “host” Xavier with a few questions. The main thing we needed to find out was if they allowed infants. Secondly, we wanted to know if we could leave our luggage the following day or use the room if it wasn’t booked since our flight home was at 1:30AM.
Our “hosts” Xavier & Elisa (photo from Airbnb)

Within 3-4 hours I had a response from Xavier. They had no problem with infants and luck was on our side. They did not have a booking the following day so we could use the room until we needed to go to the airport and even shower before we left. They also weren’t asking for extra money to extend our stay which was awesome!

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We pulled the trigger and booked the room. The price was $80 + a $10 Airbnb fee.
When I went to pay I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had a $25 signup credit from Airbnb so the room was now only going to cost us $65!
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Xavier and I exchanged numerous emails over the few days prior to showing up for our stay, making me feel even more confident about our decision. He sent us his address along with his and his wife’s cell phone #. We also got detailed instructions on how to get to the house with a cab which would come in very handy on the night we arrived.

The House

When our cab arrived at the house Elisa came out and greeted us before we could get a chance to ring the bell. Xavier soon followed and helped us bring our bags upstairs. They were friendly and welcoming, making us feel more like we were staying with friends. They asked us what we had done in Singapore and we also talked about things we might do the following day. They also prepared some info on Singapore including travel with kids and a shopping guide. We didn’t actually get a chance to use the information but it was so nice of them to take the time to try to help us out! They also had a bunch of pamphlets for various travel related things on a table outside of the room.

“Our” room

The house was gorgeous and very clean. Our room, on the second floor was just as described and shown in the pictures on Airbnb. It was very spacious and had a full/ queen bed. Our hosts put out an extra mattress on the floor just in case for Lucas. The air conditioning was excellent and necessary considering how humid it is in Singapore. There was also very good wifi throughout the house.

The bathroom

The room had it’s own bathroom which was great. It was also very clean (spotless) and had a stall shower with great water pressure. There was even soap included.
This was better than staying at a hotel!

The night we arrived Xavier asked us what time we would like breakfast.
The following morning breakfast was prepared for us by their domestic worker. We had eggs, bread (with salty butter brought back from France), tea- about 10 kinds to choose from, coffee, juice. Xavier sat & chatted with us during breakfast. We talked about travel, family and many other things. We had a really nice time and got to learn about what it’s like for an expat living in Singapore. Xavier also shared that he was from France and Elisa was from Taiwan.

In the evening we went to the Chomp Chomp Hawker food center. It was really a 5 minute walk like they said from the house. We were given detailed directions and Elisa even drew a map for Kim! We asked about what foods were worth trying and Elisa & Xavier gave us a good run down of what to order!

Our stay with Xavier & Elisa worked out amazingly well. I am really glad that we took a chance and booked a room with Airbnb. It saved us some money and we had a great experience. It makes me want to use Airbnb again in the future. I just wonder if we’ll find a place as nice and with such great hosts again. I guess we’ll find out when we use the site again!

7 thoughts on “Our Awesome Experience with Airbnb

  1. Hi Michael. Thanks for your review. It’s amazingly kind of you. We’ll hopefully be fully booked for the next 12 months, following your post. If not, better giving up hosting. Rgds. Xavier

  2. I stayed in a “casita” in LA when I visited for a week earlier this year. It was great! I had a whole guest house in a family’s backyard. It appeared to be an unattached garage that was converted. It had a kitchenette, bathroom, small table and chairs, and a bed. It was perfect for my visit plus it was a few blocks from where my brother lived and it was nice staying in a neighborhood instead of a hotel which is usually in a busy commercial area. Here’s the place in case you were interested. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/316981

  3. We’ve been using AirBnb for years and prefer it to hotels. Maybe you travel blog folks could sell Chase or another bank on offering an AirBnb VISA card with a nice 30,000-point bonus??

  4. I had two amazing stays this summer on vacation in Michigan, a decent stay in Dallas and I’m hoping for wonderful stays this fall in Vienna and Budapest with Airbnb. I think it’s a case of keeping an open mind and remembering for the most part all you are doing is sleeping there.

    1. BeeKay- Great to hear that (overall) Airbnb has worked out well for you! Good luck with your stays in Vienna and Budapest. I think with Airbnb (at least for us) yes it is just a place to sleep but we’ve also had some great conversations with our hosts and also got to learn a little more about the place we were visiting through the eyes of a local.

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