We went to Perth in 2015 and Melbourne recently. Initially, I had problems finding hotel rooms with two queen sized beds previously, and I had to get another room for my parents. The costs were high and seeing posts by my friends on Facebook about their Airbnb apartments made me decided to give Airbnb a try.
I was very late when I wanted to book my place in Perth and there were very few places available. Some of the places only had one bathroom(!), so I rejected those places. I found a place, but the guy happened to be representing owners instead and was running a business, and he told me that the place was not available for one of the days. He recommended another place to me and I accepted it in desperation.
It was a three bedroom house in one of the suburbs. The owner lived nearby and she walked us to the place when we arrived. The place was big and nice, but the first night we were there, I had to scrub the electric kettle as it was extremely dirty at the spout. We pushed a mattress into one of the rooms and all four of us squeezed into a room. My parents had a room to themselves.
The living room was large, and the children played games there. We had a kitchen, so we could prepare bread and other very simple meals. Having a microwave allowed us to heat up the food quickly.
We had a place to wash our clothes and having a dryer was important. We also used the outdoor area to hang the clothes to dry and it was quite fast in the summer weather. Oddly enough, the bathroom and the toilet were separated in the common area. There was another en suite bathroom.
The only problem with the house was the main entrance was on a road with no name. It had a narrow pathway to the back and sandwiched between two other houses. It was a little difficult for deliverymen to find our place. I could not remember whether there was a doorbell there, but I had to wait outside there for them to arrive.
My father, an avid traveller, said he liked the place very much. My mother was apprehensive in the beginning, as my brother told her horror stories about people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning in Airbnb houses. She soon got over it. My children loved the place! It was big and they could run around. This was their first trip so they could not compare, but we had a staycation before and the room was tiny. I think the place was decent, though it was more difficult for us to travel around and we called MaxiCabs every single time we travelled.
There were shops and restaurants some distance away, and we walked to the supermarkets to buy groceries.
Throwing trash was a little inconvenient. They only collected them on certain days and we had to remember to put the bags out.
Two years later, when it came to Melbourne, I decided to search for a place earlier. After booking the flights on dates that were cheaper to travel, we had six days left. My father said he would prefer a place in the CBD area, so I set my limits. Having at least two bathrooms was very important. I had narrowed down to about 10 places. I compared the prices, the reviews, the locations and the amenities. Some places had pools and gyms under construction, so I ruled those out.
In the end, I went for a place that had a queen sized bed and a single bed in a bedroom, so that our family could sleep together. Some concerns – 50th storey (!!! My mother was against it initially.), soft mattresses – but other than these, I liked that it was right beside the station for airport transfer. The price was also affordable, compared to the others.
When we first reached there, it was hidden from view on a private lane with no car access. We took some time to locate it. Getting the key was easy as we just took it from a convenience store. The place required card access, so it was not so convenient for us to go out to at the same time to different places.
Going to the fiftieth storey was exciting. There was a whistling sound in the corridors, possibly from the wind. I hoped I would not hear that, but once we closed the door properly, there was no sound. Our jaws dropped when we entered the place. The view was magnificent. At night, we could see the night view, including a fire show at the nearby casino.
The place was way smaller than expected, but it had everything. They managed to fit a queen sized bed into the living room. In the end, one kid slept with my husband in the living room, even though we pushed the single bed to join with the queen sized bed. I think it is also because they are older now, and need more space.
The kitchen was quite high tech. I had to figure out how to use the induction hob. We cooked eggs and noodles. We could also use the microwave oven to heat up food. Hot water ran on demand immediately.
Getting food deliveries was easy too. Deliverymen had no problems finding the place, but the intercom did not seem to work. After trying for some time, they would then call me. Apparently, the website, Eatnow, I used to order food remembered my orders in Perth two years ago! It was easy to sort out the places according to the stars.
Throwing trash was easy. There was a central refuse collection on each level. They also had a separate recycling chute. The only question I had was whether the bags and items could survive a fifty storey drop.
I guess the main problem could be adjusting to the altitude. I am not sure whether it is due to our red-eye flight where we had very little sleep, or the high altitude. My mother and I had bad headaches for the first day, and we just kept sleeping. Even on the second day, we slept till late and did not do much until lunch time. However, after that, we were fine. I guess if I could choose again, I would have factored in more days so that our trip could be even more leisurely.
If you are a new Airbnb guest, you may use my link to get S$45 in credits.