We rented an Airbnb for the very first in Madrid, Spain. Having never been to Madrid we did our reconnaissance by using Rick Steve’s book and episode, DK Eyewitness Travel (I love the colored pages in this one) and a bunch of travel sites. Airbnb was very user-friendly and intuitive. My husband and I were able to share our ideas on where to stay and map things out. Ultimately we made a choice that would hopefully please the five us ranging from ages eight to mid-40’s and we agreed we needed air-conditioning, WiFi, a pool, and a central location. We made a final choice back in LA and plans were launched.
Our host was very friendly and reached out via email several times prior to out stay to see if we had questions or needed anything. He was on holiday or vacation himself in the U.S. during our Madrid stay but was available at any time to answer our questions. He even sent a driver to get us and all of our luggage -his treat! That made life so much easier for us with twelve suitcases. Our driver picked us up in the same Mercedes van – the Vito, the one we had in Italy. It comfortably fit all five us plus our luggage.
When we pulled up we were a bit surprised to see the front of the building was completely under construction. We had to use the side door which was a bit frustrating. But once we had gone up the elevator to the 22nd floor apartment we were quite pleased to find an incredible view of Madrid, air conditioning (my favorite thing ever), WiFi, a very clean and well decorated apartment with bright, bold colors. Our host left us clear directions on WiFi and pool and gym use as well as a jar of gourmet marshmallows.
We were adjacent to Plaza de Espana off of Gran Via and able to walk practically everywhere we wanted to go. The apartment had two bedrooms – one with a full size bed, the other with a pull out couch and the living room couch was a large sectional that pulled out. The building also had a gym which my husband and I both used and a pool on the 15th floor where the kids cooled off.
I sent our host pictures of the lobby and it turns out he was unaware and very apologetic and offered to compensate us for the distraction. We didn’t make issue with it since everything else was so fantastic. The location was so ideal, we could easily get to the places we wanted to explore by walking, metro or cab.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in regard to basic necessities in the apartment. We had most items available but could have used trash bags and extra paper towels. We went out and picked them up but I do recommend the hosts keep these things stocked so visitors don’t have to worry about them. I’m not sure what is typical, I’m interested in hearing about others’ experiences.
Overall, I was very pleased with our Airbnb experience and felt like we got what we had signed on for. It can be scary pulling the trigger for a four night stay in another country when you’ve never seen a place and you’re relying on the reviews of strangers. Plus, when trying to please a large group it can be close to impossible to make everyone happy. We took a leap of faith and were pleasantly surprised and all highly satisfied with our experience!