I’ve had some mixed Airbnb experiences. In fact, our first stay on this Europe trip in Milan was probably ‘the’ dystopian Airbnb experience. We found ourselves arriving in a four-bedroom apartment, where we were not ‘hosted’ per se, but lived with a man who was employed to operate the four bedroom apartment.
One of the toilets had a post-it note, which instructed users to "PUT YOUR finger in it" in order to flush the toilet. Laughable at the time really, but also incredibly infuriating. The stark contrast to our stay in Milan was our Menaggio Airbnb experience on Lake Como.
Our host, Roberta, was a stunning lady, originally from Milano, who lives on the Lake. She opened her home warmly to us, was hospitable, communicated with us to ensure we were on our way safely and tried to make us feel as comfortable as possible. We felt like we were included to share and enjoy the creature comforts of her home, while not intruding, and all the while, making a new friend.
Roberta was warm, friendly and shared stories about her colourful life and experiences as a designer. She is an artist, who works from her homes in Como and Spain. We exchanged stories about our lives, work and our interests. Roberta was even kind enough to offer us dinner the evening we arrived because of a challenging commute.
After listening to the ‘How I Built This Podcast’ featuring Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia and our stay with Roberta, I have a newfound appreciation for the warmth of an in-home Airbnb experience and what it can truly be like when it is at its best.
Having the accessibility of a house/flat/apartment, living with a local, feeling safe and nurtured in the comfort of someone’s home is a generous and beautiful thing. My only gripe is that we didn’t stay for longer. I highly recommend Roberta’s home. Please see the link below to Roberta’s place on Airbnb.
P.S. The photos on Roberta's Airbnb listing don’t do it justice!