Welcome to another milestone of Seeing The World In Steps! This is the first time that I am staying in an Airbnb! Seemingly I have heard many good stuff about Airbnb and how it has revolutionize the hospitality industry! In this post, I would like to share my thoughts on it and the Airbnb that I have booked in Florence, the Girasole Room – Accademia Museum. On a side track, you peeps can look forward to another trip report that is coming up in the later part of the year! Peking to Beijing! Yes! I have just booked my tickets to Beijing! That is going to be No.59 coming up very soon! While I was looking over my accomodation options in Florence, I chance upon this lovely listing that looks really good. I am also very keen to give Airbnb a try after hearing so much about it!
Something very funny happen actually while planning the trip! Prior to me booking the Girasole Room – Accademia Museum Florence Airbnb, which was where I was staying at, I have heard amazing things about staying in an Airbnb. How nice is it! How much cheaper it is than a hotel! How amazing the experience would be when compared to a hotel! Then once I have booked the room, all my friend were telling me all about their bad experience! Some friends I have! One told me about her experience of finding hair on the bed in the Airbnb she booked. Which results me in going on an forensic examination when I checked in!
To share a little on the Girasole Room – Accademia Museum Florence Airbnb that I booked. It is a room listing, located in a typical italian house. I will share more what it means by a room listing later on. What makes me book this listing was really the location and decor. While Florence can’t be said as a huge city, it aren’t compact as well. I was looking for a place that cost around 60 to 80 bucks and around the vicinity of the cathedral and train station as well. I love to walk to all the place of interest so that is important for me! Another reason is also the amount of times that I will be heading to the train station! I am arriving and departing from the Firenze S.M.N, I will also be taking the bus from the station to the factory outlet for something! Which is why I love the Girasole Room that much. It is a easy 10 mins walk to the train station and also a similar distance away from the duomo and the central market! If walking is not your jam, you could take a bus for one or two stop!
Now for a little of background on my booking process. I have to say that choosing an Airbnb is no mean feat, it is certainly a stressful process if you want to choose the perfect one. As in a safe and clean one! A good point of a hotel in comparison is their reputation and safety that it could provide to a consumer. While an Airbnb are people homes that are being leased out. To be honest, you never know what kind of situation you are going to get to. Now for listing types. On Airbnb, you can find like Entire Place listing, Private Room listing or Shared Room listing. Entire place would be like booking the entire house or apartments, which mean that you get the whole place to yourself. While Shared Room would be hostel like. For Private Room, it means that you get the room that you book all for yourself, it may come with a private toilet or not and then you share the common area with people in other rooms. In this case, Girasole Room – Accademia Museum Florence Airbnb was a private room listing.
Always, always read the reviews, that should be the first thing to do when you are always on Airbnb, reviews by other people who have stayed there before, these reviews can’t be hidden or edited by the owner, so it is an accurate description of what you will actually get. Look at the pictures also, if it is verified, it shows what you are getting. Then look at your host, some of them are star host, which means better and nicer people that you are renting from. They are also more likely to help you when you need it! Then also contact the host for more information. I would say that almost every listing would definitely have some bad reviews so you got to weight it! Like for this room that I have booked, many complained about the heat since there is no air conditioning, however since I was travelling in the winter, that isn’t a concern.
Girasole Room – Accademia Museum Florence is located on Via Ricasoli, right in the heart of Florence, the location is perfect as I have shared earlier. It is within walking distance to various attraction and the Accademia Museum is right opposite the apartment which explains the name of the listing. You can find shops, restaurants and cafes all around the corner. There is a mac and subway just 2 mins away, there is this dope chinese restaurant that I almost dine there everyday! The supermarket is right below the apartment!
As I mentioned, the Girasole Room – Accademia Museum Florence is a private room listing, which means that I have my own private room and then you share the common area. Here is the link to the listing if you are interested staying here as well. The Girasole Room – Accademia Museum Florence is the larger room in the apartment, so it comes with its private toilet as well. Although a slight inconvenience is that the toilet is not inside the room, so it is a little hassle. It is just outside your door.
The whole apartments have 3 rooms which shared the common area. The rooms are named, with the other two being the Pepper Room and the French Room. They are smaller rooms and share a common toilet. Here is the link. I had a brief look at the French room which was much smaller in size, although still comfortable to live in. I have actually wanted to book the smaller room since it is cheaper. Although thought of not having my own toilet, I think the price was necessary!
Most of the information was pass through message from your host, for this one that I stayed in, it was either collection of the key from the mailbox or the host would welcome you if they are there. Thankfully Sonia was there to welcome in. The apartment is located on the 3rd storey and there is no lift there, this is something to take note of. After my experience in staying at a Dutch house in Amsterdam, this is easy peasy. Sonia showed me around the house and gave me guidance on the keys. There was a couple of keys and I was also given the room key and also the key to my private bathroom.
Girasole Room – Accademia Museum Florence Airbnb is decorated in bright colors while housed in a traditional Italian house. As per the norm of houses in Europe, most do not come with elevator. I would say that I am actually quite please with this Airbnb that I stayed in, the common area were pretty spacious although I rarely used it. There was a dining area as well as a stocked kitchen. The rate on the days that I was here was around 58 SGD per night with a 13 SGD cleaning fee and 23 SGD service fee. At that time there was a 50 SGD discount from citibank credit card. The total comes down to 160 SGD for the whole stay which I would say is a very good price for my three night stay!
My room, the Girasole was at the end of the flat, near the kitchen and toilet. The door could be locked and the key will be given to you. The room was bright and spacious, as per the theme of the place, it uses bright colors which makes it very happy to stay in. The furniture were mostly wood. The bed was a king size bed and it was comfortable. The mattress and pillows were good. Since my friends gave me a little scare! I did inspect the bedding when I checked in. I would say that I am pleased with it. The housekeeping was pretty well. Seems like the cleaning fee was worth it. Yes there is usually a cleaning fee being charged. Usually there won’t be any housekeeping during your stay. It is more like a homestay experience. This is usually fine.
While the room did not come with any air conditioning, the room have two windows that also comes with nettings. For those who are unsure, Florence is also known as the mosquito city, mosquito are common here. While there have been some concern with the room being hot, I was in fact freezing and require the heating, so I am unable to comment on this. There was also a drawer and a little mattress opposite the bed. The room was spacious and feels like it could fit 4 person comfortably. There isn’t any tv. I love the tiny bits of love here and there around the apartment, it feels that the owner really put in the effort to make it a pleasant experience. I love the little homemade lamps that were on the side tables beside the bed. According to the owner they were handmade by his friend.
A little side discomfort was the location of the toilet, even though you have your own private bathroom, it was not located inside the room but outside it. It is just outside your room so there is that little inconvenience. For me it means that I have to constantly lock and unlock both my room and the toilet. The toilet was okay, it was a nice size with amenities. The water pressure was okay okay but still usable! A little slight fault would be the lack of racks in the toilet.
Another concern was the sound proofing in the apartments. It appears that the sound get through easily through the walls. On the first two days of my stay I rarely hear or see others. It appears that the other guest and me mostly kept to ourselves. However on the last night of my stay, there was this bunch of koreans that moved in. They were loud and noisy, a little rude as they were not considered to the other guests. I understand that in a group it will be loud. They cooked and did not open the windows or on the vacuum which leads the whole place to fill up with smoke. In the next morning I met this other american couple, who agreed with me that they were noisy for the whole night as well! Luckily, I can’t believe how am I going to share a washroom with them! Yucks.
Beside that everything is fine. I really enjoyed my stay here. The wifi is fast and good. You can see the effort and nice touches from the owner, in the room there is a guide that shows all the restaurants and attractions that the owner recommended. There is notes and personal recommendation which is very nice. If I am ever back to Florence, I have no qualms staying here again. It will be nice for a group as well, you can just book all three rooms and have the whole place to yourself! If you would like to sign up on airbnb, it would be nice if you could use my code. We will both have discount. www.airbnb.com/c/dennisonw1