Recently my husband and I went on a cruise (more on that later!), and we left from Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our plans were to arrive a day early so that we could explore the city. I decided to surprise my husband (his name is Earl) with our very first Airbnb experience – it was definitely one of a kind!
I was a bit nervous booking our first Airbnb.
I’ll definitely admit that! But the things that stood out to me while searching were the number of photos and also the number of reviews (in the positive direction, of course!). I adore things that are different, so having an experience and being in the heart of Old San Juan was really important to me. So, when I found a reasonably priced (I was searching for under $100 in total), location marked “funky rooftop shack” you better believe I clicked on it!
Let me also pause a minute to chat about price. Honestly, this is the ONE THING that has kept me away from booking an Airbnb in the past. You see, when searching, you can think you found a good deal, but some hosts (and this is up to the host) add in large fees. Our location was listed at $65, and the with the fees and taxes, the total was $77.69. A similarly priced one listed at $70 ended up being $144 when it was all said and done (I didn’t book that, of course!). So, I was attracted by the fact for the one I chose, the price was basically the price, and there weren’t hidden fees. That gave me additional confidence in booking.
Ok, now on to the location…
It was fairly easy to find, but we took a taxi from the airport. There were a lot of one way streets, so we finally just had our driver drop us off when we were close by – we literally kept circling it and could see it, lol. Remember that I said I surprised my husband with this stay?? Well, he full well was expecting a hotel. I actually was a bit nervous!
A passcode quickly got us into the front door (see below!) of the Base Hostel. We didn’t stay at the actual hostel, but we had to walk through it to get to our room on the roof.
We took our luggage up, up, up and entered the main open area of the hostel. And then I saw what absolutely sold me on this choice for our first Airbnb. The swinging bridge! See it in the photo below? My poor husband had to carry our luggage across – ha – but he was a good sport. The atmosphere was so fun!
Here are a few views looking down from the swinging bridge onto the open area. It was so natural and beautiful in the middle of the bustling city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. There were also some pretty art pieces, and you’ll catch us posing on the bridge below.
Now on to our first Airbnb room.
The room and area itself was made with reclaimed materials and had a rustic, artsy vibe. It may not look like there was a lot of privacy as the areas are fairly open, but we felt completely safe in staying there and even leaving our luggage in the room while we walked around the city. Clean sheets and bath towels were provided, and the bathroom was urban but totally cute in its own way.
The bedroom area was made of old wooden doors with panels that could be opened along with other reclaimed pieces. The bed was comfy and covered in mosquito netting (although we didn’t see any mosquitos). It had a roof but was open to enjoy the city and the elements (noise and temperature). It actually cooled off to a perfect temperature at night, and I didn’t mind hearing the sounds of the Old San Juan nightlife. What a great place!
So, all in all, our first Airbnb stay was a big success!
I knew I was taking a risk booking the type of place I did, but my husband thought it was such a memorable experience. I’m so glad!! I took a fun video of the whole place, which does a lot more justice than the photos do. I hope you enjoy it below!
Basundhara GhoshThis does look like a unique and remarkable Airbnb. Actually many times they do turn out to be quite memorable. For example, one I took in Paris was on the top floor of a really old building – a huge, huge apartment, with piles of old books and a piano and everything. It was an experience !
JenniferI love that! It sounds so interesting. It’s fun to be able to find one of a kind places like that. <3
Roselle ToledoI haven’t tried staying in an AirBNB accommodation yet. I’ve always been a hotel or serviced residences type because I feel safer. But I’m looking forward to my first AirBNB experience this year. I must tick it off my bucket list.
JenniferIt’s a fun thing for sure! I have the coupon code you can use to save, too. <3
TahneeI have yet to try an airbnb but i really should. All the locations are so much more personal than a hotel. So lovely and this place looks so unique I love It!
JenniferYes, that’s so true. There really are unique places, and you can score some great deals. <3
Iva UrsanoAwe I love your cute little video. What a sweet place you got there!! Great blog too!
JenniferThank you!! We thoroughly enjoyed our time there! 🙂
NicoleYessss!! I love Airbnb! Looks like a great time!
JenniferThank you so much, Nicole! We had a ton of fun. <3
LisaTruly the best reason for booking through Airbnb is the cool places you can find to stay! This little place looks super unique and added to how much you enjoyed your trip. Bonus!!
JenniferYes, so true! I love the uniqueness. <3
KasiaThank you so much for sharing your first Airbnb experience. I’ve never tried it. I’ve heard mixed reviews and I have to admit I’ve been a bit afraid of it. But like you said do your research properly and you can find a gem. What a lovely little place. That swinging bridge is amazing, not for carrying suitcases but otherwise love it.
AmiekayThe funky rooftop shack looks like a great time! It has so much personality. I’ve always loved AirBnB’s for this reason and am glad you had a wonderful first experience. (Also, San Juan is amazing!!)
NikiThe reason why I love AirBnb apartments is because you get the local feeling of each place. You feel like you have a home for a while in a city which is cool! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
JenniferAgreed on all accounts! We had so much fun in San Juan. 🙂
JenniferYes! I was afraid a bit, too, but I think a little research pays off a lot in the long run! 🙂 Lol on the suitcases – my husband didn’t like that part but otherwise loved it. <3
EchoesofhervoiceThis is so cool… it looks like you had a great time. I’ve never tried an airbnb and not sure if I ever will. But thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through you!
JoniaThanks for sharing your first experience with Airbnb, I’m glad it was a success. I’ve haven’t stayed in an Airbnb yet but I have looked into it. The rooftop and that walkway are so cool! Definitely an added bonus!
Thena FranssenI’ve stayed at an air bnb once, and it was a great experience. I would do it again in a moment.
JenniferWe had so much fun!! 🙂
JenniferYes! It was fabulous. <3
MattThat looks amazing, I love the swing bridge entrance. I’ve used Air B&B a few times and never been disappointed. It’s a great way to find some truly unique properties. Just be sure you pay attention to the details and reviews, as you guys obviously did. Great stuff.
JenniferYes! I read SO many reviews before I went. We loved it so much, we are thinking of making our basement apartment into one! 🙂
Kelly EdgarI’m glad you enjoyed you first airbnb experience. I love using airbnb, it comes for a more authentic stay at the location. This place looks pretty cool too!
JenniferThank you, Kelly! Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience for our first. <3
Meg CaleThis airbnb is soooo pretty. I’ll have to keep it in mind for my next trip to PR.
Karen NgaiI personally love Airbnb’s, it gives you a more down to earth experience with the host and a very homely stay. This particular place looks so fun almost like an adult’s playground!
JenniferYes!! I totally love it. Such a fun experience! <3
MsddahI love Airbnb’s as it saves me a ton of money that I can spend on exploring!
IdoraThis Airbnb looks absolutely darling! I love Airbnb, especially when you find the really cute ones that are like finding a treasure doing your trip, like this one!
Melanie williamsAirbnb are ideal for a short stay and you can stay in some amazing places for a fraction of the price x
ElaineWhat an adorable arbnb! You totally lucked out. My first arbnb wasn’t exactly like the picture they had. I’ll have to put San Juan on my places to visit next!
JenniferYes! It’s such a great place. Old San Juan is just fabulous.