Three years of travel and over a hundred Airbnbs later, here are the ones we liked best. Cleanliness, design, value, location, and privacy are our top factors.
City Center Chic in Maribor, Slovenia
A beautifully decorated Airbnb with a huge antique bed from Vienna. The host lives in Bali and has brought elements of that design aesthetic to this corner of eastern Europe. The apartment is in the best location too, overlooking Maribor’s pedestrian only city center.
Northlake Retreat in Wanaka, New Zealand
Beautifully done guest house with a super comfortable bed, great shower, and top notch finishes by an architectural and interior designer duo. Just minutes from the charming town of Wanaka. We enjoyed a few hikes nearby and a stop at the Rippon Winery.
Contemporary Villa with Pool in Darwin, Australia
Sweeping high ceilings, a crazy comfortable bed, nice towels, a kitchen full of cookware, and a beautiful little pool right outside your door. Breakfast was included with plenty of granola, fresh bread, yogurt, jam, and cookies. Close to supermarkets, downtown, and a cute weekend market in a quiet residential setting.
Modern One-Bedroom on the Great Ocean Road, Australia
Sleek, modern apartment in Lady Bay with major wow factor in the bathroom. The bed was comfortable, the shower was strong and hot, and the kitchen was well equipped. A great stop if you’re driving the Great Ocean Road.
Luxury High-Rise in Phuket, Thailand
A one bedroom apartment at the Base Height, a modern high-rise near Phuket town with onsite gym, free parking, a gorgeous lobby with a reading room, and best of all, a rooftop infinite pool.
Picture Perfect Balcony in Sardinia, Italy
We feel lucky to have stayed here for a week in the off season, because in the summer the prices are sky high! The view from the balcony is stunning, and the interior is stylish too.
Thoughtful Apartment in Modena, Italy
This one is much better in person than in the photos. It’s located in a historic building where you can see bits of the original ceiling and walls. Everything is very high quality and you can tell the host pays attention to every little detail. She brought us fruit from the market which was so sweet.
Restored Old Town Apartment in Kotor, Montenegro
If you want to be in the heart of Kotor’s medieval old town, stay in this completely restored stone house, rebuilt from the original stones. The top floor unit is the best because of the amazing ceiling and the view over St. Lucas Square.
Sea View Apartment in Tivat, Montenegro
Brand new one-bedroom overlooking the Bay of Kotor, just a short walk to all the shops, restaurants, beaches, and nightlife of Porto Montenegro, a luxury marina. The apartment has huge floor to ceiling windows, a balcony, and a stylish bathroom.
Lake View Penthouse in Ohrid, North Macedonia
The penthouse in this boutique hotel has stunning views over the old town of Lake Ohrid. There are also double rooms, but go for the penthouse if you can.
Top Place to Stay in Chișinău, Moldova
This might be the only Airbnb in Moldova that meets international design standards, which can be hard to find sometimes in post-Soviet countries. It not only meets these standards, but excels at them.
Top Floor Studio in a Historic Building in Budapest, Hungary
Newly renovated in a charming walk-up in the heart of Budapest, just a few blocks from St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Palace of Parliament, and the Danube River Promenade, this is the Airbnb that got me hooked on white subway tile with dark grey grout in bathrooms.
Moments of Leisure in Limassol, Cyprus
Wonderfully spacious and new apartment with a contemporary aesthetic we loved, a high-end kitchen with Bosch appliances, and walkable to downtown Limassol and the promenade. We were even greeted with local Cypriot snacks and wine.
A Colorful Feast in Antalya, Turkey
One of our most memorable Airbnb experiences. The host is a chef and greeted us with a delicious home-cooked meal, a fully stocked fridge, and a coffee table piled to the brim with nuts, sweets, and chocolate. Even after one week we couldn’t finish all of it. The location and price can’t be beat either. We couldn’t fathom how they made any money all the food they gave us.
Casa California Guesthouse in Valparaiso, Chile
A Chilean-American couple moved from California to Valparaiso a few years ago, bought this old building, and fully renovated it, endowing it with old world charm. Stepping inside is like entering another era, but with all the comforts of modern amenities. The hosts go above and beyond if you need recommendations not just for Valparaiso but for all of Chile, and they keep the rooms exceptionally clean, a rarity in South America.
Bright and Airy Urban Oasis in Santiago, Chile
We couldn’t have been happier to step into this serene little studio after weeks of staying in disappointing Airbnbs in Chile. The host is Bosnian and thankfully brought Balkan cleanliness standards to this apartment. She knows Santiago very well and can give you the best recommendations for where to eat, as she also leads a very well-reviewed food tour on Airbnb.
Brand New Construction and a Balcony in Pucón, Chile
Located on a hilltop with a wide balcony overlooking a pool, perfect for sipping the bottle of wine gifted by the host. The apartment is super clean and thoughtfully appointed, especially the kitchen, which truly has every appliance or tool you could ever need on vacation. There are even bikes you can borrow from the building, as well as a gym with a nice view.
Historic Hutong Living in Beijing, China
Cozy studio full of character in a traditional courtyard on a historically preserved street. Walkable to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. Our host George went above and beyond in his hospitality. He provided fresh fruit and bottled water daily, subway transit cards, and many local recommendations. He even took us out to a roast duck restaurant. The apartment itself is spotlessly clean. George also has an updated one-bedroom unit in the same courtyard. It was such a special experience to stay here.
Spotlessly Clean in Belgrade, Serbia
Cute and absolutely immaculate apartment in the heart of Belgrade. The host was warm and welcoming, helping us find a free parking spot for our rental car. It’s located in our favorite part of Belgrade, next to Tašmajdan park, a large green space where people stroll in the evenings. You can see the Church of Saint Mark at one end of the park from the window of the apartment.
Idyllic Country House in the Moselle River Valley, Germany
Relaxing rural escape in German wine country, surrounded by gardens, pastures, and horses. The tap water is extremely pure and good for drinking, and the beds have warm fluffy blankets for cool evenings. Just a short drive to the Moselle River below.
Chic Three Bedroom Apartment in Kunming, China
A wonderfully spacious apartment to share with friends or family. Spotlessly clean with hotel quality amenities, including keyless entry, soaps, shampoo, tea, fluffy towels, and linens. The apartment is also in a fantastic location, proximate to the subway, a large international grocery store, as well as local markets, restaurants, and shops.
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