A couple of weeks ago, my cousin from Pangasinan asked me to find an accommodation for 13 people somewhere in Makati or Pasay. She and the rest of the family will be visiting other relatives in Metro Manila and they needed to find a place to stay for 1 night. She asked me to find a budget hotel that would be nice enough “para hindi nakakahiya sa mga balikbayan” And if possible a unit equipped with a kitchen so they can cook meals. The budget for the accommodation of 13 people was Php 9,000. All this she told me less than 1 week before their trip.
So I searched for hotels and asked for friends if they have any recommendations. The budget they gave me could only book 3-4 rooms in a good budget hotel, not enough for 13 people to sleep comfortably.
I have known about AirBnb for a long time already but I haven’t used their services. It was already 2 days before my cousin’s trip and I browsed the site as a last resort. In case you haven’t heard about AirBnB, it’s a site where people can rent out or search lodging. It has become an alternative to booking hotels for travelers who want a more homey feel to their accommodations.
Searching for a place:
I downloaded the AirBnB app on my phone and searched for listings that could accommodate 13 people. I loved that AirBnB has filters I could use to narrow down my search. There are filters for the price range, number of guests, amenities and listing type. I made sure to check the guest reviews and host profiles of the lodgings that interested me to make sure the listing was accurate and legit.
Pretty soon I was able to narrow down my search to 3 possible accommodations and I just let my cousins choose the one they liked.
We settle in a 4-bedroom penthouse located in Makati. It had complete amenities and it was located a short walking distance away from Greenbelt and Glorietta malls. I sent an inquiry regarding the number of guests and the hosts replied in a few hours. They sounded very accommodating and organized that I decided to finalize our booking.
Confirming our reservation:
When I sent my inquiry, the hosts also pre-approved my booking request. All that was left to do was pay for the reservation cost of the unit plus AirBnB service fee. I paid via credit card and I was a little surprised that the actual payment was in US dollars. (Can anyone tell me if this is the usual process or if I should change something in the settings?) The cost of the unit converted in Philippine peso was around 8,600. Well within the budget set by my cousin.
After confirming my reservation, I exchanged messages with the hosts regarding our arrival time. They also sent me a guidebook containing directions to the penthouse and the house rules.
Our penthouse for the night:
Or as my 10-year old nephew called it, our very own presidential suite 🙂 The place didn’t disappoint. The pictures on the listing were very accurate and amenities like extra pillows and blankets, water, soap and shampoo were provided for. Of course amenities differ for each AirBnB listing so it’s best to check the detailed information about the place. In my case, I really didn’t nitpick on the small details as long as all 13 of us could sleep comfortably, there was a kitchen and there was a hot shower.