Our first Airbnb experience

We’ve just got back from our first Airbnb short break. Regular readers will know we absolutely love Padstow in Cornwall. It is a real home from home for us. But in recent years, my eldest has grown to dislike it and my younger son has gone off it a bit too. We knew we wouldn’t be able to go for a week this year. My eldest had said categorically he wouldn’t go with us. Which is fine. He’s an adult. He doesn’t need to go with us. But ironically, after years of wanting to be independent, he’s discovered that he doesn’t actually like to be at home on his own.

We felt a holiday to Nice was better for three teenagers, and we had a lovely time.

But my husband, daughter and I still wanted to go to Padstow. And my younger son was very happy to go along for a long weekend.

So for a short break, the ideal seemed to be an Airbnb. We know people who have used them before and had really good experiences, but we’d never tried one.

We know Padstow like the back of our hands. There is a green building (like a large house or small hotel) in the fork of two roads very close to One High Street (where we stayed for three consecutive years). It looks derelict, but could be really nice with some time and money spent on it. Every year we wonder whether anything has changed with it, but it never has. However, it turns out there are a couple of rooms in its loft which aren’t derelict. In fact, they’re an Airbnb.

Cross House Padstow, Airbnb, Padstow, Holiday, Our first Airbnb experience

The description and photos online sounded very nice. Which is how we came to be staying at The Loft at Cross House in Padstow. I think we paid about £500 for three nights for four of us in August.

I know of people who have stayed at Airbnbs which are effectively a whole house. As we’re used to staying in self catering accommodation, we assumed that’s what we had. Then just a couple of weeks before we went, we realised that it was literally two bedrooms. But that was absolutely fine.

Bed, Airbnb, Padstow, Holiday, Our first Airbnb experience

It is up a VERY steep staircase – so steep it’s almost like a ladder, so definitely wouldn’t be suited to anyone with mobility problems. (It does warn you about this on the website.)

There are lovely high ceilings with wooden beams and it is decorated simply, but nicely. There is a good size double room with ensuite. This room includes a tiny fridge and tea making facilities. We went shopping before we’d actually checked in and seen the fridge. It turns out it’s not big enough to stand a 4 pint bottle of milk upright! The bathroom has a small selection of hotel-style toiletries, and towels are included.

The other room has bunk beds and a desk. It says on the website (and on the bed itself) that the top bunk isn’t suitable for anyone over 4 stone. FOUR STONE?! That’s the weight of a very young child, and of course very young children shouldn’t sleep on the top bunk bed. We panicked a bit about this, so emailed the owner, who said that our slim 13 year girl should probably be OK. She said the top bunk wasn’t suitable for teenagers or adults, so she’d basically decided to set the limit at 4 stone. If you see the bed, it is a perfectly normal bunk bed.

Bunks beds, Airbnb, Padstow, Our first Airbnb experience

Both bedrooms have a hanging rail and a chest of drawers – plenty of space if you’re staying for a few nights or even a week. There is a portable heated rail in the kids’ room – suitable for drying wet clothes or damp towels. There is also an iron and ironing board in there. I think it is possible to just book out the larger room without the smaller room, but in that case you can still access the iron and ironing board from the other room. Obviously you couldn’t have someone you didn’t know staying in the other room because the only bathroom is in the double room.

There is Wifi in the Airbnb, but the signal is pretty poor, particularly when you have four people on their phones at the same time. My son found a solution – he went downstairs and sat in the hall, where he was able to watch YouTube with no problems.

It says on the website that there is only space for a small car. We deliberated over driving the Mini down, but can you imagine 200 miles with two teenagers squashed into the back of a Mini? So we took the Touran down and accepted we might have to park in a public car park and pay the price for a few days. As it happens, my husband was able to fit the Touran into the space, no problem.

The Loft was a good space for us for a few nights. It’s nice to have the flexibility of not going away for a full week. We would happily stay at The Loft again – or try out another Airbnb.

Airbnb, Holiday, The Loft at Cross House, Padstow, Our first Airbnb experience


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. hahaha! It is funny that you give your eldest his independence and let him stay home and he doesn’t like it.
    I keep reading about Airbnb’s but I’ve never tried one. It sounds like you picked a good place to stay with only a few little niggles.

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    • He’s the one who said he definitely wouldn’t be going to Padstow again, but now he’s realised he doesn’t like being on his own! He spent a lot of time with my mum and dad while we were away.
      I would definitely recommend giving an Airbnb a try in future and I would certainly stay in one again.

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  2. We’ve never tried AirBnB, mostly because it’s usually just N and myself, so we’d book into a hotel so we don’t have to self cater. I think I’d only want to do it as a whole house or annex, rather than just rooms. Although it might work out cheaper than a self catering cottage. It might let us have more flexibility – I’d book a cottage if the OH was coming, but often he doesn’t know til really close to the date, but if he’s not, we do hotel as cottages are so expensive when N and I can usually share a bedroom. But if airbnb houses work out cheaper than normal cottage bookings, it could be an alternative in the hope the OH could come.

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    • I definitely think I would like a kitchen in future. But Airbnb is definitely good if you only want to stay away for a few days rather than a week. Hotels get rather expensive for us with five of us (although obviously only four of us went to the Airbnb). It must be complicated not knowing if your OH can go with you or not.

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  3. We’ve now stayed in a variety of AirBnBs – from ‘normal’ bed and breakfasts and self-catering cottages, to just ‘room’ without any catering. I like the flexibility – try getting a self-catering cottage company to let three odd nights! – and the easy search options – BnB sites I’ve tried before have never seemed up to date about lettings. I suspect for a full length week or fortnight I’d go back to self-catering companies but for odd days here and there AirBnB are brilliant

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    • Thanks very much, it’s good to know that you’ve tried a range of them. I agree that they’re a really good idea for a few nights, you would never get that with a regular self-catering cottage, especially in summer! I’m sure we will use Airbnbs again in future.

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  4. I have heard so many good things about Airbnb and glad you had a positive first experience. We have yet to try it, but would definitely use one at the right price. Looks a lovely place and glad you managed to get down to Padstow for a few days. Katie’s friend and her family were there at the same time as you x

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    • I think the whole world was down there at that time! It was a really lovely place and I would happily go back for a few nights. I don’t think I could go longer than three nights without a kitchen though. x

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  5. It was our first time this year with Airbnb; in England and abroad. We have hired the whole house out on all 3 occasions and have been rather impressed with all of them.
    We tend to go with superhosts and have even booked with another host for our holiday next year in Crete.
    The house you stayed in looks lovely.

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    • Wow, you must really love them to have done so many in such a short space of time! I would definitely go for a whole house if we were staying for any longer than three nights. I’ve never even heard of superhosts, will look out for those next time, thanks!

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  6. I’m keen to try an Air b n b but like you, have yet to try it. When we went to New York, it actually worked out cheaper to be in a hotel. I guess you just need to work out the pros and cons. We had those bunk beds once upon a time and you can definitely fit someone over 4 stone in them! Glad you had a good time.

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    • Thanks very much. It was lovely and I would definitely use one again in future. I’m pretty sure the bunk bed would be able to hold around 10 stone, but we didn’t put it to the test!

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