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With the rise of short-term vacation rental websites such as Airbnb, travellers are no longer limited to staying in hotels. Airbnb's inception in 2008 shook the traditional hotel industry and over the years, some truly unique and breath-taking homes have been listed. Due to this, travellers are now considering accommodations as part of their overall travel experience. Below, we find out how much it costs to stay at the top 5 most popular wish listed homes on Airbnb.
I Sette Coni - Ostuni, Italy
The I Sette Coni home in Ostuni is easily identified by its 7 cone-shaped roofs. While it may seem like a unique architectural decision, the cone shaped roofs are actually standard for trulli houses. These homes dot the area of Alberobello and date back to the Bronze Age (although today's structures date back to the mid 14th century). Located between the towns of Martina Franca and Ostuni, this particular fairytale-esque trullo has been the most wish listed property on Airbnb—with over 160,000 bookmarks. The cost of staying at this home is reasonable, ranging from S$99 to S$127, including cleaning and service fees each night. Prior guests have highlighted the hospitality of the hosts and the peacefulness of the surrounding landscape. If you wish to venture outside of the property, you can visit the towns and villages in the region or hike in the Gargano National Park.
Hector Cave House - Santorini, Greece
For the couple who spares no expense, the Hector Cave House in Santorini is a unique and tasteful home carved into the wall of a caldera cliff. It is currently one of the top rated homes on Airbnb (5 star rating) and costs between S$489 for off-season stays and S$1,083 per night for peak season stays, including fees. This unique home offers a plunge pool and unbeatable views of the Aegean Sea. It is also situated close to Oia Village where you can explore Byzantine ruins, book boat tours or relax by the bay. One thing to note with this Airbnb is that prices change depending on the season. Peak season prices between May-September can cost you around S$1,000 per night (including service fees), but booking in the off-season costs between S$489 and S$870 per night.
Romantic Cabana - Armenia, Colombia
Those who are looking for rainforest seclusion surrounded by tropical fruits and vegetables may enjoy the Romantic Cabana home in Armenia, Colombia. As one of the more affordable options on this list, it costs S$74 per night (including cleaning and service fees) and also offers a 6% discount on week-long stays. The home is located in the Andean Mountains, on a small organic farm within proximity to coffee tours, hiking trails and local farms. The property itself is an elevated, bright and spacious cabana with views of the surrounding vegetation. There is an outdoor but secluded shower, breakfast is included and the hosts help you plan and facilitate transportation to and from the airport. You can also request lunch or dinner for an additional S$8.
One thing to note is flights from Singapore to Armenia are long and costly (S$4,258 roundtrip with flight times of over 48 hours). Instead, you can save around 20 hours of flight time and 30% off your airfare if you book your flight in separate sections. One possible method is to book separate flights from Singapore to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Bogota and then a local one-hour flight to Armenia.
Eco Bamboo Home - Bali, Indonesia
Individuals who are looking for seclusion and nature but don't want to take the long trip to South America may appreciate Airbnb's 4th most wish listed home. Made out of bamboo, the Hideout Bali Eco Bamboo home is well maintained with a private garden and a river. A scooter and two helmets are provided for transport. It costs between S$220 and S$224 per night including cleaning and service fees. One thing you should keep in mind, is that this Airbnb is best for travellers who want a holiday free from the hustle and bustle of major cities. However, if you want to explore a city while in Bali, Amlapura will be your closest option. On the way there, you can also make a short detour to visit the Puri Agung Karangasem, Tirta Gangga and the Taman Sukasada Ujung palaces, take a cooking class at the Bali Asli or visit the Bali Chocolate Factory.
Luxurious Stone Villa in Crete - Chania, Greece
The Luxurious Stone Villa is the second Greek Airbnb on our list, this time, situated in the village of Kaliviani on Crete. This Airbnb is a studio home that is carved into a natural rock cave and offers views of the Kissamos Bay. It is conveniently situated close to the airport and to some of the best attractions Chania has to offer. The property costs a reasonable S$211 per night during peak season and S$145 per night during the off season, including cleaning and service fees. The host recommends renting a car, which we found to cost an average S$105 per day if you will be renting from Chania International Airport. Overall, Crete is a great destination for history and beach lovers alike—when you are tired from touring the ancient ruins of Knossos, you can relax on the picturesque Balos or Falasarna beaches.
What to Keep in Mind When Staying at Airbnbs
While Airbnb hosts do their best to make your stay as safe and comfortable as possible, there are still some inherent differences between Airbnbs and hotels. To that extent, you should be prepared to have a contingency plan in the event that your booking gets cancelled last minute, security is not up to your standards. A good travel insurance policy can offer peace of mind by giving you access to 24/7 emergency assistance services, cancellation and delay coverage. Furthermore, because your Airbnb may not always be in the centre of town, you should do your research regarding the customs of your destination. This is especially true with some of the unique destinations on our list—they are unique because they offer new experiences in destinations that are usually not travelled to. It can also help to learn a few courtesy words in your destination's language.
Lastly, you should always remember to treat your host and their home with respect. Unlike hotels that usually have hundreds of staff on hand, Airbnb hosts do everything themselves with limited help. We'd love to know, do you stay at Airbnbs or hotels when you travel? If you do stay at Airbnbs, which one was your favourite?