An Awesome AirBnB Experience
At the start of our holiday we tried out AirBnB for the first time, and it was absolutely wonderful! For those that haven’t heard of it before, AirBnB is a website where 'people can list, discover and book unique places to stay all over the world'. There are over 2 million places listed in over 190 countries that are available to rent. ‘Hosts’ advertise their space online, whether it is a extra bedroom in the family house, or their entire villa available! There are even castles, treehouses, buses, boats, shipping containers, fairytale cottages, ranches and lighthouses to stay in! Whether it is only for a night or a whole month, there really is something for everyone.
What I love about AirBnB is the option of connecting with locals – some houses are all to yourself, and in others you are sharing with the hosts. This gives a great feel for what the people are like, how they live their lives, and they can give great recommendations for the best things to see, do and eat.
Our stay was in Burleigh Heads, on the Gold Coast of Australia. We had chosen this beach as our summer holiday because of its smaller size (it isn't as big or as populated as neighboring Surfers Paradise) and the near vicinity of the National Park. I’m a lover of open spaces, nature and the beach while still having the option of going shopping or cruising through the cafe’s – Burleigh Heads ticked all of these boxes!
We stayed in Mona and Adil’s gorgeous apartment, which is right up the road from the main street and only a short walk from the beach. Mona and Adil had used AirBnB many times before for their own holidays, and then chose to return the favor by opening their home to others. We spent the first and last night in the their company, as they were off on their own adventure to Fraser Island for 5 days. This is one of the beautiful things about the nature of this organisation – the people who host are willing to open their homes to strangers and trust them with their homes and belongings. We were complete strangers, and they let us live in their house for a week! A lot of the hosts let you choose how much interaction you want - they let you do your own thing, or become a part of the family for a short time.
Our apartment was situated in 6 acres of beautifully lush gardens full of tall trees and birdlife. We had a tennis court, two pools as well as the walk through the beautiful greenery. I’m a country girl, so I absolutely loved the feeling of space and enveloping nature while being in the middle of town. I must say, the aussies along this stretch of coast do have a knack for incorporating greenery into the architecture quite beautifully – although there is dozens upon dozens of high rise buildings further along the coast (Burleigh isn’t overly built up, but there are a few dotted around) the amount of trees planted around them (and in them!) makes for a good balance. There are also the gorgeous parks with lovely walkways and seating areas to keep country bums like me happy!
The apartment was divine – chic, airy and bright, with bright teal accessories dotted throughout to make it feel beachy and relaxing. We had a room facing the National Park and woke up to the sounds of the town waking up and the hundreds of birds chattering loudly in the trees outside. Add access to bikes, skateboards and body boards and we had the time of our lives! I can't recommend this place enough - these hosts in particular, and the town of Burleigh as well! I'll have a few more posts to come about what to do and where to eat in this great place, so stay tuned!