Monday, January 1, 2018

I Booked Our Holiday Staycation Using AirBnb in Shell Residences

During Christmas break, I thought of having a staycation with my family just to relax and have fun. I started looking for cheap hotels that can accommodate 2 adults and 2 kids for 3 days and 2 nights online. That's when I remembered I still have 1,200 credits in AirBnb that I can use for my bookings, so that's when I considered trying to stay in a condo instead of a hotel simply because it's cheaper and to use my discount.  It was my very first time to use AirBnb and our first time to stay in a condo instead of a hotel. I really thought there wouldn't be much difference not until we actually experienced staying in one. 

What is AirBnb? AirBnb is a website where you can look for vacation rentals, homes, condos, and others. If you have a place for rent, you could also use AirBnb to advertise your place. 

Booking in AirBnb is quite easy. You simply look for the place you want, check the availability of the place on the date you want to stay, book the place, and then pay using your credit card. You can also chat the host of your chosen place if you have special requests or questions regarding your stay.

I started to look for condos with a similar hotel look with a big swimming pool, and it should also be near a mall so if ever we need anything or wanted to take a stroll, we could simply go malling. The condo that won my eyes and heart is Sharon's place in Shell Residences in Pasay City, just walking distance to the Mall of Asia. Here are some pictures: 

Shell Residences
Spacious Lobby
Our Room 
What attracted me to book Sharon's place is the following: 
  1. The Two Queen Beds. The first thing I check when I'm searching for rooms to stay in is their beds.  The 2 queen beds in Sharon's room really caught my eye from the pictures and I know they would comfortably fit a family 4. During our stay, her linens and beds were really soft and comfortable when we used it, very similar to hotel beds. They smelled freshly cleaned, too. Each bed has 4 large pillows already plus one throw pillow so we need not request for more pillows. 

Two Queen Beds
2. Big TV with Cable. My 10-year-old son always reminds me to always check if the room has Sky Cable because he wants to watch Cartoon Network. Sharon's place has a big flat screen TV with Sky Cable so we didn't have a problem with that except that we often experience a bad reception in the afternoon and at night so the channel is not often clear. 

3. Kitchenette. Having a sink is a major plus for me like I mentioned in our previous stay in Hotel 101. I get to wash the glasses and plates that we used without a fuss. The ref was also big enough to accommodate 1.5 liters of water/sodas/juices plus it also has a freezer so we could store some frozen goods there. 


Shell residences pool

4. Pool. The one that made me seal the deal is Shell Residence's big swimming pool. It's really huge!  It has a kiddie pool and an adult pool. I thought the kids would really love it when they see it, so I booked the room. Swimming here in the summer would really be lots of fun. 

5. Free WIFI. We were given free WIFI during our stay and our internet provider was Sky WIFI. Speed was satisfactory and stable. We all used our gadgets with ease using the WIFI.

Free coffee, tea, water and some snacks during our stay
6. Nearby Establishments. Aside from the Mall of Asia, there are plenty of establishments within the Shell Residences building that you'll find very useful such as Alfa Mart, Savory Restaurant, Thai Massage Parlor, BDO bank, Figaro Coffee Shop, Suds Laundry Service, and more. We bought our water and other food supply from Alfa Mart and we bought delicious dinner from Savory Restaurant.

Others: 
  • The host gave us free coffee and tea amenities in the room just like in a hotel. :) 
  • Free shampoo and conditioner with complete bath amenities were also provided by the owner such as 4 bath towels, toothbrushes, soap, with a free first aid kit, too. 
  • We were given free sponge and dishwashing soap. 
  • We were provided with 4 plates and glasses to use during our stay. 
  • Broom and dustpan were available to use (stored in the cabinet) 
  • Ironing board + iron, safety security box is available
  • Upon our stay, we really felt safe and secure because the place has plenty of security guards. 
The room was indeed nice, but there were also some cons staying in a condo instead of a hotel and they are the following: 

1.There's an additional payment of P150 per person per day  (P150 for weekdays, P300 for weekends and holidays) to swim in the pool. Yep, tenants need to pay if they want to use the swimming pool. I was already informed about it before booking the room and I was willing to pay as long as my family had a good time and the pools are well-maintained. Hotels, on the other hand, usually lets you use their pool for free when you're a stay-in guest. 

2. The view in our room is the garage. I really thought that the view of the room wouldn't affect our stay, but I was wrong. Our room was located in the ground floor so naturally, the view would simply be the road outside.  When we all saw the view in our room, we somehow felt a little sad. Our staycation didn't feel like a staycation because there was nothing unique to see by the window. 

3. Everything is DIY (Do-It-Yourself). Nobody would collect the trash for you in the room so you need to bring the trash yourself to the Garage room. They don't give you towels in the pool so you need to bring towels for yourself. There's no room service, but you can order any food you want and have it delivered to the building. You'll just have to go to the lobby and meet the delivery guy yourself. 

Overall, our stay was quite enjoyable thanks to the lovely and huge swimming pool, and the nice room. But if I were to choose between staying in a condo or a hotel, I'd rather choose a hotel next time, especially on a Christmas break because I'm sure hotels would have more Christmas decors, Christmas-themed food, and other holiday promos that would really give the holiday chills for their customers. It would really just depend on the goal you want to achieve for your staycation. 

Do you want to try out AirBnb? Click my link here so you can have a discount of P1,100 on your first booking! 

Note: AirBNB also caters internationally so if you want to find a house or a room in Rome, U.S., Italy, Japan, and so on, it's a good place to start looking. 

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