After weeks of long working hours, weekends on the go, and spending what felt like 90% of my life in airports, we decided last weekend that we needed a break to relax and get away for a couple of days. We couldn’t go far, and after my really lovely visit to the Morpeth Apartment just before Christmas, it seemed the perfect place to escape for the weekend. Thankfully there were no guests booked in, so super host Deb said we were more than welcome to head up there for the weekend.
I’m not going to do a review of the apartment, as I’ve already done that here, but I am going to share with you why our weekend at The Morpeth Apartment has turned us into big Air Bnb fans.
Disclaimer: Deb is a friend and very kindly let us use the apartment at no cost. There was no obligation for me to share anything, but I’m doing so because I was so grateful for our stay. It was exactly what we needed, and it’s such a beautiful place I want to share my pics.
All the comforts of home – and a few extra thrown in!
Choosing to stay in an Air Bnb can give you a lot more space than a hotel room. We were looking for somewhere to actually spend time in, rather than just a base to sleep while we were out and about every day.
The whole point of our weekend break was to relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet, so the apartment was perfect for that. So much so that we made dinner in on the Friday night, watched DVD’s in the cosy living room, and a few episodes of our latest Netflix series thanks to the wifi.
It’s amazing how much more enjoyable things like cooking dinner and watching TV are when you’re staying somewhere new. Our stay was made even better by the little extras we found around the apartment – shortbread, prosecco chilling in the fridge, packets of biscuits, and some things already in for breakfast the next day.
Genuine local recommendations
Air Bnb hosts have the insider local knowledge that you can’t get from Tripadvisor, review sites, or hotel recommendations. Hotels collaborate with restaurants that pay them to send people their way, but when the hosts can rattle off a list of places to eat for any meal, and where to avoid this information is invaluable to your stay.
I think more often now people want authentic local experiences, not the big chains and overpriced tourist spots, so it’s a big plus when your host can offer you all the information as you check in and in the welcome pack.
It’s usually more cost effective
While some Air Bnb’s can be pricey depending on the size of the place and the location, I’ve found on the few occasions I’ve stayed in them that they are significantly cheaper. Especially by the time you add on extras like breakfast, late check out charges etc.
Hotels often really hike up their prices at peak times, and even more annoying over weekends when there are big events happening, like sports, music concerts etc. While you might see a small increase at peak times for Air Bnb’s they’re nowhere near the level you get at hotels.
Being cheaper obviously isn’t always the case, depending on how extravagant you’re going but in general Air Bnbs are pretty cost effective.
Speaking of check in/out times, while Air Bnb’s state specific times because they have to, I’ve never met a host yet that isn’t flexible, or that doesn’t have something in place like a safe storage point for the keys if they aren’t around.
The Morpeth apartment is great for that, especially as the hosts live on the same site so are on hand if you have any problems. No late check out fees either.
Great for smaller or more remote places
We really struggled for accommodation when we booked a random hotel for my friends wedding in Morpeth a couple of years ago, and ended up paying for an overpriced very basic hotel room. Had the Morpeth Apartment been there then it would have been perfect.
If you want or need to be based in smaller, more remote towns and villages your choices on hotels are likely to be chains, basic or non existent meaning you’re looking at a big taxi fare, but Air Bnbs offer the perfect solution to that. The Morpeth Apartment is right in the centre of the town, with free parking on site. For a busy little place at weekends this was perfect for us.
On the Saturday afternoon I could wander around literally from the moment I stepped outside. I found all sorts, little cafes and tearooms, a cheese shop, Rutherfords department store and the most adorable little chocolate shop. It was the perfect way to potter away an afternoon, but if you’re more adventurous it’s a great base for exploring further into Northumberland.
Opportunity to explore further afield
Air Bnbs in small towns like this give you the chance to explore new places, without actually being all that far from home. Northumberland is practically on our doorstep, but when it’s still about a 40 minute drive to the same old places we always go we barely really venture anywhere new. I think for a lot of people this is the case, so you either stay very local, or go a lot further, completely missing out an area that’s still pretty close.
Air Bnb’s in these areas give you a much better starting point for an alternative ‘staycation’, or even just an afternoon out if you know you’ll have a few too many at the pub.
If I wasn’t making the most of doing nothing last weekend, I’d have been looking to go up to Alnwick or Bamburgh. I think that’s worth another trip entirely!
Quality of your stay
The difference between Air Bnb hosts and hotels is that they really care about your stay, and do their utmost to make it a great experience for you. The extras are a lot more personal, and they genuinely enjoy sharing their knowledge on the local area, as well as making your stay perfect.
It’s in their interests considering everyone can see the Air Bnb feedback left, but as was the case with Deb you can tell it’s a lot more important than just getting a good review. Have a look at the specifically dedicated instagram , and the feedback left from past guests.
Not only do they enjoy hosting you in their perfect little place, they enjoy helping you discover somewhere new.
Build up a better relationship with the hosts
For good rentals, you’ll realise that many people are return visitors, and therefore they have really good relationships with the hosts. It just helps doesn’t it, and word of mouth recommendations are some of the most valuable out there.
Rather than finding yourself in a standard hotel room, quirky and authentic properties with a story to tell can be so much more fun. Hotel rooms look the same whenever you stay, but being welcomed into the Morpeth Apartment at Christmas when there were decorations everywhere, and waking up to daffodils last weekend really make the experience a lot more inviting.
Air Bnb shows you the reality
It’s very unlikely that you’re going to turn up to somewhere completely different than what you’re expecting when you book an Air Bnb. You hear horror stories of people turning up to hotels or accommodation that looks completely different to the reality thanks to carefully done, professional photography.
The good thing here is that’s probably not going to happen, and with past guests sharing their experiences and photos you aren’t going to be in for any nasty surprises.
When we left Morpeth on Sunday I felt like I’d been away for a week, and it was so nice to not feel like I’d been away but lived out of a suitcase with no real space to relax like I usually do.
The convenience of the place, and getting the chance to spend a bit more time in Morpeth was perfect, and I could quite happily escape up there every week. It really made us consider all of the perks of staying in an Air Bnb and it’s definitely something I’d consider with a lot more intent going forwards.
Like I said at the start of the post, I was under no obligation to share any of this, but I really wanted to because we had such a good time and I would recommend the apartment to anyone visiting the North East, or wanting an escape for a few days without going to far. Here’s the listing on Air Bnb.
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