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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Alternative Vacation Accomodations - Airbnb


We were attending a wedding in the Chicago area in July. Claudette and I have never been to Chicago before so we thought it a good idea to extend our stay and see the sights of downtown Chicago. We needed a hotel room.

Our wish list included:
  1) Short walk to/from the hotel and CTA
  2) We were informed that the preferred area to stay would be near “the Loop” and/or the river.
  3)  Of course, a view would be a bonus.

After checking some other hotel rates in the area, I realized that our wish list might be a bit too ambitious for our budget.  It was then I remembered coming across an “alternative accommodations” web site called

Located on the river across the street from Trump Tower, Airbnb listed Ruth’s place. It satisfied ALL our wish list requirements at a much more affordable price. It’s a short walk to the CTA Blue Line back to ORD. It’s near all the river boat tours and “river walk” access.

As this was our first experience with Airbnb, Claudette was a bit hesitant about my “alternative to hotel” stay. A lot of "what if" questions had to be answered.

"...What if this is a scam? What do we do? Where is this place? How do we get there? Sleep on a sofa bed bed for three nights?, etc,etc"

She soon warmed to the idea after seeing the photos and reviews of Ruth’s condo at the Marina Towers in Chicago

We had full access to the studio half of the condo that included the kitchen, living room (with sofa bed), a balcony with fantastic views of the river, bridges and across the street from Trump Tower. Our host was warm and friendly and eager to make sure we had everything we needed.

During our stay, Ruth occupied her bedroom/office to give us privacy while we were in the condo.

We had three days of exploring the Navy Pier, marina beaches and Millennium Park.  We took the Chicago River Architecture Cruise tour (which includes Ruth’s building) and Lake Michigan & Fireworks cruise tour. We even managed to hit “Taste of Chicago” week to sample the best of Chicago’s restaurants.

Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful (with the few exceptions of the ever present panhandlers), but on the whole three thumbs up for Chicago!


Anonymous said...

Were you able to come & go as you pleased? What if you wanted to come in for a nap in the middle of the day, is the owner present?
Sounds intriguing!

KauaiMark said...

"come & go as you pleased?"

Yes, we had a key fob and key to access the building and the condo.

"What if you wanted to come in for a nap in the middle of the day"

We did actually (not nap) but cool off and relax. When we were there, she either went out and visited friends or worked from her bedroom

She told us the place was ours whenever we wanted.


Ella Maya said...

These people are committing with some other profit service. Take the apartment away from them and give it to someone else.

KauaiMark said...

"...Take the apartment away from them and give it to someone else."

Since the lady OWNS this condo, I see it as her property to use as long as it doesn't impact other owners in the building.

You have an argument if she is renting the condo and then sub-rents to third party guests. Renting out something that you don't own doesn't apply in this case.