When I was looking for an Airbnb London flat there were just so many to choose from it too hours to narrow down my top finds. Airbnb definitely has some hidden gems and finding the posh basement flat in London was one of them. My journey to the flat was one of the worst travel days of my life so when I finally arrived I can’t tell you how happy I was to find that the flat was just like the photos – modern, clean, comfortable, stylish chic, quiet and it smelled good.
The Area (South Kensington)
I wasn’t familiar with the Chelsea/South Kensington area of London but first impression on the street was money, lots and lots of money. People were parking their Maserati’s, Aston Martins, Porsche and other fancy cars on the street (!!!!) as well as their private driveways. Yes, private driveways in London! There is a Ferrari dealership nearby as well as a Shell gas station! Who knew there was a gas station in London? I’ve never seen one in my twenty plus years traveling to the city! This was such a sight to see the expensive cars like a Ferrari in queue behind the black cab and the family Rover. I wasn’t in the normal tourist area, I was in a dream neighborhood that I could afford only if I hit the lottery.
There are two underground stations nearby – South Kensington and Gloucester Road. I preferred South Kensington as it had so many shops around it (i.e. – Hummingbird Bakery (my favorite for red velvet cupcakes), a gelato shop, Ben’s Cookies, Muriel’s Kitchen, Byron Burger, etc.). It was an easy walk from the flat, exit left to the end of the street, make a right and walk to the station. If you make a right from the flat and walk ½ block you arrive at the cinema, two supermarkets (Sainsbury and M&S) as well as pubs and restaurants.
Chloe, the host, was easy to communicate with after booking and provided all information. Unfortunately for me, I would have one of the worst travel days and arrive late. Chloe was out-of-town and I would miss the key pickup with the cleaning lady so through text messages, she arranged to leave the keys at a local shop. I would find a fantastic friend in London to pick the keys up for me as I would arrive after the shop closed. This was the downside to an Airbnb rental – what if you are delayed and miss the key pickup? I would have had to find a hotel for the night and go the next day to pick up keys. Thankfully, my friend saved me that additional nightmare.
The flat was easy to find and my friend was already there to welcome me. Walking into the building, I had to go down two sets of steps to the basement and needed to use the three keys on the door. Upon entry you see the hardwood floors and candles. Your senses are then welcomed with a lovely fragrance which complements the white decor.
The Airbnb London Basement Flat
For London, this is a good size flat (apartment). It is four rooms – bedroom with walk in closet, living room, kitchen, bathroom and a bonus of an outdoor patio (totally a surprise for London). It’s a pretty flat that is calming. The bed is comfortably soft with side lamps that were fun as they are touch operated.
The instruction booklet asked not to touch the wine rack (really, who drinks other people’s wine?), use the walk in closet (again, it’s your stuff, I wouldn’t think to even go in) and don’t open anything that is taped as those are her private drawers. Other than that, suggestions were given for the area as well as instructions for the kitchen, bathroom and heating.
Using the kitchen was a nice bonus in London as I was able to pick up a meal at M&S to microwave to enjoy relaxing watching a few interesting British television shows.
Stocked with multiple wash cloths and towels, the bathroom was quite nice. There is a step up from the hallway to note as the ceiling is then shorter (if you are tall it might be a bit annoying). The bathroom was stocked with extra toilet paper as well so no need to buy that which was a nice touch. The water pressure was good.
The Hottest Day of the Year in London
The Airbnb London basement flat surprisingly gets sunlight during the day but the flat is quite cool otherwise which on the hottest day of the year in London was wonderful. No air conditioning is needed and at one point at night, I almost put the heat on but kept saying “it’s summer, goofball”.
Final Thoughts – Airbnb London – South Kensington Flat
If I lived in London, I’d want to live here! It was quiet despite upstairs and next door neighbors – during my three days there I never saw the residents. I didn’t get to use the patio or enjoy the area enough as I was busy visiting friends in the city. I’d definitely stay here again as the area seemed safe and offered so many options.
I stayed for three nights during Wimbledon, the rate was reasonable even we you added the cleaning fees and Airbnb administrative fees. For three nights, this Airbnb London flat was $796 ($265/£170 per night). Totally worth it for the space, comfort and quiet!
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