Tuesday, May 26

How to Find A Home Away.

Okay, just a wee bit more about London this week, I promise! A lot of you asked me how we found our London rental flat, and I was so thrilled with our find, that I wanted to share a little bit of my experience researching a holiday rental. We had a great experience with our rental, which we found via Holiday Rentals from Home Away (they are the UK division of Home Away Rentals, which is kind of like the parent company). Holiday Rentals provides you with insurance (up to $5,000) for any holiday rental you book from their site. All the transactions are handled directly between the private owner and yourself, but once you book your holiday, you register it with the Home Away/Holiday Rental site and you are insured should something disastrous happen. I paid my deposit to the owner, who was lovely, via Paypal, and paid cash upon arrival for the balance. Here's a peek at our charming rental, which we rented for £135 per night (and split that two ways). For a week's stay, it was a fairly reasonable rate for our great Notting Hill neighborhood in London, and because we had a kitchen and cozy place to hang out, we ate most breakfasts in , and even stayed in for dinner a couple of times, helping to save money (and our weary souls from running around all day!).


One of the biggest points that I want to make is that you do have to be very careful. I don't want to get too negative here, but I can't express enough the horror and disappointment in the world when I realized how many schemers there are out there on the internet. There were tons, and I kid you not, tons of people attempting to rent units that never existed, or at the very least, didn't belong to them to rent! Go with a reputable company, and do not send money orders, or bank wire transfers. Do look for rentals with a few recommendations and read those carefully. If the wording is strange, or seems a little too glowing, check further. Google the address, or the phone number, or the email address of the renter. You'll be surprised what pops up. One man I researched had at least a dozen warnings out there on Trip Advisor and other travel chat rooms. Just be careful. Use your common sense, and only send money via Paypal, or through a rental agency with your credit card.

We arrived to fresh tulips from the Portobello Road Market
in our rooms, from just around the corner.

Pretty wrought iron dressing table and headboard.


Our pretty little garden off the back bedroom.

Our pink Notting Hill palace.

Our charming Notting Hill neighborhood, with lots of cafes and shops.

10 comments:

shoppingsmycardio said...

it is so hard to find a candid assessment of the rent-a-flat concept. thank you for sharing your advice and experience...SO helpful! looks like you really lucked out :)

Dottie said...

i'm hoping to try something like this in berlin or munich. thanks for the info!

Joanna said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time! Renting out apartments for the week seems like the way to go and makes for an altogether cozier experience than a hotel. Thanks for the tips!

Carissa said...

your "Notting Hill palace" looks divine! so cute, cozy and charming!

kelly w said...

Extremely useful advice. (I can't get over how gorgeous that flat is!) Many thanks, Victoria. :->

Beth H said...

thanks so much for the tips! i've been thinking about this kind of thing & wondering about it. looks like you had a fabulous time!

Teresa said...

what a lovely home! i'm planning on visiting london for a bit in the fall. do you have any recommendations for good places to shop in notting hill? thanks!

-teresa

sfgirlbybay said...

teresa - i will have a post of my favorite shopping on thursday, but westgrove street is lined with wonderful shops! and of course, portobello road...

sugarplum said...

I've been a huge fan of the rent a flat concept for some time and actually did it in San Fran http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/47257

Chris said...

All the transactions are handled directly between the private owner and yourself, but once you book your holiday, you register it with the Home Away/Holiday Rental site and you are insured should something disastrous happen. Extremely useful advice.