Jan 27, 2021

A better way to stay?

If you travel a decent amount, then you’ve probably heard of or used Airbnb. The pricing can sometimes be cheaper than a hotel and it is nice to have somewhere to stay that feels more like a private apartment than a hotel.

The issue I have with Airbnb is the consistency between using different hosts and support for inexpensive, longer-term stays. Due to the pandemic and many people’s jobs becoming fully remote, I think this second point will become increasingly popular.

Enter Sonder, a company that is similar to Airbnb except that they own the real estate and curate the experience across all of their locations which solves the consistency issue of Airbnb. They also offer steep discounts for longer stays.

As I write this review, I am staying in one. The place for the most part is as nice as I expected from the pictures. Some of the construction of the units and furniture is a bit shoddy but nothing totally unacceptable and at least it is clean. 

Sonder’s customer service is really bad however. I’ve only contacted them twice: once to ask for garbage bags and the second time to adjust my checkout date. They never showed up for the first request and for the second request, they just informed me of their 30-day cancellation policy. No fees, no credit. They just gave me the option to shorten my stay for the same price I already paid. I did not take them up on the offer.

I think there is an opportunity here for someone to come up with something similar to these companies but better. I have an idea to execute on something like Airbnb or Sonder involving smart, tiny homes but I will go into more detail on this idea at some point in the future when I have time to build it.