Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lisbon Apartment Search

I'm searching for an apartment for four nights in Lisbon right now.  The top websites for vacation apartment rentals that I'm looking at are homeaway.com, vrbo.com (owned by homeaway.com). tripadvisor.com, vacationrentals.com, and flipkey.com (owned by tripadvisor.com).

I love TripAdvisor.  I never book any hotel, bed and breakfast, or apartment without looking up the reviews on TripAdvisor first.  The reviews are honest and I trust TripAdvisor's recommendations.  But I can't say I love their vacation apartment search function.  It doesn't allow for many amenity filters, namely air conditioning.  And hubby will not stay anywhere without A/C, which means I have to click on every listed property to see if it offers A/C.

And then there's one problem I have with every search site.  It's the number of double v.s. twin beds - never a search filter.  As I've mentioned before, my teen son and daughter would rather not sleep in a double bed together, so I do my best to find a quad with two twins.  This means reading the body of text or looking at the photos for every listing.

I wish there were more rental agencies like Vacation In Paris (VIP).  Besides their outstanding service and great apartments, they offer the incredibly reassuring courtesy of mailing you the apartment keys before you leave on your trip.  I spoke to VIP to ask if they could recommend any apartment rental agencies similar to theirs in other parts of Europe, but they said they were not aware of any.  And so remains the ever so slight trepidation of meeting a Portuguese-speaking stranger in a big, unfamiliar city to exchange cash for keys.

12 comments:

  1. We used homeaway for an apartment rental near Neuschwanstein that we will be staying in 2 weeks from today. So far so good. I'm hoping all turns out well and goes smoothly. Getting the deposit to the landlady would have been super tricky, but then my sister in Switzerland jumped in to do that, which saved us a huge headache. I looked at over 300 listings though, (many multiple, multiple times) narrowing down the options, then trying to contact the owners (many of whom never responded). But, as of now, I would still do it again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing with me! Please let me know how it turns out! Good luck and have a fantastic time!

      Delete
    2. Thanks! I'll try to remember to come back here and let you know how it went.

      Delete
    3. Went well. The apartments were lovely and perfect for our group of 8 (6 in one; 2 in the other). It was great to have a kitchen and a living room. Plus 3 separate bedrooms for the 6 of us. Owner's husband was supposed to do "check-out" with us, but never did; I left money on the kitchen counter, but we have ended up needing to transfer more to the owner's bank account. All-in-all: a great location, a great apartment, a great experience, a great value.

      Delete
    4. Sounds like a good experience with HomeAway - hope we have luck with ours!

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We used HomeAway for a vacation rental in Provence summer 2010 and it worked out really well. I was nervous about renting, however, the property we selected was owned by an American couple with an English-speaking property manager on-site and everything worked out really well. Just the fact that we were able to communicate by phone with the owners ahead of time went a long way toward reassuring me. I hear you on the bed front too - my two daughters refuse to sleep together so we always need three beds and that's not easy to find in Europe. Good luck with your search!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've used most of the services you mentioned with good success, but only in the U.S. Have you looked at travelingtolisbon.com? Their search function isn't too awesome but they seem to have a decent selection... Good luck with your search! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't know if this will help with your apartment search for Lisbon, but www.slowtrav.com is a travel site that has reliable, honest apartment reviews, along with a helpful forum. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fantastic - thanks! I'll check it out!

      Delete
  6. Those are good sites to look for apartment homes. Still, it pays to really see the place with your own two eyes rather than just rely on pics. If you're too busy to go to the place in person, you could ask someone you trust to do it for you and take pics of the place. Better yet, why not bunk with some friends while you visit your options before making your final decision to a nice home. Hope you will find what you're look for.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Sonja -

    I came across your request and I'd be happy to help. I was born and raised in Lisbon and I do actually do short-lets of my apartment in Lisbon centre since I've moved to London for business recently. Feel free to have a look in here and any support or help just let me know - nuno.macedo@gmail.com

    http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/p1015412

    Kindest regards,
    Nuno

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...