A few weeks back I found myself briefly homeless. If you’re an expat, especially in Berlin, you’re probably familiar with short-term holiday apartment rentals. When I came to Berlin over the summer, I never expected to actually stay so long, but here I still am. And much of that is thanks to short-term apartments. Which, coincidentally, is all Berlin seems to offer.
Seven months later, and now I needed a new place to live. While I’d been in the same apartment in Berlin for nearly six months, it was time to move into a new ‘hood and explore a bit more of Berlin…besides the amazingly hipster area around Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg.
In between moving out of my old and into my new apartment, I decided to spend a weekend staycation in my adopted hometown of Berlin. I tried new restaurants, went to new cafes and bars, and even made a day trip excursion to probably the most ridiculous place on earth (more on that later). I also decided to take advantage of one of these holiday apartment services everyone is always chattering about.
So I decided to give myself a mini-vacation in Berlin. Rent a room for the weekend, party all night, tour a new neighborhood. You get the gist. I booked my weekend room through the holiday rental service, Roomorama.com.
Quick review of Roomorama.com
Roomorama offers short-term holiday rentals in hundreds of cities around the world. When I decided to book an apartment for the weekend in Berlin, I found the website easy to use and the process of finding & selecting a room, e-mailing a host and all that jazz pretty straightforward. There are several similar services out there but I have to honestly say I found this website to be a bit more professional looking than some of the others.
It only took a matter of days between choosing an apartment I liked to booking the accommodation. The service was quick—much quicker than I would’ve expected for a process which requires human interaction on both mine and the host’s end.
Most hotel booking sites give immediate confirmation, but my experiences trying to find accommodation through CouchSurfing or other similar holiday rental sites can take forrrrreeeeeever. Two of the three people I contacted through Roomorama replied within a day, and both said the rooms were available. Felt good to have a choice.
I, of course, took the room in Kreuzberg near one of my favorite markets. I was also lucky enough to get some beautiful weather for the weekend. My staycation apartment was just across the street (with a view of a parking lot)!
The place I stayed in
My Roomorama host, first of all, was wonderful. She was interesting (an artist!) and helpful. The wireless/wlan/wifi information was clearly laid out for me, as well as a mint for every day I was staying (a very nice touch for a pretty cheap holiday apartment!).
For 35€ /night, it’s not the cheapest accommodation in Berlin, (hostel dorms run from 12-25€) but it’s certainly not bad. I had a private room, coffee and whatever else I wanted from the kitchen, and a big bathroom. For 10€ more than a dorm room in a hostel, this is actually a great deal… If you’re looking for a last minute holiday in Berlin, a 35€ room is a definite steal!
The room I stayed in is located in a great neighborhood for tourists & locals alike. If you’re interested in staying in this same apartment—a little bit of luxury, mixed with Kreuzberg’s quirky atmosphere—I’d definitely recommend the apartment I stayed in: https://roomorama.com/rooms/29473
*hey hey – my stay for two nights in a Berlin apartment with Roomorama was fully comped, thanks to the kind accommodation folks**
Hmm, I haven’t heard of Roomorama — I’ll have to check out their website. Have you used AirBnB before? If so, how would you say it compares? I’m looking to use something like this for my next vacation, mostly because it sounds nice on the pocket book *and* you get to feel a bit like a native.
I actually haven’t used AirBnB before. I think a lot of the hosts on these sites end up cross-posting. I’m pretty sure my Roomorama host also lists her apartments on AirBnB, Wimdu, HomeAway and others… I think the differences between a lot of these sites is the user interface and the commission pricing. Honestly speaking, I found Roomorama’s website easy to use but, like I said, I’ve never used any of the others (except for briefly working at Wimdu last year).
I haven’t heard of Roomorama before but will check it out for future trips. I love the staycation, though not over actual vacation time. It sounds like it was a great weekend!
Hahah, yeah Matt – real vacations beat staycations EVERY time.
Roomorama’s service overlaps with a lot of others, but I think it might be an easier service to use for some people.
Glad you had a good trip! I actually never heard of Roomarama, but it sounds like a great fit! I will check it out. To me the fact that I would have a private bathroom makes all the difference. For 10€ more, I would definitely feel more safe and happier too.