Airbnb is facing a growing backlash from customers and local communities. So why not create an alternative to Airbnb? We’ve discovered 19 beautiful apartments in Europe you won’t find on Airbnb. All have stylish interiors, sensible prices and no weird hosts. Here’s some favourites:
#1 A chic ‘n’ cheap apartment in Berlin
These amazing self-catering apartments in vibrant Prenzlauer Berg — one of Berlin’s coolest districts — will make you feel like a true Berliner. These apartments are just too cool for Airbnb. Friendly owner, Simon, has designed each pad with individual retro-stylish flourishes and vintage statement pieces. Every one’s a winner.
So why no signage out front? Because guests want to feel part of the community. Also, the incredible prices allow these apartments to soar above the Airbnb radar. Truly unique.
Price: From £88
#2 A stylish apartment in Lisbon
Here’s a secret worth sharing. These super-chic apartments (sleeping 1-7) bang in the heart of Lisbon are the perfect remedy to cookie-cutter Airbnb rentals. Owner Jesus spent years meticulously restoring 13 unique apartments (9 aren’t listed on Airbnb) inside a striking 18th-century building,BaixaHouse.
The results are breathtaking: spacious rooms with ultra-cool furnishings, fabulous kitchens and squeaky-clean bathrooms. Everything you need for short or long stays.
Price: From £129
#3 A designer apartment in Rome
Fancy a Roman holiday? These 6 boho apartments hidden down a pretty cobblestone strada are the real deal. We’re talking a magnifico location – just a coin’s throw from the Trevi Fountain – matched with bellissimo interiors. Now where can you find that on Airbnb?
Swoon at the sumptuous beds, sleek kitchenettes stocked with Prosecco and chocolates, retro-chic furniture and spoiling bathrooms (some with saunas!) — all housed in a 16th-century palazzo in the heart of the Eternal City. How’s that for Italian style?
Price: From £221 i-escape offers:30% last-minute discount (3-night minimum)
#4 A pool villa in Croatia
This 6-bedroom villa with gardens and a pool could be the beginning of your love affair with the real Croatia. Set on a hillside in peaceful Istria, the converted farmhouse sleeps up to 14 – perfect for families or large gatherings.
The only problem? How to enjoy the wealth of facilities! Laze by the turquoise pool, pick your own vegetables in the garden, play on the sports pitch, visit the nearby villages (sample their heavenly olive oil), chill on the sun terrace with a cold G&T, or prepare a feast in the epic kitchen and dine outside beneath the stars.
Price: From £249 per night from 2 Sept
#5 A stylish apartment in Barcelona
These gorgeous rentals for 2-4, set a few doors down from their B&B sister, are a classy example of Barcelona cool.
Friendly owner Yessica, who previously worked in fashion, has created 2 pads with fabulously chic interiors that will never be listed on Airbnb. Each has high ceilings, large windows, galley kitchens and a terrace for morning coffee.
As for the beds, what can we say? The best sleep we’ve had in years, leaving you refreshed to explore Barcelona’s historic surroundings.
Price: From £162
#6 A luxury apartment in Venice
Planning on making a grand gesture? These 3 self-catering apartments (sleeping 2-7) in a historic waterfront palazzo facing the Grand Canal are all the grandeur you need.
Word of warning: this is a serious splurge. You can find cheaper, less ethical options on Airbnb – but do you really want to be dull in Venice? Fabulous terrazzo interiors filled with unique antiques from the owner’s private collection, each apartment has an elegant master bedroom (plus a second double/twin), a splendid kitchen, and 2 bathrooms.
Price:From £430 per night i-escape offer:10% discount (14+ nights)
#7 A country house in Provence
We love this dreamy farmhouse conversion in sun-kissed Provence. Housing a cluster of 2-to-5-bedroom houses and apartments, the entire property is a picturesque marvel, with a courtyard, a pool, wisteria-covered terraces, lavender-scented gardens and views of the Cévennes hills.
Welcome to Instagram heaven.
Price: From £127 per night from 2 Sept
#8 A city apartment in Bristol
The perfect city escape (outside London), these 5 self-catering suites in a handsome Georgian townhouse provide luxury at budget prices. Trust us, you won’t find anything better on Airbnb for this price range. Each occupies an entire floor and boasts marble fireplaces, bespoke furniture and truly madly comfy beds, plus nifty kitchenettes and spotless bathrooms.
But wait, there’s more. How about your very own cinema projector? That’s evening sorted! But remember to visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Price: From £95 i-escape offer: 4 nights for 3
#9 A design apartment in Florence
These 10 ultra-modern apartments were lovingly created by revered Italian architect Claudio Nardi. In other words, the exact opposite of most Airbnb apartments in Florence. Varying in size (studios, suites and lofts), each rental provides sharp interiors, huge beds, slick bathrooms and signature pieces like Mies van der Rohe chairs.
There’s also a garden, a lap pool, a lounge and bar, plus hammocks for snoozing.