AirBnB vs Marriott Residence Inn Hotel - Experience Comparison

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General Travel Advice

AirBnB vs Residence Inn Alexandria Marriott

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As someone who hosts guests, I’m disappointed with my Airbnb experience in DC. The disappointment I feel is a result of how AirBnB handled my issue and treated me. My issue isn’t with the hostess and the situation I’ll share. When I arrived, I had the best of intentions. I went shopping at Trader Joes with my daughter. We bought flowers for the hostess because she was very nice. BtW – The flowers looked great in her home! the flowers matched her house decor. She was genuinely thrilled to get my little gift.

My hostess came home around 6:00 p.m. She went straight to her room to bed. Around 7:00 p.m., I knocked on her door and she didn’t answer. I thought, ‘she is tired’ and didn’t worry about her. But, on the second day, her boyfriend told me she was sick – so I prepared to leave.

The issue I have is AirBnB’s scolded me for not talking to my hostess who wasn’t able to answer her phone, leave a note or come out of her room. Scolding me for someone else’s choice, that upset me.

AirBnB vs Residence Inn Alexandria Marriott

On the first day, my hostess shared the neighborhood is gentrified and a shooting happened recently. She suggested I U-bolt my bike in the garage to keep it safe. To get rid of my jet lag, I watched a little t.v. My hostess came out at around 11:00 p.m., we chatted and she said she was off to bed.

AirBnB vs Residence Inn - Review

On the second day, she’s in bed by 7:00 PM again. Knocking on her door again, without an answer, I thought she is out. As I said, I have hosted, so I was surprised she didn’t answer. Unfortunately, no response to the knock on the door or when I turned on the blaring t.v. to 70 volume. (I am not exaggerating about the volume) Later, that night when her boyfriend appeared, I apologized profusely for the blaring t.v. He replied that his girlfriend is sick, and everyone who went to ‘the Island’ last week is sick. Now, I became concerned for me because my visit includes watching a brand new infant on the weekend. Getting sick isn’t an option for me.

Sick Means Sick

He explained she is sick. I said, then I should go because I can’t get sick.

He left, and I called AirBnB. Explaining the situation to AirBnB, I request a refund and let them know I am leaving. They immediately agreed to refund without a supervisor’s approval because in this case it isn’t needed.

So, AirBnB quickly decided to refund my money which is the right thing to do in this situation. Additionally, they offered to help me find another place but didn’t.

When I hung up, it seemed like I had resolved the matter pretty quickly, without much hassle, but, it wasn’t over.

AirBnB tried to reach the hostess, they couldn’t reach her either. So they had the same experience and issue I did.

Next, an email arrived. The agent requested the baby’s medical record. What is the need of child’s medical records? They ask me to show the infants age and medical condition. Really? He’s an infant – no one exposes an infant to sick people.

One More Call

I called back – the agent at AirBnB agreed a babies medical record had nothing to do with the hostess that isn’t reachable.

The agent also agreed to refund the remaining days of my deposit.

I got up at 8:00 a.m. and the hostess was gone. I had a notepad for us to leave messages, a place we agreed to use in case we needed to communicate. But, there is no reply.

Finally, at 9:00 am I left, I did get a text saying she was sorry she couldn’t talk to me. Then another email arrived. Now AirBnB was scolding me. They told me, I should speak to the hostess before leaving. Ok. If they can’t get her and I can’t get a hold of her – how am I supposed to reach her and talk to her. I didn’t respond and went to the Residence Inn. A hotel seemed way less dramatic. All I wanted was a room, a closet to hang up my clothes, and a drawer for my stuff. I got none of that from AirBnB booking.

AirBnB vs Residence Inn - Review

The Neighborhood Around the Hotel

AirBnB vs Residence Inn Marriott Alexandria - Review

AirBnB vs Residence Inn Marriott Alexandria - Review

AirBnB vs Residence Inn Marriott Alexandria - Review

AirBnB vs Residence Inn Marriott Alexandria - Review


At the Marriott Residence Inn at the Carlyle, I got a nice room with a living area, clean bathroom, empty closet, empty drawers to put my things, breakfast each morning with waffles, and a happy hour meet and greet that was full of friendly hotel guests. Additionally, it cost less then AirBnB. By the way, AirBnB never sent me the list of available places as they said they would. They didn’t even send an email saying there wasn’t availability. Glad I know how to book a hotel room.

The Highlights of My Residence Inn Stay

AirBnB vs Residence Inn - Review

Beautiful Bela – Head of Housekeeping

A great breakfast every day

Freshly brewed iced coffee

No scents used in my room so I didn’t get all sneezy

Fabulous guests

Transportation to Old Town, Alexandria where all the shops and restaurants are on King Street

AirBnB vs Residence Inn - Review

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring new cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour or spicy foods.


  1. Jim

    November 5, 2016 at 7:29 am

    At least you got your money back. Very odd situation with the hostess–she was clearly ‘out to lunch.’

    • Kate

      December 3, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      she was out to breakfast – lunch, and dinner – I agree!

      • Kate

        December 3, 2016 at 5:47 pm

        BTW – I like your new picture! Awesome.

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