Over the past few years we’ve seen a growing trend in accommodation options, something we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a number of times too. Short term rentals have become a viable choice and a surprisingly affordable one as well. The idea of renting an apartment or house for a few days or a week isn’t exactly a new concept but the internet has really changed the way we go about booking our accommodation. While there was once a few choice companies that could help home-owners rent out their properties as holiday homes. These days there are many websites across the world that offer a platform for owners to not just promote their apartment but take orders and get reviews of the property too.
The internet, being such a new medium, often goes full circle in a short space of time. While the big players in the short-term rental scene can offer a wide range of choice, if you’re looking at a specific destination with particular requirements then the best places to look are the local sites. Where the expertise is focussed on the exact place you want to go.
One great destination for short-term rentals is Berlin. A city with so much history and culture its impossible to ignore. A place that we’ve long recommended a visit to and a place we know many of our friends would recommend to. Whether you’re looking for an educating experience, some of the best nightlife in Europe or a short break walking around this iconic city, Berlin suits all sorts of travellers. We were recently asked to review a local short-term rental website in Berlin aptly titled coming-home.org to see if their local knowledge and contacts offered something far greater than their global counterparts.
The site is of course available in both German and English with great translation. They actually offer short-term rentals in both Berlin and Potsdam to the South-West of Berlin, around 22 miles away. Both worth visiting if you have the time. Coming Home like to call short-term rentals “temporary residence” and they’re keen to push the idea that these furnished apartments and houses aren’t just another accommodation option, they’re your home for the duration of your stay.
A quick search of all the suburbs revealed an interesting range of properties available. Many of them labelled as “available immediately”. It’s worth noting that most of the properties require a minimum stay of 1 month, which for travel blogging nomads like us is probably about the right length of time to base in one city. We’ve often stayed longer so this site offer some great options. We recently reviewed options like this in Austria but the quality and ease of access to information was nowhere near as good as what Coming Home offer.
The properties are mostly apartments, located right across Berlin and include some fantastic luxury options, big enough for a family or group of friends. You get the feeling many of these have been hand-picked by the website and selected for their quality and appearance. One of my favourites resembled an art gallery with open plan living space and soft furnishings everywhere. There’s a good number at this quality level for around €2,500 per month but if that’s over your budget there are some equally great properties around €850 too. While the living space may be smaller there’s still a hallmark of quality throughout the properties we looked up.
Booking a property
Rather than a fully automated approach Coming Home have opted for a something a little more personal. You can add properties to a “shortlist” for review later, a great way to favourite the properties you wish to enquire about. Then simply fill in their contact form with more details about your stay and they’ll contact you directly once they’ve made enquiries with the property owners. I really like this approach as I’ve often felt that short-term rentals are about connections between people. You’re not staying in some nondescript hotel room, you’re residing in someone’s home, so the hands-on approach makes this connection all the more meaningful.
The website is clear and simple with all the information the properties clearly available and abundant too. I’ve often found large short-term rental websites to be very hit-and-miss with the information available on a property, but with Coming Home there’s a visible human quality to whats on offer and the properties all look fantastic.
I’m looking forward to visiting Berlin again in the future and may well opt for a short term rental when I do. A true home will always be a better experience than just another hotel.