Airbnb: What It's Really Like To Use The Vacation Rental Site

07/06/2012 08:19 am ET | Updated Jul 06, 2012

It's billed as a "cozy and exceptional pool cabana" with a queen bed, "amazing 5-headed shower" and a "genuinely special location where connections deepen, hearts open and peace is found."

I've booked this yoga center retreat via, a 4-year-old, rapidly expanding vacation-rental service that lets socially minded travelers stay in strangers' beds -- or entire homes.

The professionally staged photos? Gorgeous. The four (first-name only) reviews? Glowing. And the rate of $150 per night, not much more than what we would have paid for a room at the Motel 6 in this tony resort town? A certifiable bargain -- at least until I factor in the additional $75 cleaning charge, strict cancellation policy and 12% booking fee to Airbnb.


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