Roomoramaoffered me credit to try out one of the short term rentals offered on their website. As I’d be travelling alone, renting a room was the most cost effective option. This type of home stay is promoted not only way to save on travel versus paying for a hotel, but to also get a more authentic experience than staying in a hotel.
The last time I’dÂ rented a room in someone’s home for my travel accommodation was more than thirty years ago on the Greek islands. That was very informal with potential hosts accosting tourist dis embarking from the ferry.Â I was interested to see how it would work out in a more structured formÂ arranged through a third party online agency.
I decided to look for accommodation in London in August 2012, in the gap between the Olympics and the Paralympics. I prefer to have my own private bathroom, I didn’t want to pay a cleaning fee or a large security deposit, so that narrowed done the possible options a lot. I wasn’t too bothered about the area in which I stayed. I enquired about two rooms, one in Canary Wharf and one in Stepney, in the Tower Hamlets borough of East London.Â Initially, I didn’t get any response from the one in Canary Wharf but the Stepney room was available for the three nights I’d requested.
Living/dining area at the Roomorama Stepney accommodation
However, a couple of days later it transpired that there was a problem with double booking for my last night. I agreed to move my date of arrival forward by one day. The room cost Â£49 a night, plus a one-off Â£19 Roomorama fee i.e Â£55.30 per night. You have to pay the full rental price, plus the Roomorama fee, sign a contract and provide proof of indentity, to make the booking. The only other charge was a Â£20 cash deposit to be paid when I picked up the keys from the host, which would be refunded when I returned the keys.
Once the booking was confirmed there were a few emails bewteen the hosts, Bernard and Michael, and me; so we could get to know each other a bit before my arrival.
I was able to check into my room at 11am, which was good as I had to leave check out of my room Prince’s Gardens at 10am. It took me around 15 minutes to walk to the flat from Mile End station but I was trundling a large case. I received a very warm welcome and was delighted with my room and the private bathroom. The price of Â£49 for the room is for two people but it’s a small double bed.
My Roomorama room in Stepney
Everything was so clean; my towels and bedding had a lovely scent. I was given plenty of information about the local area by my hosts. There was free WiFi.
I liked sitting on the window seat in my bedroom with the view over Regent’s Canal. I was able to watch barges coming through the lock and some Canada Geese who obviously liked living in that area too.
View over Regent’s Canal from my room
A self service breakfast was included in the room rate. There was a selection of fruit juices, cereals, and jams, eggs, butter, milk, fresh fruit, crumpets, bread, tea and coffee.Â I had my own shelf in the fridge.
Kitchen at my Roomorama accommodation in Stepney
I had breakfast on the balcony every morning.
View from the balcony at my Roomorama accommodation in Stepney
I couldn’t have hoped for better hosts than Bernard and Michael.Â My accommodation in their beautiful home was top notch. I think I struck gold with them. Maybe I’m too cynical but I can’t imagine that all hosts are so charming and offer such a high standard of accommodation and breakfast.
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