6 In Travel Stories

A Whimsical Airbnb House in Boston’s South End

Whenever possible, I try to book cosy boutique hotels or local accommodation with a bit of character when I travel. I’ve used Airbnb, for example, in New York, Boston twice, Amsterdam and Saint Lucia – all of which were great experiences except for the first one in Boston which was horrible (but also dirt cheap, so I guess to be expected).

Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

Last month, my trip to Boston was a bit of a whirlwind, but the house I stayed in, and the host, Gerald, is worth sharing. The reviews on his profile (at the moment, 88 of them and all five stars) are truly spot on and well deserved. If you ever have the chance to stay, do.


Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

I booked because I was drawn to the whimsical decor. There was a union jack pillow on the sofa in one of the photos and artwork all over the walls. It was colourful, had a garden (with a hot tub) and a great location in the trendy South End.


Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

I took pictures and while I almost always only use my own photos on the blog, mine don’t do it justice so I’m sharing some from Gerald’s profile instead. It is a bit different now – furniture slightly rearranged, new lamp in the kitchen that arrived while I was there and the colourful painted walls are covered in some of the coolest wallpaper I’ve ever seen – like pink with flamingos in part of the kitchen. Also, the kitchen steps have been completely redone in some amazing tiles. The bathroom upstairs has some brilliant wallpaper too. So it’s even quirkier and more amazing now than these photos suggest.


Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

When Gerald (and his friendly dog Skye) greeted me at the door and handed me keys that were decorated with flowers and smiley faces, I recognized an appreciation of the little things – the small details on everything. And Gerald doesn’t miss any of them.


Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

At the kitchen table, he ripped a piece of paper from a notebook and took out a map of Boston. He mapped the key locations I’d need to find during my stay and wrote me a list of local cafes and restaurants (Chang + Myers, Coppa, The Buttery) and told me what he likes about each of them. And the location turned out to be fantastic. After we finished the list, we took Skye out for a bit of fresh air and a walk around the local area so I’d be familiar with the neighbourhood.


Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

Most evenings, I sat and chatted with Gerald for a bit and enjoyed hearing the stories of how he aquired some of his artwork and interior design elements like the different types of wall paper which has actually been added since the photos on the Airbnb page were taken and lamps and tiles he bid for on eBay. I’ll include a mix of my photos (which aren’t that great) and some from the site.


Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

He’s also a photographer, now taking all of his photos on his iPhone and making cards to sell at the Open Studios event in Boston and give away to friends. He gave me one to take home – a black and white photo of downtown Boston.


Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

And while I’m much more a cat person than a dog person, Skye (named after the Isle of Skye in Scotland) was lovely. She was also entertaining and her favourite snack is frozen green beans (but only the French ones and only when accompanied by a few biscuits).


Photo from Airbnb listing


Photo from Airbnb listing

Gerald really goes the extra mile to extend his hospitality and offer a local’s advice. Even when I left for the conference just after 7am every day, he’d gone out ahead of time to buy me a scone or some other delicious treat from Flour or The Buttery for breakfast. A great way to kick off a long day and a comfortable bed to go home to in the evenings.

The Airbnb listing

(And no, this post was not sponsored by Airbnb or by Gerald – just a genuine recommendation!)

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Diana Mieczan
    October 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Aww..now I want to go to Boston and stay in Gerald’s place. What a gem of a home and all those little details are simply amazing. Love! Hope you are having a great week so far, sweetie.

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      October 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      If you have the opportunity, definitely do. He really makes an effort to make his guests feel welcome and it’s a fun little getaway. x

  • Reply
    Dee Liang
    October 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I feel like I would go to Boston just to stay here at Gerard’s. Well, and try The Buttery of course. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      October 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Definitely go if you have the chance! It’s a great area too so plenty of foodie places neaby and lots to explore 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Gerald’s home is so charming and fun! I definitely want to pay him and Skye a visit now. I love quirky small places and getting a local’s suggestions about must see spots and what their favorite restaurants are. And I am a total sucker for a hot tub! 🙂

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      October 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Definitely do! It was such a lovely place to stay and he’s full of good advice and more than happy to share it. I’m going to remember the swimsuit for the next visit so I can take advantage of the hot tub!!

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