Review: Airbnb Apartment in Sydney

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Night view from the balcony. 

My family and I were gonna spend a week in Sydney, so our accommodation had to be good enough. We were looking for an apartment that is private but not in a dodgy area, safe but not overly protected by the Airbnb host, conveniently located minutes away from public transport and local amenities, has sufficient space to accommodate all of us, has positive reviews and on the overall, is still affordably priced. That is actually quite a lot of things to want in an accommodation but surprisingly, we found the right one with Airbnb.


The Booking Process

This is what you typically see while searching for accommodation on Airbnb. I first narrowed down my search to three different apartments and shared the list with my family, who in the end agreed on this one simply because amongst the three - it was the biggest, cheapest and has two bathrooms.



Airbnb has this function where you can invite and add guests who are going on the same trip with you, so that everyone can browse through accommodations, bookmark them and decide together - no need for multiple screenshots to send to whatsapp!


Here's how a snippet of the receipt looks like after you've confirmed the booking with the host. The group function will also help to calculate the amount that each person has to pay for, and also lets you send or request money from each other, including the host! However, in order to use this function, everyone needs to be a verified user (meaning your ID / passport is verified). It is pretty troublesome for some, but it shows how Airbnb takes security seriously. 

The Host

A husband and wife duo (Silvia and Ralph) owns this apartment and they have had quite a fair number of good reviews for all of their listings - all of which are in Sydney. This was my eighth time booking with Airbnb and it was yet another pleasant experience. Right from the start, she was always warm and attentive. She gave quite a number of tips for our stay and was always just a text away in case we might need her.


Fazwan getting the keys from the letterbox for us to check in. 

I did not get to meet them in person but personally, I like to be left on my own without supervision when staying with Airbnb. Nonetheless, it is always nice to know at the back of my head that the host would be available 24/7 if I were to need help. For instance, on the last night of our stay, the light bulb of one of the toilets blew out and she was about to make her way down to get it fixed that afternoon, but we insisted that she did not trouble herself since we were checking out in the next morning. Even so, she was still so apologetic and quick to give a solution.



The Neighbourhood

This apartment that we chose is located in a suburban neighbourhood called Kogarah, which is just twenty minutes ride away from the city. An apartment in the CBD area would be ideally located, but that would also mean at least an extra fifty Australian dollars in price per night. So... no, thank you. Kogarah is good enough because there's still Westfield (a huge shopping mall franchise, like the equivalent of Capitaland in Singapore) five minutes drive away.


The apartment itself is located right smack in front of the St George Hospital and Kogarah Arts School and TAFE NSW (the ITE equivalent in Sydney) within the vicinity - which means that there are quite a number of cheap take away food available for students. There's Western, Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai food places available but these were not halal. For halal options, there are at least 4 eateries serving Indian, Mediterranean and Turkish food around the area - our favourite was Kariri Chicken because the people and food there were really nice and the portion.... omg the portion.



There is a bus stop a minute away and Kogarah train station is just a five minutes stroll away, where Costa Coffee and Woolworths are located at. Comparing to the apartment I stayed at while in Perth, this one is definitely more accessible to most things. Uber fares from the city did not cost a bomb, the airport is only a 20 minutes drive away, just enough sea breeze coming in from the east, most train services stop at Kogarah (some express train services skip a lot of stations during peak hour) and we were never deserted while walking around the neighbourhood.

There is also a shisha place right next to our apartment but we couldn't go because yes, my mother was there.

The Accommodation

My mother had always been skeptical about using Airbnb as an accommodation - simply because she never liked the idea about having to stay in a stranger's house. What she doesn't understand is that, Airbnb is just like any other service apartment or guest house. Most Airbnb apartments are actually bought solely for the purpose of renting it back out - that's what people do when they have a lot of retirement money, they invest in property - which also means that the apartment is as heavily used as any other hotel out there.

So because of this typical old people mindset, from the moment I started my search, I had to make sure that I chose the right apartment to win my mother's heart. Here are a few pictures of our two storey and two bedroom apartment:


Fully furnished kitchenette.

Kettle and bread toaster.

Iron and espresso machine.

Sink and dishwasher. 

Bedrooms that accommodate four people.

Washer and dryer in the main toilet.

Main toilet. Second toilet had a shower + toilet bowl, but did not have a bath tub.

I may have survived the sticky natural stone floors of our hostel toilet in the Philippines, but I still need to have a clean toilet whenever I travel because it's just... a form of personal comfort. The only thing that my Asian self cannot stand is the fact that there wasn't any hose in the toilet for you-know-what. Other than that, the toilet was really well kept.

Dining area.


Common lounge area.

My mother is clearly satisfied with the stay. 

By the time we checked out, my mother didn't want to leave! Even earlier today, when I asked her to rate the apartment, she said "10/10! and when can we go there again?" HAHAHA. Well I'm glad her first experience with Airbnb was a great one. In conclusion (and on an average), we would rate this apartment an 8.5 out of 10. As usual, here are a few likes and dislikes that all of us had during our stay at this apartment.



What we liked:
Kariri Chicken downstairs. The homely feel of the entire neighbourhood. How clean the apartment is when we arrived. The spare towels and sheets in the bedroom. The extra mattresses. The comfy lounge chairs. The balcony. How fully equipped, comfortable, self-sufficient and accessible the apartment is to most things - especially the train station.

What we didn't like: 
There was no hose for our asian toilet habits. It was autumn but there was no air-conditioning so this might be a concern for summer. The power sockets were a little far away from the working area / couches. Also, the building was undergoing renovation while we were there and the workers would be doing their job from 7am til 4pm, with loud music on and loud drilling / construction noises. We are usually out early and came back pretty late, so we were not greatly affected by the noise, but it would have been nice to have been informed about this beforehand.

Overall, we definitely enjoyed our trip to Sydney and the apartment was one of the reasons why. I've been using Airbnb for quite a number of trips and I must say, this Kogarah apartment adds on to yet another pleasant experience. Airbnb is a great alternative especially for places where hotels are expensive - like Australia or Japan. If you are interested to give Airbnb a try for your next trip, click here to receive SGD45 worth of travel credit for your first booking!



This review was not written under any pressure, endorsement or sponsorship of any of the parties mentioned, and was written under my own initiative. All information displayed are accurate at the time of posting. All visuals and opinions here are as always, my own.

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