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If you’ve been following travel trends for the past few years, you’ve probably seen the explosion of vacation rental websites. People can easily rent out their homes or rooms in their home to paying travelers. And one of these sites is Roomorama.
Roomorama approached me a few months ago and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a property for the site. I readily accepted and waited for the perfect trip to arrive.
As soon as my Iberian trip began to materialize, I decided to try out an apartment for a week in Lisbon. After hearing the Globetrotter Girls rave about the city, it sounded like the kind of place I’d love.
They were right. I loved Lisbon, and it was a great place to be based for a week!
You Don’t Have To Stay in Someone’s House!
Here’s the thing – I didn’t want to stay in someone’s house. The idea creeps me out a bit, frankly. Sleeping in a stranger’s bed with their distinctly human-scented sheets – it’s not for me.
But you DON’T have to stay in someone’s home. Vacation rental companies use Roomorama, and Roomorama has plenty of apartments used exclusively for vacation rentals. It’s the perfect hybrid of a hotel and an apartment – with sheets that smell of nothing but soap.
This apartment is owned by a rental company based in Lisbon.
Reviewing the Roomorama Process
Finding a place to stay on Roomorama was easy – I typed in “Lisbon, Portugal” and took a look at all the apartments offered in Lisbon, from downtown Lisbon to the suburbs to nearby beach resorts like Cascais.
What’s nice is that you get to search with your preferred amenities. For me, wireless internet was the most vital amenity. I then decided that I wanted a washing machine, as well!
This came up with a host of apartments, and I quickly found my favorite. But after receiving no reply after a few follow-ups, what I learned is that you should send out inquiries to several properties. Most owners don’t keep up with availability calendars across every site, so it says it’s available on the site, it may not actually be available.
Now, this is where there was a problem. Roomorama emailed me saying that if this renter didn’t respond, to email them and they would call the owner. That’s a fantastic idea. I replied to the email, but after several days, nobody got back to me.
I then called Roomorama’s line — twice — and both times I was put on hold for several minutes before the line was disconnected.
I then tried Roomorama’s live chat feature. After 32 minutes, nobody had answered me.
I had tried every way to reach them, and none of them worked. The only way I could get in touch with them was through the marketing contact I had — which, obviously, most people do not have. This was not good.
HOWEVER — I brought this to the attention of Roomorama and they will be working with their customer service team to find out what went wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I trust them on this, and I wouldn’t let this stop me from using Roomorama again.
Reviewing the Apartment
If you want to rent this apartment for your stay in Lisbon, click here to see its Roomorama listing!
I loved this one-bedroom apartment, decorated in shades of lime, honeydew and chartreuse. It was the perfect size for a solo traveler or couple, though you could fit up to four people if you used the pull-out sofa.
The location in Principe Real was fantastic – right on the edge of Bairro Alto nightlife and a short walk from most sights in Lisbon. There are two nearby parks and a Mini Preço grocery store, and right around the corner is one of the best panoramic views in the city.
The kitchen came loaded with cookware and appliances – even a Nespresso machine! (There’s a Nespresso store down the street in Chiado if you want to buy the coffee.) There were tons of extra duvets and blankets. And don’t forget the space heaters – Portuguese homes aren’t heated, so space heaters are a must for winter.
The internet was excellent and fast. I didn’t have a single blip the whole week.
As for my solo female travel concerns, I was happy to see a good, modern lock on the door. I felt safe in the immediate neighborhood, including at night, but I wouldn’t walk in Bairro Alto at night unless I was with someone else.
My main complaint is that there was an awful mold smell underneath the sink, next to the fridge. Also, several light bulbs were out, including all the bulbs in the dining room. I’ve told the company about this, so I hope both issues will be fixed soon.
During February, the cost is 50 EUR per night or 250 EUR per week. There are supplemental fees for third and fourth guests, and the prices are higher during high season. It’s still a VERY good price – and cheaper than a hotel.
The Apartment Experience
I LOVED having an apartment in Lisbon. It was so nice to have so much space to myself, especially after a few nights in a party hostel, where I couldn’t work over the blasting reggaeton. I’m an introvert at heart. Does that I mean I don’t know how to be social? No, that means that I go crazy if I don’t get enough alone time. In between dancing on tables, of course!
Staying in an apartment saves you an OBSCENE amount of money on food. I had a few meals out in Lisbon, but I cooked most days, and the amount that I would spend for a nice dinner bought me enough groceries to last a week.
But the greatest benefit of renting an apartment was the aforementioned downtime – rather than relaxing in a hostel lounge or cheap hotel room after a day of sightseeing, I got to stretch out on my own couch or cook on my own stovetop or make myself a cup of tea without fielding the constant “Where are you from? How long are you traveling? How do you make money travel blogging?” questions.
I am officially a convert – from now on, I’m going to look into apartment rentals when I’m traveling!
Many thanks to Roomorama for providing me with accommodation in Lisbon. All opinions, as always, are my own.