Airbnb is an online community marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodations. Airbnb users include hosts and travelers: hosts list and rent out their unused spaces, and travelers search for and book accommodations in 192 countries worldwide. It has grown from appealing to both couch-surfing budget-conscious tourists and to business travelers seeking a more memorable experience that allows for a different level of communication between host and guest.
I decided to try their services on a recent trip through South America namely Rio De Janeiro, Brazil While visiting Santa Teresa i booked this Guest House in the vicinity. It may seem like im on a strict budget and a perfectly affordable yet decent place for the price it came at which was only Rs 926/- per night. But don’t be fooled it had so much more to offer than you can ever imagine. The only reason i was in the Santa Teresa neighborhood was to visit the Escadaria Selarón, a set of world-famous steps in Rio. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as a tribute to the Brazilian people.There are 250 steps measuring 125 metres long which are covered in over 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world. (They even had some Indian ones i recognized.)
Now isn’t that marvelous? To build something like this massive work of dedication, passion and art? But lets connect the tiles if you may…The guest house in Santa Teresa that i was able to book through Airbnb had a unique history – it was home to none other than the man himself, Jorge Selarón who lived there until January 2013, while constructing the stairway that eventually became one of Rio´s main landmarks. The building not only had a colonial architecture but was located right next to the beautiful “Selarón Stairway” or “Escadaria Selarón” I was thrilled that Airbnb had this as an option and even more thrilled that it added to my experience of visiting this landmark and made it almost surreal if not more appreciative.
Travelers can search the database of properties at any time, but need to create an Airbnb profile to book any reservations. Travelers can contact hosts using an online form that appears on each listing page, and can submit a reservation request by clicking the “Book It” button and entering payment details via a secure payment system. As simple as that!