I’ve blogged about Airbnb before, but my experience in Oslo (or Nesodden, to be more accurate) gave me more cause for reflection.
My Airbnb experience in Oslo was fabulous. The property is what Brits would call a “granny flat”. It’s 100% self contained (with its own entrances) but attached to the owner’s house. Inside, you’d describe it as a split level studio. It’s an open plan kitchen/living room/bedroom space, with the sleeping area being up a few steps from the rest.
It is 100% pine – floors, walls and ceilings – so it smells like a sauna. Wonderful! It has a little balcony leading onto the owner’s back garden.
My lasting impression is of a quiet, calm, relaxing and comfortable place to stay. I slept well. The only thing which comes close to resembling an interruption is the owner’s cat wanting to check you out. You choose…
It’s a 5 minute walk to a good corner shop and takeaway pizza shop. I used both. They are excellent (Oslo prices, but so is everything else!) There’s an Asian restaurant in the same building, but I didn’t try it.
Oksval (in Nesodden) is 30 minutes from the centre of Oslo by bus (5 minutes) and ferry (20 minutes).
The sail is great.
The cost was included in my Oslo Pass. The ferries run every 30 minutes for most of the day. The buses connect with the ferries. You can get coffee and something to eat at the Nesoddtangen ferry terminal, or on the ferry itself. It’s all fun and easy.
At the city end of the ferry trip you have tram and bus services right there, and the T-Bane (Nationaltheatret station) an easy walk away.
Nationaltheatret station also has mainline train services to/from the airport or you can take the tram to the central station (5 minutes).
The property suited me perfectly. It gave me easy access to the city centre for sightseeing and food. It gave me peace and quiet when I wanted it in the morning and evening.
Oksval is like a seaside village crossed with a suburb. Summer houses mixed with year round properties. It has a little beach, and yes, I did go swimming. And yes, I did find a deer in the garden one evening.
The owner was friendly and helpful, but I only saw him on arrival and departure.
Now, crunch time. The cost. £153 (€167) for 3 nights, which includes a cleaning fee of £13 and Airbnb’s fee of £17. £51 per night. In a place where a takeaway pizza costs £12, that’s fabulous value for money (even for those who aren’t Scottish).
In comparison terms, that is much better value for money than where I stayed on Colonsay and Islay this year (although both were excellent). Colonsay was a self catering apartment (much like Oslo) and Islay was a normal B&B.
It would be hard to compare anything with my accommodation on Eigg – it was unique.
Oslo was massively better than my Belfast experience in an Ibis hotel – wakened at 3am by a disturbance in the corridor right outside my room which turned out to be the manager trying to eject a drunk. 4 hours sleep that night…
Oslo was my 9th Airbnb experience in 4 years, in places as diverse as Rīga and Amsterdam.
They’ve all been different and all have been positive. It won’t be my last.
Footnote: The Danish word hygge is derived from a 16th century Norwegian word – hugga. The German word Gemütlichkeit is a close translation. None of them translate well into English. English speaking folks often think the meaning is close to “cosy” and implies sitting in front of an open fire in winter. In fact, it can just as easily mean sitting on a deserted beach in mid summer whilst appreciating the fresh air and solitude.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2017