Tag Archives: hotels

Escape the Summer Heat for an Arctic Paradise!

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Escape the Summer Heat for an Arctic Paradise!

Is the heat of the summer starting to get to you? Are you ALREADY tired of walking outside and feeling like you are walking into a sauna?! I meannn — not meee — but everyone around me seems to already be complaining. Double Womp! Anyways, here’s a cool story to take your mind off the heat —

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Northern Sweden’s ICEHOTEL was the world’s first hotel made of snow and ice when it opened back in 1989. Now, after yearssss of being built and rebuilt each winter, northern Sweden’s ICEHOTEL 365 will be the first frozen accommodation to stay open year-round!

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The tiny Swedish locality of Jukkasjärvi, which happens to be 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, was decided to be the perfect location for the 20-suite hotel, art gallery, and bar, constructed completely of  ice, which opened December 1st, 2016.

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The hotel’s interiors, conceptualized by a handpicked collection of international designers, include ice-sculpted suites ranging from 323–430 square feet built on reinforced pillars. Using a solar-powered cooling technology is what helps make all the magic happen!

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While nine suites are deluxe and eleven art-driven, each room is carved as bespoke artwork with wacky names like Hydro Smack and Oh Deer! As if this wasn’t tempting enough, the midnight sun shines for 100 consecutive days, making it possible to catch a glimpse of the mystical Northern Lights from September until late March!

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ICEHOTEL has been built to a fresh blueprint each year, using 5,000 tons of ice taken from the nearby River Torne in the spring and cold-stored over the summer.

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Sections of the hotel will continue to melt and be rebuilt as usual — meaning there will still be fresh new icy artworks for guests to enjoy each year! You will def have the coolest Instagram pics! So if you dare take up the challenge, this is definitely worth the chilly adventure!

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-Karen Bahri

The Absolute BEST New Resort in the Maldives!!!

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The Absolute BEST New Resort in the Maldives!!!

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If you know ANYTHING about me, you know the Maldives is on my top 3 (I say 3 but really 2 hah!) destinations on my list in the world!!! There are a few places I will always jump back to in conversation as my dream destination..and well, now we have another reason to go….

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A new 5-star, exclusive luxury resort has opened up this past November by the Soneva team called Soneva Jani.

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This is the third property by them that has pioneered around-the-clock butler service, a strong environmental code and a determination to disconnect from the noisy outside world (guests are asked to remove their shoes on arrival, which are then slipped into a linen bag until their departure; how relaxingly fancy!).

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The island lagoon of Soneva Jani will comprise of 57 villas – 24 water villas and 23 beach villas. All the villas will enjoy all the amenities of the resort, and each would get their own personal butler, as the same in all Soneva Properties, called Mr./Mrs. Friday.

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Each Water Villa will feature an amazing water slide and private pool, large lounge areas with open views on the blue, ample wooden decks, kids’ sleeping area, a living area with sunken seats, top floor with seating and a dining area as well as several other amazing living spaces.

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Among these, what you are not going to get enough of is the waterslide!!!!! YES, you can SLIDE your way to the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean!!!!! As if a private pool isn’t enough!

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The amenities for the beach villas are more or less the same, and all guests can enjoy the resort’s exclusive amenities.

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Soneva Jani Resort has a cinema, Cinema Paradiso, which is the first overwater silent cinema in the Maldives!

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Guests are provided with Bluetooth headphones, leaving the surrounding nesting wildlife at peace. The resort also includes the first ever over-water observatory, a beach restaurant, a spa, and a water and sports center.

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Inspired by a word that means ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani encompasses a collection of Water Villas and Island Sanctuaries set within a lagoon of crystal clear waters, fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed in lush tropical greenery. The highlight of the islands that the resort is surrounded by 5.6 kilometers of private lagoon! An awe-inspiring azure spectacle that inspires a sense of calm.

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The resort can be reached by a scenic 40 minute seaplane flight direct from Male International Airport.

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Already making headlines in the hospitality industry, it’s not surprising if Soneva Jani will make it as one of the must-visit luxury resorts in the world!

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-Karen Bahri

 

The Land of Legends

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The Land of Legends

Imagine staying at a beautiful hotel that had the works – spa, shopping, fitness center, pool, restaurants, wifi, ect. Imagine all that with a theme park included!!!

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The Land of the Legends Theme Park is a unique concept that effortlessly blends all the aspects of a vacation into one!

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The hotel itself is custom designed with whimsical touches of fantasy to reflect the tales that have inspired the experience at the parks. Featuring a 5D Cinema throughout, which offers guests a really unique, multi-sensory experience!

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Screenshot_20170430-085839 Screenshot_20170430-085947 Screenshot_20170430-085920This themed water park is connected to the Rixos Hotel group. You don’t have to stay at the Rixos to go to the theme park though. Voted hotel of the year in 2016, this place is known to be a KINGDOM as it is the largest water park in Europe!

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The park includes thrilling as well as more relaxed rides as well. From waterslides to rollercoasters. There’s even a dolphin show! They even have a mini Ocean called the “Wave Shock”. Prepare to get your splash on! There’s definately something for everyone!

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Semi-Olympic indoor pool and Kids Pool are also available. Custom-designed guest rooms and suites offer dual-screen LED TVs and Play Stations as well!

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The hotel’s spa provides holistic therapies and massages, Turkish Bath and fitness facilities. Aqua park offers a complimentary access to adrenaline-pumping rides and relaxed explorations including 55 water slides. There are also concerts held here, as well as premium shopping and spectacular views atop the Legends Tower! You can also swim with the dolphins or go snorkling.

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There is also a 24-hour front desk, valet parking service and gift shop as well at the property.

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Land of the Legend will cater to every traveler, presenting a spectacularly curated serious of luxury, lifestyle and entertainment! Child friendly, so bring your kids or bring out your inner child! Definitely worth looking into if traveling to Antalya and you’re looking for something out of the box, exciting and full of adventure!!

-Karen Bahri

Armani Hotel Dubai – Currently the Most luxurious hotel in the World!

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Armani Hotel Dubai – Currently the Most luxurious hotel in the World!

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True luxury can mean different things to different people. Luxury in terms of hospitality can be defined by a team of highly dedicated staff willing to go the extra mile and stop at nothing to ensure that no request goes unanswered.

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Armani Hotel Dubai, opened in 2010, is a ten-story hotel with 160 rooms and suites. It is the first hotel by fashion designer Giorgio Armani. Bearing all the Armani signature details in the carefully curated space with Eramose stone floors, zebrawood panels, and custom-made furnishings, it’s no surprise that everything here is tastefully designed! The hotel style is chic and minimalist – so much so, that it’s easy to get lost!

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One of only two hotels (the other one is in Milan) launched by the legendary designer, much of Armani Hotel Dubai’s appeal is also defined by its location. Situated at Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai, the world’s most luxurious hotel occupies the first eight floors and levels 38 and 39 of the record-breaking tower, and boasts absolutely stunning views of the city! The hotel overlooks the Dubai Fountain, Souk Al Bahar dining district, and the new Dubai Opera house. It also, not surprisingly, has direct access to the sprawling Dubai Mall. There is convenient access to the city’s best shops, restaurants and cultural attractions, plus a dedicated entrance to the tower. It’s also moments from Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, which boasts restaurants, cafés and a steady stream of supercars.

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With all the amenities one would normally expect (such as award-winning restaurants, a lounge, a deluxe spa and various Armani goods) what really sets this hotel apart is the “warm, Italian-style service”; for instance, each guest is assigned a personal Lifestyle Manager who handles everything from arranging childcare to landing difficult bookings of the hottest restaurants and events out there. The idea of it is to provide guests with a “‘home-away-from-home” experience. Service is especially slick in the signature Armani/Ristorante, where staff are knowledgeable and charming.

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Facilities include an arrow-shaped pool with a suntrap terrace and background music that helps mask Dubai’s ever-present soundtrack of construction! The spa features a thermal area with a sauna, dry-heat laconium and steam room and treatment rooms with adjustable massage tables that are so plush you’ll struggle not to nod off!

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Hotel Amenities include:

• Bar

• Fitness centre

• Laundry

• Parking

• Pool

• Restaurant

• Room service

• Sauna

• Spa

• Steam room/hammam

• Wi-Fi

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Armani Hotels & Resorts bring together the impeccable taste of Giorgio Armani and the developmental expertise of Emaar Hotels & Resorts. The partnership is truly global in nature and together create a brand that is unsurpassed in innovative design, style, form & function!

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-Karen Bahri 

 

Meliá Hotels International New Openings for 2017

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Meliá Hotels  International New Openings for 2017

So remember I just told you I stayed at the INNSIDE hotel during my Christmas staycation? Well I was asked to write a piece about the chains new 2017 openings and they have some really nice properties opening up around the world this year!! I really love this hotel chain and I definitely want to check out their global resorts when I travel abroad. I wrote up a piece after doing my research and had to show my colorful Kaleidoscopers, so please take a look! I do hope you all enjoy and hopefully will be able to share some info on a great fairly new hotel chain for you to also explore!

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Meliá Hotels International, S.A. (formerly Sol Meliá) is a Spanish hotel chain which was founded by Gabriel Escarrer Juliá in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca. The company is one of Spain’s largest domestic operators of holiday resorts and the 17th biggest hotel chain worldwide. Currently the hotel chain operates 374 hotels in 40 countries on 4 continents under the brands Meliá, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Paradisus, Innside by Meliá, TRYP by Wyndham, Sol Hotels and Club Meliá.

During a recent staycation, I personally had the pleasure of staying at the Innside Hotel Nomad, which is the brand’s first U.S. hotel. This newly built property is in close proximity to some of the city’s most sought after areas.

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The ambiance is posh and modern. The rooms are clean and bright plus they offer free WiFi and a free minibar in every room with sodas, juices and water. The hotel also offers a business center, fitness center, concierge and 24 hour room service to complete the experience. I have to take a moment to talk about the amazing view I had of the Empire State Building.

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My experience was amazing and this hotel chain is definitely one I will stay at while traveling in the future! With that in mind, 2017 should prove to be another vigorous year of expansion for Meliá, touting a pipeline of 18 scheduled openings, including Meliá’s first sustainable hotel, Meliá Serengeti Lodge.

I’m excited to provide for you this list of what this amazing chain plans to open globally in the year 2017. Take a look:

AMERICAS

Paradisus Los Cabos, Mexico (early 2017)

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Meliá Cabo Real will be converted into Paradisus Los Cabos in a renovation that will convert and upgrade the existing property. Paradisus Los Cabos will be set on 14.5 acres surrounded by a private golf course. It will also be a quick 25 minutes from San Jose del Cabo International Airport. The resort, the ninth in Paradisus by Meliá’s portfolio, will have 350 rooms and suites.

 

Meliá Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (Spring 2017)

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This will be Meliá’s fourth hotel in Colombia. The Meliá Cartagena de Indias is an adults only resort and will have 154 rooms and suites and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

 

ASIA

Meliá Shanghai Hongqiao, China (early 2017)

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Meliá Shanghai Hongqiao will be part of an urban complex that will feature a wide range of commercial and entertainment facilities, dining outlets, green areas and high end residential villas. The 190 room hotel will be situated in Hongqiao, an area expected to become the new center of west Shanghai and a business hub for the Yangze River Delta region. The hotel will also be near the world’s largest exhibition complex, the National Convention.

 

MIDDLE EAST

INNSIDE Doha, Qatar (middle of 2017)

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INNSIDE Doha will be next to the new Qatar National Museum, new Doha Metro station as well as  government and commercial offices, with views of the West Bay skyline and within easy access to Doha’s Hamad international Airport. The hotel will have 192 rooms. Doha is a city that is slowly but surely going to surpass Dubai within the next 10 years, so it’s definitely a city to look out for.

 

INDIAN OCEAN

Gran Meliá Huravee, Maldives (end of 2017)

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Gran Meliá Huravee will be located on the island of Kalhudiyafushi, 40 minutes from Male International Airport. The hotel, still under heavy construction, will have 95 private villas and 100 rooms, three restaurants, a bar and café, spa facilities, sports center and several shops.

 

AFRICA

Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Tanzania (middle of 2017)

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Meliá Serengeti Lodge will be Meliá’s first sustainable hotel. It will be located on the natural terraces on the southern slopes of Nyamuma, with breathtaking views overlooking the Mbalageti river. The hotel will be situated in the Serengeti National Park and have 50 rooms, communal lounge areas and restaurants with views of the stunning infinity pool and Serengeti National Park. This resort will make you feel like you are in paradise!!

 

EUROPE

EUROPE INNSIDE Glasgow & Birmingham, United Kingdom (end of 2017)

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INNSIDE Glasgow will be located in the old British Telecom headquarters. The building will be converted into a hotel with 175 rooms, restaurant and bar, meeting rooms, wellness center and car park. The hotel will be situated on Argyle Street, near Central Station.

INNSIDE Birmingham will have 180 rooms and will occupy the first 25 floors of the Regal Tower, located in the City Centre next to Brindley Place. Both hotels will join the INNSIDE Manchester which was the first in the UK.

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Meliá Hotels International is personally one of my favorite hotel chains and I am very excited about the new developments for 2017 and beyond! It’s a young and vibrant chain with a glamourous ambiance and extremely hospitable staff. I highly recommend considering the chain for your next vacation.

-Karen Bahri

Christmas/Hanukkah staycation at the Innside Hotel!

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Christmas/Hanukkah staycation at the Innside Hotel!

As 2016 comes to an end, I can safely conclude this has been the worst year of my life. I was telling a friend the other day after much thought, I don’t believe that just because a new year is approaching doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to be a new start or a better year. Its not like things are going to magically glow like Disneyland 😐. I live in a world of reality and I just don’t think so.

Anyways, because certain travel plans backfired followed by new travel plans that backfired (my medium friend told me it’s due to the mercury retrogade. Google it.) I created MY OWN PLANS. Because I obviously cannot depend on anyone besides myself, I decided to book a staycation!

Since I’m the most indecisive human being on the face of the earth, this took me about 3 days of researching a hotel 😂😂…I finally made the plunge and booked The Innside hotel. I’m definitely glad I made this decision! The Innside hotel is a part of the Melia hotels & resorts . If you have been to Miami Beach, I’m sure you have seen a hotel called “ME”, which I learned is apart of this hotel family.

Meliá Hotels International was founded in 1956 in Palma de Malorca, Spain. That being said, there are a lot of Spanish guests at this resort! Holaaa! 😉 It is one of the largest hotel companies in the world and the largest in Spain in both resorts and city hotels! The company currently operates more than 370 hotels in 43 countries and 4 continents under its brands! So lets get straight into my weekend and my overall thoughts of this hotel!

Located on the border of Chelsea & Flatiron, which happen to be my favorite neighborhoods, the building is big & beautiful! They play nice jazz music as you enter and they have outdoor seating for their restaurant in the front. It’s got a see-through cover for these cold months. Upon entry you walk into this glamorous space with perfect lighting! Looking straight you’ll find some couches, to the right you have the bar/lounge area and to the left is reception. Front desk is very friendly and total New Yorkers, so that’s good for tourists! 😂 Check in was easy so lets move on to the next topic: THE ROOM.

Initially I called them and they gave me a free upgrade to a King room with a view! I verified that, and just because life in the past month has been everything bad…and worse…I just figured something had screwed up..so naturally I had my game face on 👺! But all was well, ain’t nobody screw up my king room with view upgrade, gurrrl! So up to the 15th floor I went! The hallway was SO CLASSY!! Full length mirrors next to every door!! What a girl needs!! The walls were a clean black so it was a nice contrast! I opened up my door to find a very open, modern, bright, clean, amazing room!!! Bathroom right next to the front door, huge room with flatscreen TV, minibar, wine bottle opener, espresso machine…..And…….a…… VIEWTODIEFOR!!! I had the BEST view of the Empire State Building!!! I was soo happy! Three days of indecisiveness turned out to be a great decision!

I think the only 1st world problems I complained about in my head was half the TV stations didn’t work and the room was pretty cold. I even had the maintenence guy come look at the thermostat but nothing. Oh well! Next time I’ll bring my portable heater!

That evening I ended up making plans and we started off at the hotel lobby bar and had a great convo with our bartender! Very friendly, cool staff! The hotel also has a gym and meeting rooms. Would have been nice if it had a pool or spa but hey, we can’t have it all! 🤔😄

All in all, it was very peaceful, I took nice videos, snapchat filtered way too much & a small amount of pics, it was relaxing and it was nice being IN the city. Even though I’m a ten minute train ride away, it still makes a big difference! So I totally suck! I took numerous videos & snapchatted nonstop, but not as many pictures, except for my view! So the website is below, containing photos. I am adding in the few pics I did take and will try to screenshot from my videos. Those will be blurry just FYI lol. I’ll try to upload videos but they take forever and seem to always crash :/ But check the pictures out on the website! The hotel looks exactly the same! Happy New Years to all! And may you travel tons and your travel plans not get screwed up in 2017!

https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/united-states/new-york/innside-new-york-nomad/index.html
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My perfect view! Blue & White for Hanukkah and Red & Green for Christmas! #blessed
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To Airbnb or not to Airbnb. That is the question. I got my answer.

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To Airbnb or not to Airbnb. That is the question. I got my answer.

Everyone bambaclot raves about this site!! So I gave it a go last May when I was booking Miami. I’m very, very picky with where I stay. If I don’t stay somewhere that’s comfortable my whole trip is ruined/it affects my mood. Don’t kill my vibe brav! So I found a few really nice places for good prices! Since I’m the most indecisive, I spend a few hours a couple evenings until I found the one <3. Then of course, the indecisiveness kicked back in so I quadruple checked to make sure I didn’t miss anything!! Time was a wasting, so I went for it. I was pretty happy and excited with my choice!! I received a few messages on whatsapp from the girl whose room I would be renting and I thought I did a thorough job on questioning her..threw in a few tricks questions too ;). She was basically going back home to Russia and her roommate would be there if I needed anything. Everything seemed great! I recall at that point I had been dealing with a few issues regarding the trip and a couple other things I needed to handle on a checklist, so I was SO thrilled when I was able to check this off my list! It was a big sigh of relief. I slept well that night, which wasn’t the case for about 3 weeks leading to that night.

I woke up the next morning feeling FABULOUS….until I checked my phone. #garbar. (ask your Indian neighbor what that means) the girl in her broken English sent me a message saying she made a mistake and her landlord doesn’t allow sublets into the building so we need to cancel. HASHTAG HUUUUUHHHH??????

So many thoughts ran through my head but I was in shock, I was speechless. I tried to explain to her how in New York a lot of places aren’t “supposed” to sublet or airbnb out their places but you do it anyways. Just keep your mouth shut homie!!! She was still like no. I was so angry, so bummed. You know when you just lay there and stare at the wall forever frozen. Ya mon. No good. As I said I had a checklist of things to take care of regarding apartments, moving, this holiday ect all at once so every step needed to be placed accordingly. So you don’t understand how I wanted to slam somebody at oncoming traffic 🙂 #insertangelicface

I had errands to run that day involving my apartment shift. I took a cab from apt A to apt B. As I was exiting the cab, I swiped my card — and its declined…….???????????? I’m so frustrated right now! There was absolutely no reason for my card to get declined!! This didn’t make sense and my female hormones were kicking in so I’m UUPPSSEETTTTT. (Lol I’m laughing at this story now!! God I was so enraged that other people felt it, who usually give me crap on a 24/7 basis but that day they totally didn’t so ya know it was bad – hahaha) I called my bank and they said my account was frozen due to FRAUD ACTIVITY IN MY AREA WHAT THE PAGH, SON????????

Luckily my cab driver was nice and said I have used their cab service multiple times so he trusts me to pay him after I straightened this mess out. The bank fixed my account on the spot thank god, but I don’t know, I was so flustered it took me a while to figure out that it was a scam from airbnb. I have a good friend who airbnb’s out a room in her apartment (and has been for years) and it’s worked extremely well for her. This was my first time actually using the site and I guess I didn’t associate it with something like craigslist, which we all know is Scamistan.

In conclusion, I was pretty shocked with my experience. I was too naive to think scams occurred on this site. I thought it was just as legit as any tripadvisor ect. And this person was soo good, like a scammer by profession!! They whatsapped me and had some blonde Russian girl’s pic on their whatsapp pic and she looked totally normal. What’s scary is I think about how we were messaging back and forth and I could see their time stamp and when they were online ect and the whole time I thought it was some normal girl and it was probably some dirty, disgusting Russian mafia dirty old smoky man!!

After this all happened, I stayed away for a few good weeks, but then one day I was curious because I spoke to someone who told me about an amazing place they found. So I tried scanning through again to see if I could identify a scam from a solid. I don’t know man, I’m turned off and I don’t think its an option for me anymore. Once you lose trust it’s hard to gain it back!