The Insta-Home Challenge: St. Louis

by Angela on September 3, 2012 · 8 comments

You’ve read about the most alarming part of living in St. Louis — the crime in our supposedly posh Central West End neighborhood.  Now for the not-so-bad-but-still-questionable part of our housing situation: our actual housing.

I had found our 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment to split with the Cordileones on Airbnb, after zeroing in on the CWE as an optimal safe and convenient area.

First off, I have to emphasize that the vacation rental owner was extremely responsive with communications before and after I booked the place through Airbnb, and he was more than happy to work with our needs. For instance, although he generally didn’t allow pets, he accepted Turkey since we were staying long-term(ish). And he said he’d help us rent a TV from Rent-A-Center for our stay, since his place didn’t come with one. In addition, he had a cascade of positive reviews on Airbnb, so I really felt confident in him, the apartment and the neighborhood.

Now remember, Max and I were in Pennsylvania when Mike, Nick, Amy and Hero checked into the apartment. Consider my phone conversation with Mike about 40 minutes after he arrived:

ANG: So, how’s the apartment?

MIKE: Uh… it’s … well, it’s not horrible.

ANG: Oh no. What’s wrong?

MIKE: It doesn’t look like he cleaned. At all. There’s dirty laundry in the hamper, old Chinese food in the fridge, and all his clothes are still in the closets and the drawers.


MIKE: The hallway lights don’t work, and the shower isn’t working.


MIKE: There’s a funny smell in Nick’s room. Maybe there was a dog or something there once.

ANG: This is really unacceptable.

MIKE: The owner is really nice though. I just don’t think he knows about how to prep vacation rentals. Maybe this just isn’t his thing, you know?

ANG: Cleanliness you mean? Oh my god.

MIKE: There aren’t things like waste baskets in the bedrooms or bathroom. And the living room has no lamp, not even an overhead one. We will be in the dark soon.

Mike ended up calling the owner and voicing his concerns, and fortunately the owner immediately responded and fixed most everything. He also came in and “cleaned” at our request, although there’s still a layer of grime that honestly will only come off with a scrubbing.  I am still perplexed by the prior renters’ testimonials. The actual apartment tells another story.

All in all, for a short three weeks, we are in okay shape. I hate to criticize this St. Louis apartment— it’s an acceptable living situation. We weren’t expecting the Ritz. But then again, we were spoiled by the ease, charm, and kid-friendliness of our Richmond abode (complete with a babysitter, Theresa!) that kicked off our tour in February, as well as lovely, clean homes in New Orleans and Greenville. Even Miami, where we started with a medley of issues, still turned out to be okay because of the self-contained ease of living.

Photos of our place are below, thanks to Amy Cordileone. She used a filter on her iPhone for these shots, so the rooms seem nice enough, but believe you me — you really aren’t seeing it up close.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Nathan Schemel September 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

Hey guys. I would literally board a plane and come to St. Louis to eat lasagna at Charlie Vito’s. While you are in St. Louis give it a go. I found the BBQ in St. Louis to be good but often over-hyped. Seriously spend some time in little Italy.


Angela September 4, 2012 at 7:56 am

Nate! We literally JUST left St. Louis! Aw, man. We woulda totally gone to Little Italy had we just one more day. Keep those suggestions coming! Hope everything in Sac is going well. Evie is so freakin’ cute!


Stanley Loprete September 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Hey all, we saw the Lion King on the last day and it was magnificent. What a show. Please come back to St. Louis soon, and don’t stay in the same place, hahaha! Best of luck to all the road travelers,


Angela September 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

I bet Lion King would love to come back to St. Louis again someday… fourth time’s a charm! Thanks for commenting Stanley!


Jen B. September 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm

OMG at least you were only there for a couple of weeks! You have stayed at great places and this one didn’t seem awful in the end so I think you are still on a roll!


Angela September 4, 2012 at 7:58 am

It really wasn’t bad … just not the best. My (Asian) standards are somewhat high, either that or I need to be more forgiving 😉 Thanks for writing us Jen!


ANGELIQUE September 4, 2012 at 12:56 am



Angela September 4, 2012 at 7:58 am

If it were only good fresh food and not old Chinese takeout, Angelique! Haha!


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