We moved to Spain from the US but needed to find our long term home when we arrived. When moving to a new place, do not purchase or rent a home and send money to anyone without seeing the place in person first. That rule should not be broken no matter how “good” the deal looks. So I repeat, do not buy or rent a home for a long term arrangement (12+ months) without seeing it in person first. But we needed a solution for a short term rental. When we moved to Barcelona, we needed enough time to find a home, but we didn’t want to live in a hotel for 30 days or more. First, it’s only one room, and we are a family of 4, plus I didn’t want to deal with hotel nightly rates. You can always get a better price, the longer you stay, except in hotels.
Spotahome Review Barcelona
Finding a short term rental in Barcelona is very difficult. Prices are high and competition is higher. I searched many random websites until I found Spotahome.com. Spotahome.com is a rental platform for accommodations over 30 days. They have rental property from rooms to entire 4 bedroom homes available. They currently operate in a few cities:
- Barcelona, Spain
- Bilboa, Spain
- Berlin, Germany
- Madrid, Spain
- Brussels, Belgium
- Dubai, UAE
- Dublin, Ireland
- Granada, Spain
- London, United Kingdom
- Lyon, France
- Milan, Italy
- Paris, France
- Rome, Italy
- Seville, Spain
- Valencia, Spain
- Vienna, Austria
How Spotahome Works
You go to spotahome.com enter your city and pick a check in and check out date of at least 30 days. The spotahome platform gives you a map or list listing of all of the properties available for rent in your date range. You can apply more filters to your search to define the size of the apartment and your budget.
The really cool thing about Spotahome.com is they give you a really good and honest description of the property, something that is hard to find in standard real estate accommodation listings.
Each listing shows:
- A video walk-through of the apartment and the neighborhood.
- High Quality Photos
- Fully furnished and ready to move in apartments with all utilities and WIFI etc activated.
- Detailed listing of amenities, as well as missing amenities you may be expecting.
- Details about the neighborhood and the amenities available in the neighborhood, so you know what you’re getting into.
- A personal opinion on the state of the apartment and the state of the neighborhood.
- A recommendation on the groups that would best fit the accommodation, so you have an idea if the apartment is a good fit for you.
- Landlord Policies so you know if your lifestyle matches the Policies.
- Exact and clear pricing on all costs. The great thing is, the apartment prices are very reasonable for such a short term rental in great locations of an expensive city like Barcelona.
Example Spotahome Listing
Spotahome Contract and Protections
- Fast and responsive support
- Spotahome is not the landlord, they work with landlords, so they are a third party who is on your side.
- You Pay one months rent deposit to Spotahome.com after the landlord has approved your rental request.
- Oh, yes, you have to be approved by the landlord. Spotahome walks you through the process to get approved. However, the approval is all up to the landlord.
- When you make a reservation, that property is blocked until the landlord responds to your request (to a maximum of 48 hours). No more waiting possible weeks to find out if you got the home you wanted. Once the landlord accepts, your payment method will automatically be charged. You are not charged until the landlord accepts.
- Your first payment includes one (1) months rent and a 10% booking fee paid to Spotahome.com.
- You have 24 hours after you move in to the home to decide if you want to stay there. If the listing or the apartment turns out differently to what you expected, or what was advertised, you get your money back and you don’t have to stay at the apartment. How many times have you gone to hotels or airbnb’s and have been totally disappointed with what you find.
- Spotahome only transfers the one month payment to the landlord if all is well after 48 hours.
- The landlord can cancel. If it is a last minute cancellation, Spotahome.com will relocate you and help with hotel fees if needed.
My Experience With Spotahome
We rented an apartment from Spotahome.com in a very busy and expensive month in Barcelona, June. But I was able to find a nice, updated central apartment in a great area for a reasonable amount of money. Yes, it was small, but I knew the size of the apartment when we booked.
Our apartment was just as described.
We met the landlord at the apartment and he let us in. I was scared at first because I didn’t speak Spanish or Catalan and I was in a new place and no one was at the apartment when we got there. I’m in on the street in Barcelona with my kids and husband freaking out a bit. Then I remembered I had the landlord contact info from the confirmation emails spotahome sends, So I called them. The landlords spoke English and they came just as I was about to panic. The landlord showed us how to work everything, gave us our key and that was it.
Problems I had Using Spotahome
The first apartment we booked through Spotahome.com was cancelled by the landlord 3 weeks later. I was upset and afraid I would have a problem getting my money returned. Spotahome.com returned our deposit and booking fee right away, within 24 hours.
The second apartment we booked for the same time period on Spotahome.com, I cancelled because I wanted to find a less expensive option. The apartment was already confirmed by the landlord and the cancellation was my fault. Once again I worried they wouldn’t return my money. But they did, and kept the 10% booking fee. I opened a support ticket and told them I would re-book another apartment, they didn’t budge on refunding my booking fee. But they said, if I did book another apartment, they wouldn’t charge me the full booking fee.
The third apartment I booked was confirmed by the landlord and I received a discount on the booking fee.
Problems I had at the Apartment I booked with Spotahome
We had a problem with the shower in the apartment during the month, we called the landlord and he was there within a few hours to fix it. You cannot guarantee there won’t be issues, but it’s how the issue is handled that says something about the companies and people you do business with.
I would definitely use spotahome again to book in any city they are in if I will spend over 30 days. The cool thing about Spotahome.com is you can find a long term rental on their platform without paying a fee equal to either 10% of the annual rent or one (1) months rent to a rental agency (standard rental practice in Barcelona and many cities). Some apartments have a minimum period of one month and an unlimited rental term.
Spotahome vs Airbnb or Homeaway
The biggest benefit to using spotahome vs airbnb is that spotahome verifies their listings and provides a video walkthrough. As a renter, you are not relying on the pictures and words of the landlord, but on a third party.
I also love that you have someone to talk to. Many times on airbnb or homeaway or any of these large user generated marketplaces, I can never get a response from support in a reasonable time. I’ve received responses to a question a month after I asked. I like the support spotahome provides.
Here is our spotahome rental
If you have any specific questions about using spotahome, let me know in the comments.