We’ve stayed in a lot of Airbnbs over the years. In fact, when we travel, we almost exclusively stay in Airbnbs. Usually, they’re more spacious and more convenient than hostels, and they’re almost always way more affordable than hotels. But, to be honest, most Airbnbs aren’t particularly special or memorable. Out of the many, many Airbnbs we’ve stayed at over the years (which span dozens of countries and four continents), this one stands out. That’s why we are declaring it the best Airbnb in the world!
What makes this particular Airbnb so great?
We were originally thinking of going camping in Canada for a long weekend at the end of September, but we began to worry about the temperature. You just never know, in Canada, if September is going to be a sunny and seasonable fall, or if it will feel a little more like winter. So, we started looking into Airbnbs.
The Quebec region is actually home to a ton of cool, woodsy Airbnbs. Cabins and chalets and treehouses abound. But when we saw a picture of this particular cabin, we knew it was the one.
It’s perched on top of a hill in the middle of the woods, and all of the walls are made of glass. Sitting inside, it’s feels like you’re outside among the birds and chipmunks and trees and ferns. When you wake up in the loft of the cabin, it’s like you’re in the forest canopy. Go downstairs to curl up in the rocking chair, and you’re on the forest floor. There’s even a porch with Adirondack chairs for those who would wish to be even closer to the great outdoors.
Isn’t it cold, just like camping? Nope! There’s an adorable wood stove provided for you, along with lighters, newspapers for kindling, and all the wood you could ever need! This wood stove is enough to heat the cabin (at least in fall temperatures), and it adds enormously to the overall coziness.
Can I cook there?
Yes! The Airbnb comes with a pot, a pan, and some other cooking supplies. There is no traditional stove or oven, but did you know that you can cook on a wood stove? We did not. But you can! And it’s the best, most relaxing kind of cooking, as it turns out!
We made pasta and red sauce with vegetables. We put water in the pot, and we stuck it on the stove. We put tomato sauce and chopped veggies in a pan, and we stuck that on the stove as well. And that was about it! All that was left to do was to sit back in our chairs with our wine and our books and wait patiently for it to cook. It took about an hour, but we weren’t in a rush, and it was all very tasty! For those who would prefer a slightly quicker meal, there’s also a propane grill outside.
Won’t I get bored?
Nope! First of all, to be clear, there is no Wifi (although there is cell service) and the only electricity comes from small solar panels, which turn on the lights but aren’t strong enough to charge anything else. But there’s still plenty to do! You can read (the lights are bright enough for reading even after dark), you can cook, you can play Monopoly (boards are provided in English and French), you can do a puzzle, you can play cards (yes, puzzles and cards are both included!), or you can bird watch (there are binoculars available!)
The cabin is located on a farm that raises geese, cows, and vegetables. You won’t actually be able to see the farm from the cabin, as it’s about a kilometer walk through the woods to get there, but the hosts make it clear that you’re welcome to explore! There are also trails to wander on the property for some light hiking.
What about the bathroom situation?
You’re halfway to camping, here. The bathroom is an outhouse. But, if you find this alarming, the hosts will allow you to use their shower and toilet in their farmhouse between 8 AM and 8 PM.
What is there to do in the region?
The immediate area is very rural. It’s right on the border of Quebec and Ontario, and it features mainly bilingual villages and farms. There is a grocery store and a beer/liquor/wine store within a five minute drive of the farm, but that’s about it.
We had a great breakfast at a diner around ten minutes away from the cabin, Café La Roche. It’s clearly a regular breakfast hangout for many local retirees, and we found it to be warm and welcoming. We sat down and the friendly waitress asked if we already knew what we wanted or if we would like to look at a menu. It’s that kind of place! It was really cheap, and really tasty.
The farm is also easy driving distance to both Ottawa and Montreal. It’s only 45 minutes from Ottawa, which is a very cool, pedestrian-friendly little city. You can park for free on the weekends in the City Hall parking garage. From there, it’s easy to explore one of the many pedestrian streets that are lined with restaurants and bars or to wander along the path by the river and admire the beautiful Parliament building.
The farm is also only an hour and a half from Montreal. Montreal is one of our top-favorite cities of all time, so if you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth making the journey! There’s plenty of free street parking (just make sure you check the signs to make sure you’re allowed to park at that spot at that particular day and time). We’d recommend you just wander the city and get lost among all the cool little coffee shops and restaurants. You can also climb Mont Royal for a fun mini-hike with lovely views of the city below!
I’m sold! When should I visit?
We had a great time in September in our cabin. In our opinion, fall or winter would be best to get the full snug, cozy vibe. It would surely be amazing during peak foliage season. And it would be lovely to sit inside in mid-winter with a warm tea from the kettle and watch the snow fall (although maybe bring extra blankets).
How do I book?
Have you been to an Airbnb that you think is even better? Probably not possible, but tell us about it in the comments anyway!