Updated review from our first Airbnb experience – in Maggie Valley

“Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”

Genesis 24:31
– saying goodbye to our B&B

The past few weeks have seen an overwhelm of interesting content for me to publish. This long hot summer has involved celebrations, travel, reunions, family, mountains, waterfalls, vacationing, and returning the grandchildren to their new home in Orlando.

One huge positive has come from our first ever Airbnb experience. So I’m going to write this post as kind of an informal, anecdotal review.

Not a hotel room!

I have always felt that hotel rooms are lacking. Especially when traveling with children. They tend to be so impersonal and restrictive. So this time, knowing we had several nights in the mountains, I did some research on what it might look like to rent a house.

First, I was impressed with the range of choices. Then I used a price filter based on our typical night at a Hampton Inn. Finally I read reviews from my shortlist and took a good long look at the photographs.

– our Airbnb in Maggie Valley

Location location location:

The house we chose (like I said, my first ever Airbnb booking) was situated a few hundred feet above Maggie Vally in a beautiful neighborhood on a steep switchback road. I should have taken better inside photos right away, with the beds made and everything looking pristine, but I’ll share what I have (photographed when we left in case anyone questioned the condition).

– view from the porch

The home was well cared for, it was basic, it was comfortable, it had a decent kitchen, it had a nice front porch, and it had – best of all – stunning views down and across the valley.

I gave them a five-star review not because it was luxurious (it wasn’t supposed to be) but because it was clean, it was just what we needed, and the bnb was represented with 100% accuracy on the website. The house exactly met our needs, and gave us a place to feel at home, with enough space for privacy, along with an adequately equipped space for me to prepare breakfast and dinner.

At the time my only disappointment was the failure of the welcome note – see picture at right – to deliver. I looked all over, but I was out of luck. However, if you read the update below you will see the unexpected and delicious way this was eventually resolved.

So thanks, Maggie Valley; because of this experience I will definitely book another Airbnb (in fact, I already have one lined up in the South of England this fall). The savings in cost from cooking on site alone are significant enough to be a game-changer, to say nothing of the improvement in diet.

All in all, this was a great way to begin what will hopefully be a long-term relationship with Airbnb. Derek & Rebekah’s retirement adventures have only just begun!

Good travels to all, and “Godspeed” – DEREK

Note: In an update to this post, I just received a generous package from the good folk at Pebble Mountain. They included both wine and honey, along with a gracious note.

So, thanks to Rafael and Selena, not only for the beautiful location but for the classy follow-through

– thanks to our hosts at Pebble Mountain in Maggie Valley

Photos of the location, the views, and the interior:


  1. We have used AirBnB for several years. We agree, being able to spread out, in a home setting, and prepare our own food is a big plus over staying in a hotel. We just recently stayed in a VRBO (also good choice) in northern Ohio near Lake Erie. Had a great time wandering the county finding some of their 19 covered bridges.


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