The Caramello Koala Apartment Rating System

5 weeks. 6 countries. 8 apartments.

We booked and paid for these places months ago without knowing anything about most of the cities we were visiting. You scan the pics on Booking.com, check there is a washing machine and that it’s in a part of town close to transport and a supermarket.

But did we get it right? Sometimes totally, sometimes, not quite. Sometimes money was the deciding factor and while there were cuter, more convenient locations, we had to dial it back a bit to not blow the budget.(hello Venice!).

As a token of our appreciation for all of our hosts, we left a note and some Caramello Koalas. If the place was fab, we left 3; if it was pretty good 2; okay 1; and totally dodgy brothers, none. Yeah…that really showed ’em. By the way, this rating system was just about the apartment, not how we felt about the city.

The only rating system that matters.

So, here are the rankings. The 3 Caramellos get the added honour of a link, so click through and book if you’re ever in the area!

3 Caramellos

Ljubljana

Pros: Friendly host; timber interior; 600+ TV channels (!!!); toasty warm; in the countryside 20 minutes from Ljubljana; across the road from one of Europe’s oldest monasteries; parking at the door; quiet.

Cons: You need a car to get there; said there was a washing machine and there wasn’t.

Find Hisa Ida (there are 2 or 3 apartments on the property) here

Istria

Pros: In teeny tiny Hum; ahhhhh the serenity; amazing scenery; stone walls; downstairs room with a roaring fire; lovely generous hosts; the town was empty

Cons: The town was empty

Find House Vera here

Varazdin

Pros: WE’RE LIVING IN A MANSION; fancy and spacious; right in town; beautiful hosts

Cons: church clock across the street

Find it here

2 Caramellos

Vienna

Pros: Clean; close to the train station and trams; good size

Cons: Personality-free; zero Vienna info left in the apartment

Treviso

Pros: Close to town, opposite the town walls; amazing mix of art and antiques through the house; simply huge

Cons: Walking through an empty legal office to get to our apartment upstairs; being covered in the landlady’s blood after she tripped and fell while showing us around, and having to attempt to give her first aid.

Bratislava

Pros: Cute apartment; well furnished and with everything we needed; thirty minute walk to town, ten minute walk to train station; wine on arrival

Cons: Seedy area; hot and cold shower

1 Caramello

Venice

Pros: The views! Opening our shutters to expansive panoramas of the city; easy walk to everything; pretty big by Venice standards

Cons: Busted internet, hot water, heating, busted stairs; many many steep stairs to get there!

Budapest

Pros: A washer AND drier; close to the centre of town, across the road from a tram line

Cons: 4 flights of stairs; no plug for the sink, one teaspoon, 3 forks (Milana ate pasta with chopsticks), no toaster, not enough towels; bathroom smells like sewage

0 Caramello

Trieste

Pros: There were beds.

Cons: It smelt like fish; the decor was a dollar store tragedy; the host sat in with us to give us a twenty minute demo on how to work the TV and left a page-long list on how to operate the kettle; Avalon slipped on the non-slip mat in the shower/bath and smashed her elbow on the tiles.

While some cities are obviously more expensive than others, we wanted to keep our accommodation budget to under $150 per night. Good luck doing that in any Australian city! Our average ended up being $139 per night, not including city taxes which are paid in cash per person in some places. Not bad!

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