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The Best and Worst of Chicago's Airbnb Rentals

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We thought it'd be easy to pick the clear-cut best and worst short-term accommodations of Airbnb. But there are several standouts at both ends, and good solid core consistency in the relation of price to quality and location. So we looked for deals and rips. You can rent outlandish manors and lofts or inflatable mattresses in Englewood, but neither is inherently good or bad. So, whether you're looking to dish ideas to visiting friends, or you just like the mystique of a raw deal, our nominations should serve some purpose:

It's a tie for the best offer. With both places, strict five-star user reviews and high-caliber, attentive hosting were difference makers. The accommodations are far apart in size, character, and location, but offer superb value. Up first, shown below, is a huge 2-bed historic loft in Printer's Row. Suitable for up to five guests with no additional guest fee until the fifth, the nightly rate of $279 is absurdly good. Curbed found similar spaces (not as nice) for double. The unit and building also excel in the amenity department, with wifi hook-up, computer, dishwasher, laundry, cable TV, central air, and a vintage cage-elevator. The old Dearborn Station is in view and plenty of Loop and lake shore activities are walkable. Plus, just look at the place!

The bohemian selection, this Logan Square ground-floor unit is totally private. Owners live in a separate unit upstairs, and are reputed to be very generous and helpful, laying out free fruit & bagels and making a bicycle available to guests. In the right season, the back yard and deck are sweet haunts. At $85/night for two and only $15 per additional guest, value is evident. The commenters are unanimous in their praise and certifiably addicted to the atmosphere of the place:

We've settled on this as the worst Airbnb accommodation because of the overwhelming naivete of a host that expects $250/night for a nondescript room with a futon bed in undesirable Irving Park/Portage Park. Not much effort went into the pitch, either. Below is one of the two photos offered. Zero amenities listed. The entirety of the description: "Just renting a futon for someone who is just looking for a place to crash. There really is not much more to say then that. Location is near park and public transportation. Get downtown in 20 minutes. Street parking is plentiful." This is so bad it's hard not to think it a joke or mistake. Just in case we've been duped, here's a solid pick for honorable mention, $75 for a couch or inflatable mattress in a shared room in Humboldt with a shedding dog.


Room for rent in Portage Park area for $250/night [Photo: Airbnb]