Back with another local Airbnb adventure! I Heart Hamilton’s mantra being, “be a tourist in your own city,” it’s only fitting.
I have admired the gorgeous work of local marketing agency Bellwether X for a while now, and they bring that exceptional aesthetic and flair for design to life in their Airbnb, Bellwether House. Allan and Emily are Airbnb Superhosts (meaning experienced, highly rated hosts), and after spending a night in their charming abode, I know why!
Bellwether House has two suites to choose from within the historic mid century modern home (an 1870’s Italianate Townhouse, to be exact) – The Aberdeen and The James. I stayed in The Aberdeen but luckily had the whole house to myself for a night, so I had to pop upstairs and take a look at The James. The entire house can fit up to nine guests (2 bedrooms with Queen size beds, 2 full-size sleeper sofas, 1 single-size sleeper sofa).
The Aberdeen suite is minimalist in style, curated with pieces from the 1960’s paired with modern touches, elevated ceilings, and lots of natural light. The iconic Mick Jagger painting by Andy Warhol catches your eye right as you walk through the door. The art is part of the comfy living room setting where I settled in for an evening of snacks and Netflix (future house guests will now find RuPaul’s Drag Race in the cue). Opposite that, a spacious kitchen with all the amenities. Beyond that is a door to a cute patio that can also be accessed through the bedroom. The perfect spot for morning coffee or to relax on a summer evening. A long hallway takes you down the washroom and spacious bedroom, where I found two adorable Bellwether-branded chocolates on my pillow.
Upstairs, The James has a touch of the 80’s. I love me a neon sign, so I was delighted to find that pop of pink as I peeked into the living space. It’s a hip room to hang in and even boasts some board games. There is a big, beautiful kitchen space and another cozy bedroom that the sun cascades through.
Before settling in for a relaxing evening, I wanted to experience the area like a tourist and get some goodies. Walking down to James Street North, I ventured to local craft brewery Merit Brewing to see what’s new. I was able to score one of their latest concoctions, a limited run of Gin Party. You’ve gotta be quick with them! For a sweet treat I dipped into Chocolat On James, which is always a delight for the senses, where I picked up a green tea matcha-stuffed Oreo. I know, right!? For dinner I grabbed some Loaded Pierogis which hit the spot. I also have to give shoutouts to the unreal coffee and camaraderie you’ll find at Steel Town Garage, an even shorter walk from Bellwether.
Another fun extension of Bellwether House is in the works over in the garage. Allan is in the process of turning it into a fun clubhouse of sorts for friends and local likeminded creatives. I’m looking forward to dropping by again to see how things progress! Check out my chat with Allan below!
After my stay at this awesome local Airbnb, I wanted to learn more about how Allan and Emily got started. Below is my Q&A with Allan!
When and why did you first decide to begin operating an Airbnb?
I’ve wanted to run an Airbnb for at least a year before getting the Bellwether House. I watched a friend of mine do really well with a Hamilton-based Airbnb and that inspired me to do the same but at a higher price point.
Where are some of the places the travellers who stay with you are from?
We’ve had travelers from different parts of Canada and the USA stay with us. Not so much from overseas. We’ve had one Australian!
The most common is couples from Toronto wanting to come out to Hamilton for a weekend to see what the fuss is about!
What are your go-to places you like to recommend your visitors check out while in Hamilton?
Because we’re only a couple blocks from James North: Steeltown Garage, Synonym, The General, St James, Merit, Nique, etc. get recommended a lot. We also recommend venturing down to Barton Village to check out The Heather, Motel, Mosaic, Hello Baked, etc.
What do you enjoy the most about being an Airbnb Superhost?
Meeting new people and hearing about why they’re traveling is definitely such a cool part about being host in general. I guess being a Superhost tends to increase the quality of your guests and the quality of your interactions with them. It’s so cool to hear how excited and happy people are when they stay at the Bellwether House.
What’s next for Bellwether House?
I feel like there’s so much we can do to make the house and the experience even better. I don’t know if Hamilton is quite ready for a super high end Airbnb but we want to work towards that so we’re ready when it does happen. We’ll be building out the attic and basement into extensions of the current apartments, working on a second floor outdoor space and are currently working on turning the garage into an event/work space (Bar Bellwether) for our agency, Bellwether X, and to bring creatives together to collaborate, share ideas, and have the odd beer or two.
This post is not sponsored by Airbnb. I received accommodation courtesy of Allan and Emily – thank you!