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Estonia Pianos
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Has anyone tried to find an Airbnb or other accommodation with a decent quality piano that is kept in tune and well maintained, so as not miss too many practice days while traveling or vacationing, and not have to lug a digital piano on the trip?

If so, were you successful?

Are there Airbnb hosts who try to make themselves findable by pianists?

Are there niche home-sharing sites for pianists?

You can filter an Airbnb search by amenities (like a hair dryer or a hot tub), and by some specific unique stays (like a yurt, castle or tipi), but piano is not listed, and I don’t see any general key-word text search.

I asking both as a host and a traveler. I will be taking some short trips this summer for the first time since becoming diligent enough to not want to miss more than one day a week of practice.

Also, I am an Airbnb host with a piano. I live far from work, so I keep an apartment in Lancaster, PA for the work week and rent it out every weekend. And it now has a great piano!

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Hi
Yes, as a traveler I always look for accommodations with a piano— but the search for one is quite arduous, as none of the rental agencies have a filter for ‘piano’. There is a relatively new platform called ‘music traveler’ where you can search for accommodations or rehearsal/recording space. They are European but were adding a couple of US cities as a test, pre-Covid. I haven’t checked the status of US penetration in about 18 months.

If Air BnB added a filter for piano, I suspect it would be successful once word got around.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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A few years ago there was an AirB&B listing in London that I bookmarked because it said guests could play the grand piano. I have a feeling they got more pianists than they wanted! When I went back a couple of years later the listing said that the piano was off limits. So I'll bet the demand is there.


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According to my experience, I suggest not to play pianos in travel accomodations as a guest. Only few hotels where I stayed had a piano. I always kindly asked at the reception if I could play some time when most of the other guests were off and the receptionists seemed a bit embarrassed but never refused. But then, in every case, 5 minutes after I had begun playing some angry manager showed up and shouted I should stop immediately, I was disturbing them and their work and the remaining hotel guests, and the piano was only there for professional bar pianists to provide a very, very, very soft sound background at tea or dinner time, and never should anybody play "real" pieces of music on "their" piano. In some cases they even locked the instrument afterwards.

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I have had much more positive experiences playing hotel pianos. But pianos are becoming rarer. Ten years ago I could often find one tucked away in an inconspicuous place, and I've never had a manager tell me to stop. I wouldn't try one of the pianos in the center of a cocktail lounge, though.


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Originally Posted by jdw
But pianos are becoming rarer. Ten years ago I could often find one tucked away in an inconspicuous place

This is my greatest fear, if anyone here's ever been to a chess tournament, it's a sad state of affairs, it's like the whole of the chess world is tucked away in a closet.

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When I'm on my travels, I don't think about playing piano (though as my travels are usually on steep high mountains, I have other things to think about, like staying alive).

Therefore, I never bring any music scores with me in the hope I'll somehow find a piano to tickle the ivories on. But I've been pleasantly surprised on the few occasions when I've had a "normal" vacation, like at a beach resort or a cruise ship, or just travelling around countries: I've had a Yamaha grand all to myself during the daytime in the piano bar of a beach resort and similarly in a couple of cruise ships (when I found myself with small but discerning audiences) - one of them was in a restaurant where the waiters were happy to listen to me playing Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Rachmaninov while they laid the tables for the lunch service - and also in a few hotels (in South Africa, Ecuador and Argentina).

I just made sure I chose the right (classical) music for the venue - if there were people around drinking at the bar, I played predominantly gentle tuneful music (Schubert's D899/3, Chopin's Op.25/1, Schumann's Arabesque, Brahms's Op.118/5, Debussy's Arabesque No.1 etc) and scaled the dynamics down. Often, despite my usual scruffy attire (I never dress up even in posh hotels or restaurants), people thought I was the 'bar pianist' and I've even had the odd request.......which I granted, if I knew the music well enough to fake it grin.

In empty piano bars, of course, I let rip, and anybody who walked in to listen would have to put up with everything from Bach to Bartók, at anything from ppp to fff. But even there, I've had the odd request from people who thought I was the resident bar pianist playing music I actually preferred to play during my time off whistle.


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Can I assume that talking about travel - vacation travel particularly - is just wishful thinking at present?

Regards,


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Originally Posted by EinLudov
Originally Posted by jdw
But pianos are becoming rarer. Ten years ago I could often find one tucked away in an inconspicuous place

This is my greatest fear, if anyone here's ever been to a chess tournament, it's a sad state of affairs, it's like the whole of the chess world is tucked away in a closet.

The pianos in older large hotels were often in semi-storage near the ballrooms, like in a back hallway. The idea wasn't that they'd be played there, but they'd be rolled to somewhere else. Now I think hotels tend to assume bands for events will just bring keyboards, and a lot of them don't bother maintaining an actual piano.


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Originally Posted by BruceD
Can I assume that talking about travel - vacation travel particularly - is just wishful thinking at present?
Depends on where you are. The Aussies and Kiwis are presently free to travel back and forth between them, for example (and each nation makes up the bulk of the other nation's tourists). But if you don't live there, don't even think about trying to say hello to the friendly man-eating crocs in Kakadu NP or doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for the foreseeable future.

In my neck of the woods, people are already booking for the summer sun in countries south of the Alps (or even within the Alps). Malta is even bribing us by offering €200 to tourists (I kid you not).

Me, I'll settle for myself, i.e. Ben Nevis and the surrounding Highlands, just as I did last summer. The midges there need my nourishing blood........

https://images.app.goo.gl/JmuKDPYqNYT7NBpYA


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There is a delightful BnB in Central Pennsylvania called the Inn at Solvang. It used to be long ago the family abode of ancestors of a friend of mine. Not only are guests encouraged to use the piano, but there also is in the lounge a precious William Dowd copy of a Taskin harpsichord.

https://www.huntingdonbedandbreakfast.com/

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That's the sort of place where I'd like to stay.

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Originally Posted by David-G
That's the sort of place where I'd like to stay.


It is truly delightful— the Inn website shows a large variety of rooms, fairly priced


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress

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