My Second Sonder

Is the first time really the best?

Andy Spears
2 min readMar 8


Photo by Vojtech Bruzek on Unsplash

This week, I’m at work in Washington, DC.

I came up (from Nashville) a few weeks ago to get acclimated to a new client.

Instead of a hotel or an Airbnb, I chose Sonder.

As I noted then, it was a great experience. Cheaper than a hotel OR an Airbnb. No list of fees.

It’s like a hotel in an app.

There is no on-site staff. You enter and leave based on codes/mobile keys on your phone.

Yes, people clean — when you leave.

I actually stayed in the same Sonder but in a different unit.

This one was smaller than the previous one — but had a larger bathroom and a window with a street view.

Missing: A couch near the TV.

Included: A full kitchen, a generously sized bed, and all the comforts of living in your own apartment.

I mean, the place is great.

I haven’t stayed in Sonders in other cities, but if this is how they are, I’m in.

Hotels are nice but often cramped and Airbnb often ends up with “surprise” fees — or, if not surprising, at least a long list.

Sonder is straightforward — you know you’re going to a hotel without a staff.

There are self-serve amenities — soap, towels, etc. — and in some Sonders, there’s a washer/dryer. Great if you’re in town on work or for a longer stay.

Plus, this one — and many I’ve seen — are in older buildings in town that have been renovated. This means they are keeping the community character while offering the customer an interesting experience.

Have you Sondered?



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .