The debate over which is better–hotels or short-term rentals (online or otherwise)–continues to be a hot topic among travelers and industry experts. Here are some benefits that hotels, tried and true, offer that can’t be found in an Airbnb.
There are so many variables on the road—but travelers can take comfort in knowing exactly what to expect when they walk into a hotel room. From cleanliness to room size to service to quality, there are no surprises, whether you’re in New York or Copenhagen.
Security measures vary widely among online rentals, and there have been horror stories of guests being harassed by hosts with hidden agendas—or even with hidden cameras in the bookcase. Hotels, on the other hand, have trained staff, surveillance systems, security guards, emergency response plans, and connections with local law enforcement to help keep you safe.
Amenities vary from hotel to hotel, but typically they include housekeeping, WiFi, pools and fitness centers, restaurants and room service, laundry service and in-room toiletries.
TV not working? Forgot your hair dryer or the plug for your iPhone? Have a terrible toothache? Did you lose your key or lock yourself out of the room? When you’re staying in a hotel, any issue can be solved with a call to the concierge—who can also book your transportation, dinner, concert, or theater reservations.
Concierges are also experts of their destination. They know the ins and outs of the city, and can offer advice on where to eat and what to see in keeping with your interests and your budget.
6. Loyalty programs
Major hoteliers offer loyalty programs, where points can be redeemed for free nights, upgrades, or other gifts.
From complimentary breakfast to room service to fine dining, having access to food can make life on the road a lot easier. While vacation rentals generally have kitchens, you’ll have to shop for and cook your own food.
8. Meeting spaces
Hotels are designed to be good locations to host events and conferences, or to just talk business or make new friends in a safe and central location. They offer meeting spaces, lobbies, bars, and ballrooms where guests can connect and network.
Airbnb hosts can cancel at the last minute, leaving renters scrambling for a new place to stay. Hotels will find a way to accommodate every reservation, even if it means a free upgrade to the Presidential Suite.
Hotels generally are found in the center of cities, where the action and the business meetings take place, while 74% of Airbnb properties are outside of the main hotel districts, often in neighborhoods far from public transportation and major tourist attractions.
Photo courtesy: fhotels
We agree - these are great reasons to stay in hotels, when convenience, service, predictability, amenities, and a central tourist location is what you want. On the flip side, renting or swapping homes gives you a different experience: more space and the chance to live like a local are two reasons that come to mind. It depends on why you're traveling in the first place. With a little attention and lots of communication, renting or swapping can be rewarding and safe - and, often, far less expensive! @trvlonthehouse
It's so important to know what to expect, and that's why a professionally managed vacation rental is so much less of a gamble than a random online listing. See www.stayalfred.com/what-to-expect-in-a-stay-alfred-rental for an example of how a professional organization can provide a vacation rental experience with all the consistency, safety, expertise and comfort of a hotel.
I think you can add an 11th reason - the value added by AirBnB (or lack thereof). Whenever I book on AirBnB I always pay approx. 12% service fee to AirBnB. I'm assuming that there is also a mark-up of the rent portion of the booking which includes another commission for the online lodging agency. The more expensive the booking, the more AirBnB gets paid. Yet, for any priced lodging the resources that AirBnB must expend are exactly the same. The owner of a listing does work by creating the online listing and serving guests. So it's easy to see the value there. But on AirBnB's side, what value is it really offering to justify the huge commission it charges? Computer programs and algorithims are actually doing all of the work. Whenever I pay for goods and services I like to think that the seller has earned my dollars but with AirBnB I do not. However, I give them credit for being transparent about their fees. Most OTAs are not.
Vacation rentals are NOT for everyone, or even not for every situation. This article lists some of the same reasons I included in an article last year: http://www.mccooltravel.com/2015/08/8-great-hotel-advantages-over-airbnb/ Travel Happy!
This list generalizes the hotel industry pulling the best features from all hotel tiers. You cannot simply compare hotels to Airbnb because like hotels the experience can vary wildly. I can say as a hotelier and Airbnb host that for the guest and host Airbnb is safer & more secure than a hotel thanks to the several verification options for both hosts & guests. The hotel industry needs to stop whining about Airbnb, it is a very relevant addition to the world of hospitality. Airbnb hosts to an overall better job accommodating guests and providing amenities specific to their market where the hotel industry generalizes. Additionally, from a few perspective Airbnb takes a fraction of what any major brand takes from their franchisees.