Chocolate or Vanilla?
Facebook or Instragram?
A Hotel or an Airbnb?
When it comes to traveling in 2017 we are flush with choices galore in almost every area of our journey. None perhaps as important as where to stay during your next family vacation or work trip. The two biggest and most obvious players are a hotel or an Airbnb stay.
Which makes the most sense? Which will give you the best experience?
I do my best below to break down five reasons that each might be the right choice for your next trip.
I’ll add my final two cents at the bottom.
FIVE REASONS TO STAY AT A HOTEL
1) You Have Status With The Property
Its one thing to stay at a Best Western in a cramped standard room verse being Marriott Platinum or a Hyatt Globalist who gets such potential perks as: A free suite upgrade, club room access, a welcome gift, and late check-out. While I am not the highest tier with any hotel chain, with Hilton and Marriott I am gold (mid-tier status) which at least comes with some small perks like a preferred room in my category if available.
2) A Clean Room Daily
This also may boil down to how messy you are (guilty as charged), but I must admit it is nice to come back after a long day of sight seeing or working and seeing the bed made, most of your things neatly placed back on the table, and fresh towels and bed sheets. With an airbnb there very likely won’t be any cleanings provided during your stay until after you check-out.
3) You Crave Luxury Amenities
From Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser to Egyptian cotton towels, staying at some high-level hotels and resorts you can expect to have some of the highest quality products at your disposal in the room.
4) Room Service/Concierge
Staying on the pampering trend, there is something to be said about being able to order food to your room all day and for every meal. Many people travel to luxury hotels and never even leave the property, simply enjoying the food and amenities on site. A concierge desk can also be quite clutch in booking transportation or activities. With airbnb you are more or less on your own to discover the city or town you are traveling to.
5) Free Breakfast
This may be my number one reason to stay at a hotel. Before going out on a long day of sight-seeing I love to get breakfast first, and its super easy when it is provided complimentary where you are staying. Whether your hotel status provides it for you (Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, SPG Platinum, etc.) or it is included with your hotel stay, its a great way to start your morning with a fulfilling meal.
Click here for a list of hotels that provide all their guests complimentary breakfast.
FIVE REASONS TO STAY AT AN AIRBNB
1) Stay In Local Neighborhoods
Many times hotels are located only in the city center or the business districts. This is fine if you have work to do there, but some people may prefer different areas for different interests. Greenwich Village in Manhattan for example has very few hotels, so an airbnb may do the trick if you want to be walking distance to Bleecker Street. When I used airbnb in Montreal we stayed in an awesome local neighborhood with a great bagel shop next door and some artsy cafes. Hotels can’t always put you into some of the more trendy and bohemian areas.
2) Feels More Like Home
A living room with couches and a TV, a garage to park your car, a study with a desk to do work. These little things can add up to a more pleasant stay and experience at an airbnb. Unless your staying at the penthouse at a hotel, you are also likely to get A LOT more space at an airbnb. Spend enough time on the road or a tokyo hotel room for that matter, and you appreciate having some separation between your bedroom and other rooms where you are staying on a trip.
I have found that airbnb hosts are a lot more chill about check-in and check-out times than a hotel. When your dealing with just one single homeowner instead of a corporate hotel front desk you may find that personal touch will make things run a lot smoother.
4) A Functional Kitchen
Tired of the mini-fridge at the holiday inn? How about your own kitchen stocked with supplies to cook breakfast or any other meal for that matter. This could be super cost effective if you want to prepare and go shopping for your own food.
5) Money Savings for Larger Groups
There is almost always going to be a significant savings if you travel with a group of 4 or more people with an airbnb over a hotel. Two-bedrooms with one bathroom is going to be cheaper than renting two separate hotel rooms. You also get more time with your friends/family together if you share a common area instead of having to wander between your tinier hotel rooms.
My closing thoughts are that whether an airbnb or hotel is better for you truly depends on your preferences. For the more independent minded travelers who don’t mind doing research on where to eat and coordinating more of the small details, an airbnb might be an awesome way to see a new neighborhood in a city you are exploring. If you prefer to have your hand held a bit more, but also get the perks of elite hotel status, a cleaned room daily, and a helpful front-desk than a hotel may be the answer.
I personally tend to go with an airbnb over a hotel if all things are equal, but I would like to sample some of the nicer hotel properties with some added member perks to see if I can be swayed back.