Which is best: Hotel or Airbnb?
Many people these days love to travel. Thanks to modern technology, South Africans have access to cheap flights and the opportunity find cheap accommodation almost anywhere. Airbnb provides travellers with more choice. But, are hotels still a better choice for you?
There are a few things to consider when booking accommodation, such as: Are you booking accommodation for business or leisure? Are you travelling with kids? What are your price options?
We’ve listed a few benefits of both hotels and Airbnb so you can decide which is best for you.
Benefits of hotels
When you book hotel accommodation, you’re paying for comfort, service and luxury. Hotels usually provide the best stress-free accommodation when it comes to short stay trips – especially for business travellers. Here are the main benefits of hotels for you:
- Easy to check in – Most of the time you can walk into a hotel’s reception area at any time of the day to check in. Airbnb, on the other hand, is not that simple. You have to hunt for the place before hand and do a lot more prior communication to figure out how to check in, where to go and how everything there works.
- You know what you’re getting – Hotels usually have a standard they adhere to. Airbnb accommodation may be very different in person than online. The accommodation or area of the Airbnb may be terrible – but you’ll probably only find out once you’re there.
- You can get help immediately – At a hotel, there’s always someone to address any issues or queries you may have. So, let’s say for instance a drain is blocked in the bathroom. Someone can come to your room to fix the problem immediately. At an Airbnb, your host may not be very responsive. So, if there are any issues, you may have to deal with them for the duration of your stay.
- You have everything you need – And, if not, there’s always someone around to organise whatever you need.
- Your hotel booking is secure – Airbnb penalises hosts who cancel reservations. However, cancellations can still happen and it can ruin your entire trip. And, if you, as the guest, want to change your times or cancel your stay, the cancellation policies aren’t very flexible for you either.
- Hotels usually have bars and restaurants – You can travel to wherever you want from the hotel but, you can also make use of hotel bars and restaurants. You may even get complimentary meals with your room booking.
- You’re never obliged to clean a hotel room- You may feel the need to be polite and tidy up someone else’s home. At a hotel, it’s less personal so, you can leave the room without feeling obliged to clean up.
Benefits of Airbnb
Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk founded Airbnb in 2008. The first listing was Brian and Joe’s apartment in San Francisco. Just over 10 years later, Airbnb has millions of listed properties around the world.
Airbnb is profitable. It made almost $100 million in profit last year on $2.6 billion in revenue. Data shows that it attracts new guests who seeking new experiences and increases money spent in various areas. Here are the main benefits of Airbnb for you:
- You can find spacious accommodation – Hotel rooms are usually not as spacious as, say, renting out a 3 bedroom home.
- You can get cooking – You may not always have the luxury of a bar or restaurant nearby but you will probably have access to a functional kitchen where you can prepare meals.
- You can probably get some laundry done while travelling – no need to head out to a laundromat. Most houses come equipped with a washer and dryer.
- Accommodation is often cheaper – You can often get very sizable houses for reasonable prices. Plus, as mentioned, you will have access to a kitchen, TV room, dining room, etc.
- It can be an exciting experience – Every host will be different. You may get a note, box of chocolates or champagne to make you feel at home. Hotels don’t usually offer an “unusual” experience or any unexpected surprises.
- You can find Airbnbs almost anywhere – If you’re looking for somewhere out of town, you can stay at an Airbnb and enjoy an authentic experience.
- You can enjoy group holidays – No need to stay in separate hotel rooms. Book a big house for a group of people. This is a fun way to go on holiday with family and friends.
Both options have great benefits. Which option is best for you? That depends on the purpose of your trip, your budget and who you’re travelling with. For business trips or trips where you really want to unwind and not do too much preparation, a hotel is probably best. But, if you looking for something more adventurous, Airbnb may be perfect for you.