Why it’s best to book a Hotel instead of an Airbnb

It’s time to book a holiday, but where will you stay? A hotel or an Airbnb? It’s the great debate of the travel industry that nearly everyone has an opinion on. Us? Well, we’re partial to a hotel stay. Listen in, and we’ll tell you why.

Airbnbs aren’t what they used to be

When Airbnb first came on the scene, the connection between the host and guest was a key part of the overall experience. Travellers booked Airbnbs for the opportunity to live like a local, and the addition of a friendly and knowledgeable host to meet and interact with was all part of the draw. However, time’s have changed, and more often than not, Airbnb guests will self-check into the property they’ve booked and never even meet their host. In addition, more Airbnbs are now managed by property management companies instead of individual hosts, taking away from the personal and ‘homely’ experience once promised.

The popularity of Airbnb has also caused problems for locals in some cities worldwide, where they receive a lot of tourists. For example, Barcelona has introduced regulations to protect long-term housing and ensure locals have somewhere to live. Just something for mindful/sustainable travellers to consider!

Hotels offer a more straightforward check-in process

With a hotel, you know you’re going to enjoy an easy check-in process. All you need to do is walk into the lobby and up to the reception or customer service desk at any time of the day or night (in most cases), and a staff member will be ready and waiting to check you in.

At an Airbnb rental, how you check in varies. Sometimes the host will meet you and let you into the property. Other times, you’ll be expected to use a lock box or enter a combination into a keypad, so you’ll need to spend time communicating with the host beforehand to ensure you know what you’re doing. If something goes wrong and you can’t get in, it won’t be the best start to your relaxing holiday!

Hotels have concierges and staff on hand to help you

Another reason to book a hotel over an Airbnb rental is that you can benefit from concierge or guest services. Whether you’re after recommendations of the best art galleries to visit in the local area or want to book spa treatments or an excursion, the hotel concierge or guest services staff will be on hand to help. What’s more, if there are any problems with your room, there will be staff at the hotel available to attend to the matter quickly or give you the option to switch rooms.

At an Airbnb, it depends on the type of host you get. Some travellers will win the Airbnb host lottery and meet a warm and friendly host who is more than happy to offer recommendations, give you insider tips on the best places to visit and even provide you with a lift to and from the local restaurant. Others might not even meet their host and will be left entirely to fend for themselves.

Hotels have added perks

Bars, restaurants, room service, spas, and swimming pools are just some of the luxuries you can expect at most 4 and 5-star hotels. And with daily housekeeping, you needn’t lift a finger! The same of which can’t be said if you book an Airbnb. Sure, many luxury rentals are available with saunas, swimming pools and hot tubs, but you’ll still need to cook, clean up, and do the dishes and the laundry.

Airbnbs aren’t always cheaper than hotels

Many travellers assume that booking an Airbnb will be cheaper than a hotel room, but this isn’t always the case. While you might get a good deal for longer stays and large group bookings on Airbnb, booking a hotel room for short holidays is nearly always cheaper.

It’s also worth remembering that you’re likely to be charged cleaning fees and taxes for an Airbnb rental. A cleaning fee won’t work out too expensive if you’re staying for a couple of weeks (especially if you’ve scored a discounted rate for additional nights). However, if you’re only staying a night or two, it might be an expense you’d rather avoid!

Along with no surprise cleaning fees, another perk of booking a hotel room over an Airbnb is that you might get loyalty points. Many chain hotels have reward schemes where guests receive points for every purchase, which they can redeem against future bookings or use to upgrade their rooms.

There’s more flexibility to change a hotel reservation

Travellers often find it easier to change or cancel hotel reservations than Airbnbs. This is because hotels usually have a single policy, whereas Airbnb hosts can choose from various cancellation policies, so guests need to see what rules apply. Whether you are booking a hotel room or Airbnb rental, we always advise carefully reading their policies to ensure you don’t get caught out.

Of course, if you have a non-refundable reservation, you can always sell your hotel room with Plans Change.

But what if I want to book a unique getaway or a quirky place to stay?

While Airbnb was once a marketplace for people to rent out their rooms to travellers looking for a cheap deal, today it’s full of weird and wonderful stays, including houseboats, trees and even castles! But it’s worth remembering that there are some pretty unusual and bespoke boutique hotels out there too. You only need to look at the ice hotels in Sweden and Norway or the underwater hotels in the Maldives for proof!

Airbnb vs Hotel - Which will you book?

Of course, we’re a little biased being a hotel room resale marketplace - what it really comes down to is what you’re looking for when booking a holiday. If it’s a home-away-from-home where you don’t mind doing the washing up, an Airbnb may suit you. But if you want to relax in a luxury setting, knowing everything is taken care of for you, you can’t beat a hotel. And if it’s great deals on hotel rooms that matter most to you, you’ve come to the right place! Check out our Plans Change Resale Deals for fantastic one-of-a-kind money-saving offers.