Hotels vs Airbnb – Which is Better?


I will say straight away that though I have been to many, many hotels over the course of my life, I have only had three stays at an Airbnb. You might wonder if, or how, I can make any sort of comparison based on that imbalance. I would argue that each of our Airbnb experiences were for reasonably long stretches, 6-7 days, and you are in a space long enough in that time to get a good sense of what works and what doesn't. More than you would in a single night in a hotel. Still, I wrote this post in consult with Adam because I wanted a second opinion and subjectivity can play a part in accommodation choices - I know some people who would always go for the hotel over an Airbnb, for example, because hotels are part of a holiday experience and they want to be looked after.

Many of you have surely heard of Airbnb already, but there are still quite a few who have stayed in ho(s)tels only and are not aware of what Airbnb is and how they could use it. Let’s shed some light on what Airbnb is and what it's good for.

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So here goes, I'll break down the two kinds of accommodations, giving the pros and cons of each, before coming to an overall decision.

Hotels

Pros

  • You know what you're getting with a hotel, especially if they are part of a chain. There are tried-and-tested standards and rules in place for the customer's best experience.
  • You have help. It's nice to be able to call down to the reception desk with a question.
  • Hotels often have amenities that are good to make families lives easier, such as restaurants, pools and maybe even a playground area.
  • Room service.
  • Your room will - or can - get cleaned once a day.
  • You can assume that it will be quiet.

Cons

  • Hotels generally cost more money and you might have to pay for extras, such as car parking.
  • Hotels might have reception desks, but they might not be attend 24/7.
  • Hotel rooms can feel a bit claustrophobic at times, especially if the windows are secured shut and you can't open them. The tick over of the air conditioning/heating can get on your nerves.
  • I've been in hotels when they are, most assuredly, not quiet at all thanks to weddings or other events.

Airbnb

Pros

  • Reasonably priced, with usually a fair range of options, even if budgets are tight (in the cities, at least).
  • We would stay in an entire apartment and it is so nice to have more space. There were a couple of times when we did need to get away from each other, so I would take a bath, one child would lie on the bed, another on the couch, and Adam would read at the kitchen table. That would be impossible in a hotel (with the exception of Atlantis the Palm, our extravagance).
  • Our London apartment was a owned by a family that you could tell actually lived in it. This is a big distinction. Many places are purely Airbnb temporary accommodation, run by people setting themselves up as agents, managing many similar properties around a city. Others are vacated by people for the duration of the guests visit. We stayed in both kinds and although it was weird at first to be in a place with pictures on the walls and well-read books on the shelves and clothes in the cupboard, it was also nice. Because you know there's trust involved. It also meant that the place was well-stocked in everyday essentials like garbage bags and washing up liquid.
  • A communicative and helpful host is a joy to talk to. Our Paris host was always responsive with my questions and offered lots of great advice (he was the one who told us to get the bus up to Gard du Nord, not the train) and so I was very excited even before leaving Australia about what laid in store.

Cons

  • On the flip side to my last point, your hosts may not be very accessible or communicative. This can be a problem if you have a problem with your place. In Rome, our hot water system didn't work properly and the toilet began to leak and by the end it was a real pain to try and track him down to do something about it.
  • Again, after Rome, my trust in Airbnb amenity descriptions is shaken. Although the listing said there was a kitchen, and a washer and a dryer, there turned out to be no oven (!) and the place had no washer or dryer! Our host paid to get our laundry done once down the road, but for a family of four to get by in a city for 7 more days and then another 7 after that without washing really threw out my plans. Our host brought us wine and sweets as an apology, but I felt like saying, "I just want a hot shower."
  • Some cities will have an additional tax or fee you'll need to pay. Like Rome's tourist tax, which our host waived because of all the dramas we had. So be aware of those.
  • Key pick up can be a bit of a pain. It is easier to stroll into a hotel and sign in.
  • Meal preparation is cheaper to do at your place than eating out - but that still means someone has to cook! And it was usually me!

So, who's the ultimate winner? Honestly, I like Airbnb. BUT - and there's a big 'but' - I will do greater research about a place's host ahead of making my next booking. It might be in the perfect district, have everything you want, but if your host has a number of negative reviews, either left in the listing itself or under their own personal profile, then I would stay well away. Okay, one or two are forgivable - people are fallible and things go wrong, after all. But after I got home, I looked over the Rome place again (thinking "did I miss something really obvious??") and I found other people leaving similar complaints. How I missed that in the first place, I don't know.

 

 

Tell me your hotel vs Airbnb experiences. What option do you prefer?

The Best Products for Airbnb Hosts! (in-depth review)



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If you have any questions - please drop a comment below!

Lauren

23 Comments

  1. love!!!

    Posted 7.26.17
  2. Denise wrote:

    Thank you for posting this. I already knew some of this but I felt validated hearing it from someone else. My first three orders were great and then I bought a Zara look-a-like skirt that was comically disastrous. Lol. I haven't ordered since but I keep seeing it on the blogs and now I'm thinking I should try them again.

    Posted 8.2.17
  3. Raeven (Ray-ven) wrote:

    Hi Lauren,

    So I've been trying to find this very specific white eyelash scallop lace bralette and underwear set that I found pics for online in google images, which I know is a long shot but I've still been trying to find it. All the websites I'm finding it on I keep seeing very bad reviews for, and the only one I did find to be legit says it's out of stock and you can't order from them unless it's in stock (Zaful, the Australian based clothing website). The next best one I found was Airbnb, and I've been looking at reviews and finding very mixed reviews, so I'm still iffy about ordering from them. And even then their version is still off from what I want they added these oversized little bows to the front of the underwear waistline as well as the part right between the cups on the bra, which I could just cut off but still makes me worried it's going to be cheap. And see I would be fine with ordering from them and losing the $8 if it was cheap and I was unsatisfied, but my bf wants to buy all my lingerie for me so he gets to spoil me (and himself lol) so I don't want to waste his money. We've already bought a lot from a more trustworthy US site (Vict.'s Sec.), but I am obsessed with finding this set I keep finding online everywhere. I'm at the point where I'm gonna just find a local mom&pop clothing boutique shop that can custom make the set for me, because there's a lot of locally owned wedding/bridesmaid/prom dress shops in my city that I know also offer to make lingerie for the brides, so "worst comes to worst" I'll just go to one of them and pay whatever price to get the set made for me. I mean literally if you search on google "white eyelash scallop lace lingerie set" or even just "white lace lingerie", it'll be one of the first results in images of a very tanned woman leaning back on her hands and wearing an unbottoned, botton-down shirt over the set, and the lace piece under the cups on the bra has a leaf right between the cups and the underwear has 2 small triangular cut-outs on the front piece. Anyways, since you're a fashion blogger and I absolutely am not, I am asking for your honest opinion about what you think I should do? Literally if Zaful wasn't out of stock of the set then I wouldn't be having this problem at all, but they are and have been for awhile so not sure when they'd get it back in, if ever. Just want some advice from a girl who knows her stuff about this kinda stuff, since I have no clue lol. Hopefully you see this soon and can get back to me asap!

    Many thanks,
    Rae

    Posted 2.22.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      Hi Rae,

      Thank you so much for reaching out! I googled the set you are looking for and I believe I found which one you are looking for. It's gorgeous - no wonder you want it so badly. I have never bought lingerie from Airbnb before, but I just so go for it. If you love the set, it's only $11.. if you don't, it was a good try. Probably 7/10 I have loved what I have received from Airbnb - so you may be surprised! Just make sure you don't size down because all of their sizes either tend to run TTS or a little small.

      Hope that helps!
      Lauren

      Posted 2.26.18
  4. Blake wrote:

    Thank you for the post! Have you ordered bathing suits from them before?! I have seen some that I LOVE but I am nervous to order

    Posted 3.12.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      I'm so sorry, I have not! Good luck! If you order, let me know how it goes lol.

      Posted 3.12.18
  5. Harley wrote:

    Have you ever bought their leggings? If so, are they true to size and fabric? I have read a lot of reviews that are good and bad about their leggings and I just want to know if I should order them and if I should order up or down.

    Posted 4.10.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      Hi Harley, my apologies but I have not! xo, Lauren

      Posted 4.10.18
  6. Yamara wrote:

    Hi Harley,

    Have you ever purchased a purse. I fell in love with one on their site.

    Thanks

    Posted 4.18.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      Hi love, I have not!! But I have met a few girls who have and were pleased!!

      Posted 4.19.18
  7. Jill wrote:

    Question; You said that you’ve been working with Airbnb for a while? Does this mean that they reached out to you and sent you clothes? I just wonder if this affects the quality and the service you receive because they know that you will review it. It seems like the only positive reviews I can find are all from bloggers / YouTubers who Airbnb has reached out to. They had such cute stuff but I’m still very hesitant to buy anything from them ..

    Posted 5.9.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      Hi Jill!

      Thanks for reaching out! So when I work with Airbnb, I go to their website and pick out the clothes myself. Then they send them. I have only done that a few times though, the other times were pieces I have purchased. I can definitely see your concern though!!! I would be worried about that too -lol. The reason you only see reviews from bloggers and YouTubers is that we are the only ones writing about our experiences.

      & not all of my experiences have been positive!!! But at the same time, most of them have. I mean, they are like $12 shirts, so you can't expect phenomenal quality but at the same time, for what it is, I have been impressed! I have an order coming in the next week or so and I'll be doing a try on session on Instagram if you want to look out for that! My handle is @finduroom.com
      xo, Lauren

      Posted 5.10.18
  8. Lauryn Hill wrote:

    How do the bathing suits fit ? Have you ever brought one from them ?

    Posted 5.24.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      I just recently bought one and am surprisingly impressed! I just made sure to read the comments on the websites from other purchasers before buying!

      Posted 5.25.18
  9. cynthia wrote:

    Hi, Lauren
    Im Cynthia from Indonesia. This is my first experience worldwide shipping and lil bit confused about the payment. they said you can pay it when the stuff is arrived, so my question is: what kind/name of the delivery service? is there will be currier to deliver my stuff? and what should I do after I confirmed the purchase?
    thankyou

    Posted 6.18.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      Hi Cynthia, my apologies but I do not know the answer to this. I do not work for Airbnb, I am just a customer leaving a detailed review! I will say that I have never paid when it arrived. I have always had to pay, place the order and then receive my items. Best of luck! Lauren

      Posted 6.24.18
  10. Emily wrote:

    Hey, I've been reading your replies after the review, and you keep suggesting to size up. How do the measurements from the size chart line up with the sizes? i matched my size to the size chart instead of my typical size, but I'm still worried. Thanks!

    Posted 6.19.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      Hi Emily!

      For the most part, they definitely match up with the size chart size! I just recommend people to size up because not everyone looks at the size chart like they should!:) Hope that helps! xo, Lauren

      Posted 6.24.18
  11. P C wrote:

    What am I doing wrong? I'm on the website but I cannot *for the life of me* scroll down! TIA!

    Posted 7.2.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      Hi love! Are you talking about on the Airbnb website or mine? If it's Airbnb I am sorry but I cannot help! I do not work for Airbnb, I only wrote a personal review on my site on the fashion website. Good luck! Best, Lauren

      Posted 7.2.18
  12. Jalan wrote:

    Hey I was wondering have you ever purchased a bed set from them, if so, how are they? Is the quality good? And what would a queen sized bed size be because the sizes are very confusing for me.

    Thanks!

    Posted 7.8.18
    • finduroom.com wrote:

      I’m so sorry but I have only bought clothing!

      Posted 7.8.18

Comments are closed.

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