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.
- Consistency 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.
- Safety 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 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.
- Service 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.
- Loyalty programs Major hoteliers offer loyalty programs, where points can be redeemed for free nights, upgrades, or other gifts.
- Meals 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.
- 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.
- Location 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.