Airbnb was once considered the savior of the hospitality business. Not anymore.
I’m sure at one point or the other you may have heard of Airbnb. In case you haven’t, lemme clear it up.
Airbnb, Inc. operates an online marketplace for lodging, primarily homestays for vacation rentals, and tourism activities. It is based in San Francisco, California. The platform is accessible via website and mobile app. – Wikipedia
Airbnb is innovative, in that all you have to do is browse on the website, pick a home, be vetted, and for half the price of a hotel – before the pandemic – you have good accommodation!
But as good as that may sound, there has also been safety concerns. In this post, we will compare the pros and cons of Airbnb Vs Hotel, and you can decide what side you are on.
Lets start with hotels. At least we are familiar with that.
Airbnb Vs Hotels
1. Hotels have an easier check-in
To check into a hotel, you just walk into the lobby any time of the day or night.
On the other hand, checking into an Airbnb is more difficult than it should be. You also don’t know the address until you have made a complete payment, or some days before your stay.
Bear in mind also that you have to be in detailed communication with the room’s host to figure out the variables of your check-in situation, which can lead to too many instructions you can most likely do without.
Hotels are not so secretive. They even prefer you to know the place early!
2. With a hotel, what you see is what you get
People lie, and it’s no different with shared spaces. On Airbnb, the photos for a room could look great online but appear completely different in person. The location as well could be a no-go area for all you can tell.
This is not saying hotels are safer, but for real, they are.
3. Hotels won’t cancel on you with short notice
My first airbnb, my host cancelled before I left the country. Luckily I was able to find one on short notice, but that isn’t always the case.
Airbnb does penalize hosts who cancel reservations, but it happens, and it can ruin your vacation. One traveler reported to Consumer Affairs that he was stranded in Shinjuku, Japan, when his host cancelled without notice, and his story is just one of many .
4. Hotels have a concierge
I cannot state how vital this is – having somewhere to stash your bags when you arrive. In case you don’t know, in hotels or resorts, a concierge assists guests by performing various tasks such as making restaurant reservations, booking hotels, arranging for spa services, recommending night life hot spots, booking transportation (like taxi, limousines, airplanes, boats, etc.), coordinating porter service and more.
No concierge means nowhere to stash your bags if you arrive early or leave late. If you have a problem with your accommodations at a hotel, someone will usually come to your room quickly and even change your room if the problem can’t be fixed.
At an Airbnb, you’re at the mercy of your host, who may or may not be responsive.
5. Airbnb hosts can be racist.
Sadly, some airbnb hosts are bonafide racists. There’s been rumours that people of color have sometimes found themselves rejected by Airbnb hosts. Sure, the platform has worked to combat this, developing a nondiscrimination policy and working with the NAACP to tackle the problem, but it is what it is.
The nature of a system where individuals get to decide who does and doesn’t stay at their houses is still a setup for racism that’s definitely not changing anytime soon.
But really…. Not everything about airbnbs are bad.
You’ll get way more amenities and space in an Airbnb (usually) that in a hotel. Plus, Airbnb hosts typically offer weekly and monthly discounts, so if you’re staying somewhere long-term, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hotel with a better deal.
In conclusion, I guess it’s down to personal preference.
If you’re a group, airbnb would most likely be cheaper as you can rent an entire apartment as opposed to various rooms.
I’ve stayed in both, and I’d choose my experience in Mesquite (an airbnb) over any hotel stay any day.