At home, most families spread out at night throughout the house or apartment to their respective rooms. But, on “vacation,” all of the sudden, the plan is often to cram everyone into one or maybe two rooms. Given that people-to-square-foot ratio, it makes sense why vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO are increasingly popular choices for families looking for vacation lodging since you generally get more space for your buck, but we still recommend hotels over Airbnb homes to our guests.
Here are five reasons why staying in a hotel still beats staying in an Airbnb.
1. Free Breakfast — and Sometimes Dinner
One of the reasons we love hotels is a complimentary breakfast and sometimes dinner during your stay.
Here are brands that offer a complimentary breakfast.
Best Western, Best Western Plus. Best Western Premier
*breakfast is available at most locations
Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, EconoLodge (continental breakfast),
MainStay Suites (continental breakfast with oatmeal station), Quality Inn, Sleep Inn
Hilton: Canopy, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, Tru
Hyatt: Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Zilara/Hyatt Ziva (all-inclusive resort brands)
IHG: Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites
Marriott: Element, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, Towne Place Suites.
Radisson: Country Inns & Suites by Carlson
Wyndham: Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn (continental breakfast), Howard Johnson (continental breakfast), Hawthorn Suites, La Quinta, Microtel Inn & Suites (continental breakfast), Super 8, Travelodge (continental breakfast), Wingate
Yes, there are some Airbnbs that are like bed-and-breakfasts with your breakfast included and provided, but these are the vast minority.
Say what you want about the quality of hotel breakfasts, but I know we enjoy staying in a place where we don’t have to cook breakfast and clean up after the whole process while we’re on vacation!
2. Hotels Are Less Likely to Come After You for Damages
We have heard multiple "horror stories" with a “he said, she said” issue at an Airbnb stay where the host said the guests left trash everywhere and broke his couch. These things did not happen, but he requested $250. Going through the Airbnb resolution process is stressful and unfamiliar. In this case, Airbnb resolved the case and didn’t make the guests pay, but it could easily have gone the other way.
At a hotel, if there is a problem, hotels have better and more easily available customer service. With Airbnb, it is really down to just you and your host, though sometimes Airbnb does get involved. In contrast, if you have a problem with an individual hotel, you can always reach out to the hotel’s corporate offices.
3. Hotels Usually Have Better Amenities
Many hotels will have a fitness center and a swimming pool. We have also found hotel beds, pillows and furniture are generally in better condition and are sturdier than what you’ll find in the average Airbnb. Hotels buy their beds and furniture to last since they know they’re going to have many guests staying with them. The Airbnb furniture we’ve experienced often feels like whatever was on discount at IKEA.
4. Consistency Is Key
It really boils down to consistency and knowing what you’re going to get. You know when you’re at a DoubleTree that you’re going to get a cookie at check-in. At Holiday Inn Express you’ll have cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Conversely at an Airbnb, things can vary wildly, and even though you can weed out some potential problems by looking at the pictures in the listing and reading reviews, many other times the problems don’t become apparent until later in the process or when you show up, and often that is too late.
5. Check-In Drama
When you arrive to a hotel (potentially exhausted) with kids in tow, you just head to the front desk and check-in. There might be a bit of a line at times, but there’s usually a staffed lobby to assist you in getting the keys to your room at all hours of the day.
Checking in at a vacation rental? Well, that isn’t always as straightforward. There might be a check-in lobby when renting a condo unit or similar. There may be a code provided that you type in a keypad, which is great, unless something goes wrong. Alternatively, you may need to meet your host to get in, which can also get more complicated if your arrival time gets a little out of the ordinary. Of course, this process often goes well, but often doesn’t mean always.
We continue to partner with hotel brands for our guests because we know our guests will be taken care of. If you are looking for a hotel whether it be in the U.S. or International, we would love to help.