Written By: Travel Sherlock
The curious question of where to stay: Hotel, Airbnb or is there something else?
The explosion of Airbnb as a lodging option began in 2008 with a blow-up mattress in San Francisco and now covers over 6 million rooms, flats and homes in more than 81 thousand cities around the world. The general premise of staying in a lower priced option that may have a kitchen or other home amenities has certainly caught on but we always need to read the fine print!
Quality controls for these properties can be spotty and it truly is a hit or miss game. We strongly recommend reading all of the reviews for a site which means we have to do our homework for home rentals! Always prioritize the most recent reviews and pay close attention to interactions with the owner.
These properties can absolutely provide a lower cost alternative that allow you to experience a city away from a cookie cutter hotel experience. Remember that you can now fill out your refrigerator with your favorite snacks and drinks without paying $4 for a Coke! We find the best usage of this inventory is for larger groups that can save significant money on lodging while fully taking advantage of a kitchen or group areas to support your vacation.
So it sounds like Hotels are normally the better option?
Maybe! For Smaller parties, we believe Hotels are the best option. You have a corporate brand that is backing your stay and the amenities and room quality are far more reliable. You are assured of having handicap accessibility and stricter guidelines for health and safety. While the added expense of food and drinks is a hindrance, there is no replacing a solid (albeit not exciting) hotel room. Or is there?
What are condo weeks?
A third option exists that can be the best of both worlds. Many resort companies own and operate time share arms of their companies and will rent out these professionally managed condos. These properties are usually in the 3-4 star range and include kitchens and on-site amenities. The public areas will not rival the full-blown resort facilities but the price can be significantly less than staying at the hotel alternative without wondering if your Airbnb host has left some expired milk in the refrigerator.
As these condo weeks can be easier on the pocket book and are very family friendly those savings can make a real difference at resort destinations or near theme parks (Hello Mickey!).
So what have we learned here? Accommodations are not one-size fits all. This is far more of a Goldilocks scenario where asking yourself what you need will get you closer to that ‘just right’ we all crave.