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Hotels vs. Short-Term Rentals: Which Is Better?

Hotels vs. Short-Term Rentals: Which Is Better?

Conversely, the argument could be made that there’s no home like a home away from home – why eat fancy when you can cook for yourself? Why pay for exorbitant laundry services when you can wash and iron your own garments for much less?

The lowly kitchen is often one of Airbnb’s best-selling features

Of course, there are some cities, such as Seoul, where cooking groceries may have a similar cost to eating out. Why spend time cooking when you can enjoy tasty street food for the same price or less?

However, one cannot argue that these are often more economic pursuits. Short-term rentals give you the freedom to choose when and how to deal with your own problems, rather than oblige you to pay $5 to launder a shirt, which is the going price at many higher-end hotels.

Verdict: In the end, the type of amenities that are important to you will differ, depending on the purpose of your trip. In this case, let’s call it a tie, as what’s important to a business traveller may not be an issue for someone travelling for leisure.

For some, the experience of walking into a turn-key home is better serviced by the insane plethora of options from short-term rentals. You’ll also likely wind up saving cash on things like food and laundry, which you can take care of yourself.

On the other hand, staying at a “one-stop shop” that can fit all your needs without ever setting foot outside is best provided by hotels. If you’re too preoccupied to cook or look after chores, then you won’t have to go far to have your needs met, even if it comes at a cost.

While there are some hotel options that also feature full kitchens and laundry facilities, you’ll often wind up paying a premium, and also won’t enjoy the full suite of perks that come with staying at a full-service hotel.


Spoiler alert: hotels beat short-term rentals hands-down when it comes to the loyalty game.

There are no real incentives to continuously book short-term rentals other than price and the opportunity to live like (or with) a local in a given city.

On the other hand, hotels offer incredible benefits for repeat customers, such as welcome amenities, complimentary upgrades, free food and drinks, and even gifts, on top of earning points for free stays. In the hotel loyalty scene, it’s the usual suspects Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and World of Hyatt that offer the pest perks.

Dedicated elite service desks and priority customer service lines exist for frequent hotel users, but…

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