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Vacation Rentals,

Hotel vs Airbnb

Part 1 “The Hotel

We stayed in a major chain hotel on a recent trip, and we wanted to compare the hotel versus an Airbnb rental that we were going to stay at later on our trip.

This trip was to the Bay Area,  so we stopped in Monterey, California to spend the night and take in some of the sights.  Since we were only staying for one night in Monterey, we decided to stay at a major chain hotel. Our selection was nothing extravagant – just a hotel that had a pool so that the kids could unwind after a long road trip. The price of the hotel was $129 for a Sunday night.

First, here are our “Pros” of the hotel:

  1. No reservation needed –  The town wasn’t busy so there were several hotels to choose from that fit our criteria of having a pool and had last-minute availability.
  2. Heated indoor pool – While I’m sure there are a few homes on Airbnb with a heated indoor pool, they would surely be in the minority in this general area at this price point.
  3. Free breakfast – A typical continental breakfast of waffles, cereal, fruit etc. was included with our stay.
  4. Close to attractions – The downtown area was less than a mile away.
  5. Well stocked – For a hotel room at this price point, there were many amenities included: microwave, small refrigerator, iron & ironing board, coffee maker, hairdryer.

Now for the “Cons“:

  1. Dated – We were not expecting a 5-star luxury stay, but even considering the price point we were at, the hotel room was definitely showing its age.
  2. Noisy – The hotel’s proximity to a main road provided convenience, but it also meant road noise and a lot of people coming and going.
  3. Privacy – This is a given when you are using “community” facilities – we did not expect a lot of privacy when using the pool and hot tub, and there were indeed a lot of random strangers sharing these with our family.

Below are some of the details on the hotel room:

 Here is an overall view of the hotel room. It could have used more powerful lighting; the whole room especially over the bed seemed very dark.

Hotel vs Airbnb Bed

It is hard to see in this picture, but the TV is wall-mounted on the far right.  It was not movable at all, so the only way to watch it would be while sitting in bed. A swinging TV Wall Mount would have made a big difference especially in a room like this that had a larger “living area”.

Hotel vs Air bnb Bed 2 need TV Wall mount

A pet peeve of mine is a dirty fan in the bathroom.  It doesn’t take but a few minutes to clean, but when it is dirty I often wonder what else don’t they check…

Hotel vs Air bnb Bed Dirty Vent Cover

 This microwave was a nice surprise and was in working order, it was just a little dated with its turning nobs…  

Hotel vs Air bnb Dated / Old Fashioned Microwave

Matching the colors of the paint or keeping all outlet covers consistent throughout can make a big difference in the look of the room. These are small changes but add to the overall impression of the room and the stay.

Hotel vs Air bnb Mismatched Paint Lightswitch Plate Cover
Hotel vs Air bnb Mismatched Color Outlet

 Yes, many people may not even use a land line these days, but if you provide one, make sure it is in working order. Most of the buttons on our phone didn’t work and made calling the front office almost impossible.

Hotel vs Airbnb Non-working Landline Telephone

 A dated table with some pretty good wear and tear and splinters – so watch out!

Hotel vs Airbnb Dated Dining Area Showing Wear & Splintering

A noticeably torn blanket on the Murphy bed. It’s time to get a new blanket…

Hotel vs Airbnb Torn Blanket on Murphy Bed

It was also easy to notice some questionable carpentry and painting. It just looked like whoever was working on the room didn’t care very much…

Hotel vs Airbnb Questionable Carpentry Woodwork Painting Moulding

Hotel vs Air bnb Paint Carpentry Woodwork Moulding Mismatch

It really was not a bad experience overall, and the things I pointed out are probably minor, with many travelers not noticing these items during their stay. However, many of these items could be fixed relatively cheaply and quickly, turning an “OK” experience into an “Wow what a great value” experience. See Part 2 here of “Hotel vs Airbnb” when we evaluated the Airbnb rental from this same trip.