Hotels vs Airbnb- which should you choose?

by Kim on July 4, 2017

It’s a big day; you have got the Internet and your phone at the ready and you are prepared for making a very important decision. Where is this year’s much needed holiday going to take you, and where are you going to stay when you get there?

There is so much to think about, when it comes to booking the holiday of your dreams. Do you book a package, or arrange individual details yourself? Do you travel by air which is quicker or train which is cheaper? Since the arrival of Airbnb in 2008, there has been an additional question to ask yourself. Do you choose a hotel to stay in, or is Airbnb lodging a better idea?

What is the most affordable option?

The truth is that there is no definitive answer as to whether Airbnb is a cheaper option than staying in a hotel. It depends on where you are travelling to. For instance, in Barcelona you are likely to pay around AUS$130 more to spend the night in Airbnb accommodation than if you stayed in a hotel. In London the situation is reversed. It’s also a lot cheaper to stay in Airbnb in New York; around AUS$100 when compared to a hotel stay. There are some cities, such as Washington DC, where there is little difference between the two costs. In Australia, a two night break in Sydney is likely to cost you around AUS$150 more if you stay in a hotel than it would if you chose Airbnb accommodation.

If you want to make your choice solely based on cost then you need to research your destination. However, cost is not the only thing you need to think about.

The positives and the negatives of a hotel stay

If you are having difficulty deciding whether you should stay in a hotel on holiday, here are some of the positives and negatives, after you have taken cost out of the equation.


  • You can get access to amenities such as a restaurant, room service, concierge service and other potential facilities, such as a gym and a swimming pool.
  • Hotel staff is professional at what they do. If you choose a good hotel, you can usually be guaranteed of being dealt with in a helpful and knowledgeable manner.
  • You are not dependent on one individual for the quality of your accommodation.
  • Hotels often offer additional deals and services for guests.
  • The hotel industry keeps evolving, to improve the guest experience.


  • Hotel chains can seem impersonal.
  • You can feel as though you do not get the privacy you need.
  • Hotels are often centred on tourist areas so you may not get an authentic view of your destination.

If you still cannot decide, it’s helpful to look at the pros and cons of Airbnb accommodation.

The positives and negatives of Airbnb

Here are some points to consider if you are trying to decide whether to use Airbnb.


  • You can choose a destination that you may not be able to afford otherwise.
  • You can stay in different areas of a city where you can mix with local people.
  • If you have a good host it can be a friendly experience.
  • You can choose to book a whole property so you have complete privacy.


  • If you stay with a host, it’s really awkward if you do not get on.
  • You are never really sure what to expect until you arrive at the accommodation.
  • Airbnb hosts do not have the professional expertise that you get from hotel managers and staff.

If you think about the whole experience, and not just the cost, you can see that making a choice between a hotel and Airbnb is not easy. Many people suggest that using Airbnb gives you the chance to have a different holiday, away from the mundane. But, you can also do this if you stay at venues such as the Ice Hotel in Sweden or Hotel Costa Verde in Costa Rica. These are two of the Top Ten of the World’s Most Unusual Hotels, and any stay at them is bound to be memorable.

The truth is that your holiday is what you make of it, no matter which type of accommodation you choose. You need to think about your budget, and the holiday experience that you are looking for, and make a choice that is best for you.