I have stayed both on hotels and Airbnb. But after a lot of stays, I concluded that hotels are always better than Airbnb. There are many reasons for the hotel being better than Airbnb. Here are some key reasons.
1. Airbnb Does Not Show Property Location:
Airbnb never shows actual rental location until you book it. Airbnb only indicates an approximate location of your rental. So, you never know where your Airbnb is. In bigger cities, one block makes all the difference between a good neighborhood or a crappy neighborhood. If your Airbnb rental is off by 500 meters, this could be a massive problem if you visit an area without a car. Whereas, a hotel always publicly shows and advertises its address. So, you know exactly where your hotel is.
2. No Check-In Hassle At Hotel:
Hotel or Motel has 24-hour staff to assist you at check-in. Even if you arrive late at a hotel, there will be some contacts to assist you in checking in. But from time to time, you would face serious problem checking into your Airbnb rental. I faced issues many times.
For example, several times after booking completion in an Airbnb, the host stopped responding to my questions. One time, I was waiting in front of the rentals, and the host never came to give me the house key nor returned any of my messages and calls. If you want to stay at an Airbnb, you have to get accustomed to this problem, “Host not responding.”
3. Host Cancellation At Last Minute:
If you book a hotel, the hotel will never cancel your reservation. You are guaranteed to have a place for your stay. But, the Airbnb is notorious for a last-minute cancellation. The host cancels the booking for many reasons. A host cancels, but the guest suffers the most. A family plans a vacation for many months. Reserves a place in advance to lock down economic Airbnb costs. But the last-minute cancellation puts the guest in deep trouble.
4. Hotels Don’t Charge Cleaning Fee:
I never visited a hotel where they charge a room cleaning fee. But Airbnb exclusively charges guests a cleaning fee. According to Airbnb, this cleaning fee is there to clean your rental before your arrival and after your departure. On many occasions, I found that the cleaning fee is as high as the Airbnb’s nightly price.
5. No Daily Room Service At Airbnb:
Airbnb is a weird service. Airbnb host charges you a cleaning fee but never cleans your room or apartment while you stay there. A Hotel never asks you for a cleaning fee but cleans your room daily.
6. No or Minimal Service Fee At Hotels:
When you book your hotel through Booking.com or Hotels.com, they don’t charge a service fee. Even if they do, that’s minimal, typically lower than 3%. On the contrary, Airbnb has a whopping 14% service charge. Moreover, if you cancel your Airbnb reservation and the host agrees to refund you, Airbnb will not refund this 14% service charge. It’s gone forever.
7. No Extensive Cleaning Fee:
There are shady Airbnb hosts who would charge you extra cleaning fees after your departure through the Airbnb resolution center. Sometimes, they would claim that you left the room or apartment too dirty, and the host needs more money to clean the rooms. In my opinion, this is absurd and a scam.
8. Hotel Is Safer Than Airbnb:
If you search Airbnb listing, you will never see any negative reviews. It’s because Airbnb removes all negative reviews from its platform. It’s problematic because, if any guest leaves a negative review related to any Airbnb property or its host, other guests have no way to learn about those. For example, if any host behaves creepily or has installed hidden cameras, other guests will never know about those because Airbnb will remove those reviews that tarnish Airbnb’s image.
On the other hand, hotels not only very cautious about guests’ safety, but they also have a unique protocol to operate from the local government to provide a safe environment for the guest.
9. No Scam At Hotel:
There have been many cases where dishonest people have created a fake listing on Airbnb to scam potential guests. If you realize that the listing is fraudulent upon arrival at your rental, Airbnb will return your money. But the inconvenience will be profound, especially in a foreign country where you don’t know anyone.
10. Hotels will never kick you out:
After you check in a hotel, they will never kick you out of your room. But on Airbnb, there is a possibility. I’ve seen hosts kick out guests for not following house rules, such as bringing an extra guest or smoking in a no-smoking Airbnb.
11. Airbnb May Ban You:
There are many cases where Airbnb banned customers from using their platform without any explanation. It could be a host left a false negative review. It could be someone who tried to hack your account, but Airbnb locked your account forever instead of trying to stop the hackers. The point is, Airbnb bans users all the time without any notice. On the other hand, a hotel booking platform will never ban you.
12. No Pre-Payment At Hotels:
Most of the hotels never charge you until you arrive at the hotel to check-in, but Airbnb does. The moment you reserve an Airbnb, they will deduct the full booking amount from your credit card or your bank account even if it is six months away.
13. Hotels Don’t Require Security Deposit:
Hotels never ask for a security deposit. But on many occasions, either Airbnb or Host may request a security deposit before your stay at an Airbnb begins. The security deposit ranges from $100 to $5000. For Airbnb required security deposit, this money is put on hold from two days before your Airbnb stay to 14 days after your Airbnb rental on your credit card. On the contrary, a hotel never asks any guest to put down any security deposit.
14. Hotels Are Cheaper For Short Term Stay:
Hotels are less expensive than Airbnb for short term stay. Many people claim that Airbnb is more economical, but that’s not correct for short term stay at an Airbnb. When you add up the room rent, cleaning fee, service charge, and taxes, Airbnb is way expensive than a hotel room. Before you reserve a room or apartment on Airbnb, visit Booking.com to compare prices.
15. Racism on Airbnb:
Airbnb is rife with racism. If you read reviews about any Airbnb listing, you will never hear of this. It is because Airbnb scrubs all the negative reviews.
Most of the time, you can’t book an Airbnb instantly. You send a booking request to the host. Who reviews your profile, your name, picture, and comment from previous hosts about you. If the host feels comfortable hosting you, they may allow you to stay at their rental — That’s why I have seen a lot of discrimination on Airbnb. People of color are turned continuously away by hosts.
A hotel will never turn away any guest. They never discriminate against anyone for their race, religion, or gender.
For these reasons, I always prefer a hotel than Airbnb. However, there are many scenarios where Airbnb is better than a hotel. For example, visiting a place with a large group or for a more extended stay, Airbnb is better than a hotel.