Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Reese's Adventures Travel

Hotel or Airbnb: Which is Best?

I know this may sound weird, but one of my favourite parts of travel is when I can put my head down where I am staying. Feeling at home after a long day of travel and clamouring around with luggage is a huge part of my travel experience. For the most part, it has been in a hotel room.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Reese resting her head on a pillow in a hotel guest room.

When I am not staying with loved ones, hotels and Airbnbs are the two options I choose to call home. For the longest time, hotels were the only option I would choose. After staying in an Airbnb for the first time, I was happy to have an alternative for future trips.

Hotel. Airbnb. Which one is better? Have a look below to see the difference and similarities I found from staying in each of these places while on vacation.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which One is Best?

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
L: Lobby of Hotel x in Toronto; R: Condos in downtown Toronto.

Booking

Finding a room for both of these homes away from home is simple. I was able to do both online to learn about different features and pricing for the space you want to book.

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A laptop, a day planner, and a notebook on a table.

With a hotel, room prices are based on the number of beds in a room, the size of the beds in a room, and the amenities in the room. Payment for your room our suite is finalized at the end of your stay.

For an Airbnb space, pricing can be based on number of beds and the number of people occupying this space for the duration of your stay. Payment for your space is done on the site once you book.

Amenities

Hotels and Airbnbs offer so many different types of amenities for guests to use, both in their room or space, as well as on the premise. It all depends on what you are looking to enjoy during your stay.

Depending on the amount of stars a hotel has, they can provide any number of extras for guests to enjoy. Gyms, restaurants, spas, kitchenettes, and more could be available for guests to use.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Maxx’s Kitchen at Hotel X in Toronto.
Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Outdoor portion of pool at Hotel X in Toronto.

Amenities can also vary greatly for Airbnb spaces. Some guests are also able to make use of gyms and pools that are on the premises (please ask questions of your Host which are available if not shared in their listing). Other items such as kitchens, dishwashers, and wash-dryer duos may also be a part of your space. You can also check out the area around the space you book for some fabulous extras you would be able to find at a higher-end hotel.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Entryway to Airbnb space in Toronto.
Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Oven and microwave in kitchen of Airbnb space in Toronto.
Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Fridge, freezer and storage space in kitchen of Airbnb space in Toronto.

Check-In

Arriving at your home away from home are two different experiences when checking in at a hotel verses an Airbnb. Let me give a picture of my experiences when arriving to both of these types of accommodations.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Hand opening door to a guest room at a hotel.

When arriving at a hotel, you check-in at the Front Desk. They collect certain details from you and get a credit card from guests for incidentals. Once all of this has been completed, you receive your room key and can go to your room.

For my first stay at an Airbnb, I coordinated a time with my Host over the app for checking in. I was staying in a condominium for this Airbnb experience and my Host met me to go over the unit. My Host reiterated the rules for staying in his space, gave me a tour of the space, showed me how to use certain appliances, and answered any questions I had about staying there.

For any additional questions I may have during my stay, I was to contact him via the Airbnb app and he was close by should I need him for anything. There was also 24-hour security available. I then received my key and had the unit to myself.

*** Note: There are other methods Hosts use to check-in their guests at Airbnbs. My host went the extra mile to make me feel at home. ***

Space and Comfort

For both spaces, this is all dependent on the size of the room you book.

For a hotel, there are various room sizes you can book. I have found, in most rooms I have booked, the bigger the space, the more comfortable I have been. Suites allowed me to spread out and relax more. The toiletries, daily fresh towels, and cleaning service is nice to escape to. I am also to call for room service great at a restaurant (if on site). It is great to feel like a guest while being away from home.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Beds in a guest room at the Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo in Kitchener.
Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Bathroom in Guest Room at Hotel X in Toronto.

Just like a hotel room, the comfort level of your space depends on the space you book. You have your choice of booking a private room in a shared space or an entire apartment or home. I booked an entire apartment for myself. It was as though it was a home away from home because of the amenities within my unit. I will say that it was not as cushy or luxurious as a stay at a hotel was. It felt as though I was living in a loft of my own.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Bed in Airbnb space in Toronto.
Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Couch and table in Airbnb space in Toronto.

It was as though I was housesitting while on vacation. I was able to cook, clean, and fill the fridge with my favourite foods. It was really laid back and relaxing. I also did not think about people entering my room for cleaning and having things in their way.

So? Hotel or Airbnb? Which one is best?

For me, it is a tie. I know! You’re a bit upset with me, but it all comes down to the situation I am in and how much more convenience one would provide during my stay over the other.

If booking for total convenience to escape life from home, or for a function like a conference, I would definitely book with a hotel.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Reese in the Sitting Area in the Lobby of Hotel X in Toronto.

If it is for more of a relaxed, cozy getaway, I would book an Airbnb space.

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Reese sitting on couch of Airbnb space in Toronto.

Both types of accommodations are great choices to make when going away. I can’t wait to get away and stay in one of them for my next adventures!

Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?
Hotel or Airbnb? Which is Best?

Hotel or Airbnb? Which would you choose?

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36 Comments

  1. robin rue says:

    We have stayed at both and depending on the trip, we choose what works best for our family!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      I agree, Robin. If it is a more formal or a work trip, then I would go with a hotel. If it is a laid back trip, definitely an Airbnb!

  2. One of my daughters will only stay in AirBnB and she loves it. I’ve never tried it and usually stay in nice hotels. We have rented houses on the beach but that’s through a rental agency.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      I hear you, Alli! It is really a preference choice. I’m glad you know what works best for you when you want to get away!

  3. My daughter has stayed at numerous Airbnb locations and has had great experiences. Personally I have not yet given them a try but I am considering for an upcoming trip to NY. Thanks so much for the feedback and comparisons.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks, Kelly! When you do your planning for accommodations and you look into an Airbnb, do read all of the reviews and ask a lot of questions. Also research the area for amenities. I ask so many questions to make sure staying at an Airbnb was right for this trip.

  4. For me I probably like airbnb better, mostly as for the cost of a hotel room which just offers a place to rest your head you can get the comfort of a lounge to relax in and a proper kitchen too!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      I hear you, Sarah! The cost was a factor in my choice of going with an Airbnb on certain trips. I also loved being able to stock a fridge, cook, and even do laundry while away from home.

  5. I loved reading your comparison. I prefer a hotel. I love the amenities that they come with.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks Tasheena! Having so many amenities so close at hand is a definite bonus to staying at a hotel.

  6. I’ve never stayed at an Airbnb but yours looks great! Thanks for the tips! (If I ever go to Brooklyn, I want to stay at this Airbnb: https://www.localhaus.co/guesthaus.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks Julie! The Airbnb you shared looks amazing! I would want to stay there if I ever go to Brooklyn! The one I stayed in was in the heart of downtown Toronto. We were close to so many things!

  7. For me, it depends how long I’m staying. If it’s longer, I stay at an Airbnb. But if it’s a short stay, the hotel is fine for me. I like the free breakfasts!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hahaha! Free breakfasts are great! I stayed for 3 days at this Airbnb, and yes, the price of staying at an Airbnb was much cheaper than at a hotel.

  8. Victoria says:

    I used to do hotels. However, when doing family travel an Airbnb is the only option. We need an entire space to ourself so we’re not all on top of each other. But, if it’s a couples trip, I can do a hotel, however, I like the privacy and the amenities that an Airbnb can provide.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      I hear you, Victoria! in a hotel room, it is hard to have a space of your own. At this Airbnb, I felt I could spend out and relax. The huge balcony and the scenery was an added bonus!

  9. I think it depends on if it is work or pleasure and if I am traveling alone or with my family.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks Rachel! If it is more for work, I will book a hotel. If it is for fun, then I would Airbnb.

  10. I just can’t seem to get comfortable with the idea of AirBNB. I prefer staying in hotels when I travel. You just never know when you’re purchasing from a single person.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Rena! I did A LOT of research before trying an Airbnb. I made sure to go with a Super Host who had a lot or positive reviews and answered all of my questions well. It is cool I you prefer staying at a hotel as well. It is all about your personal preferences.

  11. It’s really great that you were able to differentiate the two options we have when traveling. This would really help us decide where to stay in the future travel plans.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Thanks, Chef Dennis! I felt it was necessary to be a bit more descriptive with the process of each option for those who have not tried an Airbnb before. I hope this helps you when you are planning your next escape!

  12. I love hotels, but I stay in AirBnBs sometimes too! I like being able to use a kitchen.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Oh, Pam! I agree! For me, it was so great to have al of my favourite foods at hand and to cook as though I was at home.

  13. Ruth I says:

    It really depends on the number of days I will be staying and how the room looks. We like Airbnb because we can cook and feel like we are home. But i a hotel, we feel special. lol!

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hotels really do make their guests feel special. I also love the homey feel of an Airbnb.

  14. Jeni Hawkins says:

    I think it depends on how low or high your budget is. Might be depending on who you are travelling as well. I am a bigtime airbnb fan.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Yes, Jeni, budget is key! Aibnbs are cheaper, especially if you are staying for an extended period of time.

  15. We have just stayed at hotels and never tried staying at an AirBNB. But I would like to give it a try one day.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Hey Lynndee! Yes! You should look into it and give it a try.

  16. I like both hotel and air b&b depending on what our needs are or where we decide to vacation. I stayed at my first Air B&B this summer and I loved the experience.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      This is great to hear, Lisa! I agree. It is all dependent on your needs on a specific trip. My first Airbnb experience was a great one.

  17. Kelli A says:

    I have never used an airbnb before but have only heard great things about this alternative to using a hotel. Ammenities are definitely a deciding factor for us when we travel.

    1. reesespeaks says:

      Yes, Kelli! Amenities was a great factor in deciding which option to choose for your accommodations.

  18. Catalina says:

    I’ve never used Airbnd service. I always preferred hotels. I fell safe there. But maybe I should try Airbnb.

  19. I’ve only ever stayed at Hotels when I’ve traveled. I’ve never Stayed at an AirBnB…. I have considered looking into it though.

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