View of a bed inside a hotel room

AirBnb vs Hotel – Which is Better? (Honest Pros & Cons)

The Airbnb vs hotel debate has been around since the famous accommodation rental platform hit the scene over a decade ago. And rightly so. These two accommodation options are vastly different, and both have their pros and cons. 

If you’re trying to solve the Airbnb vs hotel question for your next vacation, then look no further. I’ve stayed in every type of accommodation you can imagine. From Airbnbs and hotels to safe hostels and homestays. It’s taught me that the best option really depends on the type of experience you’re searching for. 

So, let’s figure out whether a hotel room or Airbnb rentals are better for your next trip! 

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

Which is Better: AirBnb or Hotel? 

Hotel rooms are generally better than staying at an Airbnb for tourists on vacation, though it ultimately depends on personal preference. While an Airbnb may be better for longer stays, apartment rentals are often short on amenities compared to a hotel unless you’re booking a high-end listing. Moreover, Airbnbs contribute to local housing shortages in your destination, and thus making hotels the more popular choice among socially responsible travelers. 

Advantages of AirBnb

  • Can be more affordable (though increasingly closer to hotels in price)
  • Better for long-term stays
  • A wide variety of different types of stays
  • Unique accommodations
  • Feels more like home
  • Gives you a feel for the local neighborhood

Advantages of Hotels

  • Typically safer
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Usually comes with more amenities
  • Potential to meet fellow travelers
  • More convenient
  • Usually in a central location
  • Overall more luxurious atmosphere
  • Does not taking housing options away from locals (helping fix overtourism)

Airbnb is Best For

  • Budget travelers (in private rooms)
  • Independent travelers (in shared rooms or private rooms)
  • Digital Nomads  
  • Long-term travelers
  • Off-the-beaten-path travelers 
  • Large group/families

Hotels are Best For

  • Business travelers
  • Romantic getaways
  • Vacation-goers
  • Short-term travelers
  • Luxury travelers
  • Socially conscious travelers

Hotel vs Airbnb – Detailed Comparison 

Wondering whether Airbnbs vs Hotels is better? Here’s a detailed comparison table of how hotels stack up against Airbnb:

Feature/CategoryAirBnbHotel🏆 Winner

Price
Large range of price points, additional cleaning fees, private rooms available for cheaper staysUsually a higher price point per nightAirBnb
SafetyNever really know what your Airbnb owners will be like, usually don’t have a place to lock valuables More security, staff on all night, usually has cameras, and lock boxes Hotel
AmenitiesTends to only come with the essentials like toiletries, laundry, etc., household amenitiesUsually comes with more luxury amenities like a pool, spa, room service, free breakfast buffet etc. Hotel 
PrivacyDepends on the type of place you book. An entire place is more private with more space than getting a room in someone’s houseYou have privacy within your room, but there are always people around whenever you leave the room Tie
Overall atmosphereFeels cozier and like you’re staying in your own spaceFeels more luxurious and professional like you’re on vacationHotel
Length of StayBetter for long-term stays, discounts often provided for longer staysMore expensive for long-term stays and discounts typically aren’t provided for staying longerAirbnb

AirBnb vs Hotel: Price

It’s tough to answer the question of whether a hotel stay or Airbnb rentals are easier on your wallet. There are many hotels on the cheaper side of the spectrum. But you’re usually going to get way less for your money with a budget hotel than with an affordable AirBnb. That’s why Airbnb ends up winning this round. 

There is a huge variety of price points across the vacation rentals on AirBnb. There are luxury accommodations for thousands of dollars a night and hostel-like stays for less than $20. 

With all the options that they have, Airbnb prices tend to be better than most hotels. Even though it costs extra money for cleaning and service fees these days. 

🏆 Winner: Airbnb

Hotel vs AirBnB: Safety

The hotel industry has been around for a lot longer than Airbnb. As such, they’ve had more time to perfect the safety aspect. The standard hotel room comes with a lot more security and safety measures than your typical vacation rental on Airbnb. There are 24/7 security, cameras, and lock boxes for your valuables. 

As fun as Airbnb properties can be, the reality is that you’re staying in someone else’s home or apartment. You never know with AirBnB hosts. While most of them are totally safe, there can always be a bad egg in the bunch. 

I recommend bringing along a portable safe for traveling if you book accommodation in an Airbnb.

🏆 Winner: Hotel

Airbnb vs Hotel: Amenities

The amenities you’ll get at a hotel versus an AirBnb apartment are completely different. 

When you’re staying at a hotel, you’ll get a luxury experience that’s tailored to fulfilling your vacation dreams. There’s usually:

  • 👙 Pool
  • 🍹 Hotel bar
  • 🛎️ 24-hour reception
  • 🥞 Breakfast buffet
  • ❓ And more

Alternatively, with an Airbnb property, you usually feel more at home with how much space you have. Plus, there’s the ability to cook your own meals and sometimes even have laundry facilities on site. Many travelers like this, but the fact is, you’re not being catered to as much. 

That’s why hotels win the amenities round. 

🏆 Winner: Hotel

Hotel vs AirBnb: Privacy

There are a few things to consider when it comes to privacy at either of these lodging options. Firstly, what kind of Airbnb or hotel are you booking? 

If you’re booking a shared or private room at an Airbnb, you’ll probably be running into other travelers. Likewise, at a normal hotel, there are always other tourists around the moment you leave your room. 

If you’re booking a whole apartment, then you’ll probably have way more privacy than you would at a hotel. On the flip side, there are apartment hotels out there that give many AirBnb hosts a run for their money. 

It’s just too difficult to choose, so we’re going to call this one a tie. 

🏆 Winner: Tie

AirBnb vs Hotel: Overall Atmosphere

When it comes to the overall atmosphere, AirBnb vs hotels is like apples vs oranges. It all depends on what you’re feeling at the moment. 

The atmosphere at a hotel is much more polished, professional, and customer service-y. There are always people there to serve you, and it’s palpable. Alternatively, the atmosphere at an AirBnB feels almost like you’re at home sleeping in your own bed. 

Since most people want to be wined and dined when they’re booking accommodations for a trip away, hotels are going to take this category. 

🏆 Winner: Hotel

Hotel vs AirBnb: Length of Stay

If you’re planning on staying at your accommodations for more than a week, then Airbnb is the way to go. Hotels sometimes have loyalty programs that give you discounts for multiple stays, but they rarely give deals for long-term stays. It can get pretty pricey to pay a nightly fee for an entire month. 

Airbnb, on the other hand, usually has deals or even free nights for guests who stay for a few weeks to a few months. Additionally, it’s much more comfortable to stay in an Airbnb for a long time than it is in a cramped hotel room. 

Airbnb’s business model is simply better for long-term travelers for lengthy stays. 

🏆 Winner: Airbnb

👉 Read Next: Which are better: hotels or hostels?

Final Verdict – AirBnb vs Hotel

In the Airbnb vs hotel debate, the hotels just barely come out victorious. Airbnbs are usually more affordable and give you a better feel for the area you’re visiting. But they lack the safety, atmosphere, and amenities that standard hotels have in spades. Additionally, with all of Airbnb’s fees these days, hotels end up being almost in the same price range. 

With that being said, hotels are the best option for people who are going on a short-term vacation, romantic weekend trip, or business getaway. They’re more luxurious and convenient. However, an AirBnB stay can be a better choice for long-term travelers looking for a place to make their own. 

FAQs About Hotel vs AirBnb

What is better a hotel or Airbnb?

Getting a hotel room is better than Airbnb if you’re looking for the most comfortable experience. While hotel rooms tend to be a little more expensive than the average Airbnb, you’re getting a lot for that cost. 

Hotels offer added security, amenities, and an overall luxurious atmosphere. It’s better for a holiday or business trip. 

What is the downside of Airbnb?

The major downside of Airbnb is that you’re staying in a random person’s apartment, house, or room. Hotel chains or vacation rentals have some type of oversight to maintain safety and a positive experience for their visitors. With Airbnb hosts, you never truly know what you’re going to get. 

Is Airbnb more expensive than a hotel?

Airbnb can be more expensive than a hotel, but there are also lots of options that can make Airbnb cheaper. For example, opting for a private room can definitely save money on the accommodation budget. 

Is it cheaper to stay at a resort or AirBnB?

It’s cheaper to stay at an Airbnb than at a resort. Luxury resorts are notoriously expensive, but there’s a good reason for that price inflation. Resorts tend to come with exceptional amenities in comparison to AirBnB or budget hotels. 

***

Thanks for checking out my Airbnb vs hotel comparison guide! Now you know all the major differences between hotel stays and Airbnb stays. If you are flying overseas, don’t miss our guide to Hostel Jobs – How to Work and Travel Abroad. Happy booking! 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate (you can leave feedback after clicking submit)

Help us help you travel better!

Your feedback really helps ...

What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.