As summer kicks into full swing and Santa Claritians hit the road, many are finding themselves left with the choice of staying in a hotel versus a home rental when taking that trip.
While it’s an ongoing debate among travelers, most tend to fall in one camp or the other regarding preference.
Those who choose hotels prefer the many amenities available to them through their stay, such as room service, housekeeping and fitness centers or spas, while those who choose home rentals, using websites such as Airbnb or Vrbo, prefer the privacy, competitive rates and additional space, especially when traveling with a group.
Regardless of preference, there are a number of pros and cons to either option, many of which were compiled below with the help of travel professionals, such as Ted Bradpiece, owner of Explorer Travel Services.
Historically, home rentals like Airbnb have been the more economical option, and while that is still the case in some areas, heightened demand and increasing fees have made it so that home rentals are no longer the guaranteed budget-friendly option.
If cost is a primary concern for you, it’s a good idea to check both types of rentals, because hotels can tend to fill up faster when an event is in town, which would probably give the edge in affordability and availability to a home- or room-rental service
At a home rental, properties are typically cleaned before the stay, but not during, in comparison to the daily cleaning services offered at most hotels.
Some hotels, however, have moved away from the daily cleaning model during the pandemic due to staffing shortages, though thorough cleanings are still done between guests.
If this is important to you, you can always check with a front desk on hotel policy before your booking.
When it comes to reliability, home rentals have always been the riskier of the two options, as anyone can offer up their home.
“I was traveling in Europe the first time I got scammed by an Airbnb listing,” Castaic resident Quinten Zarah said. “And, we got all the way to the address listed on our booking before we’d realized it was fake and were without a place to stay — in a foreign county nonetheless. That experience definitely taught me to be more careful when booking something that I realized later was too good to be true.”
If you’re booking a trip to an area you’ve never been to before, especially a foreign country, it’s definitely a good idea to seek out the services of a travel agent. Everything from changing regulations to fees can have a big impact on your trip.
“There’s no better feeling than getting drinks delivered to you, poolside or on the beach,” Valencia resident Tina Butler said, adding that she prefers hotels for that reason alone.
On the other hand, others prefer the amenities available to home renters, such as kitchens, which allows Canyon Country resident Ivan Cerrero to cook his own meals.
“Not only do I prefer cooking my own food, but it saves me a whole bunch of money, especially on longer trips,” Cerrero said. “And, I get to cook and eat what I want.”
However, some hotels do have kitchens, including local hotels, such as the Residence Inn, which is geared more toward long-term stays, according to Lianne Riban, director of sales for the SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn.
In fact, new hotels have hit the market in the SCV, with four newly constructed hotels on Wayne Mills Place near Magic Mountain, including SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Best Western.
Of their amenities are some new to the SCV, such as SpringHill’s game room, as well as other services, like a laundromat, which connects to an app that will notify you when it’s done, according to Riban.
“It’s the level of service,” Riban said, referring to the benefit of hotel. “You’ve got somebody here 24/7 to accommodate you with whatever you need.”
At hotels, there are more opportunities to socialize, network and meet new people, whether it’s at the hotel’s bar, pool or outdoor areas.
However, a home rental allows you to travel with a group, allowing you and your companions the freedom to socialize in a private environment.
Most hotels are centrally located, allowing travelers easy access to many of the local areas’ attractions.
However, home rentals allow you to immerse yourself in the area and truly live like a local and explore some of the less-touristy areas or feel like you’re living in the heart of the city, depending on the area you choose.
Regardless of the type of accommodation, travel professionals can help guide you to the best option to fit your wants and needs within your price point.