And the winner is….Well, read this, then decide!
First, the ubiquitous hotel. Swathed in branded names, cookie cutter rooms, marginal service, questionable decor, and exorbitant prices. If you haven’t guessed, I’m not a big fan. Keep that bias in mind. I admit it and put it out there for you, right up front! Staying in hotel accommodations is a hassle. The rooms, although comfortable, are sterile. The fact that you have to eat via room service, venture out in all kinds of weather or settle for the overpriced, mediocre cuisine offered by the hotel’s restaurant, just doesn’t float my boat.If you’re traveling with family or a group of friends, you have to rent an expensive suite or settle for separate rooms. Then there are issues of privacy, laundry, transportation, tips, taxes and stairs and elevators. I could go on but I’m sure you get the point.
Now, with a vacation rental, the scenario is radically different. First and foremost, you are residing in a warm, homelike environment. Your privacy is on a par with that which you enjoy at home. The prices for your stay per person are typically significantly less than you would pay for hotel accommodations, especially true if your are a family or group. You will be able to cook your own meals, wash your own laundry, avoid tips, duck taxes, dodge surcharges and come and go as you please without fear of drawing the attention of the desk clerk who looks at you as if you are stealing the hotel linens.
Then there are the less tangible but real advantages to the vacation rental. You get the real experience of place. You are living in the culture, experiencing first hand what life is like as a resident rather than a guest.
The amenities you will enjoy in your vacation rental exceed those available in the typical hotel. Some vacation rentals offer Cable TV, Internet, telephone service, refrigerator, range, dishes, linens, towels, cutlery, laundry facilities and more space!
Is there a downside you ask. Sure, but no different from booking a hotel. Yes, you may find that the vacation rental doesn’t live up to expectations, but you’ve had the same experience with hotels, I’m sure. You may find that researching vacation rental property is a little more laborious than searching for a hotel. Booking may be a few extra steps, but the resulting experience makes this small extra effort worthwhile.
Now I’m not going so far as to say that vacation rentals are for everyone. If you are a couple, or traveling alone, the hotel can be a good choice. Maybe you are totally comfortable with the hotel atmosphere. It’s okay!
I maintain, however, my position on the validity of a vacation rental as the best choice for those traveling with friends and those all important family vacations. I will concede the fact that vacation rentals are not available for all destinations.
As the title of this article implies, you be the judge. I apologize for my bias but I did disclose that at the outset.