Airbnb rentals are generally more expensive than hotels, according to new consumer research.
The study of 300,000 one-bedroom rental listings versus thousands of hotel rooms across 40 destinations, including 13 in the UK, was carried out by Consumer group Which? from May 2022 to May 2023. No accommodation shares were included, only entire rental listings. Meanwhile, for hotels, no five star rated accommodation was included.
Hotels 16% cheaper
One headline is that one-night hotel guests could save an average of 16% on the price of a one-night rental property with Airbnb and Vrbo. The finding might go against many people’s expectations, given that rental properties “are often promoted as a popular option for travellers trying to save money”, says Which? Travel’s editor, Rory Boland.
Since rental properties often operate almost without staff, they are frequently believed to pass savings onto guests, but Which? Travel points out that in fact, since Covid-19, individual rental properties have seen a rise in popularity and therefore prices.
Colossal savings in Dubai, Hong-kong and Singapore
The study reveals some places where colossal savings can be made by choosing a hotel for the night, rather than a rental. Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore all top the list, with hotels undercutting rental prices by around 85%. It was a similar picture on Santorini, Greece, where booking a hotel, not a rental will save you 71%. Amsterdam comes next, with rentals 58% pricier than a hotel room.
Among popular UK destinations included in the comparison by the UK consumer group were Southwold, in Suffolk, where rentals cost £68 more than a hotel, as well as all of the UK’s capital cities.
“When planning your next trip, don’t assume a hotel will cost more, but instead check rates across different platforms,” Boland advises.
For larger groups that need more rooms and space, private rentals are still likely to beat hotels on price.Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor
Graeme Buck, communications director at travel association Abta, took the opportunity to promote what his members (tour operators and travels agents) can bring to the search for savings, reminding people that they do not have to do all the legwork of researching and comparing themselves. He said “a package with an Abta member is an easy way to get a great deal. As travel experts, they can advise on the best hotel for your budget, on a date and at a location which works for you.”