When I worked, I spent a lot of time traveling. After a couple of years, I always insisted on Marriott Hotels. Everything was always in the same place. Usually, the pictures on the wall were the same (or close enough to not matter). When you’ve been gone from home and bounced from one city to another for two or three weeks, it’s a good thing to wake up in the middle of the night and know where the bathroom is, and where the controls are to adjust the temperature of the room.
I’ve been retired for almost 15 years (okay, okay, almost 14), so my experiences aren’t all that relevant. Still, I prefer a nice hotel, and always will. Then again, nothing beats sleeping in my own bed at home. :-}
Never stayed in a bnb that was a true bnb. Just people renting out their whole house when family groups converge somewhere. Prefer it to hotels because we can do family meals and hang out in a living room instead of a hotel bedroom or lobby.
I secure entire apartments in European cities through AirBnB. They have equipped kitchens and often laundry facilities. Costs are far less than nearby hotels and I save on meals by sometimes cooking at the apartment.
10 people in 1000sf including 3 bunk beds in the master bedroom, livingroom was walled off to make a third bedroom. Place was filthy but cheap.
Single bedroom, less than a hotel/motel cost, reasonably decent, better than my car
2 bunk beds in room in bigger house, cheap, clean, noisy until really late
Single room in a 3 br place where the host (who lived there) was mostly absent and had the place to myself most nights
Quite honestly the youth hostels I have been in have been better than any of the bunkbed places I have stayed in. Sleeping in my car has also been better than any of the bunk bed arrangements - not to mention cheaper. The no shower though would have been inconvenient.
All the cheap motels I have stayed in have been crappy. More than once not clean, noisy, things not working… Sometimes they were better than staying in my car due to the fridge and microwave, other times the car would have been a better choice (except no shower).
Only a couple of times the hotels/motels were good and I could only stay in those when I qualified for social services help to pay for them when at the cancer center. I preferred them to my car or airbnb100% of the time. They actually put us up in nice places. Both times I went to MDA this year I was able to stay in a nice hotel thank you MDA.
Overall nice hotel/motel> airbnb or car or crappy hotel/motel
Mixed reviews if car or airbnb or cheap hotel/motel were better.
All of them are better than a tent in the pouring rain. BUT there are times a tent > than all the other choices.
I’d imagine that more expensive motels/hotels and more expensive airbnb’s would be much better than my car. Airbnb vs hotel/motel depends on so many things.
Well it asked for horror stories, so here’s mine. My wife and I had to fly to Boston for her best friend’s wedding, but having just had our second child, we were pretty broke. We found an Airbnb in a reasonable neighborhood close-ish to where we needed to be (with a convenient Dunk’s, which is a Bostonian’s necessity). It was half their basement, most of which was originally the garage. Fair enough, I’ve lived in worse conditions. It was fall though, and the weather was getting cold at night. The listing had been posted and handled by the lady of the house, but she had apparently offhandedly mentioned to her husband to bring is t some blankets. He happened to see me when I was dashing back in for a quick shower and change and handed me a reusable shopping bag with blankets. I thanked him and got my stuff done, then headed out for the wedding.
We got back late, pulled the blankets out and noticed a horrid smell. I looked in the bottom of the bag and there was a plastic bag full of rotten raw pork chops. I rushed them out to the garbage can and thought that was the end of it.
The next morning we packed up and were getting ready to load the car, but I saw the owners’ German Shepherd munching on said pork chops. I tried to get him to stop, but getting growled at by an unfamiliar dog with a newfound taste for raw meat wasn’t high on my list.
I like that we can often get a 1br/efficiency suite for cheaper than a hotel, but hotels - as much as I complain about the absurd prices - have a very consistent experience and way better showers. Gig lodging also has some risk of scams, bait & switch, bad owners, etc, but the frequency is probably somewhere in the range of hotels with their overbooking. At least there’s some recourse with corporate chains…
Anyway, I could “but then again” for a while. For adventures and fun experiences, I’d recommend AirBnb or VRBO, but I’m approximately middle-aged now and lean toward a nice shower and maybe a free breakfast
PS at least on VRBO, probably AirBnb also: if the host is a nice, sweet old person or is just attentive and accommodating, it can present a dilemma. I don’t want to mention that the godawful shower ruined a beautiful historic room, or dock the star that lodging should be docked for noise intrusion, but damned if I didn’t wish someone would’ve mentioned that shit. Part of the adventure for a 30-year-old, but sours the experience for a crotchety 40-something like me. And I could do without the site’s involvement in the rating process, pushing the host and guest to review each other and withholding the others’ comments until a rating is given. /rant
I personally recommend and stay at Airbnbs. I own several vacation rentals, and I can guarantee you that hotels don’t work as hard as we do to make sure guests are happy.
Remember that anything below 5 stars on Airbnb really hurts a listing so think twice before you deduct a star.
e.g. I recently had a guest leave 4 stars because she thought the bathrooms should also have smoke/fire alarms.
I see the joke setup there, but that’s what she said in her feedback.
Hotels for road trips, as they’re easier to book short term and have more flexible hours, VRBO or independent rentals for longer stays unless I’m scrounging off of my parents’ time share benefits. I don’t have an AirBnB horror story, but a friend of mine does. He rented a location on a remote island off the coast of Washington State to spend his first Christmas with his soon-to-be in-laws. After miles of varying transit, including ferry service with limited scheduling, they found their rental destination was occupied by a different party, and had been for a few days. When they called AirBnB to sort it out, they directed them to a secondary, far less nice rental that was also already booked. They had to run to catch the very last ferry back to land because there was no other option where they were, and AirBnB initially offered to pay zero damages other than refund the nights not stayed. My friend definitely pursued better compensation from them after a kind pleading with them about monetary travel losses and broken holidays resulted in zero sympathy.
Recently stayed at a hotel/motel near an intl airport for 3 days for about $65 a night. Clean, very comfortable bed, fridge, microwave, good WIFI. Not fully updated but everything worked. The cleaning crew did a great job. Biggest issue was the lack of outlets or places to charge since the building was pretty old.
Best hotel I’ve stayed at was in Singapore (Royal Plaza on Scotts) for 2 weeks. Gorgeous older building with a grand entryway. The room was classic with modern touches. Super classy! The bed was the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in. Fridge was stocked with complementary beverages every day - good stuff too. Oh, if you stay more than 7 days you get free breakfast at the amazing restaurant they have. The room was about $135 Sing per night which was probably about $115 USD.
Depending on where and for how long, when traveling with my wife we prefer a real BnB, have met great people and stayed in some really nice places for less than a comparable hotel. And breakfast is usually better than a waffle maker and hard boiled eggs.