I’ve stayed in both vacation rentals and hotels and in my experience vacation rentals provide the better option. They give you better value for money and provide much more flexibility in terms of accommodation type. Most hotels provide you with a basic room normally with no cooking facilities, while vacation rentals provide you with an array of choices such as cozy cottages, beach chalets, apartments, farmhouses, and even mansions or castles.
If you are planning a vacation for a large group of people, such as a family reunion, vacation rentals are your best bet. You can party to your heart’s content in your magnificent mansion without disturbing guests in neighbouring rooms as you would in a hotel.
Vacation rentals are more cost-effective as you have the choice to eat out or cook your own food. The latter is not an option in most hotels.
Vacation rentals provide you with a home away from home with all the comforts of home. As they are privately owned they are usually kept up to high standards. You don’t have to go down to a lounge full of strangers, but can relax with family and friends in your temporary home.
Vacation rentals can be located anywhere from an isolated heather-covered mountain in the remote Scottish Highlands to the centre of major metropolitan cities. Some vacation rentals include swimming pools which you don’t have to share with the other guests as you would in a hotel. You can mix with the locals and get a better feel for the community when renting privately.
Vacation rentals often come with garages to park your rental car while some hotels often charge a parking fee. Vacation rentals frequently have washers and dryers, useful for lengthy stays. If you need to wash clothes at a hotel you have to pay exhorbitant rates for their laundry service or wash clothes out by hand and hang them over the shower to dry.
Booking vacation rentals is easy and fun on-line. For example, on Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO.com) you can see photos of the property, view calendars to check occupancy, and check comments by previous guests. They list properties all over the world. Hotels might show some rooms on their websites but you usually won’t know which room you will get until you arrive. The last time we stayed in a hotel our room was right opposite the elevator so that we were disturbed every time someone pressed the button and the elevator would ring annoyingly each time it stopped on our floor. The walls were also quite thin and we could hear conversations going on in the adjacent room.
To sum up, vacation rentals are better than hotels because they provide flexibility, variety, privacy and full-service facilities and generally are good value for your money.