“My Recent Airbnb Experience Reinforced My Preference for Hotel Amenities and Short-Term Rentals”

I’ve always had a preference for staying in hotels. There’s a certain charm to them, with the luxury of not having to make your own bed being a key highlight. However, I understand why some people might not share this sentiment. The uniformity of hotel rooms, the lack of personal touch, and the questionable pricing for minibar items can be off-putting.

Despite these minor inconveniences, I’ve never been swayed towards short-term rentals like Airbnb, although I do see their appeal. They offer communal spaces like kitchens and living rooms, yards with swimming pools, ample free parking, and the opportunity to “live like a local”.

However, Airbnb and other short-term rentals have faced criticism lately. In 2022, Airbnb addressed two major complaints: high cleaning fees charged by owners and the expectation for guests to do chores before checking out.

Hotels have been actively promoting their advantages over rentals. Another issue with short-term rentals is that they reduce housing availability and contribute to high housing costs in popular destinations. Airbnb and other vacation rental companies have been actively defending against these claims.

In January 2024, I planned a trip to Palm Springs with friends. We found a good deal on an Airbnb near the downtown shopping district. The property looked charming with a midcentury modern design, a heated pool, and individual bedrooms for each of us.

However, on the day of our arrival, we were relocated to a larger property in the same neighborhood due to maintenance issues at our original booking. The new place wasn’t as stylish but was comfortable and had all the communal spaces we needed.

I was initially impressed with the management company’s attention to local ordinances and noise rules. However, I was surprised to find additional charges for heating the pool and hot tub. This is something that would be included in a hotel room rate.

Upon arrival, we discovered that the heating system wasn’t working. We managed to fix it ourselves, but the management company’s response was unsatisfactory. They simply provided extra blankets and left us to deal with the inconsistent heating.

There were other issues that wouldn’t have occurred in a hotel. The quality of the linens was subpar, and previous guests’ streaming accounts were still logged in on the TV. There was also a lengthy welcome email with a list of instructions and rules.

After checking out, we contacted the management company about the heating issue. They offered a partial refund, which was a fair resolution. However, this experience didn’t change my preference for hotels with their daily housekeeping, 24-hour front desks, high-quality linens, and superior amenities.

Source: fodors.com

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