Airbnb vs hotels – ‘I wanted to see which is best’

Since the pandemic, Airbnb and holiday let style accommodation has soared in popularity. The number of properties in the UK has risen by 11 percent since 2019.

However, while many British holidaymakers view Airbnbs as cheaper than hotels, new research from Which? Travel has found that isn’t always the case.

In top destinations including Santorini and Amsterdam, holidaymakers could pay more on average for a one-bedroom Airbnb than a hotel room.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “When planning your next trip, don’t assume a hotel will cost more, but instead check rates across different platforms.”

But which is the better choice for a holiday? In an exclusive for , I compared hotels to Airbnbs to see which is the best option.

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Personally, I love the freedom of having my own kitchen on holiday so Airbnb takes the win for me. However, while I really enjoy exploring a local supermarket and cooking, this isn’t the case for everyone.

A hotel is definitely the better choice if you want to unwind on holiday, with someone else doing the cooking. Although I do enjoy cooking, nothing beats a hotel buffet breakfast and I’m still dreaming about the one at the Hilton Orchard in Singapore.


While I’ve thankfully never had a bad experience on holiday, if you’re concerned about safety, a hotel might be the better choice as there’s usually a concierge to help if there’s any issues. Hotels can also be more convenient if your plane arrives late at night.

I recently visited Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, and struggled finding my Airbnb after midnight on a road without any streetlamps. In hindsight, a hotel would have been easier to find. Hotels also often have 24 hour check-in providing a smoother experience.

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While the Which? research found hotels are often the cheaper choice, I haven’t always found this to be the case. If you’re travelling as part of a group, renting a house could be far cheaper than multiple hotel rooms.

Having a kitchen also means you can save money on eating out or even store any restaurant leftovers you don’t want to get rid of. Airbnbs also usually have more space to chill out. Many Airbnbs also have laundry facilities so if you’re going on a longer trip, you can wash your clothes without forking out for washing services.

However, holidaymakers will need to watch out for the cleaning fee, which can add a hefty fee to the price of an Airbnb stay.


I’ve found quality varies widely across Airbnbs and hotels so it’s best to check the reviews before making a booking.

While your experience is generally dependent on the owner of the place, I did recently have an issue with an Airbnb where other guests were smoking inside. It may have been easier to solve a similar issue at a hotel as there’s likely to be staff onsite.

Having said that, I have found that Airbnbs can offer more exclusive facilities, such as a private roof terrace or hot tub for far less than a hotel.


Ultimately the choice of whether to go for an Airbnb or hotel really depends on the type of holiday you’re looking for. Airbnbs offer more freedom while hotels give guests the chance to really kick back.

In future I’d definitely book an Airbnb when I’m travelling with a large group of friends but might consider a hotel for solo trips.

It’s also important to think of extra costs involved in each decision as guests will likely spend much more on food staying in a hotel than an Airbnb.

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