East Shore Resort in Clearwater Florida delightfully detailed family resort.

Should you stay in a Home Rental or Hotel?

Greetings intrepid travel planners. One of my favorite things about travel planning is not just choosing the destination, but finding unique and interesting places to stay. Generally, you might think that would lead us to AirBnb for their original and distinctive accommodations like tree houses, ranches, RVs and more.


However, we’ve found wonderful and unique stays by staying in a hotel. These do tend to be the smaller lodging style of hotels. However we’ve found larger luxury hotels that are also unique and glorious.


So, where should you stay, a home rental or hotel?

This post may contain affiliate links, while no cost to you, may provide a small sum. I only recommend items based on personal experience.

Why choose Airbnb or another Home Rental

What I love about Airbnb is the availability of unique accommodations. I curate lists through their website and app all the time of different exciting places to stay. To date we’ve stayed in two different RV/trailers, a condo steps from the beach and a historic home in downtown St. Augustine.  My curated lists include a horse ranch, tree houses and sailboats to name a few.

should you stay in a home rental Should you stay in a home rental

Other reasons to choose a home rental include:

  1. Price Savings over chain hotels
  2. Fully equipped kitchens
  3. Spacious, more room for family members

 get $35 off your first airbnb

Why choose a hotel

We’ve also chosen hotels for their unique properties as well. I will say we like hotels that offer something beyond standard chain hotels. We’ve stayed on the beach in the Keys, next to a coffee plantation, near a wildlife reserve and more. And granted, we have stayed in the roadside hotel and there’s benefits to that as well (Can you say free breakfast??)

should you stay in a hotel


Also a hotel can be closer to the attraction for easier access. Obviously you’re not going to do better than a Disney hotel to get close to the Magic Kingdom.


Benefits to staying in a hotel include:

  1. Name brand hotel means no surprises
  2. On-site Staff
  3. Amenities such as breakfast, room service, fitness center, housekeeping



What about Authenticity?

Here at Detail Oriented Traveler, we seek out authentic experiences for us and our children so that we can better understand the word around us from a traveler point of view and a world view. I think you can find authenticity in your travels by seeking out unique accommodations either through a home rental or hotel. I have found it in both.


Our most authentic experiences in a hotel came from  staying at Cay Pointe and Finca Rosa Blanca in Costa Rica. We found these places through sites such as Superior Small Lodging in Florida and Cayuga Resorts in Costa Rica. Search for small lodging in your destination and I’m sure you’ll come up with hundreds of locations.


During a home rental, we felt it in the RV in Gatlinburg. And we had a less authentic stay in St. Augustine with oversized mismatched decor. The location was convenient but may have had a better experience in s superior small lodging.


Check the Reviews

Before renting a hotel or a room, be sure to check the reviews. This will give you an idea if the descriptions are accurate, service is as expected, as well as tips about the surrounding community.

Should you stay in a home rental or hotel

Me working in a hotel


Each hotel chain has its own website, and you can price check hotel accommodations at sites like Expedia, Kayak or your local travel agent.


should you stay in a home rental or hotel

Me working in a home rental



Sites to search for home rentals include:

Which do you prefer when you travel? Home rental or booking a hotel?

should you stay in a home rental like Airbnb

Airbnb rental steps to the beach


Additional Hotel Planning

How to Book a Unique Hotel Part 1

How to Book a Unique Hotel Part 2

Should you Stay in a Home Rental or Hotel

How to do Travel Research with Hashtags

How to Use Pinterest for more than Wanderlusting

Traveling during a Hurricane

How to Book the Perfect Family Accommodations 




  1. I find it’s always a dilemma. We’ve rented apartments in the South of France and Paris and it worked out fine, but for shorter stays I love hotels. I’m kind of a fanatic. For longer stays when you want to feel like you live somewhere, I’d say a rental.

  2. My family and I love the staying in both Apartment rentals and hotels. There are times when we just really want to be taken care of, which of why we stay at hotels, mostly boutique hotels. Then there are times when I want a big nice kitchen to cook in and live like locals. Great detailed post!

  3. Once in a while we stay at home rentals or hotels. Both has its advantage and disadvantages. We don’t mind either, depends on where you’re going is our deciding factor.

  4. I’ve stayed in both and enjoyed both. I think it depends on what makes sense for the area, your timing, and budget. But also, home rentals have worked out better when traveling in a group. It made life much easier to rent a large apartment in Barcelona when visiting with a group of friends. Coordinating out of different hotel rooms would have been a nightmare.
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted…How to Plan 1 Awesome Day at Arches National ParkMy Profile

  5. I often have this struggle. I have not yet had my first AirBNB experience, because I’m worried that the host will cancel on me last minute (which I have heard happens semi-frequently), or that it will be confusing or difficult to find or meet them upon arrival in the city in order to get keys or get into the house, etc. However, you can definitely find better deals and more unique places in home rentals versus hotels- so I guess I will just have throw my fears to the wind and try it out!

    1. Author

      Michelle, you can also try vrbo and homestay for home rentals too. while I have not had any cancellations with Airbnb, if you’re concerned that is another option.

  6. It is always a common thought in our travel planes especially when travelling with kids. It is mainly in our thoughts with the arriving and departure. I like te hotel if we are getting a taxi to the airport especially in countries that don’t speak English as their first language

  7. Like you, I’ve taken advantage of all types of accommodation. I loved VRBO way before it was so popular, and have also enjoyed my share of AirBnB. But I will stay that in certain situations, a ‘normal’ hotel also fits the bill. It’s good to choose based on your needs at the time, as always!

  8. It very much depends on the destination and the type of holiday, then maybe a rental is a good option. But I do love the hotel breakfasts (when they are good), they are a great day starter and a reason to get out of bed

  9. So many great points to consider–thanks for sharing! We always have a hard time deciding where to stay. There are usually so many great options! We typically end up in a mix of apartments and hotels–it’s nice to have the kitchen and home amenities of an apartment, but sometimes the simplicity of a hotel is nice too, especially when it’s a uniquely designed spot!
    Jenna recently posted…A Photo Essay: WashingtonMy Profile

  10. I think with so many options for cute and quirky accommodation – my trip planning time has increased to a point where it can take up too much of my time! When I am feeling creative, I will quite happily scour airbnb’s and vacation rentals, but when I want something quick and a ‘you get exactly what it says on the tin’ kind of experience I go for hotels every time. I think each have their strengths and weaknesses and the choice will depend on the purpose of your stay.
    Vicki Louise recently posted…100+ Cities & 34 Countries in 8 Years – Why You Don’t Need To Quit Your Job To Travel The WorldMy Profile

  11. Great post! We tend to stick with hotels, but I’d love to branch out and try some alternative lodging options as my kids get older.

  12. I have tried airbnb, but would totally go for hotels as my first choice. I usually use tripadvisors to look at the pictures taken by other travellers, mostly this are the unedited and the true self of the place.
    Bernard Tan recently posted…The 7 Wonders of SingaporeMy Profile

  13. I’ve never seen it laid out like this before… Good job! Though I must confess that my favorite place to stay is definitely a hostel.

  14. I love researching places to stay too, but I also love pulling into a roadside motel late at night and being surprised at where we landed in the morning. These are some of my favorite parts of any trip.

  15. I’ve done a bit of both and I really enjoy being in rentals because it gives you freedom and you can just relax.However I also really love the excitement of being in hotels.

  16. Choosing the place to stay is always confusing and require lot of research. I generally prefer hostels and only based on good reviews.

  17. I’d like apartment rental and that’s what I always do.
    More spacious, better with a balcony, and I make breakfast in the morning – before heading out for all the fun 🙂 @knycx.journeying

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