Whether you’re planning a family holiday or weekend break, we all know that costs can add up quickly, leaving you short for change before your breakaway has even begun.
The most important aspect of any getaway with loved ones is finding the best bargain when it comes to accommodation whether hotel rooms, serviced apartments or renting out a property. In doing so, you can later splurge on fun activities without feeling guilty. But ultimately, what’s better – Airbnb or Serviced apartments?
What’s the difference between a serviced apartment and Airbnb?
What is Airbnb?
Millennials and even other generations are now trying out what Airbnb has to offer and some are thoroughly enjoying the experience. Airbnb is an online marketplace which enables people to lease or rent vacation rentals, lodges, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or even hotel rooms.
Since the birth of Airbnb in San Francisco in 2008, they have held an enviable position as part of the growing hospitality industry which is causing many accommodation services to continuously scratch their heads, wondering how they can compete with this amazing new idea.
What is a serviced apartment?
A serviced apartment is a completely furnished apartment available for both short-term and long- term stays. The best part is that they are inclusive of utility bills. Their aim is to provide hotel-like amenities such as customer service, a reception and maid service 24/7. Although both may sound tempting, it’s crucial to remember that there can be both pros and cons to every experience.
So here are some things to look out for when making your decision on what is best for you.
Serviced apartments vs Airbnb: Advantages & disadvantages
The total price of a Airbnb reservation is based on a few factors. Determined initially by the host (and depending on the amount of guests staying), the nightly price is usually a one-time fee to help the host cover the costs of cleaning once you have left the facility. Not forgetting that Airbnb will also offer guests 24/7 customer support if and when they should need it. There may also be Value Added Tax (VAT) and Local taxes depending on the location. A recent study also found that Airbnb guests stay on average 4.6 nights, compared to 3.1 for typical visitors to the UK.
With the average hotel and apartment room prices now reaching an average £142 in 2017, it needs to be weighed up how you can get more for your money. The price of your serviced apartments too, will depend on how many nights you are likely to stay. The Park Regis apartments for example, ask for a minimum stay of 2 nights for a weekend, or 3 during a midweek stay. Starting prices at £75 per night, this can vary depending on length of stay and day availability. It’s always a safe idea to compare prices to make sure you are getting the best possible offer.
It’s important to remember that some Airbnb hosts may appear great at first, but service levels can vary and not everyone is cut out for the hospitality industry. Located on the Airbnb hospitality page, there is a checklist of what is expected of the property if it is to become an official residence for guests and naturally, each place will vary with with facilities. One residence may have a swimming pool (which you might pay more to use) or another might simply be a quaint cottage in the middle of a forest. A large majority, if not all of the Airbnb accommodation, will have their own washing, cooking and shower facilities to use at your leisure. Depending on your group size, or if you are looking for a jacuzzi for example, this may affect the overall price of your stay, but could also improve the ranking and hospitality reviews. Don’t forget that Airbnb listings often have shared bathroom and kitchen areas which may not be desirable for everyone.
A serviced apartment on the other hand may not offer the glamorous likes of star gazing in a hot tub, what they can offer is fully equipped features as though you were staying in luxury hotel accommodation. Serviced apartments also offer the advantage of a qualified person on hand should guests ever need help or support. But if not, guests simply get to enjoy the privacy of their own self-contained apartment. Be sure to check out the facilities section of all pages to find out what you are getting for your money.
Airbnb hosts can add a security deposit if they wish to their booking as long as they do it before a reservation is booked. Alternatively, if a host wants to make a claim on the security deposit, they must do so within 14 days of the checkout date or before a new guest checks in. If a claim is officially made, Airbnb will collect payment from the guest as necessary. It’s important to remember that security deposits can not be handled as cash payments or off-site as these payments are a violation of Airbnb terms.
When it comes to serviced apartments, usually a full pre-payment is requested before arrival on or booking, therefore making it easier for everyone. At the Park Regis apartments for example, the cancellation policy is 3pm, 7 days prior to arrival for a full refund but it may vary elsewhere.
At Airbnb, high-quality hosting standards and impeccable cleanliness can earn you many good reviews, and even possible customer returns. Some Airbnb accommodations are great, but can vary greatly from visit to visit. After the stay, guests can rate the tidiness and cleanliness of the property which then appears on the host’s listing page. Host can charge a cleaning fee and use the extra money to pay for cleaning supplies or hire a professional cleaning service if they want to. Hosts who are known to consistently receive low cleanliness ratings may also be subject to penalties so it’s crucial that a clean space is something travellers deserves and expects.
Alternatively, Serviced apartments can offer the cleanliness and safety that a hotel offers and are able to provide those ‘home away from home’ options with equipped kitchens, comfy living spaces and other sought after facilities similar to Airbnb. They offer a guaranteed level of quality, cleanliness and consistency for every visit, similiar to what you would expect at a hotel. If there is an accident or if you require any further assistance, someone will also be at hand to help.
The perks of Airbnb attracts new travellers who are seeking local and authentic experiences throughout most cities the UK. More than 85 percent of Airbnb guests now want to “live like locals’, so this gives guests the perfect opportunity to see the sights, and live as the neighbours do. Via the app, you guests can also ‘book an experience’, choosing specific city and dates, or browse through all experiences in the local area. To find out more how to do this, visit the Airbnb experience page.
Serviced apartments tend to be located in city centres, or close to major attractions and are suitable for easy transport and bus journeys. Just like Airbnb, the serviced apartment industry is learning from these new patterns of hospitality behaviour, and people are discovering these ‘home away from home’ experiences which they want more frequently when looking for accommodation. The serviced apartment provider is able to provide the step in between a hotel and Airbnb – which means that they meet the needs of this growing market.
Whatever the case, and whether you choose to stay in an Airbnb accommodation or hotel rooms, the most important thing is staying where feels right for you. Although Airbnb has bought some new ways of thinking, doing and creating within the marketplace which can only be a good thing, many would rather pay for a better night’s sleep at a serviced apartment with the reassurance of security, cleanliness and a high level of service and consistency. In all, the choice is yours to make but be sure to weigh all of your options up first.
If you are planning a family holiday or weekend break in Birmingham and would like more information about the Park Regis hotel facilities and standard or deluxe rooms, don’t hesitate to get in touchwith us!