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Why guests prefer short-term rentals over hotels

Extra space, kitchen facilities, and convenience are just a few reasons why travellers love to stay in short-term rentals (writes James Varley).

I stayed in a modern short-term rental for the first time in San Francisco and it not only changed the way I travel, it also changed the way I invest in property.

While hotels have a major role to play in the tourism industry, it is no surprise the popularity of short-term rentals continues to grow.

From my point of view, if you are travelling with children, short-term rentals are considerably more comfortable and convenient (not to mention cost-effective).

Here are a bunch of reasons why guests prefer short-term rentals to hotels:

Cost-effective for groups

Short-term rentals can be more cost-effective, especially for larger groups or families. Renting a house or apartment often provides more space at a lower cost per person than booking multiple hotel rooms.


Short-term rentals offer a home-like atmosphere with separate living spaces, bedrooms, and kitchens. This provides a level of comfort and flexibility that may be lacking in hotel rooms. Four to a room in a hotel or separate rooms for the kids? I know what I prefer!

Kitchen facilities

Having a fully equipped kitchen allows guests to prepare their own meals, saving money on dining out. This is particularly beneficial for longer stays or guests with dietary restrictions.

Privacy and personalisation

Short-term rentals offer more privacy compared to hotels. Guests can enjoy the entire property to themselves, and the personalised environment can enhance the overall experience.

Live like a local

Staying in a short-term rental allows guests to experience a destination more authentically. They can live like locals, explore neighbourhood markets, and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Flexibility in amenities

Short-term rentals often come with a variety of amenities, such as washing machines, private pools, and outdoor spaces. Guests can choose properties that align with their specific preferences and needs.

Cost savings on extras

Unlike hotels, many short-term rentals do not charge for extras like Wi-Fi, parking, or gym access. Guests may find that these additional amenities are included in the overall rental cost.

Better for extended stays

For longer stays, short-term rentals provide a more comfortable and cost-effective solution. Guests can settle into a home-like environment, and many rentals offer discounted rates for extended bookings.

Local host knowledge

Many short-term rentals are managed by local hosts who can provide valuable insights and recommendations about the area, including hidden gems and local attractions.

Flexibility in booking

Short-term rentals often offer more flexibility in terms of check-in and check-out times, cancellation policies, and booking modifications. This flexibility can be appealing to travellers with varying schedules.

Unique and diverse properties

Short-term rental platforms showcase a diverse range of properties, from cozy cottages to luxurious villas. This variety allows guests to choose accommodation that suits their preferences and enhances their travel experience.

Corporate travel

Short-term rentals are increasingly popular for corporate travellers, providing a more home-like environment during business trips. The space and amenities offered can contribute to a productive and comfortable work environment.

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