Amenities you're missing out on if you stay with Airbnb
Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California, Airbnb rapidly grew into the world’s largest community connecting travelers with hosts across the globe. By their calculations, Airbnb has now been utilized by more than 60 million people in more than 191 countries. Guests have used the service to rent vacation homes, apartments, villas and even castles in more than 34,000 cities. In 2015 alone, there were 550,000 Airbnb listings in the U.S., with California and New York leading the nation with 125,803 and 94,976 properties listed respectively. The data—and future—of Airbnb looks pretty impressive. Or does it? Many in the hospitality industry think not.
“This is an especially dynamic time for our industry, which has marked year after year of record growth and job creation and making significant economic contributions to our local communities each and every day,” says Rosanna Maietta, Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Relations at the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA). “We do best when we operate under a highly competitive business model that drives innovation, new technologies, and new methods to continuously improve the guest experience while connecting with every type of traveler – from families and retirees to business travelers to millennials and future generations. We are proud to remain guest-centric, creating new and exciting ways to meet the evolving demands of our customer. And our efforts are working.”
Maietta reports that the AH&LA is seeing vigorous development in the lodging sector along with significant investments in new innovations and amenities to allow hotels to keep up with the latest trends while enhancing the exceptional customer service they already deliver on a regular basis. “Ensuring our guests have the best, most enjoyable experiences, from the beginning of the booking process to well after they exit out the front doors of our properties is a top priority,” she adds.
If you’ve ever worried that the share economy will eclipse traditional hospitality, consider these reasons hotels will always be a better choice than Airbnb for the majority of the world’s travelers.
- Hotels provide superior—and consistent—quality. Whether they’re staying in a Residence Inn, Hilton, Sheridan or Embassy Suites in Seattle or Ft. Lauderdale, repeat visitors can rest assured they’ll receive the same quality of service regardless of location. Evaluating the reputation of a hotel before booking is easy thanks to numerous reviews posted online by other travelers. Airbnb rentals are usually individually owned and their quality—from cleanliness to safety—varies widely. While reviews are sometimes available, many properties listed on Airbnb have yet to be rented—leaving travelers with little to inform their decision.
- The hotel reservation process is easy—and reliable. When travelers book hotel rooms, they can be confident they’ll have a place to lay their heads on the days they’ve reserved for their stay. The reservation process requires little more than filling out an online form or making a quick phone call and providing a credit card number. Airbnb properties, on the other hand, often require a lot more effort. While some community members use the ‘Instant Book’ feature to rent their properties, many hosts want to screen their guests before allowing them to reserve a stay. This can take significant time, making Airbnb an unfeasible option for many—and spontaneous travelers in particular. And don’t forget: An Airbnb host can cancel on a guest at the last minute while a hotel cannot.
- Hotels offer amenities; Airbnb does not. Traveling—whether alone or with family and friends—can be stressful enough without having to worry about doing your own laundry, cooking your own meals or tidying up after yourself when you’re short on time or have a full itinerary to attend to. With Airbnb, what you get depends on the property you’ve rented. In some cases, it may be a spare room or couch and access to the kitchen. In others you may have an entire house to yourself. Regardless, you’re not going to benefit from the complimentary toiletries, housekeeping, cable, WiFi, pool, fitness center, restaurant, room service, laundry service or concierge service you’ll find at most hotels.