Holiday Apartment vs Hotel Stay: Which One is Right for You?

Go with Oh vacation apartment in Berlin
As an avid traveler,  I’ve stayed in all types of lodgings ranging from swanky, luxurious 5 star hotels to hike in only camp sites in which I put up my own tent.

But it wasn’t until I become a full-time travel blogger that I stayed in my first holiday apartment. Now I’m hooked and stayed in over 10 different holiday apartments in 2012 alone.

Advantages Holiday Apartments Have Over Hotels

Accommodate More People and Offer More Privacy:

bedroom in a Go with Oh holiday rental in Berlin, Germany
You might find a hotel room that accommodates four people but you’ll  likely all be in one room with no privacy.  Vacation apartments offer a range of options and bedrooms.  Go with Oh, a vacation apartment site listing over 2000 properties in 12 cities in Europe, lets you search by the number of bedrooms and shows you how many people each property accommodates. The extra privacy is great for families (the children can sleep while the parents enjoy a glass of wine on the balcony) and friends.  I recently stayed with Go with Oh in Berlin with Jennifer from JDomb’s Travels to attend ITB (the world’s largest travel conference) and it was really convenient that one of us could be up late working without disturbing the other.

Price: Vacation apartments can be found at a wide range of prices ranging from the simple to the luxurious so there’s something for everyone (Go with Oh has a search by price function).  They provide exceptional value during conferences such as ITB when hotel rates go through the roof since rates for vacation apartments are much more stable than hotel prices.

Go with Oh holiday rental in Berlin, Germany

The attention to artwork, detail and a list of nearby restaurants and cafes made my vacation apartment in Berlin feel like home.

It Feels Like Home:  During my recent stay in Berlin I mentioned to someone that I was looking forward to relaxing at home.  My friend looked at me confused thinking I was referring to my home back in Munich, when really I was referring to my Go with Oh apartment. Tastefully and artfully decorated with attention to detail, all the extra touches made it feel like home  - a relaxing sanctuary at the end of each very busy day at ITB.

Additional Services and Amenities:  It’s really important to me to have a WiFi connection wherever I stay and while most hotels do have WiFi its frequently offered at an exorbitant rate.  Go with Oh provides a search function where you can search for properties that have the amenities that are important to you, i.e. Wifi, washing machine, balcony, etc., making your stay much more comfortable.  As an added bonus, staying in a holiday apartment virtually guarantees that you’ll have a kitchen.

Don’t get me wrong, while I love staying in holiday rentals, I also enjoy staying in hotels. My preference  really depends on the purpose of my visit:

Advantages Hotels Have Over Holiday Apartments

More Flexible Check-in Times:  You can usually check into a hotel 24/7 since someone is at the front desk. When checking into an apartment you usually have to arrange your check in time in advance since someone will meet you at the property to give you the keys.  This is not usually an issue, with a little advance planning, but it doesn’t work well if you have no idea when you’ll be checking in.  A really late check-in may also be difficult (but not impossible) to accommodate in an apartment.

Multiple-Guest Check-Ins:  If you are sharing a room with someone else and arriving at different times this doesn’t pose a problem at a hotel since they will check you both in separately.  In a holiday rental it’s usually up to the person who checked in first to be there to let the other person in/give them the keys.  Again with a little pre-planning this isn’t usually a problem, but you do need to be aware of it.

No Security Deposit Required:  Hotels don’t usually require a security deposit, while most holiday rentals do.  The price depends on the apartment so check it out before you book if this is an issue.  Normally you pay the security deposit in local currency upon arrival.  Most holiday owners do NOT accept credit cards so be sure to have the security deposit and outstanding balance (you pay a portion at the time of booking with Go with Oh) in cash. This personally doesn’t bother me, but again does require a bit of advance planning.

Do you prefer staying in an apartment or a hotel?

Many thanks to Go with Oh who made my stay at a fabulous vacation apartment in Berlin possible.  All the photos were from my stay there. You can find out more about it here.  As always all opinions expressed are my own.

Comments

  1. John Walsen says

    I think i prefer hotels…and the main reason is that they are more organized (most of the times :P ) compared to the apartments. I mean , I wouldn’t be able to grab a late night drink in a holiday apartment ,cause most of the times there is no bar available there…

    • says

      @John – Agreed that hotels usually have better amenities than apartments do, but I’m usually happy to buy a bottle of wine, then drink it on my apartment balcony and store the rest in the fridge, which most hotels do not have. I think it’s really a matter of personal preference.

  2. says

    I love the comparison you did here! Apartments and hotels definitely both have their pros and cons- and we love your analysis of the concept! Lovely photos, hope you enjoyed chilly Berlin!

    • says

      @Sara – Thanks. I definitely prefer apartments for multi-day stays, but think it’s important for people to have a better idea of how apartments work before booking just so there are no surprises.

  3. says

    Our Go With Oh apartment was pretty fab and it was huge! I loved all the details like the plaster carvings and the artwork. And the Thai restaurant around the corner was so delicious! It really was such a nice place to come home and relax in.

    • says

      @Jennifer – Agreed and much more reasonable than a hotel. I also loved the coffee shop directly across the street. I definitely felt at home there, even if the master bedroom was much nice than mine at home :)

  4. says

    I agree with the points you make in favor of hotels but I definitely prefer apartments and villas. No matter how luxurious, hotels still end up feeling sterile to me and I avoid them as much as possible. I just love the privacy and homey feel of an apartment and when I need a little extra pampering, a villa with maid service.

  5. says

    Another advantage of holiday apartments is that you can cater for yourself and thus save money on food. And you can try out the local cuisine in restaurants rather than thinking you have to be back for your prepaid for hotel meal.

  6. says

    I haven’t tried staying at an apartment before, but I can see the benefits.
    On the other hand, the hotel pro’s like flexible check-in and – let’s not forget this – having your room cleaned, are great as well.
    I’d love to try an apartment sometime, so I can compare.

    • says

      @Sofie – It’s definitely worth trying and both apartments and hotels have their advantages/disadvantages. I think it comes down to what is important to you and what type of trip you are planning. If I’m just staying somewhere for one night, or arriving really late, I usually prefer a hotel, but for stays of several days or longer, I like the homeyness and kitchen in apartments.

  7. says

    The convenience and organization structure make hotels more prefarrable for a traveller staying only for a few nights, I will prefer holiday apartments for longer stays, because of the homely feeling, privacy and a sense of more control.

    • says

      For one or two night stays, we prefer Bed and Breakfast places. But, for longer, I think an apartment is probably optimal. In Dublin, we stayed in an apartment hotel — the best of both worlds. There was a front desk staffed from 7 am to 9 pm, but we had room to spread out which is helpful if one or more of the people in the travel group have to work some of the time. I usually travel with my husband on his work trips, so that’s us most of the time. It was also centrally located. Shockingly, it was also less expensive than the conference hotel which was further out from the City center and which had terrible TripAdvisor reviews.

  8. says

    My first choice is always a Hotel to stay there. Because, if you choose an apartment than you have to manage all things yourself. But, In hotel they offers luxurious services to them guests. So, Hotel is right choice eventually.

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