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:
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.
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.