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Hotels are officially cheaper than Airbnbs, according to a new study

Which? Travel found that a hotel could be cheaper by up to 85 percent

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

For a while, it certainly seemed like a short-term holiday let was the obvious choice if you wanted to save money when it came to holiday accommodation. Being able to rent an entire apartment, where you can cook your own food and have that home-away-from-home experience, often for a cheap price, was a very enticing alternative to your classic hotel room. 

However, a new study conducted by Which? Travel has found that, surprisingly, the tables have turned and hotel rooms tend to beat Airbnbs on cost in loads of locations. 

Which? Travel’s study analysed the cost of 300,000 one-bed listings on popular accommodation rental sites compared to the rate for thousands of hotel rooms, across 50 destinations from May 2022 to May 2023. 

In the past, Airbnbs and other accommodation rental companies have been able to offer cheaper stays, as they don’t have any staff. But thanks to the growing popularity of rental accommodation, catalysed by the pandemic, Airbnbs have seen a huge spike in prices.

On Santorini, a super popular Greek island, Airbnb and Vrbo listings were around 71 percent more expensive than a hotel, averaging £203 (€233, $248), compared to £119 (€137, $145). 

In Amsterdam, rentals cost an average of £183 (€210, $223), compared to £116 (€133, $142) for hotels, which is almost 60 percent more expensive. 

But it’s not just Europe – Which? found the trend existed across destinations in Asia. In Hong Kong, the prices differed by up to a whopping 85 percent, and similar figures were witnessed in Singapore and Dubai

It also turned out to be cheaper to opt for a hotel in each UK capital, as well as in many popular UK tourist hotspots. In Southwold, a quaint Suffolk seaside town, hotels cost around £155 (€178, $189), whereas a rental would set you back a pricey £223 (€256, $272). 

The major plus side of an Airbnb rental is that booking for large groups has always been more cost-effective, and thankfully that’s still the case. According to Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, ‘for larger groups that need more rooms and space, private rentals are still likely to beat hotels on price.’

‘[But] when planning your next trip, don’t assume a hotel will cost more, but instead check rates across different platforms,’ he said to the Independent.

So, maybe stick to Airbnb for your next group holiday – but if you’re travelling solo, why not give a good old-fashioned hotel a go? It could save you some serious cash. 

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