Checking In Please…

Since I sleep in hotel rooms over 260 evenings a year, it feels like a vacation when I sleep elsewhere. While traveling on personal time, I’m a huge advocate of renting houses, apartments, and condos. I’ve seen my fair share of hotel rooms and believe it or not, there’s not much of a difference between a ROH (Run of House aka standard hotel room) and a suite. Besides square footage, most hotel rooms feel the same….not homey. Listed below are the pros and cons of taking the rent route as opposed to staying in a hotel.

1. Size-A standard ROH room is 300-400 square feet and a standard one bedroom apartment is double that, not to mention a four bedroom house.
2. Rooms-Kitchen (cooking!), dining room (more intimate than a restaurant), laundry, multiple bathrooms, multiple bedrooms, living room, patio/deck, front porch
3. Amenities-Refrigerator, dishwasher, dish and glassware, washer/dryer, dvd’s, grill (not all), fire pits (not all), bicycles (not all)-I can’t tell you how many times, while staying in hotels, I’ve walked/cabbed to the nearest Walgreens to buy a wine opener.
4. Price– The cost of renting a privately owned home is, most often, significantly less expensive per night than a hotel room.
5. Owners-Home owners are generally willing to work with you because they are excited you’ve chosen their home to rent and they are happy about making some extra money. In the past I’ve had owners personally drop off the keys to a hotel where I was working, allow me to check in early and check out late, leave fresh flowers in a vase as a sweet welcome, and come down on nightly rates (apartment was listed at $150 a night and I negotiated $100  if we stayed three nights).
6. Parking-Hotel parking charges (not talking hotels out in the middle of nowhere) add up and often are not taken into consideration when booking the room, which means this expense will creep up out of no where. The cost is $33 per night at The Roosevelt  in L.A. and $55 at The Mercer in NYC-when renting you usually don’t have to pay for street parking (residential area) and often there is a garage or space in a large garage that comes with the unit.
7. Common Space-No girl wants to sit on a bed in her dress and heels while having a cocktail before going out nor do families want to pile into one hotel room to hang out while traveling. When you rent a home you have the option of hanging out in the kitchen, living room, basement, media room and other common space. It’s much better for entertaining as well (unless you are in some penthouse suite in Vegas that boasts 2,500 square feet and a Baby Grand piano-average $5,000 a night-oy!).
8. Comfort-Rentals feel like a home because…well, they are someone’s home.

1. DIY-If you wake up a little hungover in the morning and you’re longing for some steamy pancakes and eggs benny, you will have to get up and make it because in-room dining does not exist, sadly.
2. Cleanliness-Some people like staying in hotels because it’s like being a child or being wealthy-you come home and your room is magically clean. For me, this isn’t a big deal since I’m annoyingly tidy and don’t need someone to put my clothes away, throw away my apple core from the bedside table, and pick up my towels from the floor (if you put your towels on any floor that’s sick).
3. House Cleaner-On top of the cost of the rental you’ll also pay a one time charge to have a housekeeper come in and clean after you depart. The fee varies depending on the city and the square footage of the home, on average I’ve paid around $80.

I honestly can’t think of one more, but I’m trying to be fair and come up with at least half as many cons as I did pros…

4. Hotel Bar-There is no hotel bar to enjoy a night cap and recap your evening out and some hotels have really amazing bars-ex. The Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans.

When taking the rental route I use Vacation Rental By Owner and have had nothing but wonderful experiences through this website. If you’ve never rented, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. It changes the entire feel of the trip and who doesn’t want to go “home”, after a long day exploring. Oh and did I mention house parties?

Happy house hunting!

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