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What Would You Rather: A House or a Hotel Room?

July 25, 2011 at 4:11 PM | by | ()

Over the weekend we headed to Santa Ynez, Calif. in Santa Barbara County where instead of booking a hotel room, we actually rented a house with two other couples (along with four children and one spoiled French bulldog.) Yet despite the idyllic location across from a small vineyard and the spaciousness of the house, we actually found ourselves missing a few of our beloved hotel creature comforts.

This surprised us since we were looking forward to pretending we were wealthy enough to own a giant piece of land and a picturesque home for the weekend. But while a house gave us the space we craved, not all the little amenities we are accustomed to at hotels are included.

Here's our Pros/Cons breakdown of renting a house versus booking a hotel room.

PROS of Booking a House
· For about the same price a night as a hotel room ($300), you get a beautiful house (that is, if you split the cost with two other couples like we did.) Ours was a converted Dutch farmhouse just minutes away from some great wineries.
· There was a gorgeous giant kitchen to make meals in, something we don't have at home.
· Huge property with plenty of space for the dog and kids to run around.
· Several rooms in the house to relax in from the front living room to the family den in the back.
· Private pool and hot tub.
· No nickel and diming anywhere.
· Free WiFi!

CONS of Booking a House
· There were no toiletries save for a few bars of soap.
· The towel supply was low. We had to do a couple of loads of laundry during our stay. We also had to run to the store to buy more paper towels.
· The personal photos of the family who own the house were a little off-putting.
· The bedding was not luxe nor new although it was clean.
· Obviously, we had to buy all our own groceries.
· Some of the plates were a little dirty so we had to give them a quick wash before using.
· We had to clean up before we checked out. Not just tidy up but strip the beds of the linens, gather the towels and drop them off in laundry room, run the dishwasher, put away dishes, and take out the trash, all before 11am. Yup, no late check-out allowed.

This is not to say that we won't ever rent a house again for the weekend. With the kids and all the stuff they need, booking a house is just way more convenient than a hotel room, especially if you have another family to split the costs with. But if we had all the money in the world, we might just book a giant suite at a hotel instead.

What would you rather--a hotel or a house? Let us know in comments below!

[Photo of Santa Ynez rental: HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:

There's a time and place for both!

We've rented house since our 12 year old arrived.  Some good, some not so good.  But we'd keep doing it again when there is kids involved.

I feel the key to renting the house is to have photos of bedrooms.  If the decor looks a bit 1980's or even 2001, chances are the mattress isn't the most comfortable in the world.  But if it looks new and fluffy....go for it.




Hotel v Vacation Home

You forgot some things:

  1. The $$$'s you save by being able to eat in. Hotel restaurants are notoriously expensive and you're on their schedule. A vacation home gives you the option of cooking for yourself and eating at the time you want to eat.

  2. Some vacation homes have a games room or home theater. This means you can have proper family time.

  3. You forgot that hotels can be noisy. How many times have you been asleep or tried to go to sleep and been disturbed by other guests in the corridors.

  4. Vacation homes often have several TV's...so no fighting over who watches what.

  5. If you wake up at a different time to other family members, you don't disturb them. You can go to the living area or another room and leave others to their beauty sleep.

  6. Most of the negatives you state can be negotiated with the property owner or management company. More towels can be delivered, as can toiletries and other extras.