VIP arrivals: hottest hotel openings in March 2024

Returning from two years of travel, Deputy Editor Megan Christopher discusses the advantages of choosing a hotel over Airbnb…

orange umbrellas and loungers around a hotel pool

Ah, the age-old debate – Airbnb or hotel? For the seasoned traveller seeking a guaranteed haven of comfort and productivity, the answer leans decidedly towards the professional hospitality experience. While Airbnb offers a quirky charm, hotels excel in a different domain: meticulously crafted design that elevates the guest experience from the moment they step through the doorway.

The hotel lobby serves as a stage for this experience. It’s more than just a reception area; it’s a carefully curated space that sets the tone for the entire stay. Imagine a weary business traveller entering a lobby bathed in warm, natural light. Soothing music plays in the background as they’re greeted by a friendly, efficient staff member. Plush seating areas, strategically placed to encourage interactions or foster a sense of calm, and invite them to unwind after a long journey. This is the power of design in action, and something that an Airbnb often can’t offer.

Domes Miramare Corfu hotel lobby

Image Credit: Domes Miramare Corfu

Why do people prefer hotels? Hotel design goes far beyond aesthetics. Leading hoteliers understand the importance of psychological well-being. Consider the use of biophilic design principles in lobbies and common areas. The incorporation of natural elements like plants, water features and natural textiles creates a sense of tranquillity, a welcome respite from the often hectic pace of travel.

Opting for a hotel over an Airbnb comes with undeniable advantages, starting with the professionalism and expertise of the dedicated hospitality staff. From check-in to farewell, the trained hotel staff is committed to providing a service that surpasses mere accommodation, creating an environment conducive to relaxation and enjoyment. Hotels typically offer a range of services, including room cleaning, concierge assistance and 24-hour reception, ensuring prompt addressing of any concerns. This level of convenience and support significantly contributes to a comfortable stay, distinguishing itself from Airbnb, where hosts may often be unavailable to tend to guests needs.

Renowned for maintaining consistent quality and standards across their establishments, hotels offer a predictable level of comfort and cleanliness. This consistency is a key factor for travellers who value predictability, seeking a stress free experience during their stay. Unlike the varying conditions of Airbnb listings, hotels provide a reliable standard of excellence, guaranteeing a restful night’s sleep. In my personal experience, the only thing you can rely on Airbnb for is it’s unpredictability.

Image Credit: Soho House, Shoreditch

Reputable hotels often boast cutting edge facilities, enhancing the overall comfort of guests. From fitness centres and spa services to business facilities and upscale dining options, hotels offer a comprehensive array of amenities tailored to create a luxurious and enjoyable stay. These thoughtfully curated facilities cater to diverse guest preferences, providing an all-encompassing experience beyond basic accommodation, something that Airbnb would struggle to beat.

Hotel design is undergoing a fascinating transformation, drawing inspiration from the Airbnb model. Just as Airbnb hosts infuse their spaces with character and uniqueness, hotels are embracing bespoke design elements. From custom artwork to locally sourced furnishings, every detail contributes to a sense of individuality.

The gap between Airbnb and hotels is narrowing. Airbnb disrupted the industry by offering intimate, home-like spaces. Hotels responded by enhancing their amenities. Now, hotels provide the best of both worlds: the privacy and personalisation of an Airbnb, coupled with the convenience and services of a full-fledged hotel.

Image Credit: Locke Living

While Airbnb has it’s merits, hotels undeniably excel in providing a superior level of comfort. The professionalism, consistent quality, modern facilities and a seamless experience offers by hotels makes them the preferred choice for those seeking an elevated and comfortable stay. As the hospitality industry evolves, the timeless appeal of hotels as havens of comfort remains steadfast, promising travellers an experience that transcends the ordinary.

Main Image Credit: Pixabay