Study finds hotels are usually cheaper than Airbnb

Hotels generally beat Airbnb on price, according to a study which claimed many holidaymakers will be “surprised” by the finding.

Consumer group Which? compared the cost of thousands of hotel rooms with 300,000 one-bed listings on popular accommodation rental websites.

The study included 13 destinations in the UK and 37 across the rest of the world.

It found that a one-night stay in a hotel was an average of £101, compared with £120 across Airbnb and Vrbo.

Accommodation rental companies have a reputation for being cheaper than traditional options due to guests not paying for on-site staff.

But Which? believes their growth in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic sparked rising prices.

It highlighted a series of destinations where travellers can make “stark” savings by staying in hotels.

On the Greek island of Santorini, Airbnb and Vrbo listings were typically 71% more expensive at £203, compared with £119 for hotels.

Airbnb and Vrbo listings were typically 71% more expensive on Santorini, the research found (Alamy/PA)

Listings on the rental companies’ websites for Dutch capital Amsterdam cost 58% more than hotels, at an average of £183 versus £116.

Hotel rates were also generally cheaper in many Asian destinations.

In Hong Kong, the price difference was 85%, with similar findings in Singapore and Dubai.

It was also revealed that it typically costs less to stay in a hotel than book through Airbnb and Vrbo in several UK tourist hotspots.

Hotels in the picturesque seaside town of Southwold, Suffolk, charge £155 on average, but listings on accommodation rental websites were typically a hefty £223.

It also usually works out cheaper to stay in hotels in all four of the UK’s capital cities, researchers stated.

Hong Kong skyline
The price difference was 85% in Hong Kong, the research found (Alamy/PA)

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “Many holidaymakers may be surprised to discover that the average cost of hotels in many destinations is cheaper than one-bedroom holiday lets, which are often promoted as a popular option for travellers trying to save money.

“When planning your next trip, don’t assume a hotel will cost more, but instead check rates across different platforms.

“For larger groups that need more rooms and space, private rentals are still likely to beat hotels on price.”

Graeme Buck, director of communications at travel trade organisation Abta, said: “Many customers are looking for value when booking their holiday accommodation, and doing so as part of a package with an Abta member is an easy way to get a great deal.

“As travel experts, they can advise on the best hotel for your budget, on a date and at a location which works for you.”

The analysis was based on average prices for the 12 months to May.

For Airbnb and Vrbo it only took into account listings for entire properties, while the study of hotel rates excluded five-star sites.