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Airbnbs vs hotels, which is cheaper? Surprise findings of study

People booking solo holidays may find a hotel is likely to be cheaper than an Airbnb, according to a new study.

Consumer group Which? compared the price of thousands of hotel rooms with one-bed listings on accommodation rental websites such as Airbnb and Vrbo.

The study included 13 UK holiday spots and 37 places from across the rest of the world.

Researchers highlighted destinations where people can make substantial savings by going for a hotel instead of an Airbnb.


On the Greek island of Santorini, rental listings were typically 71% more expensive than hotels – meaning holidaymakers can save £84 a night by booking the latter.

Visitors to Santorini can save an average of £84-a-night by staying in a hotel

In Amsterdam, an Airbnb is traditionally 58%, or £67, more expensive per night than a hotel and in Hong Kong, the difference is a huge 85%.

Here in the UK, hotels in the village of Southwold, Suffolk, typically cost an average of £155-a-night, while the equivalent on a holiday rental site was a more hefty £223.

More on Airbnb

The study also found hotels are typically cheaper in all four of the UK’s capital.

Rory Boland, editor of 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.”

More travel news:
NYC Airbnb rule limits options for tourists
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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 Which? analysis examined average prices for the 12 months up to May this year and five-star hotels were excluded.


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