That's the number of hits I got when I searched for "vacation rentals vs hotels" on Google recently. Huge!
That's the number of hits I got when I put the phrase in quotes. Much smaller number, but I'm thinking, either way, there's probably not a lot I can write about this topic that hasn't been written before.
So, I scanned the hits. They tend to fall into three buckets:
- shameless self-promotion by vacation rental listing sites like VRBO, FlipKey, etc.
- newspaper/magazine articles seeking to "educate" their readers
- sneaky self-promotion by individual property owners
Just to be clear, I'm trying to do the latter one here... hey, if nothing else, I'm honest.
But let's tackle the topic from a different angle and ask the essential question: why do people ever stay in a hotel on vacation? In complete, unbiased fairness, there are a couple of decent reasons to stay in a hotel (or condo-tel) on a Roatan vacation.
Three Good Reasons to Stay in Roatan Resorts instead of Roatan Vacation Rentals
- The good vacation rental properties are booked at that time
- You enjoy sharing meals and pools with a lot of strange people
- You need to use a bunch of loyalty program points before they expire
There you have it, the complete list of unarguable reasons to stay in a hotel on your next vacation to Roatan. Interestingly, though, if you speak with folks who stay in hotels on vacation, ask them why they chose a hotel over a vacation rental and eliminate these three "good" reasons, here's what you get...
A Bunch of Bad Reasons to Stay in Roatan Hotels instead of Roatan Vacation Rentals
- "It wasn't a hotel - we stayed in a [wait for it] 'resort'…"
- "What's a vacation rental?"
- "I didn't know people did that?"
- "It was a short (3 or 4 day) trip"
- "We can't afford to rent a 'villa' for a week"
- "If I had a kitchen, I would have had to cook"
- "We wanted concierge service"
- "We wanted to be on the beach/mountain/lake/ocean"
There are more, but you get the idea.
Why Roatan Vacation Rentals Beat Roatan Resorts or Hotels
Vacation rentals, although increasing in popularity, clearly suffer from an almost universal education and awareness challenge. The bottom line is that the vast, vast, vast (that's three "vasts") majority of people either don't know they exist or are very misinformed about their costs and features when compared to hotels. So, let's cut to the chase - they do exist and they are all over. The emergence of companies like Homeaway and VRBO (which Homeaway acquired) are testament to the size and growth of the industry. Vacation rentals accept all sorts of lengths of stay - just like a hotel. They are often in better locations than the "resorts". Many offer complete concierge service as part of the stay, and...
… if you do the math, and simply divide the price by the number of nights and number of bedrooms, you will find that vacation rentals can be significantly more affordable than resorts of comparable or, often, inferior quality - and they provide living space, patios and private pools/hot tubs for "free".
And finally, you don't have to cook unless you want to. Really... you don't.… but you can if you want to. And that's the beauty of a Roatan Vacation Rental, because within reason, you can do anything you want. For the length of your vacation, it's your home away from home!
Now, tell me hotels or resorts can compare to that.