Planning your next vacation, and torn between booking a hotel or a vacation rental? You’re not alone. Each option has its own unique benefits and potential drawbacks. We’re here to help break down the pro’s and con’s and give our personal and professional experience on why you should or shouldn’t book a hotel vs. a vacation rental.

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Privacy Matters

Hotel – Everyone in the Same Space

Hotels are often bustling with activity, with guests and staff constantly moving around. No matter how hard you try, you will encounter someone the moment you step out your door. This is not including the shared room and bathroom if you are traveling with additional guests. In addition, one of the growing trends with hotel rooms is door-less bathrooms. Although this may be aesthetically pleasing, giving the illusion of greater space, we find that many of our guests prioritize privacy, even when staying with friends and family.

Vacation Rental – Create Your Own Space

In a vacation rental, you are able to have the entire apartment, condo, studio, or home (whatever you decide to book) exclusively to yourself. No more awkward encounters in hallways or waiting for elevators. Let alone making yourself presentable to grab a coffee or bite to eat. This is now in all in the comfortability of you and whoever you decide to travel with.

Hotel – Share a Bedtime

In a hotel, you often hear surrounding noises coming from those staying above you, below you, and next door due to the thin walls. Not to mention those you are personally sharing a hotel room with. With a group of 4 it is easy to share 1 hotel room, but for the late night owls in the group, or early bed timers, this may cause some issues. If Susie in your group goes to bed at 8PM, and the rest of you still want to hit the town, then you are forced to stumble in quietly, and prepare for bed in darkness. Then comes morning, and Susie is up early rummaging through her items loudly while you’re trying to sleep in, because after all, you are on vacation. 

Vacation Rental – Don’t Share a Bedtime

Vacation rentals typically offer more space, have better sound insulation, and multiple bedrooms ensuring you not only get a goodnight’s sleep, but are able to have the privacy you and your group deserve. If half the group wants to stay up, they can do so freely without distributing anyone else who is ready for bed. Those who are ready for bed, are able to hideaway in their private bedroom. 


Amenities and Comfort

Hotel – Is it Really Clean?

Hotel cleanliness is often overlooked and can be a concern. Would you lay on a hotel floor in your underwear or put your face on the comforter? The most common known rule is no. Plus, there are often items overlooked since the cleaning staff has so many other rooms in the building to clean. That’s why we are not even going to mention the coffee machine and utensils. 

Vacation Rental – Property Manager Cleaning staff 

Now I know we have all heard our fair share of horror stories when it comes to walking into an unclean vacation rental. Our recommendation is going with a property manager when booking a rental, if you are concerned about cleanliness. Because if we are being honest, do we really trust Steve, your Airbnb host, to be stripping all the sheets, and on his hands and knees scrubbing the floors? Property managers like GoodNight Stay have an entire cleaning staff that are required to have a white glove inspection process. Along with this, we have additional staff to inspect the home following the clean to ensure the home is guest ready. Vacation rentals provide a homier environment where you can trust the cleanliness standards more easily. 

pepper tree laundry


Hotel – Shared Amenities

If you’re staying in a hotel, majority of the time the amenities that caused you to book the hotel are shared amongst other guests. Especially if you’re traveling in peak season, be prepared for crowded pool decks, gyms, long lines at food services, and so on. This is your time to relax, and hearing the roaring bustle of others along with screaming children jumping into the pool, getting splashed, or fighting over a pool lounger is not how you should be spending your time. This is also a great opportunity for hotels to upcharge you. You see one last beautiful pool cabana open? Great, that will be $600 for 2 HOURS (not even the full day). 

Vacation Rental – Private Amenities

One of the standout benefits of a vacation rental is access to private amenities. Have the entire pool to yourself, enjoy a private spa, or relax in your own yard. Play yard games at your own pace, make as many s’mores as you want using your private fire pit, or play a couple rounds of basketball on your own sports court late at night when the weather is cooler. Enjoy an intimate alfresco meal out on the covered dining area with just your group. No more crowded, polluted pools or shared facilities. Plus, you are not paying additional to use any of these features—it’s already covered!

Hotel – Sink, Mini Fridge, Microwave, Repeat

Most hotels don’t include a kitchen. All you have to work with is a bed, bathroom, and if you’re lucky, a mini fridge. If you’re really lucky, sometimes you can get a microwave. Yes, there are those “suite” rooms at more luxurious hotels that can also feature an oven and kitchen sink, but usually are smaller than your average size. Not to mention, there is no counter space, place to sit and eat, or area to prepare anything to make. We understand most travelers often eat out, but if you’re on a restricted diet, traveling with children, or worse—coming in late or early and all the restaurants are closed or not yet open, you’re stuck with what is given. All you can work with is a sink, mini fridge, and a microwave. No cooking utensils, plates, bowls, etc. You don’t know the luxury of having something, until you don’t have it.  

Vacation Rental – Own Kitchen –  Cook Together

Vacation rentals come with fully equipped kitchens, allowing you to prepare meals together with your family or friends. GoodNight Stay kitchens include all of your basic cooking essentials, tableware, and are ready to serve whatever meal you have in mind. Although a private kitchen may not be the biggest appeal if you are staying for one or two nights, if you are traveling for four nights or longer, having a fully equipped kitchen complete with a dishwasher and full size fridge will take your experience to the next level. Also, you can even make cooking an exciting part of your stay by having themed dinners with your group, or make an intimate dinner for your loved one.

5427 royal palm kitchen


Hotel – Business Hour Only Support

When you’re staying in a hotel and need assistance on something, you can always call front desk or go down to the lobby. However, what happens if you need something at 11PM and the lobby closed at 9PM? You call front desk, and then it just continuously rings with no answer. The support is there, but only during operating business hours. 

Vacation Rental – 24/7 Guest Support

Although you are in your private space, GoodNight Stay offers 24/7 guest support by real people who can help you with anything you need, from local restaurant recommendations to assistance operating the hot tub. This ensures you have a seamless and enjoyable experience without any of the typical hotel inconveniences.

Hotel – Pets Allowed

Many hotels have strict pet policies forcing you to leave your furry friends behind. The hotels that do allow pets either have very strict parameters for what your pet must fall under, including not being able to leave your pet alone in the room, or have hefty fees almost costing as much as the room rate PER night. Yes, we love traveling with our pets, but what happens if you have to run a quick errand and know it would be 1000x more the hassle if you were to bring them. At a hotel, you don’t really have much of an option. If you decide to go through with it, you are now worried they are constantly barking through the thin walls, and/or have the guilt of leaving them in a small room by themselves. 

Vacation Rental – Pets Allowed

Many vacation rentals allow pets, so you don’t have to leave your furry friends behind. With GoodNight Stay, you pay a one time pet fee (just to cover the additional clean for the next guest who may be allergic), and then you and your furry friend are set to have a GoodNight Stay experience. Have peace of mind knowing your pet has a spacious place and fully fenced yard! Check out our pet friendly homes in both Scottsdale, AZ & Nashville, TN to find the one that best suits your needs.

pet bath


Hotel – Check-In Process

Imagine you just had the worst travel day of your life. Flight delayed numerous times, all restaurants are closed, they lost your luggage, etc. You finally arrive to your hotel but now you have to deal with the check-in process. Dragging all your personal belongings through the lobby, waiting in line along with 10 other late travelers, the fake small talk with the front desk when you finally get to the front, digging through your carry-on to finalize the ID and credit card processing, waiting for them to hand over the room keys, carrying all your items all the way up to your room along with finding it (of course it’s the last one all the way down the hall), and finally learning the keycard got deactivated by your phone in your hand so now you have to go back down to the lobby to get a new one. You can never plan these things, but it can always be a process. 

Vacation Rental – Contactless Entry

In today’s world, minimizing contact is crucial. Vacation rentals often offer contactless entry, adding an extra layer of safety and convenience. GoodNight Stay ensures the check-in process is convenient as can be by using a guest experience platform on which guests can check in, communicate with the guest services team, discover local recommendations, and more—all contactless! We also know that guests want to be in their room as soon as possible after traveling, and want to save precious time when leaving. With GoodNight Stay, your ID and credit card are verified BEFORE your arrival, so when you are ready to check in, you are ready to get your vacation started! With contactless check-in and check-out, the days of waiting in line at the front desk are over.

Hotel – Basic Comfort

Hotels often fall short on basic comfort elements like pillow quality and mediocre shower pressure. Every room looks the same, and features the most basic of supplies. Not to mention, the design is….well sub par. Usually all white everything, and carpets that have a design that remind you of a casino. It can be comfortable, but your standard mass produced quality of comfort. 

Vacation Rental – Quality Comfort

Vacation rentals are typically equipped with all the comforts of an actual home, making your stay much more enjoyable. On top of comfortable features, vacation rentals are often uniquely designed to show a little personality, which may be an appeal to travelers who are looking for something more personal than cookie-cutter hotel rooms. GoodNight Stay has multiple homes curated by our in-house design team to ensure both form and function.

pepper tree living room



Hotel – Get What You Pay For

It is often argued the cost difference between hotels and vacation rentals—which one is really more affordable, and gives you the best bang for your buck? With a hotel, you are paying for a single room which includes a bed (sometimes two beds), a single bathroom, and amenities shared amongst other guests such as a pool, gym, BBQ grill area, lounge area, etc. Sometimes these “amenities” you pay additional for in the cost compared to other hotels, but you never use because of either crowds, long lines, or just not wanting to be involved in the madness. Or when you do, it is for short periods of times to beat the crowds, or only being able to withstand it for so long before it becomes too chaotic. The average hotel cost a night is $129 for a single room, and $259 per night for “double occupancy”. This is not including resort fees and additional taxes on top of this. Let’s not forget the hidden fees. Many hotels charge extra for basic amenities like WiFi, parking, and gratuities for housekeeping and concierge service. 

Vacation Rental – Get More For What You Pay For

Vacation rentals generally provide more space and amenities for your money compared to hotels. Meaning even when the prices are similar,  guests often get more for the same price with vacation rentals. Plus if you are traveling with others, it is easy to split the cost, pay less than what you would for a hotel, and get to experience more—all exclusively to you and your travel buddies. Vacation rentals can range from all types of prices because it depends what else the home is featuring, and especially since it is a larger space you will have access too. Meaning there is more to clean and pick up after. The bigger the homes, the larger the cleaning fee. Also adding, there are no additional costs than what you are paying up front. WiFi, access to the homes amenities, parking, housekeeping is all made notice to you at the at the initial cost of booking. With vacation rental companies like GoodNight Stay, it’s extremely simple to find a home within your budget. To make things even better, GoodNight Stay often offer special discounts – so make sure to keep an eye out on our Specials Page!


Security Concerns

Hotel – Are Your Doors Really Safe?

Hotel security can be a concern, especially with conjoined doors and multiple access points. I am sure we have all seen the those horror videos circling through TikTok and other social media platforms about hotel rooms trying to get broken into. There is only one latch lock and it can be easily flipped using some type of wire or cable. Not to mention there is an entire staff in the same building that all have access to your room. People are going the extra step and buying additional security lock systems on Amazon created specifically for hotel room doors, and still placing a chair or something that can create a loud noise to alert you if someone is attempting to enter. When you’re on vacation trying to get to bed, this is something you don’t want to add to your nighttime routine.

Vacation Rental – Feel Secure

Vacation rentals offer a more secure environment, where you have control over who enters your space. When you go with a GoodNight Stay, the majority of our homes have smart locks installed, and we generate custom codes just for our guests before check-in that are deactivated after check-out, adding that extra layer of security.


So…Hotel or Vacation Rental?

Both hotels and vacation rentals have their advantages and disadvantages, but when it comes to privacy, amenities, cost-effectiveness, and security, vacation rentals often come out on top. If you’re still on the fence whether to go with a hotel or a vacation rental, consider what aspects are most important to you and your travel companions.

Ready to experience the benefits of a vacation rental for yourself? Book your next stay with GoodNight Stay in either Arizona or Tennessee and enjoy a home away from home on your next adventure!