Are Airbnb Rentals Cheaper than Hotels? A Comprehensive Cost Comparison

The Cost of Hotels vs. Airbnbs: A Surprising Revelation, According to Which? Study


When it comes to planning a solo trip, many travelers consider Airbnb as their go-to choice for cost-effective accommodation. However, a recent comprehensive study conducted by consumer group Which? has brought some unexpected findings to light, challenging the prevailing belief.

The Study

This study meticulously compared the prices of thousands of hotel rooms to one-bedroom listings available on popular accommodation rental platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo. The research covered 13 holiday destinations within the UK and 37 internationally, spotlighting locations where opting for a hotel over an Airbnb could lead to substantial savings.

Savings on the Stunning Santorini

One of the most remarkable discoveries emerged from the enchanting Greek island of Santorini. Here, rental listings were consistently 71% pricier than hotels. This translates to potential savings of up to £84 per night for travelers who choose hotels.

Amsterdam and Hong Kong: Airbnb’s Price Premium

In Amsterdam, the price difference between Airbnb and hotels averaged 58%, equating to an additional cost of £67 per night for those opting for the former. Meanwhile, in bustling Hong Kong, this difference skyrocketed to a significant 85%.

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Insights from the UK

Even within the UK, this study found noteworthy differences. For instance, in the picturesque village of Southwold, Suffolk, hotels proved to be an average of £68 cheaper per night compared to their holiday rental counterparts.

Key Takeaway

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, offered valuable insights, saying, “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 travelers trying to save money. When planning your next trip, don’t assume a hotel will cost more; instead, check rates across different platforms.”

Expert Recommendations

Graeme Buck, director of communications at the travel trade organization Abta, emphasized, “As travel experts, they can advise on the best hotel for your budget, on a date and at a location that works for you.”


This eye-opening study, which analyzed average prices for the 12 months up to May of this year, underscores the importance of exploring all available options when planning a solo trip. It encourages travelers not to automatically assume that Airbnb is the more budget-friendly choice. So, before embarking on your next solo adventure, remember to do your due diligence by comparing prices across different platforms to secure the best value for your journey.

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