Monday, May 11, 2009

Ten Reasons a Vacation Rental Beats a Hotel Room: A Sanibel Perspective

Sanibel Island, laid back, tropical and natural, does not have huge and old hotels as one might find in any large city.

But there are options of inns and hotels on the Island competing with the vacation rental condos and vacation rental homes.

Since most condos are 7 day minimum rentals and almost all homes 28 day minimum rentals, if one were to be so unfortunate as to only have a night or 2 to spend in paradise, they really have few alternatives to staying in a hotel or inn.

But aside from the issue of having so much more space in a condo or house, today as we updated our phone system (now offering free phone calls to Canada and anywhere in the USA) at the condo and at our home, Toucan House, it occured to me how much value vacation rentals can provide.

Even the simplest services are add ons at hotels, even very, very pricey hotels.

And here is a list of what comes "standard" in many---- if not most---- vacation rentals that would cost you at a hotel or inn, IF they even existed:

1. The vacation rental (home or condo) will most likely offer you a complete kitchen where you can cook in rather than eat out in the hotel or inn restaurant.

2. The vacation rental will offer you a laundry room instead of laundry service that comes at additional cost.

3. The vacation rental will most likely provide free internet service at no additional fee.

4. The vacation rental will, in many instances, provide digital phone service where you can make long distances calls at no extra charge.

5. The vacation rental will offer in/home/condo DVD selections. No need to "pay on demand" for movies in many VR's.

6. The vacation rental will provide books, games and other diversions meeting the needs of a wide range of people.

7. The vacation rental will not only have available free beach chairs, towels and beach umbrellas, but also offer beach toys for kids and adults.

8. The vacation rental invites and allows for family gatherings in a home like setting. Where does the family "hang out" together at a hotel or inn?

9. The vacation rental personalizes the "guest" experience if you rent by owner and often if you rent through an agency. You will be remembered if you return. You are not just a number to the people in this industry, owners or managers.

10. The vacation rental offers free parking. Always.

Why rent a room when you can have a whole apartment or house?


vincent said...

nice post, totally agree here, i booked my rental in sanibel over homeaway and over domegos last year and was very happy with it. a hotel would have been much more expensive with less features, i guess that says it all.

Samba said...

thanks, vincent. it would appear that excepting the very short stay, hotels and inns may have lost their relevancy in the vacation industry. one just has to make certain that the vacation rental they choose meets their needs.

Anonymous said...

Well stated. I particularly value your comment about being sure the vacation rental "meets their needs".

Owners like you,who obviously care for your property diligently, there is little risk that a renter will not get what they promise.

Unfortunately, there are some owners whose personal contact with their properties is infrequent. This can result in a rental that is much more attractive on the web than it is upon arrival.

Renters need to ask lots of questions and get satisfaction guarantees. Most of us get only one vacation a year.

Samba said...

Yes, there are never any guarantees (hotel or vacation rental) that you will get exactly what you want.

Good communication is the best solution to avoiding a disappointment.

KARMINA said...


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Warm Regards Team

Samba said...

Great, Karmina. Although not every vacation rental is pet friendly, many like our monthly rental Toucan House, do gladly open their doors to four legged visitors!