I’m a huge fan of self-catering accommodation when I’m travelling in Europe but there are some occasions when a hotel is a far better choice for me. It may be because I’m only staying for a night or two or because I’m travelling alone and prefer the security of knowing someone is on duty at reception 24 hours a day. Before deciding whether to stay in a hotel or an apartment there are a few pros and cons I mull over.
The Pros of a Hotel Stay In Europe
- Can provide a more secure feel for solo travellers, particularly if there’s a 24 hour reception desk
- The concierge can provide lots of recommendations for where to eat, what to see, how to get around, etc.
- Breakfast is usually available in the hotel’s restaurant and is often included in the room price
- With so many hotels to choose from, you can find one close to public transport and/or the attractions you wish to visit
- A housekeeping service means fresh towels and your bed made each day
- For short stays (one or two nights) hotels are ideal
The Cons of a Hotel Stay
- Hotel rooms in Europe are often quite small leaving little room to move around
- Most hotel rooms in Europe accommodate a maximum of three guests meaning families need to book two (or more) rooms.
- If breakfast is not included in the room rate it can be very expensive and you can expect to pay at least EUR15 per person
- Not all hotels in Europe provide tea/coffee making facilities or a fridge
- All meals must be purchased as there’s no cooking facilities
- Usually no laundry facilities on-site so you need to pay for external laundry/ironing services
- Parking can be expensive
Note: When I refer to an Apartment stay, the same pros and cons generally apply to holiday homes and cottage stays.
The Pros of an Apartment Stay in Europe
- Can be more cost effective for families or two couples
- More space than a hotel room
- No set times for breakfast
- A fully-equipped kitchen or kitchenette gives you the freedom to cook your own meals, saving you money
- ‘Live like a local’ by shopping where the locals shop.
- Often apartments and holiday homes are rented out directly by their owners (you can browse a range of Australian-owned properties in Europe here) giving you the opportunity to speak personally with the owner before you arrive. This offers some assurance that the property is legitimate and your money is being paid to real person
The Cons of an Apartment Stay
- A minimum stay is usually required. This can range from four nights to seven nights and some owners only accept bookings on a Saturday to Saturday basis
- Not always close to public transport so a rental car may be required
- No maid service to make the beds and wash the dishes!
Other styles of accommodation that you could consider for your European holiday include holiday parks and B&Bs.
Do you have a preference for a hotel or apartment stay? I'd love to hear your pros and cons in the comments below.