Should I stay in an Airbnb, hotel, or bed and breakfast when visiting Newfoundland?

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AirBNB vs. Hotel – Which one is better?

Airbnb has been around for a short amount of time. Launched in 2008, and partly founded by Elon Musk, Airbnb was the first company to disrupt the short term rental marketplace and start offering consumers alternatives to booking directly with bed and breakfasts, hotels, and motels. Before Airbnb, consumers had little choice when it came to short term rentals, especially outside big city centers. If you were visiting St. John’s, for example, and looking for a short term rental before the inception of Airbnb, you would be lucky to find a dozen options, and if you wanted to stay just outside of the city of St. John’s, say in Witless Bay, your options would be further limited. 
Today the consumer looking for short term rentals has hundreds of options. They can choose to book a stay on a platform like Airbnb or check-in at a hotel or bed and breakfast, but what’s the best choice? There are a lot of great reasons to stay at a bed and breakfast or hotel that you’re familiar with, and booking directly with the guesthouse, hotel, or bed and breakfast you plan on staying at can help avoid confusion. 

If I book a place in Newfoundland through Airbnb will I have to stay with a stranger in their home?

For many people who are used to staying in hotels or traditional bed and breakfasts, the thought of booking through a platform like Airbnb may not appeal to them since often Airbnb is associated with staying in someone else’s home. For many, this unknown, along with any preconceived ideas they may have can make them shy away from staying at an Airbnb. While it’s true some Airbnb listings are for shared spaces where you and another person share a common space, like when a host is renting out an extra room in their apartment, but this is not always the case. You find all types of listings on Airbnb, from shared spaces to private suites, entire homes, mobile homes, treehouses, and just about anything else you can imagine. You can find every style of short term rental on Airbnb.

The Entrance to the Blue Whale Suite
The Entrance to the Blue Whale Suite

Can I book a bed and breakfast through Airbnb?

Because platforms like Airbnb do such a good job at matching guests and hosts, Airbnb has become a powerful catalyst for anyone looking to buy and sell short term accommodations. Most bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and hotels also promote their services through Airbnb. Rates can often be better when booking directly with the hotel or bed and breakfast as opposed to using a third party platform like Airbnb, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes you will find a hotel or bed and breakfast advertising their rooms for less per night on Airbnb than if you book directly with the bed and breakfast or hotel. Today, if you’re price sensitive and focused on a specific property, searching across multiple platforms will help you find the best deal.

There are so many listings on Airbnb, how do I know which one to choose?

With so much content on Airbnb choosing a property can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t know anything about the area or the property itself. This is where the reviews come in. Established Airbnb hosts will have a lot of reviews you can read, all from former guests.

Unlike a hotel, where you’re relying on the general reputation of a particular brand, Airbnb lets you read real reviews from guests that have actually stayed at the property you’re considering. Choosing a property with lots of great reviews almost always means you’re making a good choice.

I’ve seen a lot of stories in the media about Airbnb – What if my Airbnb isn’t as described?

Airbnb does a pretty good job at standing behind their product, offering numerous protections to guests and hosts alike. They offer free insurance to hosts, customer satisfaction guarantees to guests, and 24-hour customer support, When it comes to short term rental platforms, Airbnb’s protections are quite robust and their customer service is overall pretty great.

Choices, Choices, Choices
Choices, Choices, Choices

What’s better about booking directly with a hotel instead of using Airbnb?

Often times if you book directly with a hotel, bed and breakfast, or guesthouse, you will get a better rate on your booking compared with booking through Airbnb since when you book directly with a hotel or bed and breakfast, the business does not have to pay for their portion of Airbnb fees, letting them pass the savings onto you. Booking directly with the bed and breakfast or hotel also gives you a chance to ask for an additional discount and negotiate, something you can’t do through Airbnb.

What’s better about booking through Airbnb as opposed to a hotel, bed and breakfast, or guesthouse?

You open yourself up to more options when you include a platform like Airbnb as a tool to help you source short term rentals. You also get to take advantage of some of Airbnb’s perks and guarantees.
Ultimately it’s about finding the Newfoundland vacation home or east coast short term rental that fits you perfectly. There is no magic solution to finding the perfect spot, but tools like Airbnb can help you along. Reading reviews, looking at photos, and taking the time to read descriptions are all great ways to ensure you find the perfect short term rental match. As always, we just want you to be happy.

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Whale House Guest House offers luxury boutique private suites with outdoor hot tubs overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds. Located next to the east coast trail in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, just 30 min from downtown St. John’s.

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