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Is the rise of Air BnB forcing hotels to act smarter?

Is the rise of Air BnB forcing hotels to act smarter?

Old Jan 27, 17, 8:00 am
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Is the rise of Air BnB forcing hotels to act smarter?

Bit of a strange one this, but as a father of three, we have great fun when we travel trying to find room configurations that work for us.

However it seems I've started to notice more (chain) hotels - especially Hilton - coming back with rooms that sleep 5, often at relatively keen prices.

Just wondering if that's coincidence or whether the hotel industry is finally making an effort, blocking out rooms with connecting doors as "family suites".
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Old Jan 27, 17, 1:50 pm
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I haven't noticed this myself, but if true it would be a welcome trend indeed. We just became a family of 5 a few months ago and finding hotels for our upcoming vacations has become much more difficult. We've already booked airbnb and other vacation rentals for 2/3 of our 2017 trips, with the remainder being at Residence Inn's or the occasional, affordable "family suite" you mentioned. It makes sense that hotels would try to respond now that family's have more options.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 2:59 pm
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Agree, that would be a nice trend.
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Old Jan 28, 17, 3:21 am
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Originally Posted by Big4Flyer View Post
I haven't noticed this myself, but if true it would be a welcome trend indeed. We just became a family of 5 a few months ago and finding hotels for our upcoming vacations has become much more difficult. We've already booked airbnb and other vacation rentals for 2/3 of our 2017 trips, with the remainder being at Residence Inn's or the occasional, affordable "family suite" you mentioned. It makes sense that hotels would try to respond now that family's have more options.
Must admit we love the Residence Inn/Homewood Suites format when we're travelling across the Atlantic. Very little like that in Europe, especially that will sleep 5
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Old Jan 28, 17, 4:28 am
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I use AirBnB a lot in Europe with my family of four precisely because most hotels don't have rooms that allow more than 3 people, even though they are the same size as their chain equivalents in the USA that allow 4.
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Old Jan 29, 17, 3:29 am
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I live in France and have three children.

We were okay when we were four plus a baby in a crib. Once she outgrew baby beds, we were out of luck.

If I'm in with my husband, it's okay because we can book two separate rooms but alone, it's tricky. I've stayed in hostels with bunks just to be in the same room with my kids.

B&B's in the U.K. were a good option but those aren't big on the continent.

Airbnb is the solution although we have been burned a couple of times. A guy in New York cancelled on us and we ended up in an illegal rental in Paris, 5 floors up without an elevator, the "owner" forgot to mention. It's definitely buyer beware!
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Old Jan 30, 17, 7:23 am
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Yes, we've found AirBnB is usually the best option now. Second best is Homewood Suites. Next up is Residence Inn. The Starwood Element hotels sometimes have good suites, but it's a small chain.

We've been in Taiwan and China for the past two months, and most of our stay has been in AirBnBs -- 3 of them. We stayed in 4 different hotels for a day or two at a time here and there, and the level of discomfort in the hotels vs. the AirBnB accommodations was significant...

Sometimes it'd be all 4 of us in one room, with my husband and I each in a separate bed with one of our boys, because they'll never fall asleep if they're together.

Another time it was me in a king bed in one room while my husband worked all night (his clients are in the US) in another room. I was in a king bed with each boy on a side, and the little one's pull-up leaked, but there was nothing I could do about it without disrupting the other kid, so my arm was in a damp spot half the night. :/

Connecting rooms are rare in Asia and hit and miss everywhere else.

Oh- and Asian hotels seem to have all gone to bathrooms with windows looking into the bedroom. There's a shade you can lower, but it still lets light in. So if someone has to use the restroom in the night, light streams in on everyone else -- and there's no option for the parents to hang out in the bathroom while the kids drift off to sleep, either (not that that's very ideal anyway).

We have only used hotels when there was no AirBnB option, or when there was a convenient hotel for which we could redeem points. When points are an option, free trumps AirBnB.

The biggest contrast, though, was when we stayed in Anaheim in a 5 bedroom house with a pool, enormous, fully outfitted kitchen, giant living room with DVD library, etc. walking distance to Disneyland for less than a single standard hotel room at the Sheraton. We could see the fireworks from our backyard. I had a kitchen to make breakfast and pack lunches for us to take into the park to save even more money, versus having to buy meals -- and the groceries were even delivered for free. This was a no-brainer.

The hotel industry really needs to wake up and get with it, because AirBnB is going to start eating their lunch for nonbusiness travelers. And if AirBnB figures out how to attract the business travelers with options that can appeal to them, like gigabit internet, printers and other office needs, meal service or some way to facilitate breakfasts, dry cleaning, and other concierge-type services, or frequent stay benefits, corporate accounts or some type of arrangement with Amex Travel, then the hotels are really going to to be SOL. I think it's only a matter of time.
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Old Jan 31, 17, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by swise View Post
Connecting rooms are rare in Asia and hit and miss everywhere else.
That's interesting because when we've been in SE Asia I've found hotels all too happy to guarantee connecting rooms at the time of reservation (assuming they have them). Unfortunately in Europe and the US it's rare that they will guarantee, but I've just been able to strong arm a Novotel in Amsterdam to guarantee connecting rooms for us in the summer.

The hotel industry really needs to wake up and get with it, because AirBnB is going to start eating their lunch for nonbusiness travelers. And if AirBnB figures out how to attract the business travelers with options that can appeal to them, like gigabit internet, printers and other office needs, meal service or some way to facilitate breakfasts, dry cleaning, and other concierge-type services, or frequent stay benefits, corporate accounts or some type of arrangement with Amex Travel, then the hotels are really going to to be SOL. I think it's only a matter of time.
Interesting perspective. Again I know of people who travel to London on business and will stay in an AirBnB rather than a hotel as the numbers are so favourable.
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Old Feb 5, 17, 6:38 am
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Another plus AirBnb has over hotels for families (although there can be exceptions...) isolation!

I had a child who had night terrors, once in a hotel room. Forget dramatic stories! What about just a crying baby? Who has felt self-conscience when their baby cried in the middle of the night, knowing other hotel guests were just a few yards away?

Hotel rooms aren't isolated for sound like individual apartments would be, let along booking an entire house.

Now I have a new problem because mine are now teens. My son is 187cm (6'2") and my daughter is 178cm or 5'10". They need decent sized beds! Obviously my husband and I aren't small either so squishing us all together is really a bad idea.

The youngest is still little, having not hit her growth spurt yet so she's put on the fold-out or smallest bed.
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Old Feb 15, 17, 10:04 am
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I'm on the same page as a lot of people here now that I travel with my wife and two young children.

What I find a little frustrating is the lack of standard terminology used for describing suites. I'm tired of studios billed as suites. "Suite" should only be used when there is a separate bedroom, not just a divider separating the living area from the bed. The latter is for the most part useless when travelling with children.

I like the certainty of a hotel over the bag of surprises that AirBnB/VRBO sometimes delivers, but it's hard to argue with the prices. When travelling with my family, I'll take a condo over a standard hotel room any day.
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Old Feb 15, 17, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by heraclitus View Post
What I find a little frustrating is the lack of standard terminology used for describing suites. I'm tired of studios billed as suites. "Suite" should only be used when there is a separate bedroom, not just a divider separating the living area from the bed. The latter is for the most part useless when travelling with children.
No kidding, I've noticed that both Choice and Best Western are terrible when it comes to this. How is a little 2 foot long divider between the couch and bed enough to turn a room into a suite?
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Old Feb 15, 17, 4:37 pm
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We are family of 4. It's fine in US, however when we go overseas, we often find 3 person max occupancy per room .
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Old May 24, 17, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Vaucluse View Post
We are family of 4. It's fine in US, however when we go overseas, we often find 3 person max occupancy per room .
Yeah, I'm trying to figure out a Japan trip and finding a place that sleeps 4 (officially) is darn near impossible unless you pay like $500/night
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Old May 25, 17, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by Vaucluse View Post
We are family of 4. It's fine in US, however when we go overseas, we often find 3 person max occupancy per room .
It's so frustrating trying to find a hotel in Stockholm that can accommodate 4, and sometimes 3!

Fortunately, the Clarion Arlanda offers family rooms with a double bed and two roll aways. It's reasonably priced, and it's attached to the airport--which is helpful when you have early morning flights and two tired kids. We actually check-in with the airline at 6am, go back to the hotel to have breakfast, then check-out of the hotel and go directly to the gate.

For a very long time, the Radisson Sky City at Arlanda had family rooms, but you couldn't book online, and the rates were very high. Once the Clarion moved in, you could finally book family rooms online; and this is probably the second year their rates are actually competitive with Clarion (within a few percentage points as opposed to 20-30%).
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Old May 25, 17, 1:33 pm
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Many hotels have rooms that can accommodate 3 (and sometimes - though rarely 4) that are not visible to the online reservation system. In the UK e.g. family rooms are very common but often not available online.

Japan is more difficult because of often very small room sizes. Booking 2 rooms may give you a better deal.

If you find a property you like - always email or call to ask for options.
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