Hotels… or vacation rentals? AirBnb or Marriott? It has been the age-old debate between which many travelers argue. Some want to earn and use points while others want extra space.
Personally, I like a balance of rentals and hotels, finding a place for both of them during my travels. While I often lean towards rentals during beach or ski trips, especially trips lasting 7+ days, during short trips or city stays, I mostly lean towards hotels.
The primary drawback, for some, with home rentals is the inability to use points to cover the cost besides a purchase-eraser tool or using cash back. However, I finally was able to use points to book a condo for a trip to Colorado over MLK weekend. Here are some of my thoughts regarding the experience.
This article is part of Chasing Snow: Colorado 2022 Trip Report, including:
It was easy to book. Surprisingly easy. I found a vacation rental on Vacasa.com that was close to Keystone mountain and met our needs. After confirming availability over the phone, the points transferred instantly from Capital One and we booked. In fact, this was easier to book than some hotels I have stayed in in the past. I wrote an article about booking the unit here.
Check-in was convenient. They emailed instructions ahead of time including the key-code to the condo so that upon arrival at 10pm at night, there was no need to stop by an office. We simply entered when we arrived.
It was also nice to have extra space. We had our own bedrooms, with plenty of beds. Additionally, we were able to cook our breakfasts and dinners, which was nice compared to eating out every meal and cost saving.
It is still not as convenient as booking a hotel online since it requires both more intensive research and also calling to book.
The other aspect I did not like as much as a hotel was the cleanliness. Upon arrival, the sheets were stained and compared to a hotel, which would have been able to replace the sheets immediately, waiting until the next day to receive new sheets was a bit inconvenient.
I guess the last point ties into this. The lack of consistency. Some rentals might be exceptional while others are sub-par, but it is hard to understand what you are getting into when renting a condo compared to staying at a chain hotel.
The Last Point
Overall, the space won me over. I really appreciated the ability to cook our own meals and not have to worry about being too crowded with all of our ski gear. Checking in and checking out were almost as convenient as a hotel, however the down side was the slight cleanliness issue. Nonetheless, they rectified this issue.
At the price we paid of 15,000 Capital One /Wyndham points per night, I would gladly do this again over a hotel for a ski vacation and possibly others. I highly recommend remembering the option to use points for a vacation rental when booking lodging on future trips.