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Hotel, Pension or Apartment?

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In some destinations we offer a selection of vacation apartment rentals, pensions and a choice of boutique and design hotels, so one of the questions we often get asked is whether we recommend guests stay in a hotel, pension or apartment. The answer is usually “it depends”. So to help you make up your mind we’ve listed the plus points of each.

Advantages of staying in an apartment

  • Better Value for Money – We have a variety of different sized apartments on our books, some large enough for up to 8 people. An apartment for 8 will work out a lot cheaper than multiple hotel rooms. Living rooms give you somewhere to gather too, rather than everyone crowding into a hotel room. Apartments are usually furnished, decorated and equipped to a high standard, giving you four star luxury for a three star price.
  • All mod cons – Most of our apartments have well equipped kitchens so you can cook for yourself, handy if you have special dietary needs that mean it’s hard to find somewhere to eat. You can also have breakfast when it suits you. Many also have washing machines or washer dryers so you can pack less clothes.
  • Space – Apartments are usually significantly larger than hotel rooms, with a living room providing a place to relax.
  • Privacy – Many apartments don’t have a reception desk so you have total privacy to come and go as you please.
  • Unique features – We try to choose properties that have something interesting about them so you will often find apartments that have a balcony or private terraces, even shared pools in some locations, things you often don’t get with city hotels. By their nature apartments have a more unique feel than an identikit hotel room too.
  • Feel like a local – There’s an inescapable feeling that you’re “living” in a place if you stay in an apartment. Come and go as you please, stock the fridge up and make yourself at home.

Advantages of staying in a hotel

  • Turn down service – Your bed gets made for you every day and the room cleaned. With an apartment, cleaning service isn’t daily, unless you pay extra.
  • Breakfast made for you – Whether it’s included in the price or not, you don’t have to make your own breakfast.
  • Concierge – Many hotels have a concierge who can point you in the right direction for anything you’re looking for. Of course for many of our destinations the Free Traveler Mobile Phone we supply means you’re just a call away from one of our destination experts but sometimes you just need someone to point you in the right direction as you go out the front door.
  • Room service – Sometimes you just feel like being lazy and having your food brought to your room. That’s not quite as simple to do if you’re staying at an apartment. (Though we can always hook you up with the details of a nearby restaurant that delivers.)

What about a pension?

Pensions are similar to what Americans call a bed & breakfast, they combine some aspects of apartments and hotels. They are often small, family run establishments, smaller than a hotel and there’s usually not a reception desk – you get a key to the main door as well as your room. Your room will likely be simply furnished, with no cooking facilities (or minibar) and maid service is less frequent than a hotel; you may have to specifically request the room be made up. Some may provide breakfast, either on the premises or at a local café or restaurant.

Still not sure?

As you can see, it all depends on your priorities. If you’re still wondering what’s right for your vacation, get in touch for a chat and we’ll set you up with the perfect vacation digs.

1 thought on “Hotel, Pension or Apartment?”

  1. I think apartments are a great choice while traveling. As the article mentioned, they give you plenty of room for quite a few people and can offer luxury living for about half the price of a hotel. Plus, you’ll have a full kitchen to cook your own meals in, so you save money by not eating out as well.


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