In recent times, it has become quite popular among travelers, to rent what they call “vacation rentals”, which refers to homes available for rent for days, weeks or even months, should you be lucky enough to have a couple of months of vacation time available to you! Simply put, you get to rent the property during your vacation time instead of renting a hotel room, hostel or bed and breakfast.
This has become a common practice around the world and surely Costa Rica house rentals have become very popular as well. As one might expect, most of the vacation rental properties are located at the beach, however, you might be surprised at the large amount of apartments actually available around the city as well.
Now you may be wondering which option is best, staying in a hotel room or renting a vacation home? Here’s our two cents about the subject, based on our own experience however, trying to keep in mind different points view as well.
VACATION RENTAL HOMES vs HOTEL ROOMS?
Pros about staying in a hotel (traditional approach)
- Human Contact: when you get to a Hotel, you are greeted by the reception person and you get some guideless around the hotel mostly, but you get to ask about the area and whatever other questions you may have.
In contrast, when you rent a vacation house, many times someone will deliver your new temporary home and you are on your own (although sometimes the owner may greet you and show you around. If this is important to you, you better ask!)
- Food service: most hotels have at least a small restaurant which truthfully is quite convenient.
In contrast, you get a fully equipped kitchen and an empty refrigerator! You better get to the local supermarket soon.
Pros about staying in a vacation rental (modern approach)
- Privacy: if you rent a house, the whole house is just for you and your friends and family or whatever party you travel with. As opposed to hotels, you will not be sharing your space with 10 or, 50 or, 100 other people.
It is important to mention is that although –as mentioned before– you can rent an entire house just for yourself, there are also some vacation rentals which offer the option to share, sort of like a bed and breakfast, where you rent a room and share the rest of the house. This option is very popular among travelers working with a tight budget.
- You get to cook your own meals: if you are your favorite chef, vacation rentals are a great option. The great majority will have a full kitchen available just for you.
In contrast, most hotel rooms only offer the very basic, like the tiny fridge with generally very expensive tiny bags of chips and mini bottles of alcohol.
What about the cost
This is difficult to measure because every case is unique, however, generally speaking, if you travel in a group (any number higher than 2 people) most likely vacation rentals will be more affordable than hotel room for the following reasons:
- Although convenient, eating out can get very pricey. The fact that you get to cook your meals will save you lots of cash.
- If you get to divide the cost of the vacation home between all the travelers, it will turn out to be much cheaper than renting a hotel room. In some instances dramatically cheaper.
So these are a few ways to analyze what works best for you and your travel companions. It will all depend on your personality of course and where you feel more comfortable: do you like crowds or do you prefer private spaces? Do you like to cook or do you hate it? Are you traveling in groups, with kids or alone? …Etc.
We hope this helps, every trip is wonderfully different so just check your options and pick what works best for you.
Have a wonderful time in Costa Rica!