Comparing Airbnb vs Hotels in London: What You Need to Know

Hotels vs Airbnb in London: which one should you book for your trip?

When you’re traveling with a family, Airbnb is sometimes a better option because you get more space. But London is always the exception for accommodation – it’s expensive no matter what you do.

So I ran the numbers to find out the definitive answer to the common question: “should you rent an airbnb or hotel in London?”

Which one wins for price? Locations? Amenities? Fees? I pulled real data from real Airbnb and hotel prices in London to find out a definitive answer to this question.

Let’s look at all the pros and cons of Airbnb vs hotels in London and see who comes out on top.

colorful airbnb graphics on one side, colorful hotel graphics on the other side with text: "airbnb vs hotels in london: which one should you book?"

Hotels vs Airbnb in London: Pros and Cons

Should you rent an Airbnb or hotel in London ? Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of each.

✅Airbnb Pros 

  • Access to kitchens and laundry
  • Neighborhood feel
  • More space and more bedrooms for your budget

❌Airbnb Cons

  • High fees (average of 15% of the total, which can be the price of a whole additional night) 
  • Limited recourse if something goes wrong (you’ve heard the Airbnb horror stories) 
  • Privacy and safety, limited oversight by Airbnb 

✅ Hotel Pros

  • Customer service and helpful staff
  • Safety and security
  • Daily cleaning

❌ Hotel Cons

  • Price for family rooms, or needing 2 rooms for a family
  • Lower price point hotels generally aren’t that nice
  • No access to kitchens or laundry 

Should You Rent an Airbnb or Hotel in London? Airbnb vs Hotel Statistics

Let’s look at the average prices of each to see who comes out cheaper.

Airbnb Average Prices in London

My full data charts are at the end of this post if you’d like to see all the numbers. Here are the key takeaways from the average prices of Airbnbs in London.

CHART: airbnb vs hotels in london: average prices of airbnbs in london for basic 1 bed, basic 2 bed, nicer 1 bed, nicer 2 bed and luxury/multiple bedrooms prices. Comparing average airbnb prices in london with average hotel prices in london to find the best value.

Key Takeaways: Airbnb Prices in London

  •  ✅ The most bang for your buck are basic 2 bedroom Airbnbs. The price differences between basic/budget 1 and 2 bedrooms isn’t that much. It’s worth it to spend a tiny bit more to get more bedrooms.
  • If you have a mid-range budget, get 2 beds instead of 1. The price differences between nicer/mid-range 1 and 2 bedrooms is similarly insignificant. For £25 more per night, you can get more bedrooms and more space.
  • The biggest surprise from this data was the price of luxury Airbnbs in London. Let’s compare it to the average price of a luxury hotel below.

Hotel Average Prices in London

My full data charts are at the end of this post if you’d like to see all the numbers. But here are the key takeaways from the average prices of hotels in London.

CHART: average hotel prices in london for budget, mid-range and luxury hotel rooms. comparing airbnb vs hotels in london to find the best rate.

Key Takeaways: Average Hotel Prices in London

Here are the biggest surprises within the average hotel price in London.

  • The budget hotels in London are the lowest priced option you can find for accommodation in London. These include places like Premier Inn, Travelodge, and several others including independent budget hotels.
  • Mid-range hotels may be the best value. These hotels range from 4 star luxury to spacious apartment-like hotel rooms with room for everyone. Some of them even have pools, which are a great perk with hotel stays.
  • You could get a beautiful 3 bedroom flat in Mayfair for about half the price of staying at somewhere like The Savoy, plus you’ll get so much more space for your family travels.

Should You Rent an Airbnb or Hotel in London?

Ultimately this decision comes down to personal preference. But we can learn something from these Airbnb vs hotel statistics.

airbnb vs hotels in london: which is the better place to stay with family? chart comparing budget, mid-range and luxury hotels vs airbnb in london. Best deals highlighted in green and worst deals highlighted in red.

Hotels vs Airbnb in London: The Bottom Line

Here’s everything we learned from the Airbnb vs hotel statistics:

✅ For a family on a budget at the lowest price point, budget hotels are the best deal.

✅ For a family on a budget at a mid-range price point, 3-4 star hotels are the best deal.

✅ For a big budget luxury price point, Airbnbs are the best deal for the amount of space and bedrooms you get.

⭐️Airbnb vs Hotels in London: Key Takeaways ⭐️

From my small sample generating average prices, I came away with some surprising data. Here are the key trips to finding the best places to stay in London with family.

  • ⭐️ Budget hotels are your best bet if you have limited finances for your London trip. Yes, they’re still much more expensive than other cities. When booking a budget hotel, make sure it can accommodate your family without getting a second room.
  • ⭐️ Mid-range hotels vary from super nice – nearly luxury! – to simple and clean. Just choose what is right for your family and pick a central location!
  • ⭐️ For a larger budget, go for a luxury Airbnb. I found some properties I could only dream of living in in London, and you could stay there for a week for HALF the cost of a luxury hotel. Sure, you don’t get room service or a concierge, but if you’re a seasoned traveler who doesn’t need all that fluff, there’s no better deal for staying in London.

Happy London travels!

More on Visiting London: 

London Hotels for Family: 10 Great Values to Book Now

Your Ultimate Guide to a Family Trip to London on a Budget

Printable London Packing List to Save you Money 

How to Get Cheap Train Tickets to and From London

Where to Stay your First time in London

15 Things to Buy in London

Best Free Museums in London

Hotels vs Airbnb in London: FAQ

Should you stay in Airbnb or hotel in London?

The cheapest places to stay in London are budget hotels. When you add the Airbnb fees up, it’s usually much more expensive than a budget hotel (like Premier Inn or Travelodge).

For mid-range budgets, the best deal are 3-4 star London hotels, which are still cheaper than an Airbnb in most cases.

Is Airbnb worth it in London?

It depends on the length of your stay and how many bedrooms you need. But for shorter trips (less than a week), budget and mid-range hotels are a better deal than Airbnbs.

Is it better to stay at a hotel or Airbnb?

For budget and amenities, budget and mid-range hotels are the best deal in London. But if you want a more home-like stay with laundry and separate bedrooms, Airbnb may be a better fit for you.

Why is London Airbnb so expensive?

London property is expensive, to buy and to rent. But the biggest reason that London Airbnb is so expensive is the “90 Day Rule”, which enforces a 90 day limit on rental days (for some properties) per calendar year. This means property owners charge more per day to make up for the booking limitations.

Why avoid Airbnb in London?

Many travelers avoid Airbnb because of the lack of reliability and recourse should something go wrong. Airbnb is also prone to fake listings, so travelers can end up stranded with nowhere to stay.

Usually when you book with a hotel, there is some kind of recourse if they lose your reservation, which can make it a safer and more reliable option.

Are London Airbnbs safe?

Most of London is very safe. But you don’t only need to pay attention to neighborhood when booking Airbnbs in London or anywhere else. You also need to make sure the reservation and property is legitimate, that the property itself is secure, that you have privacy, and that there are no hidden cameras.

Why stay at hotels vs Airbnb in London?

Some reasons why many travelers choose hotels over Airbnbs in London are: safety, security, amenities, helpful staff, privacy, and a better nightly rate without the high Airbnb fees.

Airbnb vs Hotel Statistics: How I Gathered and Analyzed the Data

To get enough data, I had to comb through real hotel and Airbnb listings. I am not a statistician or data analyst, so this set isn’t perfect and the sample is small, but it still gives us some good info.

Airbnb vs Hotel Statistics for London

There are so many that I had to set some parameters. Here’s how I limited my sample: 

  1. I only picked places I would actually stay in. It had to be livable and not weird and creepy.
  2. Enough beds for a family of 4: I limited my search to 1 and 2 bedroom Airbnbs that could sleep a family of 4. For hotels, I only included rooms that had sofa beds or family rooms. 
  3. Location. I only included data for hotels and Airbnbs that are close to Central London. 

My full data chart is at the end of this post.

Airbnb vs Hotels in London: Categories

Since there are so many types of hotels and Airbnbs, I had to narrow it down into categories. 

For Airbnb, I created 5 categories for traveling with family: basic 1 bedroom, basic 2 bedroom, nicer 1 bedroom, nicer 2 bedroom, and luxury multiple bedrooms (there weren’t enough listings for luxury 1 and 2 bedrooms, so I combined the luxury category into one). 

For hotels I applied the same categories: budget, mid-range, and high end (luxury). Since hotels don’t have bedrooms in the same way Airbnbs do, I filtered my results to only rooms that could have an occupancy of 4. 

For pricing consistency, I pulled all data for accommodation available in the same 4 days in February, which is generally a lower to mid-range price point for time of year in London. Summer prices will be higher averages, and I hope to run that data soon.

I filtered Airbnbs to only include ones I would actually stay in (legit reviews, clean, livable, not too far out of Central London). I estimated an average fee of 15% and included it in the total, as Airbnb fees can add up significantly.

Basic 1 BedBasic 2+ BedNicer 1 BedNicer 2+ BedLuxury
158222253258592
127179275234495
183156193407449
151188227156468
157195261333547
182191183211615
150159258402564
203127239440695
155151156274411
169203333236683
181150211253427
148157407413602
173169236253594
108108402459595
151181440193633
197200274222672
144171253316520
176222316261564
AVG: 161.83AVG: 173.83AVG: 273.16AVG: 295.61AVG: 562.55
plus 15% feesplus 15%plus 15%plus 15%plus 15%
24.27/day26.07/day40.94/day44.34/day84.30/day
£186.1£199.9£314.13£339.95£646.3
Chart of data for average Airbnb prices in London

Airbnb vs Hotel Statistics: Average Hotel Price in London

I filtered these nightly rates for only hotels that could hold a family of 4 in one room (i.e. sofa bed, family suite, etc.). My sample was from the same 4-day stretch in February as the Airbnb sample, which is a low to mid-range season for tourism. Summer averages will be higher, and I hope to pull more data soon.

Budget Hotel (1&2 stars)Mid-Range (3-4 Stars)Luxury
1301951005
1723281137
189206657
1682121272
1373241380
171213612
158248738
160325840
168247868
1881471047
1853061115
2043651217
1492581141
145313646
116339400
1453831000
1522801868
1133701452
£158.33£281.05£1021.94
Chart of Data for Average Hotel prices in London

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