Hotels vs Airbnb

An Interesting Battle Is everyone having a love affair with Airbnb? This “a place for a good deal” company is a rapidly growing big deal in the travel industry and is the biggest competition to the hotel industry.

Is everyone having a love affair with Airbnb? This “a place for a good deal” company is a rapidly growing big deal in the travel industry and is the biggest competition to the hotel industry. Given a choice between a hotel stay and an Airbnb home, the majority of people would pick a hotel every time. From the beginning, hotels are built around the visitor. From interior design to facilities and services. Airbnb’s are often adapted from private homes. At the beginning of the Airbnb phenomenon, why did people prefer to pick a hotel stay versus Airbnb accommodation? In a word, services. Services guarantee tourists and any business traveler a pleasant stay without any muss and fuss.

What is an Airbnb? Basically, it is another form of a hotel, but it’s most likely someone’s own home or their own apartment (given out for rentals).

However, when it comes down to an Airbnb vs. Hotel, more and more people opt nowadays for an Airbnb, because it’s cheaper and offers more flexibility. Airbnb’s tend to cost less than hotels while offering more space and flexible check-ins and check-outs. The basic cost saving factor is just one of many reasons why Airbnb’s are getting trendier than hotels. There are many reasons why Airbnb is better than a hotel. But is this true? Will hotels be out or is there a healthy balance between the two?

Let’s look at Airbnb facts:

  • Airbnb’s often offer a kitchen and therefore the option to eat in. This means customers have to go grocery shopping. So, from one side, this is much cheaper than being forced to go to restaurants all the time and dining out. It also gives the client the chance to experience the shopping aspect of the local life, and go to delicious local markets.
  • By staying in an Airbnb, you get an idea of the local lifestyle. The feeling of living in “your own flat” inspires you to become more like the locals.
  • The Airbnb host can provide local tips.
  • Big family or friend groups can stay in Airbnb’s, which means that there is no need for extra rooms as you would need it, in case a group would want to travel together. Again, this attractive cost saving option attracts more and more people to use Airbnb’s, especially when a group of friends or family are planning a trip. Or, some events or parties are planned, like someone’s bachelorette party, birthday parties or any other events attended by a group of people. Therefore, Airbnb’s are very much loved by the young generation who cannot afford hotel prices.
  • Searching for an Airbnb can often require more research and time. Hotels have visible addresses that are easy to look up and find. Airbnb often provide an estimated location that is not immediately clear to pin point whether its location is optimal. One has to read the description and trust the hosts words and estimates. (Airbnb)
  • There are good surprises and bad surprises. Reviews of hotels and Airbnb’s can vary but more often than not, hotels have a lot more reviews to base a decision. Many Airbnb’s are newly and recently listed with few reviews and sometimes few pictures.

We understand that Airbnb’s are mainly attractive from a price point. They offer customers to dive into the local world from a different perspective to discover the real lifestyle and to socialize more with the locals. This is fun when it comes to a young generation who a) cannot afford hotel prices to discover a city or country b) want to organize events or stay with several friends or the family c) want easy going when it comes to traveling and are open to take care of everything like in an own “home”.

Advantages of Hotels over Airbnb

Hotels have their advantages and unique selling points that guarantee their importance to the travel industry. Let’s look at a few points of how hotels are unbeatable. Here are a few reasons why clients should rather opt for Hotels than for Airbnbs:

  • Hotels are not meant to be home-sharing, so you keep your independence, while benefiting from common food and beverage, hospitality, Gym, Spas and many other services.
  • Hotels offer a safer and less complicated solution, when it comes to travel circumstances like: delayed flights and your arrival is very late, public transportation, taxis, buses or any option of help that isn’t available to reach to your destination in time. At this point, the easiest thing to do is to then get a hotel. When using an Airbnb, these circumstances might make it very difficult to get to your Airbnb destination and check-in, in time. Meanwhile, hotels are generally easy to find and you have the availability to check in 24/7, at whatever time you might arrive. Additionally, if unforeseen changes occur to your Airbnb, booking another Airbnb on the same day can be difficult. Relying on the Airbnb host to accommodate same day requests quickly could be unlikely.
  • Consistent quality: A few unlucky guests have complained that Airbnbs that hosted them were quite different from the experience they had seen on their listings. Hotels’ quality doesn’t waver; what you see on the brochures is likely what hotels give in real life.
  • For clients, being on a business trip, a hotel is more convenient and comfortable when it comes to practicalities and services. A business individual will not have time to iron his shirt himself before a meeting, or cook himself lunch. He will also not be interested in local discoveries being on a rather professional mission. Airbnb’s will not offer the suitable services that a business client will require. Meanwhile a hotel offers all the services and comfort required, to meet the needs of a business client by easing his stay the best possible way. No time needed to look after the room, clean up behind himself or do the kitchen before checking out.
  • One major advantage is that a hotel will usually offer even business options like conference rooms or other facilities for meetings, trade shows and conventions, that an Airbnb won’t have.
  • Even so called “high maintenance” people, being used to luxury and dolce vita, will prefer a hotel, where they can drop their bags just after arrival and run to the beach or to simply have fun wandering around without any responsibility as the hotel takes care of everything.
  • Easier cancellation process: Hotels have a more flexible cancellation process than an Airbnb. This makes it easier for guests to commit to hotel bookings knowing that they have a higher chance of backing out with hotels.
  • And let’s be honest, the world of hotels and its beauty, let us dream and make us feel welcomed and enjoy our holiday in the most magical way!
  • Hotels are usually optimally located, near tourist attractions and well connected to transportation and main roads. Airbnb’s can often be found in residential areas that are not immediately easy to get around without a car. Secure parking is also not necessarily guaranteed by an Airbnb.
  • With hotel brands one can often choose and know what to expect in terms of quality, service and feel of a hotel. Travelling to multiple different countries, one may prefer to stick to a brand that one knows that guarantees a consistent experience.
  • Airbnb’s often require large security deposits in comparison to Hotels. There are also often additional cleaning fees with Airbnb’s that are already priced into a Hotel room. With hotel prices, what you see is what you get. With Airbnb, there are usually additional add-on expenses.
  • Communication with Airbnb hosts may not always be reliable. Often times the communications are done via texts and there is no immediate phone number to call. If something goes wrong, there is no front desk, reception or management to talk to that can accommodate your request immediately. For a quick check-in and check-out, Hotels can also be much more reliable.
  • With Airbnb, one often has to rely on the availability dates of the home. If a place is available it is centered around the home and host and not the guests schedule. Dates may not be suitable. One often has to book an Airbnb months in advance and schedule a trip around the homes availability to get the place.
  • With hotels one can usually rest assured that it can be booked days in advance or even on the day of arrival. If one doesn’t plan well ahead and isn’t quick enough to book an Airbnb home, it may be gone and one likely has to look all over again for another place. Then one place may have the right location but isn’t as charming and another place is charming but not in a good location. With hotels, one can usually find the perfect balance.
  • Hotels usually offer better security, surveillance and valet services which Airbnb’s cannot often match. With a hotel one can be mostly assured that the premises are secured and that there are staff around in case help is needed.

These are only a few of many good reasons, why it would make sense to rather use a hotel than Airbnb.

Who is the winner? To make a long story short, both! And it depends pretty much on the clients’ personal choices and needs.

Whether a stunning hotel or a nice Airbnb Apartment, both options can work perfectly and are actually complementary other than really competitive.

What is your choice?

Get in touch to plan a sales strategy for your hotel. If you want to receive the latest deals, please subscribe to our newsletter below.

T +41 (0)61 564 07 40

Interview with our Founder and CEO, Monica Fontoura

Interview for the IMMO’21 Swiss Property Fair Hotel investments for a better time after the pandemic.

Hotel investments for a better time after the pandemic

What is Alpinea?
We are a Swiss hotel brokerage and advisory company. Alpinea sources hotel real estate assets by consulting with hotel property owners, partners or investors and presents these projects off-market to Swiss and global investors for acquisition.

You just mentioned projects “Off-market”, can you explain what this means?
Sure. This is basically about privacy and confidentiality. Normally no hotel owner wants to disclose that his hotel is for sale, for several reasons: staff can get discouraged, customers may think that it has problems, and the asset price goes down. On the other hand, investors or organizations that want to buy a hotel may not want to advertise it openly. That is why both sellers and buyers use the off-market sales channel, where confidentiality is ensured and only when the transaction is made do they choose whether to make it public.

Why should a Hotelier choose you, I mean, what makes Alpinea different from other commercial real estate agencies?
We really are specialists in this industry and know how to evaluate a hotel beyond its balance sheet. I trained in hospitality at the Glion Institute of Higher Education, and our collaborators are all experienced in this field. Being in Switzerland also means relationships with credible financial institutions. From here, we reach international markets in Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Why would I choose to invest my money in an off-market hotel?
Because now is the right time to find opportunities for great future profitability which will also bring social and economic sustainability at a local and global level.

What was the real impact of the pandemic on your business?
Huge. On one hand, the number of available properties has grown significantly, and we’ve had to grow our team as well, also to support independent hotels, which often do not know how to reach investors. We have worked hard in 2020, and it is nice to see how we are being recognized internationally in this market as a serious and reliable partner.

Where do you see your company in the future?
I want Alpinea to continue bridging the gap between the hospitality and the finance and wealth management services industry. There’s a huge opportunity here, and I think hospitality has much to offer to investors. People still want to come together, to travel and experience the world. This year we’ve learned how important that is to us. So, in the post-pandemic world, I’m sure there will be a period of fast growth, where resources that are now sitting idly on the side will be looking for areas of investment. Alpinea will be ready to help those resources come to the hospitality industry.

Stücki Village
Hochbergerstr. 70
4057 Basel
T +41 (0)61 564 07 40

Seller’s Guide

Everything you need to know before selling your Assets.

All things involved in the process of planning the disposal of a hotel such as how the sales price can ensure correct market value, the timing to sell, choosing the right agent and marketing strategies need to be considered carefully.

Hotels and resorts are usually sold as operational entities. Therefore, often all operational agreements continue, new bookings, equipment hire, and staff contracts may remain. This particularity gives hotel sales it’s uniqueness that in many cases leads to added value in the investment in the long term.

Generally, the public is unaware of any deals taking place worldwide to prevent any disturbance in the service provided by hotels and is absolutely vital to both the buyer and the seller if the property is to continue trading as well as it should. As the income earned from the hotel remains with the seller until it is transferred, it’s vital to find investors that are committed to profit from their investment.

It is always worth considering franchising agreements clauses. On a managed property is worth diving deep in the data room and looking for opportunities that an investor might have to improve revenue.

The first step is for the owner and their agent to determine what is actually required, and then to agree on fees and the terms and conditions of the instruction. A different approach may bring more value from the asset. It might be that holding the property for a short while to have changes made to the business to allow the property to be sold for significantly more.

It is fundamental that the terms of the agreement between the owner and the agent are agreed in the best way, normally it will be an off-market transaction, and initial due diligence to ensure the property will attract potential buyers is made. Opportunities to enhance trade will be discovered or potential solutions can be considered to ensure the maximum financial outcome.

The data room, including details on the title (preferably a report on the title), statutory documentation (including planning records), financial records, and employment data need to be reviewed.  Any licenses, subleases, or agreements with third-party operators will also be reviewed for their impact on the potential profitability, Any treasure hunting opportunities should be sought and considered as to how they will best help sell the property.

The disposal method and process will be agreed together with the specific marketing strategy. Potential buyers will be discussed in detail, with a specific plan designed and followed by the parties. A ‘guide price’, may be considered at this point.


This involves the production of any marketing material and preparing an online area where access can be granted to specific parties so they can fully evaluate the opportunity, while still retaining a level of confidentiality for the seller.

Typically, it will include legal documentation (leases, title documentation, operating agreements, statutory licenses and consents), financial reports (with full historic and budget management accounts), a property’s details (floor plans, surveys, reports, valuations, photographs), general market information (data on the local area and local market) and employment sector details (staff details and sample contracts)

In the best-case scenario to determine which offer is the most favourable to the seller is the highlight of the process. This may be the highest offer, the quickest or the offer that has the least risk, only offers from reliable sources have to be considered.

Typically, the seller will provide an exclusivity period to the purchaser, while they work through the due diligence for financial, legal, valuation, and condition. This will involve one party spending significant amounts of money on due diligence and is only usually possible when a property is particularly desirable to investors.

The next stage is to exchange contracts with an agreed completion date. There will usually be a stock audit on the day of handover, with an additional sum paid on the basis of actual stock, prior to the completion of the final deposit.

Agent’s Perspective of the sale

  • Determine the scope of work

  • Visit the property and agree on sales strategy upon documentation review

  • Agree on asking price

  • Produce marketing collateral

  • Prepare data room

  • Select potential buyers that look for the exact type of investment

  • Provide an exclusivity period

  • Help through due diligence process (legal, financial, valuation, condition)

  • Exchange contracts

  • Complete the transfer

lt is important for anyone involved in the hotel business to have an understanding of the various factors that will determine how much money their hotel could sell for when assessing value it is important to focus on the bigger picture, anything that positively impacts these three factors will help enhance the potential sale price:

  • Profits

  • Purchaser willingness to pay for the type of hotel

  • Infrastructure and renovations

If the property has a higher alternative-use value and the seller has taken steps to open up the opportunity, by gaining planning consent for a change of use and undertaking an independent feasibility study for renovation, then the offers received are more likely to reflect this additional value.

Get in touch to plan a sales strategy for your hotel. If you want to receive the latest deals, please subscribe to our newsletter below.

Should I sell my Hotel?

We are here to help you make the best decision.

During this turbulent time, you are probably finding yourself thinking: Should I sell my Hotel? We can help you: The answer is yes!

During this turbulent time, you are probably finding yourself thinking: Should I sell my Hotel? We can help you: The answer is yes!

Why? Is simple! If, on the one hand, you are thinking of selling your hotel to obtain an immediate cash flow to invest in new projects and ensure support for your legacy, there are an enormous number of investors looking for new business opportunities. Right now investors want to allocate their capital to long-term investments. Your hotel can be the perfect fit for them!

A moment like this should be seen as a challenge and not an obstacle!

This unexpected turn of events in the world will be a turning point for the Hospitality Market. This is the perfect time for you to make a decision and take the next step into an enthusiastically new phase of your life.

Elements to be considered:

  • Price

The price must be fair taking into account the hotel market and its guidelines. The fairer the price, the faster the hotel is sold. A potential buyer does not want to invest in an Asset with an above-average price, but he is also suspicious if the price is below expectations.

  • Property conditions and features

Was your hotel built recently? It is a historic building but has it been recently renovated? What is the number of rooms? What are the special extras that your hotel offers? The more information the better: This will determine how we build your off-market hotel investment case and decide who are the best buyers for you!

  • Operator

Is your hotel part of a franchise or do you do the management internally? Having external constraints can delay the timeframe of the sale on your side, but it can be really appealing for some investors’ profiles.

The three most frequently asked questions:

  • How long will it take to close a sale?

We cannot give an exact date because every sale is unique. What we can guarantee is that the market has been in great demand recently.

  • How much will it cost?

We are happy to have a meeting with you to study your Asset and reach an agreement regarding our fees. Always in the fairest way possible. Our expertise, connections, and negotiating skills will lead to a better profit for you and it will only cost you something if we sell the hotel.
Your success is our success!

  • How to start?

The first step is to send us some information about your hotel and arrange to come into our office to discuss the process. Due to the current social distancing, we can set up a conference call. This will be in strict confidence; we never discuss hotel properties until we are instructed to sell them. We can sign a non-disclosure agreement if required before discussing your hotel.

We have experience in the field and we are ready to provide analysis and guidance to both buyers and sellers. Our qualified hotel investors portfolio is always looking for new hotels to invest in and/or support after the current liquidity crisis.

Get in touch with us for more information!



THE market


Due to the very high volume of clients and market dynamics, Alpinea has decided to strategically focus on high-value new clients and long-term relationship building.


Headoffice Basel, Switzerland.

Delegations in Lisbon, Portugal.

Colmar in France, Dubai, Florence Italy.



Michaël Lagarde



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