Why it's actually cheaper to rent an apartment than checking into a hotel

Published: Monday, Dec. 3 2012 9:25 a.m. MST

Hotels are more expensive than renting apartments.

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If you divide the cost up, apartments are a lot cheaper to rent than hotels are to stay in. Slate explained some of the reasons why this is so.

First is the amount of taxes. "Local tax codes tend to treat homeowners relatively favorably," Slate says. There are higher commercial real estate taxes plus sales tax and excise taxes.

Second is location. "Mainstream hotels offer premium locations in central business districts or near key attractions," Slate says.

Third is service. "The typical hotel guest doesn't have a maid cleaning his bedroom at home on a daily basis, or the services of a downstairs concierge," Slate says.

Fourth is bargaining. Slate says business travelers are less likely to negotiate for lower rates — thus driving up prices for everybody.

Steve Thompson at Yahoo looked at people who have to move out of their homes for a short time such as during a home repair, and whether it was better to stay in an extended stay hotel or an apartment.

Thompson said large apartments offer more privacy for large families. Apartments also work better for longer-term stays, while hotels work better for short-term stays.

"If you rent an apartment for your home repair, you'll have to set up utilities: electricity, water, phone service, cable, Internet access, etc.," Thompson said. "These things are already built into the price of an extended stay hotel, which means the price on the sign board is what you pay in total. Make sure to consider utilities, deposits, application fees and other associated costs when comparing options."

It even gets more expensive if the apartment needs to be furnished, he said.

Meanwhile, ABC News showed just how expensive a hotel can get — looking at the 11 most expensive hotels in the world.

The prices topped out at $2,539 per night at Le Dune, Forte Village Resort in Sardinia. That was for a standard double room.

That price also doesn't include other hotel fees and expenses. Hotels have started using hidden charges like airlines, according to an October story in the Deseret News.

EMAIL: mdegroote@desnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote

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