Why We Stayed In Airbnb Instead Of Hotels In Queenstown

Why We Choose Airbnb instead of Hotel_


During our trip to New Zealand this time, we chose to stay in Airbnb instead of hotels as much as we can. Not only it’s cheaper, but we get much more unique experience that we simply can’t get if staying in a hotel.

Don’t get me wrong! We love staying in 5-star hotels with the fancy amenities and comfort. But since we know we were going out during the day to explore, and only needed a comfortable place to sleep at night, a good quality bed and bathroom is all we need at the end of the day. So instead of paying $250++ for a hotel room,  for $150 we can get the whole private studio with a beautiful view!

As a popular tourist town in New Zealand, Queenstown has no shortage of accommodation options. Thanks to the Airbnb trend, we can now book a good sized accommodation with a great view (sometimes with free continental breakfast) without breaking the bank.

The Airbnb that we have stayed in New Zealand were mostly good, clean and close to town. During our trip to New Zealand, we paid an average of $100-$200 per night in all Airbnb stays.

Conversion rate of $100 NZD as of May 2018

$93 Singapore Dollar

$70 US Dollar

$51 British Pound

$278 Malaysian Ringgit

Our Airbnb Stay In Queenstown

  • $150 NZD++ / night (cleaning fee + service fee = additional $50 a night)
  • Entire house with private access
  • Living room + bedroom + bathroom
  • Spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu & the Remarkables Range
  • Parking right outside the house
  • Occasional visit by Airbnb host’s friendly cat
  • 5 minutes drive to downtown Queenstown
Airbnb Queenstown lake and mountain view
View of our Airbnb in Queenstown – lake and mountain view
AirBnb Queenstown living room
Living room and a small kitchenette with water boiler, microwave, fridge and toaster
airbnb queenstown bedroom
Clean bedroom with electric blanket
airbnb queenstown bathroom
Separate bathroom with heated towel rails and heating
Queenstown NZ Airbnb with a view
Breakfast with a view

Pros & Cons Of Staying In Airbnb

  • Cheaper than major hotels
  • Lots of choices (Just a room? Whole house?)
  • Clean, good quality room, bigger space
  • Some with great views (if stay in hotel will cost you another $100 or more for the view)
  • Local hosts – most hosts are helpful enough to give you some local tips and be there when you need them
  • Free wifi
  • Some with free continental breakfast
  • Some with cooking facilities and washing machine ( Save some money by cooking yourself and no extra laundry cost)
  • No room service (but you can take away food or cook it yourself)
  • No house keeping (make your own bed and wash your own dishes)
  • No concierge service (if you meet a helpful host, they are most often better than the hotel concierge)
  • Can’t make a big mess (ok, overall you are like staying in somebody’s home, so it’s not nice to make loud noises or leave a big mess when you leave, isn’t it?)

What To Lookout For Before Booking An Airbnb?

1. Location, location, location
  • Is it near to where you want to be?
  • Do you have a car? Most Airbnb provides free carpark. However, read the descriptions or check with your host just to be sure.
  • Does it have a great view? In Queenstown, a great view is easy to find. Make the most of it!
2. Staircase?

If you have big suitcases like us while travelling, you might not want to carry your heavy suitcases up and down the stairs, especially if you are travelling with more than 2 people or a whole family of 5. Look for Airbnb that is located on the ground floor instead, if there is no lift available.

3. Read reviews & house rules

Read the review and the house descriptions before you book. Some hosts have strict house rules like no cooking in the house, no pets, no smoking, no noise after 10 pm etc, so if you know you are there to party, you might want to book something more private like the whole house, or just book a motel or backpackers instead.

4. Extra fees ++

Yes, Airbnb is generally cheaper than hotels. But it is also common that hosts would charge a service fee and cleaning fee on top of the listing price. That could easilly cost up to approximately $50 a night extra fee. So work out the final cost before you book to avoid overspending on your budget.

5. King Bed? Double Bed? Shared bathroom?

Read the descriptions carefully. Some Airbnb is very cheap in price probably because they are far from town? Or you need to share the bathroom with other guests? Again, it’s not like a hotel that comes with standard amenities, so read through all the descriptions and make sure it is the one for you.

For me, the bed is very important. Since the main purpose of the stay is to have a good night sleep. I’ll make sure I read the reviews and find out if the bed is clean, comfortable and bed bugs free. A good quality linen is a bonus too.

6. Will you need to use the kitchen or washing machine?

If you are travelling with children or if you have specific dietary restrictions I am sure this will be beneficial. Some Airbnb hosts allow guests to use their kitchen and washing machine, look for those Airbnb that suit your needs.

We were travelling for a month in New Zealand, so we tried to stay in an Airbnb that has a washing machine once a week to get our laundry done.



How To Save Some Money On Accommodation?

Get $45 SGD Travel Credit On Airbnb 
  • Use this link to sign up Airbnb you will get $45 SGD travel credit, Free!
10% Off Booking.com
  • Use this link to book through booking.com,  you’ll get 10% of your trip back after your stay
9% Cash Back On Booking.com

Ok, this is my favourite! Use this link to get EXTRA 9% cash back while you book on booking.com. The beauty of this cash back company is that, it also works on other major travel or shopping site like Singapore Airlines, Expedia, Zuji … etc. Check out their website at https://www.shopback.sg/.  If you sign up, just use this link you will get $5 cash back bonus.

All these deals cost you nothing to sign up and you get cash back or travel credits if you use them! I hope you will find what you are looking for.

Let me know by commenting below!

Have you stayed in Airbnb before?

How was your experience?

Where is the best Airbnb that you have stayed?


You might like to read:

Top 10 Things To Do In Queenstown, New Zealand

Top 10 things to do in Queenstown 5 days


Why We Stayed In Airbnb Instead Of Hotels In Queenstown
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2 Comments on “Why We Stayed In Airbnb Instead Of Hotels In Queenstown”

  1. I keep hearing more and more about the Air BNB experience and it sounds wonderful! Thank you for all the tips for staying in an Air BNB.

  2. I haven’t stayed at an Air BNB before. Your post makes me want to book one now! I’ve always wanted to visit Queenstown.

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