Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company is now offering private homes for rental, directly competing with Airbnb.
The short-term rental market has seen an incredible uptake in demand over the past years and Marriott International is now offering a new service that is meant to break into the short rental market.
The service is called Homes & Villas which has already 60,000 properties at its disposal. Travelers will be able to select private homes and villas in around 75 countries.
These properties range from unique collections of private homes, beachfront bungalows, sprawling villas, grand chateaus, cozy cabins, ski chalets, and characterful townhouses, flats, apartments, to penthouses.
Homes & Villas even hosts castles on their website.
A major difference between Homes & Villas and other home rental companies.
Homes & Villas, unlike other short-term rental companies, works with select professional home management companies to ensure that the properties are of the highest standards.
With most traditional home rental companies, properties are directly listed by the homeowner themselves, enabling almost anyone to list their property.
Working only with select professional home management companies, Marriott is ensuring exceptional standards across their properties.
Loyalty Rewards Program.
Another big benefit Homes & Villas has over Airbnb is that travelers will be able to accumulate and redeem Marriott points. Being able to provide a unique rental experience in an upscale home while also giving consumers a chance to earn and redeem points is a huge win for Marriott International.
People naturally want to feel included and appreciated and being part of a loyalty rewards program is a great way to ensure consumer satisfaction.
The cost of it all.
Although Marriott is targeting upscale, high-end properties with its new rental service, the prices do not only have to necessarily reflect that. Many of the properties on the site go for $700 to $1000 a night, but you can find beautiful apartments and homes for under $200 a night.
In Barcelona, you can find a 2-bedroom apartment for $171 a night. Miami offers 1-bedroom apartments for as low as $161 a night. You can enjoy Paris for as low as $120 for a one-bedroom flat.
If Homes & Villas is proving one thing already it’s that good taste doesn’t always equate to high cost.
An Obvious Downside.
As good as this new service offered by Marriott International may be for travelers across the globe, there is one startling downside to the rental company.
Homes & Villas does not offer a very generous cancellation policy. If there is one thing we’ve all learned over the past 2 years is that nothing is guaranteed, and unforeseen things happen all the time.
Vacations unfortunately don’t always happen. Flights get canceled, people fall ill, and trips ultimately don’t always come to fruition.
In a world full of uncertainty, traveling needs to remain flexible, and unfortunately, after reviewing Homes & Villas’ cancellation policies, I can’t help but realize that its cancellation policy is not kind to unforeseen circumstances.
In fact, it has one of the worst cancellation policies I have ever seen.
You can only really get a refund on a property you’ve booked if you cancel within 48 hours of booking. After that, you’re no longer eligible for a refund.
This seems like a major downside to this service.
Ultimately Marriott International expanding its operation into the short-term rental market is great news for travelers. A market with multiple players and plentiful options means competitive prices for consumers.
Individuals will be able to decide for themselves what accommodation suits them best for their next vacation.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com