In recent years, short-term rental companies have taken over heavily touristed cities like San Francisco, Tokyo, and Vienna—as well as here in Toronto. But with the outbreak of COVID-19, the popularity of home-sharing platforms like Airbnb has nosedived in a matter of weeks.
Instead, more people are renting serviced suites—which are similar to Airbnb-type listings, but without any of the typical risks. Let’s take a look at what these risks are and why exactly COVID-19 has driven guests to cancel their Airbnb bookings and opt for a suite instead.
Concerns About Cleanliness
Pandemic or not, Airbnb has always been a gamble when it comes to cleanliness. Whether we’re talking about used towels, strands of hair in the sink, or crumbs left on the dining table, booking with Airbnb has never guaranteed squeaky clean living quarters.
COVID-19 has established a new normal, one defined by hand sanitizer, face masks, and standing a minimum of two metres apart from friends and strangers alike. Self-isolation, social distancing, working from home—people are willing to do anything if it means protecting their health and the health of their loved ones. Without any way of enforcing proper sanitization standards across its listings, Airbnb is simply too big a risk for today’s careful customer.
With a serviced suite, guests don’t have to worry about cleanliness, among other things (such as missing amenities). Guests’ expectations are met without any guesswork involved. Whether you’re hoping for a change of scenery or you’re a healthcare worker isolating closer to Toronto’s network of hospitals, suites are guaranteed to be thoroughly disinfected. Toronto Luxury Suites is even employing hospital-grade sanitization standards.
The Inherent Risks of Home-Sharing During a Pandemic
Once a routine errand, people are nervous about leaving their homes for a weekly trip to the grocery store. It’s safe to say that sharing someone else’s home is out of the question. With a by-law enforced in November forbidding Toronto homeowners from listing any property on Airbnb other than their primary residence, Airbnb itself is out of the question.
High turnover of guests, contaminated belongings, communal spaces that interfere with social distancing—the risks of Airbnb far outweigh the benefits, especially when the virus can survive up to five days on doorknobs and silverware and the guarantee of a deep clean between guests is impossible.
Don’t Take Any Risks at All
Airbnb’s system relies on trust. We’ve all had it happen to us—we show up to an Airbnb booking and the photos online don’t match what we see in front of us, amenities are broken or missing, and the place isn’t exactly spotless. Worst-case scenario, the host never arrives to let us in—or cancels on us 24 hours in advance.
Contacting your host and Airbnb’s customer service to book another accommodation is known to be a time-consuming process. Don’t start your vacation by taking pictures of your surroundings to document subpar conditions or to prevent your host from falsifying damage. Choose a short-term rental company you can rely on.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Now isn’t the time to take any chances when it comes to health and safety. Making sure your accommodations are contaminant-free should be your number one priority. Unlike Airbnb, a serviced suite offers you peace of mind, allowing you to relax and unwind in a space that’s entirely your own (no shared bathrooms necessary) and that you’re confident has been thoroughly disinfected.
Toronto Luxury Suites are fully furnished and equipped with world-class amenities. High-speed internet, kitchen supplies, home appliances—everything you need to enjoy your stay from start to finish is provided ahead of your arrival. Located in the most elite neighbourhoods of Toronto, guests have a taste of luxury while remaining within walking distance of essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies.
The next time you’re booking accommodations, make sure to put your safety first. Choose a short-term rental company that guarantees peace of mind.