Vacation Rentals Vs. Hotels: Jerusalem Edition

Recently, the market in Jerusalem for vacation rentals has exploded in popularity. Over the past few years, vacation rental sites such as Airbnb and VRBO have seen an influx of traffic from tourists and visitors looking for an alternative to expensive and overbooked hotels. In this article we will explore the benefits and downsides of hotels and vacation rentals in Jerusalem. But first, let’s find out why vacation rentals have become so popular recently.

Vacation Rental Marketplaces- A Brief History 
VRBO and Airbnb are the 2 biggest vacation rental sites right now. VRBO has been around since the early days of the internet, founded in 1995. They have more than 794,000 active listings all around the world with a particular emphasis on entire homes and apartments. Airbnb was founded in 2008, but already has more than 1,000,000 listings in 34,000 plus cities spanning 190 countries. The listings are categorized into three categories: shared rooms, private rooms, and entire homes or apartments. The website accommodates instant bookings as well as long-term stays. Most millenials tend to use Airbnb while older couples tend to use VRBO.

Vacation Rental 


  • Privacy - The privacy of having your own home or apartment cannot be matched in a hotel setting.

  • Cost effective for families- When you need a few rooms in a hotel, you pay the same price per room whether booking 1 room or 4. A vacation rental will usually be more expensive for 1 bedroom but each additional room is significantly discounted.

  • Amenities you won't find in a hotel -  A living room, dining room, and kitchen is standard in a vacation rental, in a hotel you can only get a kitchen and living room if you pay for a very expensive suite.

  • Extended stays will be heavily discounted vs a hotel where the rates stay the same.


  • Maid service may not be available, if it is, you will need to pay extra. Tip:Factor in the cost of getting a maid every couple days for about $35-50 for 2-3 hours.

  • Dining- Free daily hotel breakfast is a decent lure, and having a Shabbat meal downstairs is convenient. However, some people prefer to bask in the local experience, if you're considering a vacation rental, it's definitely something to consider!