Self-catered holiday vs Hotel

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A hotel based inclusive deal can make as much financial sense as a self-catered holiday. So how can you choose between them?

For some travellers, there is an obvious choice. Total immersion in hotel life with wall to wall service is the ideal holiday. That touch of luxury that is missing from most of our day to day lives. But for others, a lack of personal space comes at a cost.


It’s all about timing. Hotel style service comes with dedicated eating times. Great if you already have a timetable to stick to. But not so good if you want to go with the flow and sleep-in after an adventurous night, or grab an early night after a fun packed day. Flexibility and freedom from schedules are at the core of a self-catered holiday, which is what makes them so attractive.


An escape from the mundane everyday chores is what most holidaymakers are seeking. Whether by grabbing life’s essential nourishment in a hotel or restaurant, avoiding the shopping and washing for an entire week can be key. But for others, food is so much more than essential. It is a holiday experience to embrace. A chance to sample all that is unusual and exciting about their new location. Market stalls are like sweet shops and bakeries crucial. If you ‘live to eat rather than eat to live’ then self-catering is an option to consider.


It’s a fact, kids need entertaining! And this can be exhausting on holiday when all you really want to do is lounge like a lizard in the sun. So what better place to go than somewhere that can gift you at least a few hours of R&R during your holidays? If it’s this you are dreaming of, then a Hotel with a kids club, a large pool and lots of other kids for your little ones to befriend ticks all the boxes.

On the flip side, a large self-catered holiday property and a bunch of friends with similar aged kids can come in a close second. However, someone needs to take ownership of the organisation and a good network of friends is a must for this solution to work.

Personal space

The self-catered holiday accommodation offers you privacy in more than one room. You can spread out and customise your private lounge, kitchen and outdoor space. Be as slovenly or tidy as you want. On the other hand, Hotels offer you a range of facilities you may not be able to stretch to with your self-catered holiday budget. So as long as you don’t mind sharing these common spaces with strangers, and battling for a space to spread your towel, then you can upgrade to lounging by a bigger better pool or be spending an afternoon rediscovering your tennis mojo.

What suits you?

At the end of the day, choosing between a self-catered holiday or a hotel stay  depends on what type of holiday you want and your chosen destination. Prioritise your list of what is important by taking into account the quality of accommodation, service or food, facilities, privacy or budget and match them up with your ideal type of holiday. If you are still unsure use a bespoke travel agent to give you some unbiased advice to help highlight the best of both options

Posted by Sam Stone

Sam Stone

Sam has been involved in the creative arts industries for over twenty-five years in both France and the UK, working with a variety of specialised businesses and publishers. She is a freelance writer, whose work includes travel blogs, web content and script writing.

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