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Can You Live in a Hotel?

Instead of renting an apartment, many people live in a hotel. Find out more about this and if it could be for you.


May 04, 2021 by Laura Agadoni
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Although people primarily use hotels for short-term stays when traveling, some people call a hotel "home." If you need housing and aren't ready to buy, you might want to consider living in a hotel. It might not be as expensive as you think. Find out what you need to know about hotel living.

Who lives in hotels?

All sorts of people live in hotels these days, and not just the uber rich. Any time you're thinking of renting an apartment or condo, you might want to consider hotel living as an option. People live in hotels when traveling, of course, but what if you're relocating to a new town for work or just want to get the feel for a new city by first living as a tourist? Why not live in a hotel until you get your bearings and understand where you want to put down roots?

Why would you want to live in a hotel?

Perhaps a better question than why would you want to live in a hotel might be, "Why wouldn't you?" You'll have perks and amenities such as housekeeping; room service; snack bar; no utility, cable, or Wi-Fi fees; and often, a fitness center, swimming pool, spa, and sometimes a casino and free breakfast.

Another advantage is that hotels are generally located in areas with things to do. Because hotels are typically in convenient locations, you'll likely be able to walk from the hotel to a wide array of shopping, dining, nightlife, and scenery destinations.

About furnishings

When you live in a hotel, you don't need to have any furniture -- the hotel room is move-in ready. But because it's likely a small space, you'd probably need to store any furniture you'd want to keep.

The expense

The reason many people don't live in hotels is the perceived expense. The average daily rate of hotels, as of February 2021, was about $91 a day. That translates to $2,730 a month: Pricey, but still less than many luxury apartments. In 2018, the average monthly rent for a luxury apartment in Los Angeles was over $3,000.

These figures, however, are comparing an average hotel to a luxury apartment. You'd pay more for a luxury hotel or a nice hotel and less for a modest apartment. But the hotel expense is in the same ballpark at least, and when you factor in utilities, you can see the prices aren't too different, depending on the hotel. It's worth shopping around and doing price comparisons to help you decide. In expensive cities where apartment rents are high, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can often find lower monthly rates at hotels.

Another option to save money is to select an extended-stay hotel.These facilities often have a mini kitchen and a laundry service. They're typically more affordable than standard hotels.

Tips on how to maximize the experience

Pare down your belongings

If hotel living is for you, consider getting rid of some of your stuff. If you haven't worn or used something in a year, you may want to get rid of it. Regarding your furnishings, you'd need to determine whether the cost of storage would be worthwhile versus buying new when you move to a permanent location. Furnishings that work in one home might not work as well in a new home.

Have a home base

No matter how much you pare down, you'll probably have too much stuff for hotel living. So be prepared to have your own place, such as a storage locker, or try to arrange to store things at a friend's or family member's home, if possible.

Ask about a discounted rate

If you'll be staying in a hotel for an extended period, ask about receiving a discounted rate from the daily rate. Many hotels offer a discounted rate for any guest whose stay is longer than night to night, such as longer than a week.

Consider the mailing address for bills

Most hotels accept mail for hotel guests. You'd just need to have your mail forwarded to the hotel by providing the post office with the hotel's address and your room number. Then let the hotel front desk know you'll be receiving mail during your stay as a resident guest.

Hotel living works best for single people or couples

If you have children, taking up residence in a hotel is not the best option. Children generally need stability. Plus children tend to run around, and not many hotel guests like the hallways used as a playground.

The Millionacres bottom line

If you don't have children and live a more flexible type of lifestyle, you might find hotel living is for you. Plus, if you try it and don't like it, the solution is easy enough: leave. It doesn't have to become your permanent residence. At the very least, living in a hotel can provide you with an adventure, and who knows what that could lead to?

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