Real cost of an Airbnb in Washington, DC

Clean and attractive guestroom with blue and white walls and ornate fireplace; featuring neatly made bed in white bedding

Are you a business traveler searching for an Airbnb overnight stay in Washington, DC? There is a price to pay for an overnight stay and we’re not talking about dollars and cents. Supporting an Airbnb is basically hurting our beloved Washington, DC. How so?

Airbnb hosts have no accountability for paying taxes to operate as a business within the District, and therefore rob the city of potential tax revenue. Airbnb is also impacting affordable housing in DC. When the option to rent units to short-term guests become lucrative, Airbnb owners (who don’t live in DC) convert previously affordable housing units into permanent transient housing units, further shrinking the pool of affordable housing in the District of Columbia, and consequently push its residents outside the borders of the District they grew up in.   

There is a double standard applied to Airbnb which should no longer be tolerated; it is encouraging to see other cities have passed stricter AirBnB regulations, but our city has not done so. Airbnb is operating outside of the framework of rigorous yearly inspections by Fire Marshals, property insurance assurances, and lodging taxes, which it requires of B&Bs, Inns, Guest Houses, and Hotels. Airbnb argues that this is due to the fact that the company itself doesn’t hold any inventory, as it merely facilitates the renting process. But what does that mean to the guest? Lower price per night? Possibly, but you’ve heard the expression ‘You get what you pay for,’ right? The guest ultimately pays the higher price of a loss of basic services and general safety.

Airbnb has primarily served budget-minded tourists. Unfortunately, that means that things that make a stay special are also budget-minded or overlooked entirely. Your stay would be generic, at best, and oftentimes downright disappointing due to numerous misleading listings. Having the acronym of BnB (as in Bed & Breakfast) in their title is truly a misnomer and an insult to a true Bed and Breakfast Inn, because Airbnb’s don’t serve breakfast. However, our breakfast at American Guest House Bed and Breakfast is the talk of the town and we take that very seriously. Thoughtful preparation of our culinary delights is of paramount importance to us.

The reservation process should also be transparent, meaning you would know the exact address of your accommodation before you hit the ‘pay’ button. With Airbnb, you are left waiting for the approval of the host and then they send the address to you. This leads us to the next point, overbooking. Airbnb does overbook on a regular basis, so there isn’t a guarantee on your booking accommodations.

Airbnb has recently designated a program in which the host can apply for a “Plus” classification that recognizes their listings with supposed exceptional quality, comfort, and style. One blogger describes this class as, ‘homes that are comfortable and come with many of the things you’d expect from a hotel room, like towels and sheets.’ Seriously, towels and sheets are a plus? You get the idea; the vast majority of Airbnb locations don’t make it into Airbnb Plus status.

Let’s talk about housekeeping. It is common among Airbnb’s listings for a cleaning charge to be added to the invoice. We do not charge extra for a clean room. We collaborate with our housekeepers in such a way as to deliver a thoroughly and pristinely cleaned room, completely ready for you. Do you need assistance with any other detail?

Golden waffles with fruit syrup dripping in colorful display served on white plateWe are available to assist and deliver a personal touch to your stay; not so with Airbnb, you are on your own.

So why wouldn’t an intelligent business traveler prefer our delightful accommodations? Each of our well-appointed rooms includes a queen-sized bed and an en-suite private bath and features fine antiques, rich fabrics, oriental rugs and wood floors. We know what you really want; a place that feels like home. A place where colleagues have a unique and comfortable space in which to connect and collaborate. A place you’ll enjoy coming back to again and again as your home base in Washington, DC

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