There have never been so many options for travellers to choose from when it comes to finding a place to stay – whatever their destination, including, of course, Montreal. These options include a broad range of accommodations and lodgings that enable travellers of all stripes – from vacationers to business people to staff on temporary assignment – to find the right short-term apartment rental at the quality and price points they need.
Of course, whether you’re looking for lodgings for a short-term or long-term stay, each option comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. One alternative that has garnered a lot of attention in recent years and becomes popular with travellers is Airbnb. As elsewhere, Airbnb is undoubtedly well-established in Montreal. But is it the best choice for all travellers? Or for most travellers who come to our city? Is it the best choice for you?
To answer these questions, we’ve compiled a list of the top 15 reasons for choosing one very specific option over Airbnb: Corporate Furnished Apartments – or CFAs, for short. Why? Because unlike Airbnb, in the case of CFAs, the benefits overwhelmingly outweigh all other considerations.
We hope you enjoy reading the contents of this list (and the two insets), which we think will come as a welcome eye-opener!
A flexible cancellation policy – always an appealing feature
When you stay at an Airbnb, your cancellation policy can range from flexible to super strict. Even if you’ve chosen a flexible cancellation policy, you’ll still owe Airbnb money if you cancel your reservation. In the case of long-term reservations, you need to provide a 30-day cancellation notice prior to the start date, or you’ll have to pay the host in full for the first month of your booking.
With CFAs like EnVille, the policy offers a 14-day cancellation period without any charges of any kind. Once you have moved in, you can’t cancel your reservation. However, if you need to terminate the agreement as a result of extenuating circumstances, EnVille will help you find someone to rent the apartment in your stead – which is a reasonably easy task in a big city and popular destination like Montreal.
In addition, CFAs allow you to change your booking dates or switch apartment units because of their very flexible booking policies. Airbnb and online travel agencies don’t have the ability to provide you with this benefit because all of their listings are separate from one another and because they don’t have a network of apartments to choose from. At EnVille, we leverage our network to your benefit!
Your pets are always welcome!
EnVille’s Corporate Furnished Apartments are stress-free havens for people travelling with their pets. In fact, our CFAs have won broad recognition as warm and welcoming pet-friendly rentals. In the case of Airbnb hosts, they have widely different outlooks on pets and service animals. As a result, as a potential guest, you have to contact potential hosts to find out if your pet or service animal is welcome. This can definitely limit your options and make finding an apartment in the right location a challenging, and at times impossible, task.
Housekeeping services are part of the deal
One of the key benefits that our Corporate Furnished Apartments deliver that Airbnb often cannot be summarized in a single word: consistency. For instance, at our CFAs, housekeeping is a standard amenity that is provided at regular intervals. That is not the case with Airbnb, where it is the host’s decision whether or not to hire professional housekeeping services and how often those services are provided.
Our CFAs can easily handle group bookings
If you’re travelling as a family or with your work team and would like to stay close to one another, CFAs are better equipped to provide larger group bookings than Airbnb is. Once again, this is due to the way CFAs are set up and how they function. As opposed to Airbnb, CFAs have a network of apartments across the city rather than one-off listings.
EnVille offers a wide-ranging choice of furnished apartments
Thanks to our CFAs, you can choose from an extensive listing of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments in the Montreal neighbourhood of your choice. Airbnb, on the other hand, often provides fewer options for 30-day or longer stays that meet all of your needs, objectives, and preferences. Again, the network effect works in our favour and against theirs.
Extremely useful and much-appreciated client services
CFAs such as EnVille provide you with a host of client services that Airbnb and online travel agencies do not. These services, which help make CFAs even more appealing to travellers, include:
- 24-hour concierge services
- A handy app to connect with local amenities and services
- Helpful agents who are responsive to your needs and preferences
- Flexible cancellation and booking policies
- The ability to accommodate special requests
These services, of course, maybe viewed as value-added amenities. Certainly, our guests see the value in them. But even services that are essentially necessary conveniences may be missing in Airbnb (for more about this, see reason number 4 below).
With CFAs, what you see is what you get
When you view EnVille’s listings of Corporate Furnished Apartments with their multiple positive features and visitor benefits, you can be sure that we promise what we deliver. Our listings describe services and features that actually exist and that you will find in our CFAs. Always! The same can’t be said for properties listed on Airbnb. Over the years, many travellers have complained about the gap between the property and its description online. While it’s true that Airbnb has tried to correct this problem, their hosts are still in charge of their rental units and can do as they please.
With CFAs, there are no hidden costs
Airbnb has acquired a certain reputation for offering attractive rates that hotels and other short-term rental solutions can’t match. In the past, its prices displayed online didn’t necessarily include booking or guest fees. These fees made Airbnb a somewhat less attractive option for some travellers. In response, the company has – only in recent months – cut guest fees or changed fee structures so as to be more competitive with online short-term rental agencies, such as Booking.com. This, however, has no effect on its level of services, which still lags behind that of CFAs.
You choose the form of payment you prefer
That’s right, CFAs let you pay the way you want to. EnVille accepts all credit cards along with cheques, cash, e-transfers, and bank wires. Generally, Airbnb accepts only credit cards or debit cards that have a Visa function.
Zoning regulations and municipal bylaws favour CFAs rather than Airbnb
Increasingly, cities are adopting regulations and bylaws to limit the use of housing stock as short-term tourist-focused rental accommodations. Such rules and bylaws are designed to curb the negative of Airbnb, whereby the costs to renters and local communities are more significant than the benefits to travellers and property owners. But it isn’t only regulations and bylaws that are changing – so are co-property agreements that homebuyers must sign when purchasing their apartment or condo. To find out more, have a look at the “Did you know?” inset on this page.
Unlike Airbnb, no controversy surrounds CFAs
In recent years, Airbnb has received much negative press, accusing it of harmful effects to neighbourhood and community life, mainly by pushing up rents and making housing stock unaffordable. To find out more, have a look at the “Did you know?” inset on this page.
Conveniences travellers take for granted are often not available in Airbnb rentals
It’s not unheard-of that the apartment you rented on Airbnb isn’t quite ready when you arrive, but unlike hotels, for instance, you can’t just leave your bags at reception for storage and later pick-up. How many Airbnb units offer breakfast? (The company name, after all, includes “bnb,” and what does that second “b” stand for?) In a way, all of this is understandable; after all, the notions of hospitality and service are not built into all Airbnb hosts since that is not their training and professional background. CFAs, however, are part of the service industry. As a result, you can rest assured that thanks to EnVille CFAs’ long list of services, we’ve got you covered – not least of which is the fact that your apartment is ready when you arrive.
In addition to their wealth of amenities, CFAs provide a safe living environment
Agencies that operate CFAs make it their business to offer standard and consistent amenities and services as part of their product-and-pricing package. Standard amenities represent a huge benefit that travellers appreciate. One of the most appreciated amenities is safety: access to buildings is controlled so as to provide a safe living environment for its temporary residents. After all, the last thing you want on holiday is to have your belongings stolen. With Airbnb, of course, there is no such guarantee. The units may be located anywhere, and access to them is not necessarily controlled.
With CFAs you get an attractive and consistent design
CFAs are bright and clean apartments featuring modern furniture and stylings that are ready for you to occupy. Typically, Airbnb units are someone’s actual home – filled with his or her furniture and belongings. Since each Airbnb host’s space differs, it is hard for potential guests to know how much living and storage space they’ll actually get. In addition, with Airbnb, there is no guarantee as to the quality of the furniture and the level of comfort and convenience provided by the unit as a whole.
As always – location, location, location
In our experience, choice locations are the leading reason that incites travellers to choose CFAs over Airbnb and accommodations provided by online travel agencies. This is especially true of corporate travellers. At EnVille, we have many locations in Montreal that have been strategically chosen to make daily commute and general travel around the city much more accessible.
While it is possible to find well-located Airbnb and other types of rentals, they are much fewer in number than CFAs and, of course, do not provide the level or consistency of service for which CFAs are recognized.
Why compromise when you can have it all with EnVille?
Did you know?
You’re probably aware that zoning regulations in many cities and neighbourhoods prohibit residents from setting up short-term rental housing units – like Airbnb – specifically for tourists in their buildings. That’s to be expected since zoning regulations exist in part because we know that commercial and residential activities should, in most cases, not share the same space.
But did you know that a similar ban on short-term rentals – which, of course, mainly targets travellers – is increasingly turning up in co-property agreements? These agreements, which regulate ownership conditions in two- or multiple-apartment buildings, sometimes cite Airbnb as an example of this kind of undesirable short-term rental.
As can be expected, this development is having the effect of shrinking Airbnb’s rental offer in certain parts of urban communities and municipalities. That is certainly the case in Montreal. Fewer Airbnb units become available because more and more co-property agreements simply don’t allow owners to use their apartments as tourist accommodations.
Did you also know?
There’s an ongoing debate – worldwide – about the effects of Airbnb on communities. Many believe Airbnb is responsible for multiple negative impacts on the housing market, including growing property prices and rents and community displacement. For instance, an apartment that could be home to a family that would contribute to neighbourhood life and solidarity is instead rented year-round to travellers and visitors for short-term stays. These travellers and visitors, opponents of Airbnb argue, cannot contribute to a community’s vitality and sense of belonging the way permanent residents do. As a result, many cities, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, London, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, and Tokyo, have introduced legislation and regulations that restrict the extent of short-term rentals.
AirBnB customer service: +1 855 424 7262
Credit image: Fingo – La grande roue de Montréal, Québec