How Much Does It Cost to Live in a Hotel?

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Hotels are designed for temporary stays, but some people do end up living in hotels long-term for a variety of reasons.

While it’s not a cheap lifestyle, under certain circumstances, living full-time in a hotel can make sense.

In this article, we’ll look at the costs associated with living in a hotel, who might choose this arrangement, different hotel living options, and tips for saving money if you need to make a hotel your semi-permanent or permanent home.

Typical Costs of Living in a Hotel

Hotels are inherently more expensive than permanent housing on a nightly basis, so living in one long-term adds up quickly:

  • Average hotel room: $100-$200/night for basic motels or chains, more for upscale hotels.
  • Monthly cost: Around $3,000-$6,000/month if paying average rack rates. Some discounts or weekly rates could knock this down to $2,000-$4,000.
  • Average yearly cost: Around $36,000-$72,000 per year. Extended stays may save around 20%.
  • Additional fees: Expect to pay parking, resort fees, service charges, taxes, and dining out for all meals.
  • Incidentals: Expenses add up for WiFi, room service, hotel laundry, and other services.

So you’re generally looking at a minimum of $2,000-$3,000 up to $6,000 or more per month to live in a hotel depending on the location and hotel category. It’s a very expensive lifestyle long-term.

Why Choose to Live in a Hotel?

Very few people choose to live in a hotel long-term unless necessity or unique circumstances drive it. Common reasons include:

  • Relocation: Living in a hotel when moving and taking time to find permanent housing.
  • Home renovation: Finding temporary accommodations when a home undergoes major renovations.
  • Work displacement: Employees on long-term projects away from home might have employers cover hotel stays.
  • Relationship transition: Someone going through a separation or divorce may need interim lodging.
  • Medical needs: Patients traveling for extended medical care and family providing support.
  • Difficulty securing housing: Those with evictions, credit issues, or other barriers struggle to qualify for apartments.
  • Simplified living: Some seniors or empty nesters prefer a simplified lifestyle without home maintenance.

Outside of situational needs, living permanently in hotels full-time is quite rare due to the high costs. But for some short-term requirements, hotel living can provide a viable temporary housing solution.

Types of Hotels for Longer Stays

All hotels can be used for extended stays, but certain categories are better suited for living long-term:

Extended Stay Hotels

These properties cater specifically to longer-term guests with amenities like:

  • Kitchenettes or full kitchens in rooms
  • Discounts for weekly and monthly stays
  • Free housekeeping services
  • On-site laundry facilities
  • Grocery and meal delivery options
  • Social events and activities

Examples include Homewood Suites by Hilton, Staybridge Suites, and Extended Stay America.

Suite Hotels

Suites provide more residential amenities for longer stays:

  • Separate bedroom and living room
  • Cooktops, microwaves, dishwashers
  • Sofa beds for extra guests
  • More space for living and storage

Some options are Embassy Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Home2 Suites.

Service Apartments

These offer apartment-style facilities in a hotel setting:

  • Fully equipped kitchens
  • In-unit washer/dryers
  • Extra storage and closet space
  • Family-friendly amenities

Examples are Marriott Executive Apartments, Hyatt House, and Hawthorn Suites.

Luxury & Upscale Hotels

Pricier hotels can mimic residential living with more amenities:

  • Generous living areas and bedrooms
  • High-end furnishings and décor
  • Fine dining restaurants
  • Luxury spas, pools, gyms
  • Turn-down service and concierge
  • Accommodating staff for personalized service

Luxury chains like Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, and Sofitel go above and beyond to meet resident needs.

Cost-Saving Tips for Hotel Living

To make hotel living more affordable long-term, utilize these money-saving strategies:

  • Negotiate discounts. Ask to speak with a hotel manager to request their lowest possible rate for a month-long or longer stay. Most hotels will discount 20% to 50%.
  • Book non-refundable rates. Taking a non-refundable room locks in the lowest prices but reduces flexibility.
  • Look for weekly rates. Many hotels offer a lower rate if you commit to a full week versus paying nightly.
  • Avoid peak seasons. Visiting off-season means you can often secure huge discounts on room rates.
  • Skip housekeeping service. Decline daily cleaning to avoid fees unless it’s needed.
  • Join loyalty programs. Earn free nights, discounts, and upgrades through programs like Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors.
  • Use hotel credit cards. Cards like the Hilton Honors American Express offer big signup bonuses you can use towards free hotel nights.
  • Purchase an extended stay package. These include discounted rates bundled with amenities and meal packages.
  • Rent privately. Sites like Airbnb offer privately owned condos and apartments often at lower costs than major hotels.

With smart planning, you can save 25% to 50% or more off normal hotel rack rates to reduce the sting of long-term hotel living expenses.

Downsides of Living in Hotels

While sometimes necessary or preferential for temporary situations, living in hotels full-time does have significant drawbacks:

  • Costs can be 2x to 4x higher than an apartment rental.
  • Small living space without many possessions or ability to decorate.
  • No privacy and noise from neighboring rooms.
  • Temporary vibe and limited sense of home.
  • Annoyances like resort fees, parking charges, WiFi fees.
  • Temptation for unhealthy choices like room service, excess dining out.
  • Challenging if traveling with children or pets full-time.

For most, hotels are too cramped, impersonal, and costly for genuine long-term living. But utilized selectively, hotel stays can bridge difficult housing situations or allow simplified living during life transitions.

Is Living in a Hotel Cheaper Than an Apartment?

Hotel living generally costs significantly more than renting an apartment or home. Monthly rates for a one-bedroom apartment average around $1,000 to $2,000 nationwide.

Extended hotel stays are almost always pricier at $3,000 per month or more, assuming comparable location and quality.

Hotels recoup costs of more extensive amenities, cleaning services, staffing, and commercial property overhead in their higher room rates.

For pure dollar savings, traditional apartment rentals make more financial sense for ongoing living housing needs in most cases.

Key Takeaways on Hotel Living

While an unconventional housing choice, living in hotels serves practical purposes for some. Key points to remember:

  • Expect costs between $2,000-$6,000+ per month depending on the hotel and city.
  • Weigh if amenities and convenience offset much higher costs than an apartment.
  • Utilize extended stay, suite, or serviced apartment hotels to maximize facilities.
  • Negotiate discounts off rack rates for longer stays whenever possible.
  • Consider hotel living a temporary bridge during difficult transitions only.

With the right expectations, hotel living can be an effective short-term housing solution when needed.

But weigh the higher costs against renting traditional accommodations for genuine long-term affordability.

Jennifer Tuffen
Jennifer Tuffen

I'm Jennifer Tuffen, a travel enthusiast and storyteller, six years and 10+ countries deep into a journey of discovery and cultural immersion.