Skip to content

Hotel or home rental? These major hotel brands want to be both

March 15, 2022
6 min read
villa on cliff with infinity pool look at ocean
Hotel or home rental? These major hotel brands want to be both
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Hotel brands are eager to be more than just, well, hotels. And there's proof. Marriott, Accor and, most recently, Mandarin Oriental, have all introduced home rental segments in an effort to try to capture their own shares of the booming industry dominated by brands such as Airbnb and Vrbo.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Accor purchased the luxury home rental company Onefinestay back in 2016, and Marriott followed suit three years later with Homes and Villas by Marriott in 2019. While the trend of hotels expanding into the vacation rental space isn't new, it is expanding.

Now, Mandarin Oriental is getting in on the action by offering its own collection of "the world's finest luxurious private villas and mansions," in partnership with home rental company StayOne, which offers the "finest one percent of homes."

And when Mandarin Oriental says luxury, the brand means it.

The homes available aren't just your everyday vacation rental: They've been handpicked by the hotel group for "outstanding quality and sought-after locations, while also providing exceptional service and experiences in keeping with the legendary hospitality of the award-winning brand."

To start, Mandarin Oriental Exclusives Homes can be found in idyllic locations in Europe in all shapes and sizes. A short way off the coast of Ibiza, for example, is a 148-acre Mediterranean private island with just one single home on it; and you and nine guests can get there with complimentary private boat transfers and access to water sports.

Two other rentals are available in Ibiza. They include a cloistered clifftop escape with views of the area, as well as a villa in a gated community with an infinity pool located a short distance from the nightlife of Ibiza Town.

Other listings in Europe include a beachfront villa in the south of France; a Georgian-style manor house situated on a 600-acre private estate in England's Cotswolds; and a traditional Spanish villa on Mallorca in Sierra Tramontana, a USESCO World Heritage Site. These homes have been vetted extensively by Mandarin Oriental and StayOne -- including rigorous quality and safety checks -- and picked to cater to different customer needs.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Each home also promises to deliver "impeccable service" by a team trained by Mandarin Oriental who are knowledgeable about the destination, meaning you'll probably get a lot more out of your stay than your standard Airbnb or Vrbo listing.

Those perks include a personal concierge service offering 24/7 assistance for pre-arrival requests and arranging local experiences; private, on-demand culinary services; daily housekeeping; family-friendly experiences; and luxurious amenities such as bathrobes and bamboo toothbrushes.

These incredible amenities, locations and beautiful homes don't come cheap, though. That private island near Ibiza? It costs more than $21,000 per night. And the Cotswold manor, though significantly less expensive, still starts around $7,500 per night.

Though Mandarin Oriental doesn't have a traditional loyalty program where you can earn free stays, it does have the Fans of MO. program which gets members some nice perks like free Wi-Fi, spa and restaurant credits, personal trainers, nanny services and other member-exclusive offers.

Like the Mandarin Oriental program, Homes and Villas by Marriott are all specially curated and managed by private management companies to help ensure Marriott's high brand standards for guests.

(Photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy)

Travelers who book a vacation rental through Marriott - which includes high-end properties - have the benefit of a lenient cancellation policy and the opportunity to earn or redeem Marriott Bonvoy points, as well as elite qualifying nights.

This is one area where hotels in the private home rental space really differentiate themselves from companies like Airbnb. In fact, TPG's executive editor was able to earn 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points during a pandemic-era vacation back in 2020.

And while Mandarin Oriental offers truly luxe, one-of-a-kind rentals, Marriott's are much more varied, like Airbnb, and with prices that range from affordable to those on the very high end of the spectrum.

Travelers can also rent luxury homes and villas from Onefinestay, which participates in the Accor Live Limitless (ALL) loyalty program. With over 5,000 locations around the world, you're bound to find the perfect home in the perfect spot for you -- albeit on the more luxurious side. With this program, guests are greeted on site, and a concierge team can help organize private chefs, drivers or childcare.

Onefinestay launched in 2010 with just six homes and has grown into a powerhouse rental company over the years. This is likely why it attracted the attention of Accor, which was looking to expand when it acquired Onefinestay in 2016.

“We’ve looked at around 200 companies in 2015,” then-deputy CEO Vivek Badrinath told Tech Crunch, back in 2016. “We’re really interested in this vertical; private rentals for high-end stays. Our clients are interested in this vertical. And if we follow our clients’ needs then we’re sure we remain relevant for them.”

During the pandemic, many people turned to home-rental companies like Airbnb and Vrbo to book socially distanced vacations that felt safer and more spread out for folks willing to travel. As travel continues to ramp up, it'll be interesting to see if the trend of opting for a home rental over a hotel will continue.

My best guess is that it will -- and more hotels will get in on the action.

While people are returning to offices, many are still working remotely and taking advantage of the opportunity to travel the world with their newfound flexibility. Others have simply discovered a new way to travel. This is especially true for people who avoided Airbnb but are willing to rent from a company that offers more peace of mind that comes with the brand consistency of, say, Marriott or Mandarin Oriental.

Ultimately, home rentals aren't going anywhere, but neither are hotels. Now the question is which brand will jump into the market next and how will they differentiate themselves from a space that, sooner or later, might get a little too crowded?

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more