I spent one night in a swanky hotel-apartment hybrid rented out by Sonder, the $1 billion startup disrupting the hospitality industry. Here are 6 ways it was radically different from a typical Airbnb stay.
Katie Warren/Business Insider
- Sonder is a $1 billion hospitality company that claims to combine the best parts of hotels and private home stays.
- The company, which has 9,000 rental apartments in cities such as New York, Washington DC, San Diego, Austin, Miami, New Orleans, and London, has been compared to Airbnb.
- But unlike Airbnb, which is mainly made up of individuals renting out their homes, Sonder leases and manages its own rentals, which are licensed as hotels.
- I recently stayed in a Sonder apartment in New York City, and I noticed several differences that set it apart from a typical Airbnb.
- Some of the main differences were that my Sonder had a separate elevator bank from the one permanent residents use, and I had access to an "essentials closet" where I could grab things like extra toilet paper, olive oil, or anything else I needed.
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It's one of several new hybrid companies like Lyric and Blueground that combine elements of hotels and apartment rentals. Although it's been compared to Airbnb, Sonder leases and manages its own rentals, which are licensed as hotels. Airbnb, on the other hand, is mainly made up of individuals renting out their homes.
Sonder's 9,000 rental apartments can be found in cities such as New York, Washington DC, San Diego, Austin, Miami, New Orleans, London, and Dubai.
I recently stayed in one of their apartments in New York City - here's how it was different from staying in a typical Airbnb.
1. The check-in process was more straightforward and secure than I've experienced in many Airbnbs.
2. My Sonder had its own separate elevator bank.
3. I didn't feel like I was staying in someone's home.
4. The apartment was cleaned to the standards of a hotel.
5. I had access to Sonder-specific amenities such as a lounge, game room, and movie theater.
6. My Sonder had an "essentials closet" where I could grab things like extra toilet paper, olive oil, or anything else I needed.
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