On 9flats.com, travelers can rent someone else's apartment, room, or house and enjoy the feeling of home while traveling. There are also opportunities for hosts to list their own accommodations to make extra money while they're away from their home. 9flats' goal is to make travel more comfortable, rewarding, and affordable and to give homeowners an easy way to boost their income.
- Inexpensive accommodations
- Great features
With 9flats.com, travelers can rent someone else's apartment, room, or house (or even igloo) and enjoy feeling more at home than one would typically feel in a hotel. Property owners, on the other hand, can earn money renting out their spare space. The goal of 9flats.com is to make travel more rewarding, comfortable and affordable, and to give homeowners an easy way of boosting their income.
The service is a great way for travelers to get more value for their money. Since hotels come with big overheads, travelers can find more reasonable and inexpensive accommodation options. There is also a more local feel to the experience since the host will be of assistance throughout the trip. Other benefits of 9flats.com include:
- Search Feature - 9flats allows users to search accommodations without creating a user account or signing into their profile. The search feature is easy to use and on their homepage.
- Host Rating - Each host is given a star rating, so guests can easily see how other travelers have rated their experience with the property owner.
- Seasonal Pricing - Certain listings include seasonal prices, so travelers can plan their trip based on the most cost effective time of the year. Prices are usually lower during the off-season.
- Online Support - There is a support button on every page of their website, making is easy for users to get answers to their questions while searching listings.
- Simple Booking - 9flats makes it simple for travelers to make reservations. They have two options to finalize their reservations; they can either click the "Book" or "Instant Booking" button on their desired listing or they can call the Booking Hotline.
With 9flats.com, travelers will be able to take advantage of coming home to a comfy apartment or house instead of a stuffy hotel room at the end of a busy day's sightseeing. As a group or family, travelers will love having a living room to hang out in and a kitchen to cook in together.
- Lacking some features
- Customer service issues
- Poor reviews
While 9flats.com has a lot to offer travelers, especially those traveling in a group, there are some features and services missing from the platform. While not all other vacation rental platforms include the below services, they are common enough to make a note that 9flats.com does not offer them. These missing features include:
- Contact Information - The only way to contact a host is through the website by clicking the "Contact" button on the host's profile. No email or phone number is provided for the property owner.
- Customer Service - Travelers have had bad experiences with their customer service. When emailing, 9flats' support team would respond with terse, condescending one-line emails that didn't help resolve the customer's concerns.
- Cancellations - While hosts are usually the ones concerned about their guests canceling near their arrival date, hosts can also cancel on their guests. There have been cases where travelers have been told only 2 week before their reservation that the host was canceling their booking, making it very difficult for travelers to find new reservations.
- Commission - 9flats takes 15% commission from hosts for each reservation. Other vacation rental companies are known to only charge 12% commission.
- Foreign - 9flats is actually a German company, which is evident when reading their policies as everything is listed in Euros. The English site is well done, but it may be a barrier for some American travelers and hosts.
- Reviews - Many of the reviews are in other languages without a translation feature, which could be frustrating for American travelers who only speak English.
The Bottom Line
9flats is a good option for international travelers who know more than one language. Since 9flats.com is a German site, many of the reviews are in languages other than English, which makes it hard for many Americans to get the information they need before booking. 9flats' format is very similar to Airbnb.com, which is probably a better option for American travelers since they won't have to deal with currency confusion and booking with a foreign company. Those that use 9flats can expect the following from the service:
- More value for their money
- Privacy and home comforts
- Local tips and advice
- Cancellation issues
- Commission costs