Cohobnb Review: 4 Reasons I Recommend Airbnb Instead

July 15, 2021
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Cohobnb has done a good job curating properties that guests will want to stay in—but that’s where my praise for it ends. Its selection of properties is small, it charges higher fees than its needs to, and its website is designed in a way that suggests properties cost far less than they actually do.    

Airbnb is the trusted name in the world of vacation rentals, and does a far better job than Cohobnb on all of these points. With its more transparent pricing, lower upfront risk for guests, and far better selection of properties across northwest Arkansas, I highly recommend Airbnb over Cohobnb.

What Is Cohobnb?

Cohobnb is a vacation rental company with 75+ properties for rent in northwest Arkansas. Their properties are spread across the major cities in the region: Bentonville, Lowell, Bella Vista, Springdale, Fayetteville, Eureka Springs, and Rogers.

Cohobnb has done a good job curating a handful of well-designed properties in the region, though it falls short of Airbnb in several key ways. In this review, I’ll break down a few reasons why I suggest Airbnb over Cohobnb. 

Why I Recommend Airbnb Over Cohobnb

#1 Number Of Properties 

Cohobnb is a boutique vacation rental service, so it’s no surprise that it’s going to offer fewer properties than Airbnb. But how big is that difference, and is it meaningful? I looked at a handful of the cities Cohobnb operates in to understand how it stacks up against Airbnb. 

For example, when I looked at just Fayetteville—the largest city in northwest Arkansas—I saw that Cohobnb has a total of 35 properties available for rent.

Cohobnb Review Fayetteville Properties

Airbnb, on the other hand, has at least 300 properties—and potentially many more, since Airbnb just shows “300+ properties” once it hits 300.

In fact, Airbnb offers 300+ properties run by Superhosts, Airbnb’s internal metric that indicates extremely high host and property quality. So not only does Airbnb have at least 10x as many properties in Fayetteville than Cohobnb, it also has at least 10x as many quality properties in Fayetteville than Cohobnb.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. The reality of vacation rentals is that they can get booked up months in advance, especially if you’re traveling during a holiday or other special event. 

For example, when I tried to book a 3-night stay for this upcoming weekend, I found that only 2 properties were available in Fayetteville.

Cohobnb Review Fayetteville Weekend July

The same search on Airbnb yielded—you guessed it—300+ properties.

Just in case this upcoming weekend is particularly busy for Cohobnb, I checked another weekend 4 weeks from now. There were still just 13 properties available, though, and none below $200 per night. As you’ll see in the next section, they were actually much more expensive than I expected.

Cohobnb Review Fayetteville Weekend August

So if you want to use Cohobnb, I strongly suggest booking at least a month in advance.

#2 Dishonest Pricing

One of the things that really turns me off Cohobnb is how it leads me into thinking a property is available for a lower price than it actually is. I’ll can continue using my Fayetteville example to show you what this looks like.

Here’s the same list of properties available 4 weeks from now, sorted this time by ascending price:

Cohobnb Review Fayetteville Weekend August Price

As you can see, there are 13 properties available, the cheapest of which is The Wildflower. The Wildflower appears to be available for $92/night. When I dug a little deeper, though, I learned that that wasn’t the case at all.

The first thing I was shown when clicking on The Wildflower was that it’s apparently available from $65/night. That’s even cheaper than I expected—great! 

Cohobnb Review Wildflower

But then I scrolled down the page and saw the actual price: 

Cohobnb Review Wildflower Price

$740? Huh?

There was no mistake, though: the price to book The Wildflower for the dates I had selected was $740, or $247/night. That’s nearly triple the $92/night I was shown on the search page, and quadruple the $65/night that’s listed on the property page.

Of course, I’m aware that vacation rental prices fluctuate with supply and demand, and that different dates command different prices. But that’s beside the point. The point is that Cohobnb displays prices during the search process that are 1/3 as much as what I actually have to pay, and that’s just not right. Why would I go through all that effort to find a good deal when everything ends up being 3x as expensive as I thought it was?

If you think The Wildflower is an anomaly, check out how much the price jumps between the search page and the booking page on these other properties from those exact same dates.

PropertyNightly Price (Search Page)Nightly Price (Booking Page)Difference
The Wildflower$92$247$155/night
The Ivory$162$389$222/night
The Holly House$297$628$331/night
Pig Sooie Porch (PSP)$286$650$364/night
Highland Cottage$208$590$382/night

Find this too hard to believe? I can’t blame you, but it’s true. Here are some screenshots for Highland Cottage so you know I’m not making this up. $1,770 over 3 nights comes to $590/night.

Cohobnb Review Highland Cottage
Cohobnb Review Highland Cottage Payment

I have a big problem with companies that try to trick you into paying more than you think you are, and unfortunately Cohobnb is one of them. This alone is enough to prevent me from using them, and that’s not the end of my gripes with their pricing model.

#3 Too Many Hidden Fees

Once you hit Book Now on the Cohobnb property you want to book, three additional fees pop up: the Damage Waiver, the Cleaning Fee, and Taxes. Here’s the breakdown of fees for Highland Cottage, the property we just looked at:

Cohobnb Review Highland Cottage Fees

As you can see, the fees are broken down like this:

  • Cleaning Fee: $125
  • Damage Waiver: $79
  • Combined Sales Tax: $181.20

To be fair, these fees are included in the $1,770 price ($590/night) I mentioned earlier. Yet they’re also quite a bit more than what you normally pay for an Airbnb.

First off, cleaning fees on Airbnb tend to be around $50 per stay, which is reasonable. On Cohobnb, though, they’re far more. The table below shows the fees you pay for the same 3-night stay for each of the five properties mentioned above. As you can see, the average cleaning fee is $137.

PropertyCleaning FeeDamage Waiver
The Wildflower$60$29
The Ivory$110$59
The Holly House$190$59
Pig Sooie Porch (PSP)$200$79
Highland Cottage$125$79
Average$137$57

The damage waiver is another killer. While some Airbnb hosts request a security deposit during your stay, that security deposit is only used if something is damaged or missing after your stay (more on Cohobnb’s security deposits in the next section). In my experience, that’s a very rare occurrence, which means the damage waiver you’re paying Cohobnb is almost always unnecessary. Still, it averages out to $57 per stay.

Sales tax is the same between the two platforms, since that’s set by the government. But the other two fees tend to be far more on Cohobnb, costing you an average of $194 more per stay

#4 Unnecessarily High Security Deposits

Every Cohobnb property requires a $1,500 security deposit, which is unnecessarily high. I get that hosts want their properties to be protected, but Cohobnb should really take a page out of Airbnb’s book when it comes to security deposits.

Cohobnb Review Security Deposit

Airbnb hosts have the option to request a security deposit from their guests, though many of them do not. For those that do, the deposits tend to be in the $200-$500 range, not $1,500, reducing the risk for guests and making booking a home easier for all parties.

The problem with Cohobnb’s $1,500 security deposit is not only that it’s risky for guests, though. It’s also that if you don’t have $1,500 of space on your credit card, you won’t be able to book a Cohobnb property at all

I also don’t like that Cohobnb doesn’t show this security deposit on the payment page. If you don’t read the booking page in detail, it’s very easy to skip over the security deposit, so many guests likely won’t know about it until $1,500 has been placed on hold on their credit card.

Is Cohobnb Really That Bad?

Despite everything I’ve said about Cohobnb, and my steadfast belief that Airbnb is a better option for most travelers to northwest Arkansas, I’m not going to say that the company is awful. I’ve laid out my main issues with them in the four points above, which sum up to a) far fewer properties to choose from, and b) distasteful pricing practices.

With that said, you can still have a great time with Cohobnb. If price isn’t important to you, and you’re able to find a place to stay for your chosen dates, I say go for it. They have some beautiful properties that are very well-maintained, and they continue to add more as the company grows. For most people, though, the wider selection and more reasonable pricing means Airbnb is still a better bet.

In Summary

Cohobnb has done a good job curating properties that guests will want to stay in—but that’s where my praise for it ends. Its selection of properties is small, it charges higher fees than its needs to, and its website is designed in a way that suggests properties cost far less than they actually do.    

Airbnb is the trusted name in the world of vacation rentals, and does a far better job than Cohobnb on all of these points. With its more transparent pricing, lower upfront risk for guests, and far better selection of properties across northwest Arkansas, I highly recommend Airbnb over Cohobnb. 

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