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Studio or one bedroom?


What would I do without this forum to bounce ideas off?!

We are currently in the process of buying an apartment in Cape Town to add to our Airbnb “Empire”. All the apartments in the block, several of which are STR are exactly the same size and shape, i.e. 43 square meters (463 square feet and basically square.) There is a wall of windows opposite the door.

The kitchen area is placed differently in the apartments we’ve seen, but the main difference is that in some the bed is visible, as in a proper studio, but other people have built an internal wall in order to create a separate bedroom area. I thought I would definitely prefer the separate bedroom option, but the studios do look more spacious and looking at the reviews already on Air, no-one seems to have complained about the bed being in the living area.

It’s a very popular location for young tourists: loads of restaurants and clubs and very “vibey” (how I hate that word!) so should I leave it as a Millennial studio or put in a wall for us older folks who like our separate rooms?

Ideas and opinions, please!


Our listing is about the same size, and it’s “open plan” – no divider because the place would be totally cramped if there were. More that 75% of our guests are “older folks” and no one has ever complained about the lack of a bedroom. I think it depends on how you “sell” the space. Talk about Open Plan rather than a Studio apartment. Talk about the sense of spaciousness.


I think my answer may depend on how many people you expect to book. If your max is two, you’ll probably target couples who you might expect are more comfortable sharing everything in an open studio.

If you expect to book more - say 4, using a bed and a fold out couch or futon, I think the wall would be helpful in giving more privacy.

Either way, I like KenH’s suggestions on “Open Plan” vs “Studio apartment” language.


Open plan, no wall. Perhaps one of those privacy screen things that fold up. People book rooms for four all the time with no separate bedrooms and young people (I assume the world over) are used to living in studio apts.


Interesting … I thought the bias would be towards one bedroom … I hadn’t thought of booking more than two people. That’s what we have in our apartments here but that’s more because we prefer it when we’re living next to our guests. Here’s one of the apartments in the building with a wall:

and one without:


Definitely 1 bedroom. Then two friends can book as well or a small family who needs to put the child separately. Also better for snorers!


Since maximum 2 guests, I would leave open floor plan because:

  1. 2 people traveling together usually don’t need/want the privacy that 4 people (2 couples) may want.
  2. With two people, A probably knows that B snores so hopefully will have earplugs.
  3. Based upon your square footage, closing in a bedroom will make the unit feel much smaller.
  4. Building a wall means you will spend additional time and money on something you don’t need. I don’t think the investment in the wall construction will increase your rentals.

You may wish to be selective of your wording and use the word Studio as in your other rental. I was snooping on my competition and noticed an awkward bad review because the person didn’t realize that the efficiency she booked was the same as a studio. She expected a separate bedroom and complained about sleeping in the same room as her adult children. The Host responded that the pictures clearly showed the bed was in the common room and that by the way, her reservation was for 2.


OMG. That woman had some nerve!


I vote for one bedroom. I think that people’s perception of a 1 bedroom vs a studio (in North America anyway) is that a 1 bedroom has more privacy and is larger, so would probably net you more money than a studio. It would also allow two couples to stay there and still have some privacy, or a couple and in-laws, etc.



How many guests? Your other listings are for 2 so I assumed this one would be for 2 also.


Here’s another term - a bed Sitter!


I haven’t seen the plans but sometimes a one bedroom can save space e.g. kitchenette part of living space and shower off the bedroom - no need for a corridor etc… Also no cooking smells or heat in bedroom. Can air condition bedroom quicker in Summer if separate.


I was looking for a holiday place in southern Europe once. It was for 2 families including a snorer. It was almost impossible to find out exactly how many bedrooms places had. Most hosts were counting more the number of people or beds, regardless of rooms or privacy. Mezzanines were counted as bedrooms and so were open to the kitchen living areas with camp beds. NO! I really wanted to know about real rooms! Doors and walls! I ended up messaging several hosts to find out, realised numbers of so called bedrooms were vastly oversold and ended up in an hotel instead.


I know exactly what I’d do! I hate to see studios where the bed is so visible. But I don’t like the idea of a wall. So I’d separate the sleeping area off from the living area with something that could be easily moved, such as a floor-to-ceiling curtain - so handy if the guests can’t be bothered to make the bed. And who wants to make the bed on vacation?

By the way, I’ve always wanted to go to Cape Town. When I win the lottery, I’ll come to see you. :slight_smile:


Thanks, everyone for the input, it’s given us much to think about and there are some very good points which hadn’t occurred to me before. Unfortunately it hasn’t actually made up my mind!

Since we are looking at three possible apartments it may, of course, come down to how the apartment is currently configured and how much it will cost to either demolish or build a wall. I also like, as @jaquo suggests, a partial separation of the sleeping area. I’m not so keen on a curtain but I’ve seen a nice kinf od wooden floor-fixed lattice screen which would work well. Like this:

And @jaquo, |I’ll have the kettle on ready for you (although we have to take tea from the UK - SA tea is horrible!)


Funny, that term seems to have completely gone off the radar … probably smacks too much of “lonely spinsters” drying their stockings on the radiator and tyranical landlords … Rigsby and Rising Damp again …


And the gorgeous Phillip.


VRBO/HomeAway show how many bedrooms a property has, and how large it is (if the owner includes that information.) It can be a little harder to figure out how many beds it has - I think you have to read the listing details to find that out.


“studio apartment” sounds a lot better than “bedsit” doesn’t it? I see some hotels are now offering “studio rooms” too.


We both know exactly what this sounds like. No thanks.

Yes, lots of extended stay hotels and others with expanded rooms with sofa beds, kitchenettes, etc.

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