A Kelowna Airbnb & VRBO Alternative

The Shore Kelowna, an Airbnb & VRBO Alternative, exterior view showing private patios, lake views, and an outdoor terrace with fireplace


Vacation rentals are soaring in popularity, providing a home away from home for vacation-goers across the nation. The Okanagan Valley is one of Canada’s top-rated vacation destinations, offering the very best in beaches, sunshine, wineries, and winter sports. 

Kelowna is the midpoint and largest community in the Okanagan Valley. It seamlessly blends rural and urban living, surrounded by nature and rooted in rich culture. 

If you’re looking for a place to rent for your next vacation, Airbnb and VRBO offer numerous options. In this article, we’ll go over the similarities and differences between these platforms. We’ll cover the pros and cons, and offer The Shore Kelowna as a unique alternative. 


The Airbnb Experience

Airbnb is a travel community made up of renters and homeowners. Founded in 2008, Airbnb has quickly grown to become one of the biggest players in the vacation rentals market. Airbnb is known for its sheer volume and vast assortment of property types, operating across the globe in over 220 countries.

Airbnb rentals range from shared spaces, like spare bedrooms, to entire homes. Like a traditional bed and breakfast, Airbnb pairs renters with homeowners who facilitate the rental experience. Unlike traditional B&B’s, most Airbnb stays don’t include a complimentary breakfast. 


The VRBO Experience

VRBO, which stands for Vacation Rental by Owner, was founded in 1995. It merged with Home Away and VacationRentals.com in 2005 and 2007, creating another powerhouse in the vacation rentals market.

VRBO has a similar business model to Airbnb, with vacation rentals listed by homeowners through the online platform. VRBO offers more privacy, with only whole homes, condos, or apartments for rent. 


Short Term Rentals in Kelowna

Almost anyone can host a property on Airbnb & VRBO, but city bylaws also dictate who can offer short-term rentals in Kelowna. Under new regulations, a homeowner can legally rent out their principal residence for periods of 29 days by applying for a business license. 

There are situations where short-term rentals can be outside of the owner’s principal residence, but these are only in select tourist areas. These limitations are put in place to help keep the rental market fair for long-term renters, and support equity among short-term rental providers.

The short-term rental business licence restricts the number of bedrooms, number of adults per bedroom, parking spaces, and number of bookings at a time. With an influx of tourists in Okanagan summers, this can mean rentals book far in advance.

Okanagan lake beach with valley mountains in background on a clear sunny day
A Kelowna beach on Okanagan Lake with the City Park boardwalk in the background.


The Uncertainty in Vacation Rentals

Airbnb and VRBO rentals are operated by individual homeowners, so the rental experience using these platforms can vary dramatically. Reviews can provide an indication of past experiences, but there’s no guarantee that rentals will meet expectations. 

VRBO goes a step further than Airbnb, offering a Book With Confidence Guarantee. This ensures that guests are found an alternative if the booking goes wrong or if the property isn’t as described. However, as help is only available after the booking goes wrong, there’s an element of risk in both platforms. 


Your Airbnb & VRBO Alternative

The Shore Kelowna offers the luxury amenities of a hotel, the lakefront proximity of a summer home, and the booking flexibility of a vacation rental. With professional property management, The Shore eliminates the uncertainty of Airbnb & VRBO. 

The Shore is an apartment-style building with 103 modern suites for rent, with plenty of parking and two or three-bedroom suites for larger families. Steps to Kelowna’s most popular tourist attractions, The Shore is Kelowna’s choice for short and extended-stays.


A Comparison of Vacation Rentals in Kelowna

Airbnb VRBO The Shore Kelowna
Quality  Assurance None – the experience varies by owner. Partial – the experience varies by owner; a Book With Confidence Guarantee can help renters find an alternative if the property isn’t as described or if something goes wrong. Full – quality is  guaranteed through RISE property management.
Price Range

$41 (hostel) – $1000+(home) per night

*varies by property

$40 (rv) – $1000+(home)  per night

*varies by property

$119 – $400+ per night

*varies by seasonal demand and suite type

Extra Fees (not including taxes) Airbnb service fee
– cleaning fee*
– extra guest fee* *varies by property
VRBO service fee
– cleaning fee*
– extra guest fee**varies by property
– cleaning fee
Maximum number of bookings at a time 1 1 103
Maximum number of bedrooms 3
*as per Kelowna bylaws
*as per Kelowna bylaws
103 Studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, & three bedroom suites.
Amenities *varies by property *varies by property On-site dining, fitness centre, modern kitchens, community barbeque, private patio, & terrace with fireplace.
Privacy Typically requires interaction with the host, unless an “entire home” is selected; rentals can be shared spaces, such as a spare bedroom. Focuses on whole-property private residences, where contact with the host is typically digital. No-contact digital access, including contactless check-in and check-out.
Cancellation Policy & Refunds Determined by the owner; refunds for service fees are limited. Determined by the owner; service fees are non-refundable. Free cancellations 8+ days prior to arrival; 50% charge 3-7 days prior & non-refundable less than 72 hours to arrival. 
Pet Friendly Determined by owner Determined by owner Yes, we’re pet friendly.
Location *varies by property *varies by property Lakefront in Kelowna’s Lower Mission neighbourhood, steps to Gyro beach & Okanagan Lake.

*Note: Kelowna’s surrounding communities have their own regulations for short-term rentals. West Kelowna is working towards the implementation of Short Term Rental Regulations in May of 2021.


Come Soak in The Shore

Whether it’s for a weekend getaway, the entire summer, or a few college semesters, The Shore Kelowna has flexible accommodations to suit any renter. To learn more or secure your booking, contact us today! 

Why The Shore is Ideal for an Extended Stay in Kelowna

Looking for the Ideal Extended Stay location in Kelowna?

How do you know you’ve found the perfect extended stay accommodation option in Kelowna? From amenities and activities to location and views, we’ve compiled a check-list of must-haves for extended stays in Kelowna to help make sure you’re not missing out on anything.

Extended Stay Kelowna The Shore


#1. Extended Stay – Location, Location, Location

In Kelowna, it really is possible to have it all: views, nearby shopping and restaurants, trails, and more. When you’re looking for your home away from home in this city, be sure your long-term stay suite brings you:

  • Mountain or lake views
  • Footsteps from the beach
  • Walking distance to sought-after shops and restaurants
  • Easy access to walking trails and transit

Guests enjoying extended stays in Kelowna at The Shore experience the best of the Okanagan every day.

Facing the shores of Okanagan Lake, guests enjoy the serenity and beauty of the lake from the private balconies of their luxury suites or the outdoor terrace.

You are also here to enjoy the bounty of the Okanagan, and really good food! At The Shore, you’ll love being able to walk downstairs for coffee or a delicious meal at KB&Co, a fast-casual plant-based café, or Diner Deluxe, a restaurant bringing you fresh, local fare from morning until evening.

Located in the coveted Lower Mission neighbourhood, you’re also a short walk away from some of Kelowna’s most celebrated boutiques and restaurants.


#2. Everything-you-could-want suites

At your home away from home, it should be as easy to get to great eateries as it is to cook the meals you love right in your own kitchen.

Beyond a kitchenette, The Shore brings you chef-inspired kitchens with all the amenities you need to fuel adventures and relaxation, including:

  • Oven and stove
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Minor appliances, such as a toaster and electric kettle
  • Dinnerware, cookware, cutlery, and even wine glasses

Additionally, each luxury suite is furnished with;

  • Custom-designed furniture
  • Washer and dryer
  • Private balconies
  • 4K flat-screen LG TV’s
  • High-speed wireless internet

With such mild winters, snowbirds in Kelowna can also barbecue almost any night of the year on our community Weber barbecues. The courtyard is a terrific place to meet friends in any season.

When it’s time to wash off the sand from the beach or restore your muscles after a day of snowshoeing, enjoy a soak in a full-size bathtub before resting in a luxurious king bed (complete with views!).


#3. A home base to enjoy the Okanagan life

Of course, extended stays in Kelowna ought to make it easy for you to explore and enjoy all that is the Okanagan lifestyle.

Centrally located, The Shore places you:

  • 10 minutes from downtown Kelowna and the Orchard Park Shopping Centre
  • 20-minute drive from 40 wineries
  • 30 minutes from Big White Ski Resort, where you can enjoy snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and downhill skiing, just 60 minutes from either Silver Star Ski Resort near Vernon or Apex Mountain Ski Resort
  • A short drive from 19 spectacular golf courses because you are now also in golfer’s paradise

Of course, this is just the start of things to do as a year-round playground for all things recreation and culture!

What does your extended stay at The Shore look like? Get in touch to hear more about how we can accommodate your needs with a variety of suite options and views!