Australia's most expensive places for a hotel room revealed

Daydream Island in the Whitsundays. The Whitsundays remain the most expensive place in Australia, on average, for a room.
Daydream Island in the Whitsundays. The Whitsundays remain the most expensive place in Australia, on average, for a room. 

The Whitsundays, Darwin and Sydney have topped the list as the three most expensive places in Australia for a hotel.

Room prices in Australia increased an average of 4 per cent last year to $177, but the top three have hit $200 or more.

The average price paid for a hotel room in the Whitsundays was $257 (up 4 per cent from 2012), Darwin $204 (+12 per cent) and Sydney $200 (+9 per cent), according to online accommodation booking site hotels.com which has released its 10th annual Hotel Price Index.

Perth has experienced a major drop in hotel prices as the mining boom eases.
Perth has experienced a major drop in hotel prices as the mining boom eases. 

The only major drop in Australian hotel prices was in Perth where rates fell a whopping 8 per cent, to $195, as the mining boom eases.

Of the other capital cities, Melbourne averaged $171 (+6 per cent), Brisbane $169 (-3 per cent), Hobart $165 (+5 per cent) and Adelaide $144 (-1 per cent).

Abhiram Chowdhry, hotels.com vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific, said the drop in Perth was a market correction. "The prices of previous years had been inflated by the mining boom," he said.

A spokesperson for Daydream Island, Jane Hermann, said Whitsunday resorts provide more than just a hotel room.

She said guests get a full buffet breakfast daily and more than 20 free activities such as use of catamarans, shark and stingray feeding shows, open-air cinema and kayaks.

"You really need to look beyond the simple overnight rate to see the true value you are receiving."

On a global scale, hotel prices increased by an average of 3 per cent.

The biggest rise was in Anaheim, home of Disneyland, where a 24 per cent increase took the average price per night from $131 to $163.

The tropical island of Boracay, with white-sand beaches, in the Philippines also had a 24 per cent increase, taking its average nightly price from $130 to $161.

But New York remains the most expensive destination at $295, ahead of Rio de Janeiro $262 and Geneva $260.

Meanwhile, London has risen to $223 pushed along by the birth of the royal baby and the continued aftermath of the 2012 Olympics, according to hotels.com.

The only global region to experience an overall downturn was Asia, where room rates fell 2 per cent due to a combination of reasons including major currency devaluations in the region, political protests in Thailand and typhoons in parts of South-East Asia.

Among the best value in Asia, hotels.com lists Phnom Penh at $69 a night and Siem Reap and Hanoi at $70.

Bali is also well priced.

"A combination of a falling exchange rate and increased competition from Fiji contributed to the 9 per cent decline to $135 recorded in Bali, the most popular Asian destination for Australian travellers in 2013," the report said.

Bali also did well in the "star rating" category.

Hotels.com examined the star rating that $150 or less could have bought during 2013 in 56 cities around the world. Warsaw was top of the list, with $150 buying a five-star room there. But Bali was equal second with $150 or less buying a four-star room.

The worst performers were San Francisco, New York, Cancun and Boston which all offered only one-star accommodation for $150.

The Hotel Price Index is based on bookings made on hotels.com sites around the world and tracks the real prices paid per hotel room (rather than advertised rates) for more than 150,000 properties.

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