Sofia, Bulgaria named cheapest city for hotel stays in TripAdvisor hotel cost index

Australia may be the world's most expensive country to live in, but there are cities overseas where we can have a bargain holiday.

Bulgaria's laid-back capital Sofia is the No.1 city offering the best value hotel stay for Australian travellers, according to TripAdvisor's latest cost comparison report.

A one-night hotel stay with room service in Sofia comes to an average of $126.04, which is a quarter of the cost compared to New York – the most expensive destination in the TripAdvisor TripIndex Room Service report. The average hotel price for stays in the Big Apple on TripAdvisor, plus room service amenities, totals $546.61.

Australia has retained its title of the world's most expensive place to live, beating our Kiwi neighbours, the Brits, the Yanks and Canucks who round up the top five (and in that order) in a report by Deutsche Bank.

South-East Asia is still a bargain destination for Aussies with four of the world's top 12 best-value destinations.

These include: Jakarta, which was ranked No.3, coming in at a cost of $150.76 for a one-night hotel stay with room service; Kuala Lumpur at No.6 with a cost of $157.35, Hanoi in the No.8 spot with a cost of $164.77 and Bangkok at No.12 at a cost of $181.01.

However, it's Eastern Europe that snatches the title of the cheaper overall destination for Aussies, boasting six of the top 12 best-value destinations in the report.  

Sofia claims the top spot, followed by Kiev. One-night's hotel stay with room service in Ukraine's capital will set Aussies back $137.31, while at No.4 Polish capital Warsaw will cost $151.04.

Other Eastern European cities filled out the top 10 with Budapest ($157.84), Prague ($177.03) and Moscow ($177.34) at numbers 7, 9 and 10 respectively. 

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Egypt's Sharm el Sheik makes an appearance at No.5 with a cost of $156.42 a night and TripAdvisor's number one destination to visit for 2015, Marrakeshcomes in at No.11 with $179.64.

At the other end of the scale, North America and Europe boasts the five most expensive destinations in the index. 

After New York, Zurich has been named the second most expensive place to stay for travellers. An average night in the Swiss city will set Aussies back $463.92. It is followed by an Aussie favourite, London, which costs $438.03 a night. Toronto and Paris round up the top five with costs of $403.82 and $401.11 respectively. 

Sydney is the only Australian city to have made the top 20 priciest destinations. The country's most populated city has retained its spot at No.20 with one night's stay in a hotel with room service costing $281.84.

The on-average cost of a night's stay in Sydney is $211.19. A club sandwich is said to set travellers back $21.63, while it will costs $4.88 for a bottle of water, $22.75 for a mini bottle of vodka, $4.13 for a can of coke, $4.88 for a packet of peanuts and $12.88 to dry clean a shirt. 

The five best value destinations:

1.       Sofia
2.       Kiev 
3.       Jakarta 
4.       Warsaw 
5.       Sharm el Sheikh 

The five most expensive destinations:

1.       New York 
2.       Zurich 
3.       London 
4.       Toronto
5.       Paris  

The TripAdvisor TripIndex Room Service report compares the cost of hotel room service items in 48 destinations around the world. The 48 destinations featured in the index were based on the 50 countries which receive the largest number of international visitor arrivals (data compiled by the UNWTO, 2013).

To determine 'the best value hotel', the report takes into account the cost of a one-night stay in a four-star hotel, a club sandwich ordered through room service, the dry cleaning of one shirt as well as refreshments, including a bottle of water, peanuts, a can of soft-drink and a bottle of vodka from the mini bar, to calculate an overall 'best value' figure. 

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