Cost of hotels in major cities of the USA

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Mar 30th, 2015, 07:07 PM
  #1
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Cost of hotels in major cities of the USA

Since I was last in the USA I cannot believe how the hotel prices have soared even for an average 2 star place. As a solo traveller it almost makes the trip either out of the question or necessary to shorten the time away. Anything half decent seems to be over $100 per night and that's not including the tax which is so cunningly listed separately. How do the locals afford to take regular holidays and stay in these places? I also like to use B & B's sometimes but they also are expensive or even more than the average hotel.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 07:23 PM
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> How do the locals afford to take regular holidays
> and stay in these places?

I visit national parks instead of cities.
I travel off-season.
I use URLs like Kayak, Priceline, Hotwire, BetterBidding, & Tripadvisor to find bargains.
Instead of downtown hotels, I stay in motels that allow me to quickly get to where I want to be, but are located along expressways instead of cool neighborhoods -- these tend to have lots of amenities for their price.

Other than New York City, I almost never spend $100 a night for lodging unless I choose to do so for business travel or for a special occasion.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 08:33 PM
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"...that's not including the tax which is so cunningly listed separately"

It's not "cunningly listed separately".
It's listed separately.

I agree with Priceline and Hotwire for deals. Use betterbidding.com to figure out which hotels you'll get with your bids.
I agree with Tripadvisor for reviews.
I agree with staying further out of town for less expensive hotels, but that assumes you'll have a car.
Some folks are finding success with airbnb.com.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 09:30 PM
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>>Anything half decent seems to be over $100 per night and that's not including the tax <<

Rates are VERY location-specific (and date specific). $100 gets you a park bench in Manhattan, but a very nice/large room w/ two queen sized beds and a balcony someplace like Mount Shasta California. You can't generalize -- and I don't think room rates have gone up much in general. Room rates were very depressed for several years during and after the financial crisis. In my city rates have only started going up slightly in the last 6 months or so.

>>I also like to use B & B's sometimes but they also are expensive or even more than the average hotel.<<

B&Bs (in general) in the States are not the budget/homey accommodations you'd find in say Scotland or rural France. In the States a Bed and Breakfast is often a posh, high end property w/ wine/cheese in the evenings, hot tubs, and gourmet breakfasts.

You can stay in a suite sleeping a family of 6 w/ a kitchenette across the street from Disneyland for about $150 a night - that room in San Francisco or NYC (if you could find such a thing) would run $800 or $1000 a night.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 10:16 PM
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My friends and family either rv, or camp, or live really frugally the rest of the year. Or vacation where they have connections (this last seems most common, visiting the grandkids is often combined with seeing the local tourist spots).
As for me- I don't drink on vacation, I stay in hostels if not traveling with family (koas/motel 6) when I am and I don't do expensive excursions. Some friends see that as deprivation, but the truth is, I am not in the hotel long enough to enjoy it, it's simply a place to crash at night. It helps also that I can spend hours in individual museums or exploring by biking or walking. Bookstores are sometimes my idea of a destination. Honestly- my biggest expense is probably food, because food is one of the reasons I travel to give you an idea...last year in chicago, I stayed in a neighborhood where 1 night at one of the surrounding hotels equalled my nearly 2 week long hostel stay! That made quite a difference budget wise, and freed up a lot of money that I then could use on food, museums, and a show.

Cruises are out because I get violently motion sick. I still get tempted, but decline, because a childhood of carsickness leaves a lasting impression lol.

And also, to echo the above comment- off season, especially on the coast, is the way to go. Hotels charge less, fewer crowds, and fewer touristy attractions to tempt everyone!
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Mar 30th, 2015, 10:28 PM
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And I also forgot to say that "half decent" means very different things to different people! My siblings will not stay at a hotel without a long list of amenities, valet parking, and some kind of in house dining.

My list is more like "decent water pressure, a door that locks, starbucks nearby and free parking"...oddly, my hotel choices are under $100 more often than theirs
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Mar 31st, 2015, 03:26 AM
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Some aspects of the dilemma.

I live in a very expensive seasonal vacation destination. The number of young families choosing to bring the kids to stay with the grandparents here has risen noticeably. This makes grandparents happy, of course, and it has always been a factor ("she summered on Nantucket since 1925" is common in obituaries) but there are also clearly couples who might have done a hotel stay or beach vacation elsewhere on their own, but hotels and inns in resort areas now have three night minimum stays and house rentals are a week or two. Many young people with lots of disposable income simply can't take that much time off. Grandma and grandpa are more flexible.

In defense of US hotels, you do pay by the room here rather than by the person as in some/many/most hotels abroad. A family of four can sleep for the night more cheaply than in the UK or on the Continent, and you can certainly eat here more cheaply.

I drive up and down the East Coast a great deal and usually pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 after tax for a Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express. I would pay, I think, a fair bit less off the main routes, but I am on the main route, and have to pay for the convenience. I would expect to pay more in a city owing to higher costs for land and labor, to say nothing of greed. There is nothing in the services offered by traditional hotels -- Marriott, Hilton, etc -- that I value enough to pay extra for, especially now that many are starting to block wifi except their own.

I simply wouldn't stay ever in certain less expensive chains in the East because there are constant crime issues associated with their properties, though they may be perfectly respectable in other parts of the country.
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Mar 31st, 2015, 03:36 AM
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You also can look for discount coupons if you are willing to be a "walk in". Check RoomSaver.com
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Mar 31st, 2015, 07:37 AM
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Taxes are almost always listed separately because the rates are set at a local level, which means that they can vary from place to place making all-inclusive pricing harder to do.
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Mar 31st, 2015, 10:51 AM
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It's fairly difficult to find a nice hotel for under $150 in the middle of a large US city these days, so I do feel your pain. And in the largest, busiest urban areas, $150 to $200 is more typical (even more in NYC).

People do use various discount hotel sites to find cheaper rooms, and you can sometimes find a room even in NYC for $150 during the low season (January to early March).

AirBnB offers another alternative, especially for a single traveler willing to use the "share" aspect of the so-called sharing service. You can rent a room in an occupied home or apartment for much less than the cost of a hotel.

There are also hostels in large cities, cheaper motels in sprawling urban areas that become possibilities if you have your own means of transportation. And of course smaller and less popular destinations for tourists are often significantly cheaper than big cities and popular vacation areas.

It's much as it is in Europe, though I do find that Europe has a larger number of cheaper, tourist-class hotels with limited comforts.

Still, I share the confusion of other posters who don't understand why you find this so mystifying. Prices go up, costs go up, travel is more expensive nowadays in all developed countries. There are always cheaper alternatives (Portugal and Greece in Europe, Argentina and Chile in South America, much of Asia).
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Mar 31st, 2015, 12:09 PM
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Firstly
Big Russ, thank you for your sarcastic and unhelpful comments, if you care to look you will find the places you quote actually charge over the $100 mark in larger cities. Yes, I use the internet all the time, have booked for all over the world on the internet not that it concerns you. If you have nothing helpful to say, then say nothing. To all the others thank you for replying and there were comments from you all that are very helpful. As for the tax issue I did not know that it varies from place to pace, where I am we have a standard 15% so therefore the total price is always listed.
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Mar 31st, 2015, 12:23 PM
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If you are looking for help, ask for it. Don't come on the board and whinge about costs. Large cities have high hotel charges. IF you've booked "all over the world" you bloody well know that and SHOULD KNOW prices are worse in Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, and pick a Scandinavian capital than they are in most US cities, especially ones with one-word names (not San Francisco, not New York).

As for chiding me for being unhelpful - I told you where else to look with some specificity. Do so, for you may find what you seek.
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Mar 31st, 2015, 01:04 PM
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It really matters on where in the hugely massive United States you plan on going. There are many, many places where you can get a hotel for less than $100 / night ! If you are eyeing NYC - no, not likely unless it's in January or February.

Taxes vary from City / State to City / State so, as said, no one is trying to be cunning.

If you want advice please say where you plan on going to in the 50 States of the US.
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Mar 31st, 2015, 06:34 PM
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How do the locals afford to take regular holidays and stay in these places?

Many people seldom if ever stay in a hotel or motel. Many of my friends and acquaintances go camping, bunk with family or friends, or stay close to home.

HTtY
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Mar 31st, 2015, 09:34 PM
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"prices are worse in Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, and pick a Scandinavian capital than they are in most US cities, especially ones with one-word names"

The place I usually stay in London, an en-suite single with full English breakfast, in Bloomsbury, is currently charging 108 USD including tax for the summer. I was just looking for something similar in Boston, which has a one word name, and was looking at over twice as much, pre-paid. I am actually staying in London, in a single with bath and kitchenette on Drury Lane for eight nights for what an en-suite room with king bed in Cambridge (not Boston itself) is costing for four nights. (The London digs are in a student dorm, so not luxurious, but I don't need luxurious.)

I just checked the Toyoko chain, which I used in Japan, and they have single rooms in Tokyo for less than my London rates.
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Apr 1st, 2015, 06:38 AM
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The RoomSaver.com is a good suggestion! You can't use it and make a reservation it has to be on a walk-in basis but we have used them with success. You can print the coupons out on-line or if driving stop in at the Visitor Centers/Rest Stops and pick up the coupon books, they always have 2 or 3 in racks.
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Apr 1st, 2015, 07:08 AM
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We have many motel chains that offer rooms at lower rates than chains such as Best Western, Hampton Inn, and Holiday Inn Express.

The less expensive chains include Travelodge, Super 8, Sleep Inn, Motel 6, and Rodeway Inn.

Unfortunately, in large cities these brands are often not conveniently located in areas tourists want to be.

Motel room rates are easy to research using Google.

HTtY
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