Hotel Room Price Increases Might Impact Your Next Vacation

Rooms are getting much pricier at some go-to destinations

Hotel interior
Hotel rooms in prime destinations are getting more expensive.
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A few days ago, I was doing some reseach and pricing out hotel rooms at an establishment I knew very well. One big had changed since the last time I’d looked at their room rates: namely, they’d gone up a lot in the intervening years. And while the cost of nearly everything increases over time, this felt like more than just standard inflation at work. Turns out I’m not seeing things, either — multiple publications have explored the recent uptick in hotel prices.

Last month, at The New York Times, Luis Ferré-Sadurní reported that New York City’s average hotel room price was at a new high: $301 per night. Ferré-Sadurní pointed to several factors at work here, from the city government cracking down on Airbnb and similar companies to the contracts many hotels have struck with New York to house migrant families. As Ferré-Sadurní observed, the latter creates something of a paradox, in that the program benefitted hotels when the pandemic had driven tourism in the city down substantially.

New York City isn’t the only tourist destination where travelers are finding booking a hotel challenging. Air Mail’s Ashley Baker chronicled the uptick in hotel prices all over Europe — including a significant number of already high-end establishments. One frequent traveler, Matt Butler, told Baker, “My inclination was to go back to my favorite spots, but now I’m leaning the other way.”

Baker cites a few reasons for the price increases, from inflation to a realization that — at least for some establishments — they can charge more for rooms there and a well-off clientele will be willing to pay for it.

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That isn’t without some challenges for hotels and travelers alike, though. A hotel making itself less affordable can also change the mood of the place; two of the travelers Baker spoke with mentioned a lack of any vibrancy in hotel common areas as of late. This does feel like the beginning of a shift in travel habits for some, and it’ll be fascinating to see what new destinations emerge as go-to locales.


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