American hotel prices vs. in other countries

A couple of nights ago, my wife and I were out late in Hollywood, and rather than drive home, we checked into the Hollywood Roosevelt. It was actually something we’d always wanted to do anyway, specifically staying in the room occupied by Marilyn Monroe when she died. (It’s supposed to be haunted, but we don’t believe in that stuff).

Now the HR is a great place, with lots of history, a great Jucuzzi and pool area, and a decent lobby bar and restaurant. We had a wonderful time. But their room tariffs are a bit steep to say the least. Regular rooms run between $220 and $240 a night, and this for rooms that could probably stand some remodelling. The wing in which we stayed was built, probably, in the early 1950’s and looked like it.

Now what brings me to my question is the fact that the HR is now part of an international chain, and they put a directory of their various hotels in the rooms. I was noticing that rates for comparable hotels in Europe seemed to be much less, even allowing for the exchange rates, and even in cities that we normally think of as being very expensive to visit. Unfortunately I no longer have the book with me, but it seemed as though 150 EUR was a typical big city hotel rate. But for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, it seemed > $300/night was typical.

For those of you who travel frequently, what have you observed about the cost of accommodations in Europe compared with that in the U.S.?

I think it depends on where and when you are staying and how many people are in your party. In the US most hotel/motels have two double beds and you can sleep four adults with only a small extra charge (maybe 10 per adult person). In my travels with MrPict and the Pictsiekids worldwide we have found that we are often required to get two rooms which doubles the price which was not cheap to begin with. And even then two adults in a room cost significantly more than one.

Note we stay in lower priced hotels but have still paid $150-200 per room and not had very fancy rooms. For example I stayed in London a couple of years ago with the two kids (young adults really) and an extremely modest room with 3 twin beds was around $180. Maybe I’m asking the wrong questions but it seems as if you have more than 2 per room they take the normal room rate divide it by two and charge that for the third person.

I found London, Madrid, Hong Kong, Singapore and Jakarta much more expensive than the US. Bali and Athens were amazingly cheap on the other hand. We solved the problem in Singapore and Hong Kong by staying at the YMCA and Salvation Army respectively. And no, we are not members, we’re not even Christian, they just rent out low cost accomodations to travelers.

PS we did not stay in typical American chain hotels in these countries such as the Holiday Inn. They seem to be even higher priced, probably because they attract 'Mericans who will pay extra for the known vs the unknown.

As far as the chain you are talking about maybe you’re paying for the history or maybe you walked in and paid rack rate.

PS I just checked their web-site and rooms with one double bed were running $155 per night and rooms with 2 double beds or one king size were running $169 per night. This is a pretty typical rate for a big city hotel in the US in my opinion.

Well, we did just walk in, so I assume that’s what you mean about having to pay the “rack rate”.

But the price we paid was within the price quoted in their directory.

A quick check on Marriott’s website, for a random date in June:

New York (Manhattan) starts at US$179

LA $139

Central(ish) London £124 = $226

Paris Eur169 = $203

Rome Eur278 = $334

Singapore SGD$250 = US$149

Sydney AU$199 = US$150
No real pattern to support the OP seems to be emerging…

I think the law of Supply and Demand work best with hotel prices.

Here in Las Vegas, rooms that might go for $49 mid-week in August, will cost upwards of $350 and more on busy convention weeks, special events weekends (boxing weekends are really expensive) and on certain popular three-day weekends. The rule of thumb is, if the flight is expensive to Las Vegas, so are the rooms. If the flight is cheap - you will get a deal on the rooms.

I once stayed at the Hotel Roosevelt - WAY overpriced and the first room they assigned to us was so small, I couldn’t get by the bed if the tv doors were opened. I complained and we got a larger room at the same price. My guess is, depending on the day of the week and how busy they were, you might have been able to work out a deal with the desk clerk…sort of, “we just thought we might stay instead of drive home…do you have any last minute deals?”

Another thing to take into consideration is those ads for ALL HOTEL ROOMS…they buy up chunks of rooms in advance and sometimes you can actually get a better deal from them than if you call the hotel directly!

Same thing with Hilton or Motel 6 or any of the chains. Call the 800 number and you will be surprised that you get a better deal with that operator in Boise, Idaho than with the clown who is standing at the front desk, ten feet away from you!

It is all about supply and demand.

As a walk in, you will almost always pay a higher rate than someone who calls first. The same would happen if you walked up to an airline counter to purchase a ticket the day you want to travel. No discounts here folks.

Also, while DMark is mostly right, new advances in technology have done away with most rate disparity. All the major hotel chains now have a best rate guarantee. You will not find x hotel’s rate any lower than you find it on their web site. Most hotels have a “Best available rate” or BAR that is published daily. Rates go up from that, not down, so while you used to be able to call the 800 # and get a better rate than at the hotel itself, those days are over (in most cases).

Well, I was basing my OP on one directory from one hotel chain. Maybe some of the foreign hotels that seemed so reasonable were actually not so conveniently located as I thought, or possibly not as well-appointed IRL. This particular chain seems to consist of various old hotels that used to be independent, and as such is not entirely homogenous, so it’s possible.

The location has a lot to do with it - when I went through those prices for Marriott, it was offering me ‘New York’ hotels that were in the middle of New Jersey, and London ones which were the wrong side of Stansted airport. Needless to say, these were a lot cheaper.