Hotels.com Names Most, Least Expensive Cities for Hotels

Although the economic recovery is good news for meeting planners, it comes at a cost, suggests Hotels.com's biannual Hotel Price Index (HPI): higher room rates.

The HPI is a regular survey of hotel prices in major destinations across the world, based on Hotels.com bookings. Released yesterday, this year's survey found that global hotel prices increased by an average of 4 percent in 2011, and that North American hotel prices increased an average of 5 percent, "continuing the process of steady recovery from the lows of 2008."

Based on its HPI results, Hotels.com also compiled a list of the top 10 most expensive U.S. cities for hotels, and a list of the top 10 least expensive.

Based on 2011 average daily rate (ADR), the most expensive destinations, it found, are:

1. New York ($204)
2. Honolulu ($175)
3. Boston ($165)
4. Miami ($153)
5. Santa Barbara/Santa Maria/San Luis Obispo, Calif. ($147)
6. New Orleans ($146)
7. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif. ($143)
8. Washington, D.C. ($142)
9. Panama City, Fla. ($139)
10. Chicago ($139)

The least expensive destinations, meanwhile, are:

1. Columbia, S.C. ($65)
2. Macon, Ga. ($72)
3. Albany, Ga. ($76)
4. Dothan, Ala. ($76)
5. Lima, Ohio ($78)
6. Bakersfield, Calif. ($78)
7. Ottumwa – Kirksville, Mo. ($79)
8. Glendive, Mont. ($79)
9. Montgomery (Selma), Ala. ($79)
10. Parkersburg, W.Va. ($80)

Concludes Hotels.com: "The demand for travel to New York City, Honolulu, Boston and Miami would naturally drive prices a little higher hence marking them as the most expensive U.S. cities to visit. Travelers will continue to flock to these cities in droves, yet there are still deals to be found. For travelers seeking a low budget, but charming experience, the South is home to the four most affordable (and sweet as Pecan pie) destinations."

To view the HPI in its entirety, visit www.hotel-price-index.com for the full report.