HIPMUNK RELEASES FIRST ANNUAL SEASONAL HOTEL PRICE INDEX
Index includes the Most Expensive and Least Expensive Places in America to Book a Hotel this Summer
SAN FRANCISCO (May 21, 2015) — In many American cities, the winters are bitterly cold, but the summers are oh so gorgeous. Since the supply of hotels is the same no matter what season it is, prices go up to meet the increased demand. So, which American cities are going to be the most expensive to book hotels in this summer? In which cities do hotel prices skyrocket during the summer and plummet in the winter? Hipmunk reviewed its historical hotel data to figure it out.
The Most Expensive U.S. Cities for Hotels this Summer
This summer, the most expensive city in America to book a hotel in is Sonoma, California, where the average booking is $417. In close proximity to some 400 wineries, and perennially hot in the summer, Sonoma is an immensely popular vacation destination. The Northern California hotspot has a limited number of hotels, so in the summer, prices accordingly skyrocket.
Napa Valley, California ($338 per night) and Santa Barbara, California ($311 per night)—both of which also are peppered with some of America’s finest wineries—round out the top three most expensive cities to book a hotel in during the summer months.
The Least Expensive U.S. Cities for Hotels this Summer
In some cities, this dynamic is completely reversed: the hotels are actually much cheaper in the summer than they are in the winter. Typically, these are either ski destinations that have no snow in the summer, or vacation destinations that have nice weather in the winter and are uncomfortably hot during the summer.
Topping the list of cities with the biggest summer hotel savings is Scottsdale, Arizona (64 percent less that winter rates) and Miami (58 percent less than winter rates), but their average summer highs are 103 and 89 degrees, respectively. Rounding out the top three is the popular winter ski destination of Breckenridge, Colorado, which boasts a mild summer high of 70 degrees (56 percent less than winter rates).
Cities with the Most Seasonal Price Fluctuation
Many popular summer vacation destinations are known for their beaches, water parks, and other aquatic activities. When the weather cools down many summer attractions close for the winter causing hotels to lower their prices due to an expected decrease in demand. If you book a hotel in these cities in the wintertime, you’ll get a great price, but will have a smaller selection of activities to choose from. By summer, the prices will be much higher, but the full selection of attractions will be back in full swing.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is the city with the highest premium: $95 during the winter, and $228 during the summer, for a premium of 139 percent. Ocean City, Maryland and Newport, Rhode Island—both coastal towns with a huge tourist influx in the summer, but not much demand in the winter—complete the top three, with premiums of 130 percent and 101 percent respectively.
Off-Peak Deal Destinations
So, how does a traveler get the best deal on a hotel? One of the best ways to save money on a trip is to visit a vacation destination in a slightly off-peak season. That might mean visiting a ski resort in early spring, a winery in late fall, or a beach town just before the summer rush starts. To help determine when certain cities post their cheapest hotel prices, Hipmunk assembled a cheat sheet of costs by season.
|Cheat Sheet: Hotel Prices by Season|
|Average hotel rates from Hipmunk by season|
|Popular Cities||Winter||Spring||Summer||Fall||Popular Cities||Winter||Spring||Summer||Fall|
|Anchorage, AK||$101||$110||$184||$96||New York, NY||$185||$343||$295||$309|
|Ann Arbor, MI||$100||$104||$145||$148||Orlando, FL||$122||$104||$99||$101|
|Berkeley, CA||$174||$183||$179||$190||Palm Springs, CA||$281||$220||$133||$159|
|Boston, MA||$185||$289||$297||$338||Palo Alto, CA||$282||$256||$259||$318|
|Cambridge, MA||$187||$272||$255||$310||Philadelphia, PA||$170||$225||$185||$205|
|Charleston, SC||$221||$292||$194||$207||Phoenix, AZ||$149||$106||$80||$102|
|Chicago, IL||$138||$206||$260||$268||Pittsburgh, PA||$159||$193||$177||$209|
|Dallas, TX||$165||$148||$136||$175||Portland, OR||$148||$151||$187||$168|
|Denver, CO||$148||$133||$175||$178||Providence, RI||$157||$172||$210||$200|
|Detroit, MI||$180||$169||$192||$183||Salt Lake City, UT||$134||$107||$112||$106|
|Hilton Head Island, SC||$123||$242||$245||$171||San Antonio, TX||$147||$148||$134||$121|
|Hollywood, CA||$204||$191||$199||$199||San Diego, CA||$136||$151||$192||$145|
|Honolulu, HI||$231||$193||$220||$203||San Francisco, CA||$216||$230||$274||$242|
|Houston, TX||$152||$160||$140||$139||San Jose, CA||$169||$146||$199||$158|
|Key West, FL||$397||$357||$305||$258||Santa Barbara, CA||$225||$300||$311||$271|
|Las Vegas, NV||$164||$241||$131||$135||Santa Fe, NM||$203||$158||$195||$164|
|Memphis, TN||$156||$160||$149||$151||Savannah, GA||$165||$293||$211||$157|
|Miami, FL||$321||$196||$136||$149||Scottsdale, AZ||$267||$161||$97||$133|
|Milwaukee, WI||$121||$136||$173||$136||Seattle, WA||$179||$183||$302||$235|
|Minneapolis, MN||$121||$150||$187||$177||Sedona, AZ||$238||$272||$249||$191|
|Monterey, CA||$175||$195||$216||$174||Sonoma, CA||$276||$329||$417||$352|
|Myrtle Beach, SC||$95||$183||$228||$84||South Lake Tahoe, CA||$130||$125||$192||$121|
|Napa, CA||$264||$329||$338||$283||Tampa, FL||$137||$136||$93||$107|
|Nashville, TN||$155||$189||$177||$187||Taos, NM||$114||$77||$120||$97|
|New Orleans, LA||$221||$228||$164||$204||Virginia Beach, VA||$97||$135||$185||$106|
For the complete Hipmunk seasonal Hotel Price Index, visit the Hipmunk blog. To book your next trip, visit the Hipmunk homepage or download the Hipmunk Flight and Hotel App for free from the App Store and Google Play.
On behalf of Hipmunk, Priceonomics analyzed the average hotel prices on same-month bookings by Hipmunk users between January 1 and December 31, 2014.
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