Hotels.com, the leading accommodation site, has encouraged travellers to shop around when booking their Christmas city breaks to secure a top end hotel for a mid end price.*
Top-end hotels (particularly those in the four-star category) have cut their prices harder than other categories, which means that the price difference between a three-star hotel and a four-star is less than it has been for years. The average cost of upgrading from a mid-range to a top class hotel is as low as £2 per night in Oslo, just £7 in Barcelona and £9 in Madrid and Mexico City.
The cost of a shift to a four-star hotel can bring huge benefits, with better facilities, often more central locations, great restaurants (for that all important holiday breakfast) and bigger rooms.
However, four-star hotels have struggled particularly in the downturn as travellers have continued to take their main holidays but have made other breaks a discretionary purchase and have trimmed costs - preserving their break but spending less on hotels. The response from many hotels in the four-star category has been to cut rates back harder than those in the three-star category, bringing the cost of upgrade down substantially.
Alison Couper, director of communications at Hotels.com says: “While many still want to head off on breaks over the autumn and winter, there is a sense that money should be saved wherever possible.
“However, we would counsel travellers to shop around and not to think that, just because a hotel has three stars over the door, they will save money - in many cases four-star rooms can be cheaper than three-star hotels, and the cost of an upgrade might be much lower than travellers think.”