5 Most Expensive Cities To Book a Hotel

Miami, Florida, US

Miami, Florida, US

Miami is that vibrant city at Florida’s southern tip. An assorted bunch of stuff makes Miami a city that people want to visit. With a reputation for beaches and all things aqua, Miami has, at different times, ranked as the United States’ cleanest city and its richest. In fact, in terms of purchasing power, in 2009 Miami was ranked fifth richest in the whole wide world. Unfortunately for those holiday makers who aren’t that rich, so too does Miami rank fifth in terms of most expensive hotel rooms.

A leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade, Miami certainly wears the tag “thriving metropolis” quite well. But according to the Bloomberg report to which we refer, the average cost of a hotel room in the city is $245 per night. That is a lot of cash that you could be spending in the city’s many stores, bars, or a million and one other places.

I guess it might be fair to suggest that given the strength of tourism in the city, and the cash splashed around in general, there are going to be some top shelf, luxury hotel suites pushing that average up a bit. A quick scan of TripAdvisor will fill you in on all that. In fact, I no longer care about cash when I look at some of the places on offer in Miami. Forget every negatively tinged word I said about the place, I’m off to Miami!

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland



Let’s be honest with ourselves here – at no stage were we expecting Zurich to be anything other than ridiculously expensive. In fact, when you consider that nearly a quarter of the city’s residents work at either banks or investment firms, it was never going to be a pocket-friendly place. The only thing that might surprise us about Zurich’s place on this list is that it isn’t at number one.

The Bloomberg list has Zurich sitting one notch above Miami at number four, with an average expectancy for hotel rates at a princely $250. The city is, of course, the largest in Switzerland (the nation’s capital being Berne), with a little under the two million mark in its metropolitan area. It is famous for money, really. Despite its relatively small population (just over 400,000 in the city proper) it remains one of the leading financial centres globally. Low tax rates have encouraged many companies to set up headquarters here.

If you can afford it, the place has become a truly worthwhile destination of recent years thanks to a burgeoning party and gastronomy scene. Long has it been one of the cleanest cities with an exceptional standard of living, but now it ranks as a pretty decent place to visit too.

When you do visit though, as we mentioned above, it ain’t gunna be cheap. Despite tourism, most visitors to Zurich are going to be there on business and using an expense account. It is perhaps this that we can blame the steepness of the hotel prices on, as most places are typically focusing solely on four or five star hospitality. The city actually has a reputation for having some of the finest hotels you can find. It’s just that you need to be able to afford them. If you can “scam” your way in to getting business rate, you might just have some spare change to spend outside the hotel.

Kuwait City, Kuwait

Kuwait City, Kuwait

Hands up if the first time you ever even heard of a country called Kuwait was due to Iraq’s scorched earth policy whilst retreating during the early 90s? Okay, hands up if you only ever heard of Kuwait because they have rich guys who live there that control oil? Uuummmmm…..hands up if you have never heard of a place named Kuwait? Okay then….

Kuwait City is the capital, largest city and centre of all things cultural, political, and economic in the Middle Eastern country of Kuwait. The country has a petroleum-based economy. It’s all about oil in Kuwait, despite efforts since the Gulf War to diversify somewhat. Whilst they have gone some way to branching out a little, it is the oil sees the Kuwaiti dinar (as the local currency is known) remaining the highest-valued currency unit on the planet.

There are museums aplenty. Malls, zoos, fish markets, entertainment centres – the list goes on. It goes on to include luxury hotels. Western chains of hotels are well-represented in Kuwait City with Marriott and Sheraton and many other five-star hotels in the city’s downtown business district. But you need only have a quick glance at the lists on such websites as Wikitravel to see your potential options. There is but one entry in the “budget” category, likewise in the “mid-range” grouping. It seems there are far more on the list of “splurge” hotels.

I guess there is one positive where hotel price is concerned. All of that extra cash you would have spent on booze you can now put in to the room price. Why? Because alcohol is illegal. Kuwait City, and Kuwait in general is an (albeit fairly liberal) Islamic country and alcohol is outlawed, along with dancing at concerts. So I guess you can save money there by not going to a concert whilst visiting Kuwait City.

Dubai, UAE

Dubai, UAE

Does anyone else sort of get the feeling that maybe the good people of Dubai could possibly be just a little bit upset that they didn’t get number one? I mean, I know it probably isn’t the type of list you necessarily want your city to top however, they seem to be shooting for the biggest and best of everything else. They are like the kid at school that just never seemed happy until they were the best at everything. The only difference is, I don’t think that Dubai is trying to prove anything to its dad.

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. You can think of it as an independent city-state. A phenomenally progressive and modern city, Dubai has soared in the tourism and trade sectors over recent years.

The main reason for high hotel prices in Dubai has typically been simply due to high demand. This has eased somewhat during the past couple of years, and you can now find some pretty good rooms at less than US$200. Having said that, the Bloomberg list still tells us that the average price for a hotel room in Dubai sits at US$273. This might not seem like the cheapest place to spend your time, but it could very well be one of the most unique. Is it worth the cash?

Dubai has come to possess fantastic infrastructure and superb tourism amenities. Being half way to a lot of places, it makes a very good spot to halt for a few days to break up a journey, and indulge in a bit of relaxation, sunbathing, fine dining, partying, sporting events, and perhaps the most important one; shopping.

It is a city where superlatives are a part of every introductory spiel. It has the biggest, tallest, fastest, first, and highest of so many things. Of course, we mentioned the shopping bit. Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world and so much of that has to do with shopping. It has more than seventy shopping centres and of course, the very largest shopping mall on Earth; Dubai Mall. Inside Dubai Mall, you will find Candylicious – the world’s largest sweets shop (I just felt like we should throw that one in there…). Then there’s Dubai Miracle Garden, the largest flower garden in the world – of course it is….

Of course, with all of these “biggest” things, coupled with the reason we made this list in the first place, we have to talk about the biggest hotels. The hotel known as the Burj Al Arab, is often said to be a “seven”-star luxury hotel. Although the hotel’s management has never made such a claim, many people like to put a spin on it and bill it as the world’s only seven-star hotel. Which is fine because it is Dubai we’re talking about here, but what the hell could seven stars actually be? This place, along with the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi each only claim to be five-star properties despite what others may occasionally sensationalise it with. On the other hand, there have been reports that the Town House Galleria in Milan, Italy has itself claimed to be a seven-star hotel. It claimed it had been acknowledged and registered as such with SGS Italy. Problems being however, that SGS Italy only ranks up to five stars plus, it isn’t even the country’s official tourism agency. So the moral of this whole big long-winded story is that there is probably no such thing as a seven-star hotel. If there was, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai probably would be.

What about the Burj Khalifa?! I believe that there is an Armani hotel and suites in there. To be fair, there could be others in it as well. Who knows?! It’s massive! This place is the tallest man-made structure in the world. Yep….the tallest building humanity has ever come up with. Ah, Dubai….

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland

Our number one most-expensive city to book a hotel room in is Geneva. It is, of course, the second entry to the list from Switzerland. We have figured out by now that this country is probably the world’s most expensive on average if two of its cities are in the top five, but there is one hotel that could be pushing that average up all on its own.

You might not have heard of Geneva’s Hotel President Wilson. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t. It probably just means that you aren’t the type of lunatic to spend some people’s yearly salary on a hotel room. The Royal Penthouse suite at this place will cost you upwards of US$60 thousand. It is the single most expensive hotel suite our planet has to offer. SO it would want to be pretty damn good, right?

Well, it does have twelve bedrooms, for a start. I guess it is for really important people who either need, or feel that they want, an entourage. It has seen guests such as Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev within its walls, which take up the entire eighth floor.

The hotel’s website doesn’t lead us to believe it sells itself on anything but the best either; “Steps away from Lake Geneva and minutes away from the most beautiful parks and boutiques along the famous Rue du Rhône, our singular hotel is Switzerland's contemporary destination, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Mont Blanc,” it reads.

Guess who else has stayed in the Royal Penthouse suite at this hotel….. Yep, mega-rich people, that’s who. Let’s rattle a few more off besides those two former politicians we already mentioned. How about, Michael Jackson, Richard Branson, Rihanna and Bill Gates? Yep, that is the sort of check book you are going to need. Good luck with that….