LAS VEGAS UPS THE ANTE AS THE MOST EXPENSIVE U.S. CITY FOR ROOM SERVICE ACCORDING TO TRIPADVISOR TRIPINDEX

Nearly 40 Percent of Travelers Report Ordering Room Service in the Past Year, But Only 13 Percent Use the Mini Bar

TripIndex announces least and most affordable cities for room service.

/ PRNewswire / — TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the results of the 2014 TripIndex Room Service, a cost-comparison of common incidental items and services that many travelers will encounter when staying in a hotel. The study reveals Las Vegas is the priciest U.S. city for in-room amenities at an average of $68, while Denver is the least expensive with an average of $41.
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The second annual TripAdvisor TripIndex Room Service compares the cost of in-room amenities in 62 popular cities around the world, including 15 in the U.S. The study takes into account the price of a club sandwich ordered through room service, the dry cleaning of one shirt, and the following items from the mini bar: a bottle of water, peanuts, a mini bottle of vodka, and a can of soda.

“With a wide range of in-room amenities available to travelers, the TripIndex Room Service provides a useful snapshot of what guests can expect to pay for hotel incidentals in cities around the world,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor. “While 39 percent of U.S. travelers report ordering room service in the last 12 months, only 13 percent said they made a mini bar purchase*, so it’s not surprising that some hotel brands have recently announced plans to phase out the mini bar.”

Expect to Pay More for Room Service in America

  • Travelers can expect to spend about 22 percent more in the U.S. for these common incidental hotel costs than in popular cities around the world.
  • $55 is the average total cost for room service in U.S. cities, $3 more expensive than in 2013.
  • $45 is the average TripIndex Room Service total cost for international cities, representing no change from 2013.

Most Affordable Areas for In-Room Amenities

  • At $41, Denver is the best value U.S. city for room service, narrowly edging out Seattle ($42) and Minneapolis ($46).
  • Coming in at $18, Tunis, Tunisia is the least expensive international city for room service and is less than half the price of the least expensive U.S. city.
  • Travelers will find the biggest international room service bargain in Africa, where three of the continent’s destinations are featured in the top five places offering the best value abroad: Tunis (#1); Cape Town, South Africa (#2); and Marrakech, Morocco (#5).

Spendy Spots for Hotel Services

  • Among the featured U.S. cities, Las Vegas is the most expensive destination ($68). New York City is a close second at just under $68, followed by Washington, D.C. at $62.
  • Helsinki, Finland is the most expensive international spot for room service. At $89, it is nearly five times as expensive as the least expensive destination.
  • Scandinavia represents the priciest global region for room service, with Nordic cities claiming four of the 10 most expensive spots: Helsinki (#1); Oslo, Norway (#2); Stockholm, Sweden (#5); and Copenhagen, Denmark (#10).

No Tie Between Room Service and Hotel Prices in the U.S.
While expensive room service and pricey hotel room rates go hand-in-hand internationally, the TripIndex shows no correlation between the two travel expenses in U.S. cities.

  • Although travelers will pay the most in Las Vegas for room service, those looking for value may still be able to wager savings on a Vegas trip, as it boasts the least expensive hotel rates among the featured U.S. cities ($140 per night), and is actually the least expensive U.S. destination when the two costs are combined.
  • With the most expensive nightly rate ($381), San Francisco demonstrates that hotel prices are still the biggest indicator of total expense. By factoring in the cost of the nightly rate, the “City by the Bay” jumps from middle of the pack in the U.S. (#8) to the most expensive destination.

TripIndex Room Service

U.S. Cities (ranked from least expensive to most expensive for total room service cost):

  Destination Club sandwich Water Peanuts Soda Vodka Dry Cleaning Total Room Service Cost Hotel Room Rate
1. Denver, Colorado 11.65 4.44 6.34 3.25 7.17 8.58 41.43 265.33
2. Seattle, Washington 13.00 4.08 5.92 3.08 8.33 7.17 41.58 364.63
3. Minneapolis, Minnesota 12.00 3.50 8.35 3.62 9.17 9.08 45.72 245.49
4. Dallas, Texas 12.33 4.17 8.90 3.17 10.73 9.42 48.72 218.99
5. Orlando, Florida 14.00 4.25 9.53 3.75 9.68 8.17 49.38 203.41
6. Chicago, Illinois 14.33 4.75 9.83 3.83 9.83 9.08 51.67 300.20
7. New Orleans, Louisiana 16.25 5.17 10.17 4.33 9.17 7.67 52.76 210.75
8. San Francisco, California 17.00 4.83 6.00 4.50 8.83 12.00 53.16 381.23
9. Boston, Massachusetts 14.67 5.34 12.78 4.36 11.11 10.25 58.51 361.97
10. Atlanta, Georgia 14.00 4.66 10.16 4.87 15.20 10.67 59.56 208.32
11. Honolulu, Hawaii 18.33 6.00 11.50 4.00 10.67 9.42 59.92 322.42
12. Los Angeles, California 17.33 6.75 10.75 4.17 10.67 11.00 60.67 277.97
13. Washington, D.C. 19.00 5.00 7.33 7.33 9.33 13.67 61.66 268.48
14. New York City, New York 24.15 3.93 7.13 3.86 16.76 12.00 67.83 363.74
15. Las Vegas, Nevada 16.67 6.67 12.00 5.33 12.67 14.67 68.01 139.51
Best Value International Cities:
  Destination Club sandwich Water Peanuts Soda Vodka Dry Cleaning Total Room Service Cost Hotel Room Rate
1. Tunis, Tunisia 6.95 1.83 2.56 2.02 1.58 3.47 18.41 168.45
2. Cape Town, South Africa 7.25 2.37 2.31 1.66 2.31 7.07 22.97 119.54
3. Budapest, Hungary 7.82 2.41 5.59 2.48 1.56 5.60 25.46 109.58
4. Prague, Czech Republic 8.11 2.46 4.20 2.54 2.54 5.92 25.77 125.31
5. Marrakech, Morocco 10.63 1.89 6.42 2.20 0.00 5.81 26.95 143.32
6. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 10.24 2.46 5.69 1.86 2.12 4.65 27.02 130.47
7. Istanbul, Turkey 6.62 2.30 6.71 2.94 4.05 5.06 27.68 165.00
8. Jakarta, Indonesia 8.59 2.86 4.40 3.23 2.77 5.99 27.84 90.81
9. Dubrovnik, Croatia 9.10 3.40 6.18 3.67 1.76 3.73 27.84 242.45
10. Hanoi, Vietnam 9.48 2.25 6.88 2.86 2.01 4.42 27.90 98.98
Most Expensive International Cities:
  Destination Club sandwich Water Peanuts Soda Vodka Dry Cleaning Total Room Service Cost Hotel Room Rate
1. Helsinki, Finland 38.16 6.44 12.13 6.37 5.51 20.33 88.94 200.46
2. Oslo, Norway 29.42 7.43 15.75 7.12 5.12 22.75 87.59 199.53
3. Seoul, South Korea 27.35 7.40 6.13 7.86 9.90 14.67 73.31 154.59
4. Zurich, Switzerland 31.29 5.94 10.84 5.56 4.32 14.39 72.34 296.52
5. Stockholm, Sweden 28.40 4.13 11.31 4.93 5.03 15.36 69.16 236.75
6. Paris, France 23.58 6.81 12.58 6.79 6.97 11.16 67.89 327.60
7. New York City, New York 24.15 3.93 16.76 3.86 7.13 12.00 67.83 363.74
8. Toronto, Canada 20.81 5.35 18.23 3.39 8.04 9.88 65.70 230.32
9. Singapore 19.38 5.21 14.83 6.56 6.20 10.16 62.34 203.41
10. Copenhagen, Denmark 24.27 2.76 10.76 5.01 3.70 13.38 59.88 242.31

Full list of destinations included in the study is available upon request.

*According to two TripAdvisor.com site polls. The mini bar poll was carried out between March 21 –22, 2014 to more than 1,700 respondents; the room service poll was carried out between March 23 – 24, 2014 to more 1,300 respondents.

Notes to Editors:
The international TripIndex destination list is comprised of key destinations from 48 of the 50 countries which receive the largest number of international visitor arrivals (data compiled by the UNWTO, 2013).  The U.S. TripIndex list consists of 15 popular editorially selected cities, focused on large and popular tourism markets.

TripIndex Room Service prices out the following items in each destination to represent the cost of common incidental items and services that travelers may incur during a stay at a hotel:

Room service:

  • Club sandwich

Mini bar:

  • Bottle of water
  • Peanuts
  • Mini bottle of vodka
  • Can of soda

Dry cleaning:

  • One shirt

Prices shown specify the average cost collected from the top 10 rated four star hotels in each featured destination. The top 10 hotels were ranked according to the TripAdvisor Popularity Index. Hotels were selected from the Popularity Index between January 27 – February 20, 2014.

Prices of all basket items were sourced from the same hotel, whenever possible, before average prices were calculated. Costs include sales tax and service charge, where applicable.

Prices for international destinations were taken in local currencies between February 3 – 20, 2014 and currency conversion rates were taken on February 17, 2014. Prices for U.S. destinations were taken between March 5 –18, 2014.

Room service: Room service prices specify the average cost of a club sandwich or the closest substitute item.

Mini bar: Mini bar prices specify the average cost of one 500ml bottle of water (if not available pro rata costs were calculated), one packet of peanuts or the closest substitute item, one regular can of soda or closest substitute and one mini bottle of vodka or closest substitute (pro rata costs were calculated if mini vodka was not available).

Dry cleaning: Dry cleaning prices specify the average cost to dry clean one shirt or the closest substitute (such as wash/iron shirt).

Hotel room rates: Room rates specify the average cost of one night's stay in 4 and 4.5 star hotels in each destination between June 1 – August 31, 2014.

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching more than 260 million unique monthly visitors* in 2013, and more than 150 million reviews and opinions covering more than 3.7 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 37 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 20 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2013

**Source: Google Analytics, worldwide data, July 2013