If you’ve been searching for a hotel, whether it be for a business trip or a much-needed vacation, you may have noticed the room rates are more expensive on the weekends. But why is this, and is there a way around it?
Hotels are more expensive on the weekend due to location, seasonality, supply and demand, ratings, amenities, and more. If you book hotels online, constantly refresh the browser to find the best deals. Hotel rates change constantly, and a booking can change rates over after a few days.
In this article, I’ll discuss the fundamentals of hotel pricing to explain when and why hotels are more expensive on the weekends.
Factors That Affect Weekend Hotel Rates
Hotel rates can increase or decrease at any point in time to make it profitable. Very rarely do hotels charge similar prices for their rooms 365 times a year. To make a profit, hotels that cater to tourist or leisure travelers will be more expensive on the weekends. Hotels that cater to business travel may have lower room rates during weekends versus the weekdays.
Interestingly, weekdays could be the days of higher occupancy inquiries for hotels that cater to business travelers and the most expensive for guests. The main difference between weekends and weekdays is that weekdays tend to invite various clientele from a range of sectors in need of travel during that time frame. This usually includes corporate, general business, conference attendees, and more.
These groups are usually more willing and likely to shell out cash for any rate since the expense may fall on their employer to reimburse their travel expenses if related to business. Hotels have to consider many factors to determine their price. Hotel rates can increase due to:
Supply and Demand
When the COVID-19 pandemic travel mandates caused business and leisure travel to decrease, hotels charged less for rooms since occupancy rates were meager. Now, as travel is picking back up, prices are also increasing in the hospitality sector.
Hotels can rely heavily on supply and demand to determine hotel room rates. To make a profit, hotels need to assess the rate of their hotel rooms periodically. As occupancy rates and demand flow increase, room availability decreases. This decrease in room availability can allow the hotel to charge higher rates based on the need.
Forecasting Prices Based on Historical Data
Although most hotel factor prices are based on demand, it’s also essential to consider occupancy rates over the year prior. Hotel rates from the year or years prior can help the business spot trends and determine the upcoming year’s room rates.
Hotel staff relies on analyzing hotel metrics to predict how many hotel rooms will be occupied over the course of the year. Hotel management is able to forecast and analyze the low and high season rates to determine any unique price patterns in the months ahead. Hotels also partner with other hotels to compare rates as well as understand what types of hotel rooms, features, and amenities are selling at high or low rates.
Peak or Off-Peak Seasons
Due to seasonality, weather changes, and the holidays throughout the year, time may affect hotel occupancy immensely. Hotels can determine potential room demand by low and peak seasons.
The highest season is usually around critical holiday periods or high potential event gatherings, attracting more leisure travelers. The holiday season is peak travel time for consumers. Many hotels expect an increase in occupancy during this period and therefore increase the room rates. Low or off-peak seasons tend to bring in fewer visitors.
Addition of New Amenities
Hotels often add new amenities to their rooms to improve the guest experience. These can include in-room media, complimentary food, and beverage, or even a contemporary interior design. A positive hotel experience contributes significantly to future guests’ quality of travel. With these new amenities, hotels can raise the room rates, and guests will pay for them for a more quality experience.
The Convenience of Location
Hotels near convenient locations for guests can end up paying more for their rooms. Whether it’s new attractions, restaurants, offices, or a metropolitan area, hotels that provide guests with local convenience benefit the consumers. It can also allow guests not to pay an excessive amount of transportation fees if they’re close to their itinerary plans. If a hotel is far from anything of interest, room prices may be lower to attract guests.
The Current Environment
When the economy flourishes, people have more money to spend on increasing room rates. However, if something freezes travel and spending, prices decrease to entice people to stay. Hotels tend to monitor their local, national, and global markets to understand if consumers can spend more money than in months past.
Hotel rooms can vary from place to place. Interestingly, what differentiates one hotel room from the next is what the room can offer consumers. This can vary according to hotel room features including the quality of the bedding and size available, luxury amenities, and the superb skyline or sea view the room offers.
Hotel rooms are able to provide a variety of features to suit their guests’ needs. For folks on a budget, it’s best to look for hotels with simple features and amenities. If the sky’s the limit in terms of the features you want in a hotel room, you can expect to pay a larger rate for the room.
Many travelers who book online rely heavily on other guest experiences. If hotels don’t have an online presence or negative reviews, hotels may not see a lot of traction and lower prices. On the other hand, if they receive positive reviews, it can affect demand and room value.
Overall, depending on the hotel’s travel audience, hotels can be expensive on the weekend for many factors including location, seasonality, supply and demand, past data, ratings, amenities, the value of services, and more. If you’re a traveler on business or leisure, make sure to understand who your hotel most caters to frequently.
If you’re a business traveler looking for a hotel with business amenities, you may find a cheaper rate on the weekend. However, if you’re a leisure traveler looking for a hotel that focuses on tourism activities, it may be best to book during the weekdays.
- CNBC: Vacancies and vaccines: How travelers could benefit from hotel industry struggles
- CNBC: If you’re looking for a hotel deal, it might pay to wait until the last minute
- CNBC: Hotel rates on the rise as travel demand ticks up
- NYC Department of City Planning: NYC Hotel Market Analysis
- USA Today: Hotel room prices. Hotel hit record average daily rate of July 4
- HuffPost: This Is The Best Time To Book A Hotel
- Slate: Hotel prices: Why urban hotels cost so much more than houses
- Hospitality Net: Understanding Seasonality in the Hotel Industry