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St Andrews tops list for most expensive hotels

22 March 2011
St Andrews tops list for most expensive hotels

St Andrews has the most expensive hotel rooms in the UK, according to sales on the Hotels.com website.

Prince William and Kate Middleton's former university town knocked Bath off the top spot with a 20% rise in the average room rate to £162 per night, fuelled in part by the 2010 British Open Golf Championship, which was held at St Andrews.

The average hotel room rate in the UK increased by 2% in 2010 to £83 per night.

Budget-conscious travellers and staycation Britons ensured only a modest increase in room rates across the country.

London saw the highest rate increases of 10%, while many major tourist destinations and business centres also recorded an above average percentage rise. In Oxford they increased by 9% and in Edinburgh by 5%.

Wales saw the greatest decrease with the average room rate in Cardiff down 6% to £76. In Swansea it dropped 14% to £69, despite the influence of the Ryder Cup.

Glasgow, York and Cambridgeshire also saw a reduction, while in Sheffield and Leeds room rates remained the same.

The greatest increase was in Norwich, where prices rose from £56 to £78 - a rise of 38% . This stemmed from Norwich City football club's promotion to the Championship and a concentration of high-end hotel accommodation.

The football effect was also evident in the Midlands. Cities with teams promoted to the Premier League in recent years saw double-digit price rises for hotel rooms after increased demand from supporters. Prices rose 28% in Stoke to £59 and 27% in Wolverhampton to £46.

The Lake District benefited from the staycation trend, with Bowness-on-Windermere up 23%, reaching an average of £142 a night, making it the UK's second most expensive destination.

David Roche, president of Hotels.com said: "The overall 2% rise in UK hotel prices served as a modest boost for British hoteliers in a very competitive market, but budget-conscious travellers who stayed at home were also able to find great value with the average room rate at just £83 a night.

"Our 2010 story in the UK reflects the global picture and shows a market in recovery, even if it is one that had, and is likely to keep on having, particular twists and turns."

He explained that London, with its 10% price increase, 90% occupancy and luxury hotel sector growth, is showing strong signs of recovery in the leisure and business sector. However, he also believes that the day of the deal is not over.

London was the most popular destination for overseas travellers, followed by Edinburgh and Manchester. The capital was also the most popular destination for domestic visitors ahead of Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Glasgow.

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By Gemma Rowbotham

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