Vote of the week: How much money is too much for a hotel room?
Published: October 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM
That's the question everyone budget-conscious traveler faces when planning a theme park vacation. Sure, we'd all love that suite overlooking the park, with 24/7 concierge service, front-of-the-line access to all the rides and shows in the park, and all local transportation on demand. But those rooms cost a lot of money. Too much, for most families.
It can be pricey, but enough Theme Park Insider readers considered it a great value that the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando won our Theme Park Insider Award as the world's best theme park hotel last summer.
So how high can you go on a nightly hotel rate? What's the point at which you have to say, "I don't care how great the facilities and amenities are, I can't afford it."
You can find "Value" resort rooms on-site at Walt Disney World for under $100, but you'll probably end up paying more than $100 a night once you add taxes and fees. You almost always have to go over $200 a night, after tax, to find on-site rooms at either Universal Orlando or the Disneyland resorts. If you have to travel during school vacations, you'll often need to pay still more. But parks deliver a wide range of services and amenities for travelers who can pay higher nightly rates. Willing to pay $1,000 a night? You can find some really sweet accommodations, at pretty much any theme park, at any time of year.
Of course, most families can't pay that. Many can't afford, or just won't pay for, on-site location and amenities during the time of year when they can travel, so they look for lower-priced, off-site accommodations. But even off-site, you've still got trade-offs to consider: distance from the park, size and quality of the room, availability of parking, dining and airport access, whether you're a member of a loyalty program, etc. Considering all those factors, you try to get the most value for your money.
...Up until a point — that price per night when you can't pay more. And if you don't find the value you need for that price, you don't take the vacation. At least, not to that destination.
So let's talk about your financial breaking point for hotel rooms. How high are you willing to go on nightly rates? For this vote, let's consider the final price per night, including taxes, fees, and all the other costs a hotel tacks on to your bill at check-out.
We've offered a range of prices here, but tell us your specific cut-off, in the comments, if you'd like. What's the best deal you've found for a hotel on a theme park vacation? Where's your go-to option for value when you want to visit your favorite park?
For more: Rate and review on-site theme park hotels from around the world.