Why Are Hotel Prices So High in Hawaii?

Mahalo For Sharing Your Aloha

hotel prices

Why are Hotel Prices so High in Hawaii?

The high prices of hotels in Hawaii can be attributed to a combination of causes and effects. Firstly, demand for hotel rooms in Hawaii is extremely high due to the popularity of the islands for both domestic and international travelers. This leads to hotels being booked up quickly, causing prices to remain high. Additionally, the additional taxes that hotels incur and which are passed on to the consumer also contribute to the high prices. Finally, the labor shortage in hotels and restaurants due to the COVID pandemic has led to increased spending to hire the remaining workers and the higher cost of operating under the pandemic, both of which factor into the cost of a hotel stay in Hawaii.

An orange Hawaiian sunset.

What Factors Should You Consider When Booking a Hotel in Hawaii?

1. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Location and View

Hotel prices in Hawaii are affected by location and view because there are limited areas on the island that can accommodate the resorts and hotels. As the island is relatively small, these areas tend to be located on beaches or have stunning views of the island and the ocean. The cost of staying in these types of locations is much higher than in other cities as the cost of land and property is extremely high. Luxury vacation rentals are even more expensive due to property costs. On the other hand, budget hotels are not always located in the same prime locations and may be tucked away in more remote areas. This allows for a more affordable stay, but you will miss out on the luxurious and picturesque views that the more expensive hotels can offer.

2. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Amenities

When booking a hotel in Hawaii, there are a few amenities you should consider. First and foremost, look at the location. Where is it close to, and what activities and attractions can you access from there? Next, look at what is included in the price of your stay. Are there any extras like breakfast or a pool? Finally, read reviews to get a sense of the quality of the hotel and its customer service.

Other amenities to consider when booking a hotel in Hawaii include the size of the room, the availability of room service, the type of bedding, the availability of Wi-Fi, the availability of a mini-bar, the availability of a kitchen, the type of air conditioning, the availability of a gym or spa, the availability of a pool, the view from the room, the types of activities offered by the hotel, and the distance from the beach.

3. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Room Types

The average price of a budget hotel in Hawaii ranges from $130 to $165 per night. Maui Beach Hotel is a great budget hotel with a modern feel, a poolside lounge, and a restaurant. Holiday Surf Hotel offers spacious accommodations with full kitchens, a patio or balcony, and much more. Furthermore, the average room rate for March 2022 was reported at $378, with some average rates being even higher. However, many customers are put off by the high prices and may choose to look elsewhere for their vacation. It is important to note that this rate does not include any ancillary costs such as resort fees.

4. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Rates and Discounts

With hotel prices in Hawaii reaching record highs in 2022, it’s important to do your research and know what to look for when booking a hotel stay. The average daily rate for hotel rooms in Hawaii has been significantly higher than other sand and sea destinations around the world, with French Polynesia and the Maldives being the only two locations that have more expensive average daily hotel room rates than Maui.

When checking hotel pricing, it’s a good idea to head to the offers page and see if the hotel is offering any discounts for extended stays. Common promotions include discounts for four nights and a fifth night free, or discounts through the Malama Hawai’i program which rewards guests with a discount for participating in a dedicated volunteer opportunity.

Booking directly on the hotel website can also save you money, or give you perks, and searching on Google for “budget hotels on (insert island)” can generate leads for you to pursue. Other ways to save money at Hawaii hotels include looking for packages that include parking, breakfast, and/or resort fees, considering staying on Oahu, redeeming travel points on loyalty programs and credit cards, and comparing rates with vacation rentals.

5. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Airfare and Flight Expenses

Hotel prices in Hawaii can be quite expensive, with an average daily rate for a hotel room in the island capping off at around $130 – $165 a night. Airbnb rentals tend to be slightly cheaper, but not by much – the average daily Airbnb rate is around $70 – $85 a night.

When it comes to airline and flight expenses, the best way to save money is to visit during the off-season. On average, airfare to Hawaii can cost upwards of $700, depending on the season. Additionally, car rentals can be costly, so it’s best to use public transportation or the hotel shuttle services. Uber and Lyft are also available on the island, but they are more expensive than car rentals.

6. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Taxes and Fees

When booking a hotel in Hawaii, potential visitors should consider both taxes and fees that may be applicable to their stay. Transient Accommodations Tax is a tax imposed on hotel rooms, apartments, etc. that are rented for a period of fewer than 180 days, with the tax rate set at 10.25%. Additionally, the General Excise Tax is a sales tax imposed on businesses, with an added fee in Honolulu of 0.5% (totaling 4.712% in taxes). These taxes are usually passed on to the consumer, meaning that for every $1000 spent on hotel rooms, an additional $149.62 in taxes can be expected.

Resort fees and parking fees should also be taken into account when booking a hotel in Hawaii. At some of the luxury hotels, resort fees can be as much as $90 per day, while parking fees can be around $35 per day. This means that as much as $125 in additional fees can be expected per night.

It is important to be aware of these taxes and fees before booking, as these can add up to a significant amount. Fortunately, Hawaii is still more popular than ever, with an occupancy rate of 81.5%, despite the added taxes and fees.

7. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Food and Drink

Hotels in Hawaii tend to be quite expensive, and their food and drink prices reflect this. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant can cost around $18 on average, while a pint of beer can range from around $5 to $9. Wine generally costs between $10 and $17 for a regular glass, and cocktails will cost around $15 to $20.

If you’re looking for ways to save money on food and drinks, your best bet is to take advantage of all-inclusive resort packages or stay at a hotel that offers free breakfast. Eating out is expensive, so try to cook your own meals and buy locally produced fruits and vegetables, which are cheaper than imported items. Also, you can stock up on duty-free alcohol from the airport you’re flying into, and look out for happy hour specials at bars and restaurants.

For those looking to enjoy a night out, keep in mind that alcohol is taxed heavily in Hawaii, so you can expect to pay around $7 for a pint of domestic beer, $9 for imported beer and $11 for a margarita.

8. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Activities

What activities are available at hotels in Hawaii? With its stunning beaches, lush jungles, lively cities, and remarkable volcanic landscapes, Hawaii offers visitors a wealth of activities and attractions. Hotels in Hawaii often provide recreational activities such as swimming pools, spas, fitness centers, restaurants, and lounges. Many hotels offer guided tours and sightseeing trips, as well as activities like kayaking, surfing, and ATV excursions. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, there are also plenty of beachfront locations to lie back and soak up the sun and tropical atmosphere.

9. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Shopping

Are you planning a vacation to Hawaii? You may already know that hotel prices can be expensive, but how much exactly can they be? The average cost of a budget hotel ranges from $130 – $165 per night, depending on the quality of the hotel and its location.

If you’re looking for a hotel on Maui, consider the Maui Beach Hotel for modern accommodations and a poolside lounge, or the Holiday Surf Hotel for spacious rooms with full kitchens. Oahu is usually a cheaper option, with the least price increase since pre-Covid.

Another money-saving tip is to look for packages that include parking, breakfast, and resort fees, to get the most value for your vacation dollars. You can also use loyalty programs and credit cards to redeem points for hotel rooms, or compare rates with vacation rentals which often include a kitchen.

No matter what you decide, it’s important to do your research and find the best deal for your budget.

10. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Transportation

When it comes to planning a trip to Hawaii, one of the biggest costs is accommodation. Fortunately, there are a variety of budget hotel options in Hawaii, from the Maui Beach Hotel to the Holiday Surf Hotel. On average, budget hotels cost between $130-$165 per night, but prices can vary depending on the season and location.

For transportation, Uber and Lyft can be an expensive option, but public transportation, car rentals, and hotel shuttle services are more affordable. You can also look for discounts and packages to save money. It’s important to consider the location of your hotel when choosing a transportation option – for example, if you’re staying near the beach, you can rent a bike or walk to some attractions. No matter your budget, there are plenty of options to get around Hawaii.

11. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Entertainment

When it comes to entertainment options, hotels in Hawaii offer a variety of activities to please visitors of all ages. Maui Beach Hotel offers visitors a poolside lounge to wind down after a day of sightseeing, as well as a restaurant with a dinner buffet. Holiday Surf Hotel provides guests with more home-like amenities, such as full kitchens, patios or balconies, and more. Both hotels provide their guests with luxurious accommodations and access to nearby attractions.

In contrast, Airbnb accommodations tend to be slightly less expensive and provide a more home-like experience. Airbnb rentals do not typically offer the same amenities as hotels; however, they still provide access to nearby attractions and activities. Additionally, Airbnb rentals offer a unique chance to explore local sites and culture with access to hosts who may provide helpful tips and advice.

Overall, both hotel and Airbnb options provide visitors with access to entertainment options, but the experience and amenities offered will depend on the type of accommodation chosen. Hotels offer guests a more luxurious stay with amenities such as pool lounges and restaurants, while Airbnb rentals provide a more home-like experience with access to hosts who may provide helpful insight into the local culture.

Some wooden statues in Hawaii.

12. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Safety

When booking a hotel in Hawaii, it is important to take safety considerations into account. Hotels vary in terms of safety and security, so it is important to compare and contrast different hotels to ensure a safe stay. It is wise to check the hotel’s reviews and ratings, as well as any recent incidents that may have occurred. Additionally, guests should look into the hotel’s safety protocols and amenities, such as security cameras and 24-hour front desk service. Furthermore, visitors should research the area surrounding the hotel to make sure it is in a safe part of town. Finally, it is wise to purchase travel insurance in case of emergency. By taking these precautions, visitors can make sure they have a safe and enjoyable trip to Hawaii.

13. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Hospitality

When evaluating the hospitality of a hotel in Hawaii, there are several factors to consider. First, consider the accommodation prices as these can be quite expensive, particularly for luxury hotels and resorts. For budget accommodations, consider looking at a condo rental as these are often cheaper than hotels and resorts and offer amenities like an attached kitchen. Additionally, consider the demand for the hotel, as hotels in Hawaii have seen a 58% increase in room demand since April 2021. Lastly, consider the level of hospitality being offered – high prices may demand a higher level of hospitality, which some hotels may not be able to provide. Ultimately, Hawaii is a destination for travelers looking for an unforgettable experience, and the hospitality of the hotel should reflect that.

14. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Customer Service

When booking a hotel in Hawaii, customer service considerations must be taken into account. It is important to consider the benefits of booking directly on the hotel website versus going through a third-party website. Booking directly with the hotel may offer discounted rates or perks, enabling you to save money. It is also important to research hotel packages that may include parking, breakfast, and/or resort fees. Additionally, searching for budget hotels in your desired destination can be an effective way to save money.

On the other hand, booking through a third-party website such as Expedia may offer convenience and ease of access but could also potentially cost more due to the additional fees associated with the booking. Furthermore, redeeming travel points through loyalty programs and credit cards may be a great way to save money on a hotel stay. Vacation rentals can also be an option as they often include a kitchen, reducing food costs.

All-in-all, when booking a hotel in Hawaii, it is important to compare the various options available and consider the benefits and drawbacks of each. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the customer’s budget and preferences.

15. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Leisure Time

When comparing hotel prices in Hawaii, it is important to consider several factors such as the type of accommodation, location, amenities, and budget. For example, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, then you may want to consider staying in a hotel or motel. These properties typically have a lower average rate of $130-$165 per night and offer basic amenities. Alternatively, luxury vacation rentals may cost more due to their higher property costs, but they offer more spacious accommodations and often have features such as full kitchens, patios, and balconies. Additionally, the location of the hotel can have a big impact on the price as hotels in more desirable destinations, such as Wailea, tend to have higher rates than those in other parts of Hawaii. Finally, it is important to research the hotel’s policies as some may offer discounts for early bookings or for longer stays. By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can ensure that you get the best value for your money when booking your stay in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian coastline.

16. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Beach Time

The price of hotels in Hawaii can vary greatly depending on the time of year, location, and amenities. Beach access is one of the most important aspects to consider when looking for a hotel in Hawaii, as it can significantly increase the cost. Beachfront hotels tend to have higher prices because they offer an unbeatable view and experience that many travelers are willing to pay for. On the other hand, hotels located away from the beach may be more affordable due to the lack of an ocean view.

Maui is one of the more expensive Hawaiian islands when it comes to hotels, with an average daily rate of $560 for beachfront locations. Other hotels located away from the beach in West Maui had an average daily rate of $210, making for a much more affordable option. Oahu is a bit more budget-friendly in comparison, with an average daily rate of $157 for beachfront hotels and $118 for those further inland.

There are also certain times of the year when prices are lower, such as early September, January 8th to March 4th, and August 13th to December 9th (except the week of November 19th). This can be a great way to find a great deal and save money on your Hawaii vacation.

Overall, beachfront hotels in Hawaii are often more expensive than hotels located away from the beach. The prices can vary significantly depending on the location and the time of year, with certain times of the year being more budget-friendly than others. By doing a bit of research and planning ahead, travelers can find great deals and enjoy a beachfront stay in Hawaii without breaking the bank.

17. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Wildlife

Hotel prices in Hawaii are sky-high, creating a hefty expense for any traveler visiting the island. In 2021, the average price of a budget hotel on the four major Hawaiian Islands was $413.57, making it one of the most expensive locations in the world for sand and sea destinations. Furthermore, the tourist tax rate has increased 39.3 percent since 2019, making hotel stays in Hawaii even more expensive.

The cost of hotels in Hawaii is so high due to the current high demand. The government reports a hotel occupancy rate of 81.5 percent, a 3.8 percent increase from pre-Covid 2019. Additionally, Hawaii is fighting overtourism only five months after reopening, indicating its growing popularity. The U.S. hotel occupancy rate for July was 69.6 percent, making Hawaii’s 81.5 percent rate even more impressive.

In order to get the best value for your vacation dollars, travelers should consider booking directly on the hotel website as this may save them money or give them some perks. Also, searching for package deals that include parking, breakfast, and resort fees may be a cheaper option than paying for these items separately. Finally, visitors should consider staying on Oahu, where prices have increased the least since pre-Covid.

18. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Cultural Activities

Cultural activities at hotels in Hawaii can range from traditional Hawaiian hula performances to evening luaus with traditional Polynesian cuisine. Some hotels may also offer cultural activities such as guided tours, beachside activities, or indigenous craft workshops. Additionally, many hotels in Hawaii offer beaches for swimming and snorkeling, as well as a variety of water sports. Guests can also explore local markets, visit historical sites, and take part in outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and surfing.

19. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Weather

When planning a trip to Hawaii, there are a few factors to consider when it comes to selecting a hotel. Firstly, one should consider the average daily rate of the hotel. Maui, French Polynesia, and the Maldives are the most expensive locations when it comes to hotel rooms. Furthermore, hotels tend to be more expensive in the spring and summer months, while the cheapest times to visit are early September, January 8th to March 4th and August 13th to December 9th (except the week of November 19th).

The second factor to take into account when booking a hotel in Hawaii is the amenities offered. Budget hotels may be more affordable, but they may not have the luxury amenities or services available at more expensive hotels. Conversely, luxury hotels may offer more amenities and services, but they are usually more expensive.

Finally, one should consider the location of the hotel when selecting a hotel in Hawaii. Hotels located near the beach may be more expensive, but they offer easy access to the beach and other attractions. Hotels located near the major attractions may also be more expensive. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the individual needs and preferences of the traveler.

20. Hotel Prices in Hawaii: Social Life

What are the hotel prices in Hawaii and how do they compare to other factors? Hotel prices in Hawaii tend to be expensive, with 2 or 3-star hotels starting at approximately $100 per night for a double room. Prices may increase depending on the quality of the resort, with some places charging over $1000 a night. Airbnb rentals tend to be slightly cheaper, with an average cost of $70-$85 per night. However, hostels are the cheapest accommodation option in Hawaii, with prices ranging from $35-$55 per night. Compared to other destinations, Hawaii has one of the highest average daily rates for hotels in sand and sea destinations worldwide.

The Best Places to Stay in Hawaii on a Budget

1. Resorts

When it comes to finding an affordable place to stay in Hawaii, there are a few options to consider. The first is a bed and breakfast, such as Adventure in Paradise, which offers a 180-degree view of Haleakala summit from private patios. Hotels, such as the Maui Sunset, are also good options, and offer a laid-back atmosphere with access to the beach of Waipuilani Park. Vacation homes, such as Puu Koa Palms, are also a great option for couples who are looking for a home away from home.

For those looking for luxury accommodations, resorts such as the Grand Wailea and the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea are the cream of the crop. Both resorts offer access to premium amenities, activities, restaurants and luxurious pools. The Grand Wailea even has an entire water park on the doorstep. And while they may come at a higher price point, these resorts provide a range of activities and amenities that make it well worth the cost.

Finally, for those looking for a more immersive experience, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina is a great option. Not only does it provides access to all of the Disney magic, but it also provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture.

2. Hotels

For travelers looking to explore the beauty of Hawaii on a budget, there are many great options for accommodation. 2-star hotels are an affordable option for those looking for basic amenities. They typically start at $100 per night for a double room, but can be cheaper if you book in advance. Airbnb rentals tend to be slightly cheaper than hotels, but the difference isn’t as big as you may expect. On average, you can expect to pay around $70-$85 per night for an Airbnb. However, if you’re looking for the best value, then consider opting for a condo rental. Not only are they cheaper than hotels, but they also come with a kitchen where you can cook up your own meals to save on dining costs.

3. Bed & Breakfasts

When visiting Hawaii, there are a variety of great places to stay that won’t break the bank. The Four Seasons Resort in Wailea is a luxurious resort with ocean views, on-site spa, and restaurants just down the road. Couples can enjoy Adventure in Paradise, a Bed and Breakfast located in Haiku on Maui’s north shore, with a 180 degree view of Haleakala summit every morning from their private patio. For a less expensive hotel stay, check out the highly rated Maui Sunset hotel located near Waipuilani Park and the Elleair Maui Gold Club, just 1.7 miles away. For a more private experience, consider Puu Koa Palms, a vacation home located just six minutes from Hookipa Beach and near the Hana Highway. If luxury is more your style, the Andaz Maui Villas offer all the amenities of a resort with grills and plunge pools.

4. Vacation Rentals

If you’re looking for the best vacation rentals in Hawaii on a budget, it pays to compare your options. Hotels on Kayak have an average daily rate that is less expensive than vacation rentals, with luxury costing significantly more. That said, there are a healthy amount of vacation rentals that serve all budgets in Hawaii, and if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly stay, they offer a great alternative. With a vacation rental, you get more space, a kitchen and usually better pricing than a hotel. Mixing up your accommodations by staying at a hotel for a few days and a vacation rental for the rest of your trip can save you money and help you experience more while on vacation.

5. Airbnbs

When it comes to staying in Hawaii on a budget, one of the best options is to rent an Airbnb. Airbnbs tend to be slightly cheaper than hotels and resorts, with an average cost of about $70-$85 per night for a rental. Additionally, an Airbnb rental allows you to have some privacy and enjoy your own peace and quiet after a long day of exploring the islands.

If you’re looking for something even cheaper, then consider looking at a condo rental. Not only are these cheaper than hotels and resorts, but they also tend to have an attached kitchen, which enables you to cook your own meals instead of spending a lot of money in restaurants.

For example, Bungalow Paradise in Molokai is a great budget Airbnb for travelers who want to experience the true “aloha spirit”. For just around $70 a night, you can stay in a bungalow with access to a swimming pool, hammocks, private lanai, and more.

Overall, when it comes to finding accommodation in Hawaii on a budget, Airbnb is one of the best and most affordable options.

6. Campgrounds

One of the best ways to save money on a camping trip to Hawaii is to research campgrounds online and compare prices. You can find plenty of information about campgrounds in Hawaii on travel websites such as Travel Tips + Hacks, as well as on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Additionally, you can use comparison tools to determine the best campgrounds to stay in Hawaii on a budget, taking into account factors such as location, amenities, and availability.

An orange sunset on the Big Island.

Mahalo For Sharing Your Aloha
National Weather Service