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Hawaii Hotel Prices Increase Up To 70%, Helping Stifle Over-Tourism

by Staff

With the nightly cost of Hawaii hotels, the state may not need to worry much longer about over-tourism. Between high prices and the pressure on vacation rentals, the issue could become self-regulating. Regular commenter John W. said today that “Hawaii hotel prices are outlandish.” And we concur. The December numbers speak for themselves.

BOH editors will be in West Maui in February to bring you more on-the-ground coverage. What we found, no matter how hard we tried, or where we looked, was what we deemed to be just too high pricing. In the end, given the cost, we chose not to book yet, waiting until the last minute. In addition to costs, the cancellation notice and penalties were too much to feel comfortable.

We checked the lowest-priced rooms at these Maui hotels.

These were base-rate garden view accommodations across a range of properties and ratings. Prices below include taxes.

  • Montage Kapalua Bay $1,800/night
  • Grand Wailea $1,573/night
  • Courtyard Maui Airport $613/night
  • Aston Maui Hill $600/night
  • Aston Maui Banyan $525/night
  • Aston Kaanapali Shores $470/night
  • Napili Shores Outrigger $432/night

December 2023 Hawaii hotel numbers are in.

December includes both the low-season pre-holiday period as well as peak holiday dates, Relative to pre-Covid December 2019 (still the standard for comparison), statewide rates have clearly risen sharply. A fairly weak holiday season last month, as was expected, plus too high hotel rates, helped contribute to the lower occupancy.

The average daily rate at hotels across Hawaii in December was $428. That is reported to be 21.3% higher than pre-Covid. Occupancy, however, was 8% less. Those hotels deemed luxury class properties had an average daily rate of $1,093, with occupancy down 18%; mid-scale/Economy Class properties averaged just $288, which is quite a discrepancy, if the data is correct. Occupancy was down 9.7%.

Hawaii Hotel Resort FeesHawaii Hotel Resort Fees

Maui hotels lead the country in sky-high hotel prices.

In spite of the aftermath of the wildfires, Maui had the highest rates in the entire U.S. with an average of $612/nightly before taxes and fees. That while Wailea Maui hotels checked in at an average of $1,140 plus tax, nightly. Occupancy in December was down 29.9% in December, as Maui continued to under-perform following the Lahaina fire.

The West Maui region had a mix of regular and fire-related rentals. It nonetheless still managed an average nightly rate of $476, up 12% compared with 2019. Occupancy was down a modest 2.1%, likely also related to fire victims.

Kauai hotels scored an average rate of $489, up 42.7% compared with pre-Covid, although occupancy slipped 4.8%.

Big Island hotels had an average nightly rate of $560, up a whopping 70.2% compared with 2019, with occupancy down 11.9% compared with the same 2019 period.

Oahu hotels had a rate of just $321, which was up 11.5% compared with 2019. Occupancy was down 7.5%.

Aulani Hawaii Hotel DealsAulani Hawaii Hotel Deals

Hawaii hotels compared with other top U.S. travel destinations throughout 2023.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the Hawaiian Islands earned the highest daily rate for all of 2023, which was then followed by New York City.

Would you bite on any of the hotel prices we passed on?

hta-december-2023-hawaii-hotels-performance-final

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