St Andrews staked an unfortunate claim to fame this week – as the most expensive place to book a hotel in the UK.
But the body representing hotels and guest houses in the town says the figures do not paint an accurate picture of the breadth of accommodation available.
Visitors have a large range of accommodation providers, not just hotels, to choose from, catering for all budgets and accommodation preferences.Niall Thompson, St Andrews Hotel and Guest House Association
Beating London, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, St Andrews was the priciest place in the country for an overnight hotel stay according to Hotel.com’s Hotel Price Index, with prices per room per night averaging £156 in 2014, up five per cent on £148 in 2013.
Niall Thompson, president of St Andrews Hotel and Guest House Association, said the report was inaccurate in that, by focusing only on hotels, it represented just a small proportion of the total accommodation in St Andrews.
Not taken into account was the bed and breakfast, guest house, apartment, self-catering, caravan site and university accommodation.
In the hotel sector itself there was a remarkable mix of hotels, Mr Thompson said - a five red-star hotel, a five-star hotel, a four red-star hotel, two four-star hotels and eight three-star hotels – and of the total number of bedrooms available from these, 76 per cent were in the five red-star to four-star hotels category.
“The star ratings act as an indication to guests of the quality of the hotels and St Andrews features many 4 and 5 star hotels,” he said.
Mr Thompson said the quality of the hotel was reflected in the price offered to guests, with the higher price ensuring guests’ higher expectations were met and that the quality of service, food/beverage, bedrooms and general amenities were of a higher standard.
“St Andrews is a truly unique town in the world – it hosts the third oldest university and the Home of Golf – all set in a stunning part of Scotland ideal for many activities, relaxing and enjoying,” Mr Thomson said. “Visitors have a large range of accommodation providers, not just hotels, to choose from, catering for all budgets and accommodation preferences.”
He said the upcoming opening of a budget hotel – the Premier Inn currently being built on Largo Road – would give visitors an alternative option which it was anticipated would offer lower rates.
The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) is a regular report on hotel prices in major destinations across the world.
It is based on bookings made on Hotels.com sites and prices shown are those actually paid by customers per room per night, including taxes and fees, rather than advertised rates.
In its introduction, the latest report states it incorporates both chain and independent hotels, as well as options such as self-catering and bed and breakfast properties.
Thanks to a boost by the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September, the report said Scotland continued its strong performance – the average prices in Dundee were up nine per cent to £90, Perth added eight per cent to £72 and Edinburgh was up two per cent to £106.
The average paid in London increased by two per cent to £136, taking it to second place in the price table. St Andrews was also above Oxford (£127), Bath (£120) and Windsor (£118).