Budgeting for travel demands that we make accommodation choices very wisely. Accommodation is the second largest travel expense, right after flight tickets. You have the option of staying in places that can be far cheaper (or even free!) than hotels. But, if you are like me, and enjoy a comfortable hotel stay, knowing what is the best stay you can get with the budget you have is precious knowledge. After all, when we book a hotel, we aren’t just booking a bed to sleep in but also searching for an experience, for amenities that will make our stay a more memorable one.

Can we book a nice, comfortable hotel with a budget of $99 per night? Let’s check out what type of hotels we can book around the world with this price.

Expensive or affordable hotel: it is all a matter of perspective!

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Our options are so diverse that SGD $99 in one country can allow you to book a standard double room and in another a full villa with private pool. In practical terms, with $99/night in Siem Reap, you’re high SES. Take the same $99 to Paris and fuss around to find a good guesthouse to stay. Does this idea sound too biased? Let’s us check different popular destinations around the world to confirm how good of a hotel can we get for $99 or under.


DestinationHotel NamePrice/NightStar rating/category*Type of RoomFree breakfast?AmenitiesWhy this hotel?
ShanghaiCampanile Shanghai Natural History Museum HotelS$973 stars, 8.5 rating Standard Queen RoomNoNon-smoking Rooms, Free Parking, Free WiFi, Restaurant, 24-Hour Front, Desk, Bar Great choice for travelers interested in culturally diverse food, restaurants and nightlife. Rated for the best value in Shanghai.
Hong KongUrban Pack HostelS$97 8.1 rating Twin Room with Shower, 2 bunk bedsNoNon-smoking Rooms, Free WiFi, 24-Hour Front Desk, Terrace, LaundryA great choice for travelers interested in luxury brand shopping, clothes shopping and shopping.
KyotoHotel Excellence Enmachi Ekimae S$963 stars, 8.4 ratingStandard Double RoomYesFree WiFi, Family Rooms, 24-Hour Front Desk, flat-screen TV, fridge, nightwear Great choice for travelers interested in city walks, food and old-town exploration.
TokyoTokyo Guest House Ouji Music LoungeS$98 8.9 rating Twin Room with Private BathroomYesNon-smoking Rooms, Restaurant, Free WiFi, Family Rooms, Laundry Bar Shared lounge at the property, and live musical performances. The hostel also offers free use of bicycles.
TaipeiDG HotelS$983 stars, 9.0 ratingEconomy double room, queen bedYesAirport shuttle, Non-smoking Rooms, Airport Shuttle, Restaurant, WiFi Available in All Areas, Free WiFi, Family RoomsGood for couples.
BaliVilla Gula Bali, UluwatuS$9310 ratingKing room with pool viewYesAirport shuttle, Swimming Pool, Airport Shuttle, Outdoor Pool, Non-smoking Rooms, Free WiFi, Bar, Breakfast Great for two travellers
Kuala LumpurTian Jing HotelS$969.4 ratingSuperior queen room, with queen bedNoNon-smoking Rooms, Free WiFi, 24-Hour Front Desk, Laundry, Air Conditioning, Tea/Coffee Maker in All RoomsGood for couples.
BangkokNavalai River Resort$984 stars, 8.5 ratingSerene Corner Twin room, twin bedNoRooftop pool, Riverside restaurant, Airport Shuttle, Non-smoking Room, Room Service, BarScenic river or city views from private balconies. To relax and unwind, guests can arrange for massage and spa therapies. at Leng Hong Thai-Chinese Traditional Massage."

Hotel stays in Japan are generally pricier when compared with other Asian destinations, like Bali or Bangkok where we can get a higher rated hotel or even a villa for an affordable rate. Sout-East Asia offers very competitive rates for some of the most popular destinations, such as Phuket, Bali, Siem Reap or Ho Chi Minh.


DestinationHotel NamePrice/NightStar rating/category*Type of roomFree breakfast?AmenitiesWhy this hotel?
LondonPremier Inn London Eltham S$993 stars, 8.4 ratingTriple Room (2 Adults + 1 Child), 1 full bed and 1 sofa bedNoNon-smoking Rooms, Parking, BarNote: 15.5km from London
ParisHôtel SibourS$952 stars, 6.8 ratingFamily Room with bathroom, 1 full bed and 2 twin bedsNoNon-smoking Rooms, Room Service, WiFi Available in All Areas, Free WiFi, Family Rooms10th arr. is a great choice for travelers interested in sightseeing, museums and monuments. Guests' favorite part of Paris, according to independent reviews.
LisbonChalet D´Ávila Guest HouseS$959.1 ratingEconomy Double Room with shared bathroomYesShared kitchen with a microwave and refrigerator, shared lounge and laundry facilities, Non-smoking Rooms, Free WiFi, HeatingIt's onguests' favorite part of Lisbon, according to independent reviews. Couples in particular like the location.
BarcelonaPars Tailor's Youth HostelS$99 2 stars, 8.5 ratingDouble Room (1 - 2 Adults), queen bedNo Non-smoking Rooms, Free Parking, Free WiFi, Pet Friendly, Bar 8.5km from Barcelona. Has a cafe, which opens in the evenings, offers a range of tapas. It also has a terrace.
RomeSandy HotelS$981 star, 8.7 ratingBunk Bed in Female Dormitory Room, 4 bunk bedsNoNon-smoking Rooms, Free WiFi, Daily Housekeeping, Baggage Storage Centrally located, 231 m from Cavour Metro Station. Great choice for travelers interested in roman ruins, food and sightseeing.
Ibiza, SpainHostal La PerlaS$952 stars, 8.8 ratingApartment, 1 bedroomYesSwimming Pool, Family Rooms, Free Parking, Free WiFi, BarThe property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. It is open from May to November.

Well-located hotels in the main capitals of Europe tend to pricier than $99 but it is possible to find good value for money options, such as hostels and guesthouses.

North and CentralAmerica

DestinationHotel NamePrice/NightStar rating/category*Type of RoomFree breakfast?AmenitiesWhy this hotel?
San FranciscoEuropa HostelS$892 stars, 4.8 ratingKing Room with Shared Bathroom, 1 king bedNoCable TV, refrigerator, Non-smoking Rooms, Parking, Free WiFi, Family Rooms Located 15 minutes’ walk to Union Square. Civic Center and Westfield San Francisco Center is just 10 minutes’ walk away.
New YorkBowery Grand HotelS$981 star, 5 ratingStandard Double Room with Shared BathroomNoNon-smoking Rooms, Free WiFi, 24-Hour Front Desk, Heating, Air Conditioning This hostel is a 3 minute walk from Little Italy and 7 minutes from Chinatown.
Tulum, MexicoCasa Selva OrquideasS$989.2 ratingChalet, 2 king badsYesOutdoor pool, shared palapa with hammocks and chairs, Non-smoking Rooms, Free Parking, Free WiFi, Pet Friendly Property is surrounded by wilderness and tropical birds and offers an outdoor pool, with hammocks and chairs.

Prices in North and Central America vary greatly depending on the destination. We can find great accommodation in famous beach destinations in Mexico, such as Cancun or Tulum, for less than $99. For U.S. cities, prices vary but it still possible to find standard hotels within budget. Although, if you wish to stay in the city centre of NY, LA or Boston and prefer a 4-star hotel or above, you will pay above $99 per night.

Note The tables show one-night rate in a hotel during a non-peak date with a desirable central location and mostly positive reviews. Hotel prices are per 2 people occupancy based on rates on Booking.com, Agoda and Expedia.

*Disclaimer: For comparison purposes, all costs were sourced based on availability in the same dates (non-peak periods).

Why are hotels more expensive in some destinations? Hotel prices fluctuation explained

You might be wondering why some hotels are more expensive than others depending on the destination. Hotel average prices for diverse destinations vary based on supply and demand and seasonality. You will find different rates depending on the time you make your booking.

Supply and demand are the most influential factors contributing to prices fluctuations in hotels. For example, the high demand period of the last World Cup in Russia, combined with a short supply of hotel rooms, lead to a 500% increase in hotel prices in most Russian cities. This is a perfect example of what happens in peak seasons or times of unusually high demand.

In regular situations, hotels set their prices based on last year’s trends and then start adjusting the room prices based on the demand they receive. Check the example below.


Hotel price fluctutaion example chart


Let’s imagine we want to book a hotel in Taipei. 90 to 60 days before our check-in date, hotels prices are pretty stable for the season. 45 to 30 days before our travel date, the hotel starts getting more and more bookings and, based on this demand, starts increasing its room prices. Then one or 2 days previous to our stay, the hotel still has a fair amount of rooms available, so it decides to drop the prices last minute to increase its chances of getting fully booked.

What does this mean for us as travellers?

We should be booking our hotel rooms in advance, let’s 30 to 60 days in advance, so we have a better chance of getting a reasonable rate. We can also wait for last minute deals and book one or 2 days before our stay, but we will be taking a risk. It is not guaranteed that all hotels will drop their prices significantly.

As a rule of thumb, be aware of which type of accommodation you will need for a trip and plan ahead. With a similar budget, you can book a beach bungalow in SouthEast Asia, but if you want the same experience in Europe, you might need to double or triple your accommodation spend.

Pro tips to find a cheap hotel stay anywhere you go:

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  • Book early and save up to 30% in the regular room rate.
  • Compare prices across different platforms: OTA’s, and hotels own website.
  • Keep an eye for flash sales and last minute discounts.
  • Work out your payment method to maximise your cashback earnings and credit card point rewards.
  • If you’re booking a family holiday, you can save money by choosing an apartment or a villa instead of multiple hotel rooms.
  • If you want to save cost, consider a hostel or a mid-week stay since they are usually cheaper than a weekend stay.
  • Are you looking for a free or less expensive upgrade? Check in late. Late in the day, hotels already know if they are fully booked or not and will be more open to an upgrade request.
  • Do you travel often and prefer to stay in the same hotel chain? Join their loyalty program to gather points and get discounts and other perks.

For more travel tips and hacks check our hotel’s suggestions and vacation rentals guide.

Keep an eye on the ShopFest travel deals to catch a good discount at your favourite hotels. Find these tips useful? Share this page with a friend.

*Featured Image credit: Booking.com

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