Hotels dispute ‘most expensive’ tag

'It's not the list we want to be at the top of.'

They’re a touch steep, sure, but can Newport hotel rooms really be the most expensive in the nation? More

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Focus: HOSPITALITY

Hotels dispute ‘most expensive’ tag

'It's not the list we want to be at the top of.'

PBN PHOTO/DAVID LEVESQUE
PRICE IS RIGHT? Paul Galluscio, right, general manager of the Inns on Bellevue in Newport, disputes the city’s “most expensive” title, but says it could weed out a less-desirable crowd.
Posted 8/20/12

They’re a touch steep, sure, but can Newport hotel rooms really be the most expensive in the nation?

“I don’t know where they came up with that,” said Angela Craig, manager of the Admiral Fitzroy Inn on Thames Street in downtown Newport, about the recent survey from cheaphotels.org that pegged the City by the Sea “more expensive than any other U.S. destination this summer.”

“That’s definitely not accurate,” said Mark Gervais, general manager of the Hotel Viking on Bellevue Avenue. “Summer months are peak season and they pulled weekends leading to the America’s Cup, July 4 weekend, and the folk festival that really skewed the results.”

In a survey of rates listed on its own booking website for reservations over six weekends this summer, cheaphotels.org found that a double room in Newport will run an average of $319 per night.

That’s more expensive than Maui, $197; Martha’s Vineyard, $275; and Santa Monica, Calif., $287 - among places with 10 or more hotels of two or more stars. New York City came in at a flinty $157 per night, right below Falmouth, Mass, $162.

While Newport prides itself on offering luxury and some hoteliers trade on exclusivity, many see the “most expensive” tag as a negative for the local hospitality industry, especially if it doesn’t match reality.

“I think it really hurts Newport overall with the economic situation the way it is,” Gervais said. “The mom and dad who want to come midweek for a few nights see that and cross Newport off the list. The group in a publicly traded company doesn’t want shareholders to see them going to the ‘most expensive’ place. It’s definitely not the list we want to be at the top of.”

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