London 'has world's most expensive hotels'

Even without the charges for minibar and telephone, the London hotel is the most expensive in the world, a new survey reports. A night's stay in the capital is more than twice as expensive as a room in Sydney, Toronto or San Francisco and more than 25 times more expensive than Mexico City.

The survey compared average daily rates in hotels in cities across the world with the cost of a McDonald's Big Mac, using the Economist's Big Mac Index, which replaces the local cost of a basket of goods with that of the global hamburger.

The findings showed that a night's sleep in London would cost a traveller 110 times the price of the hamburger. Paris was the second most expensive at 84 times the cost of a Big Mac. At the lower end of the scale, Mexicans could stay at a hotel in their capital for the price of just four Big Macs.

Nick Marsh, the chief executive officer for Europe of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, which did the survey, said: "In light of the outbreak of Sars, war in Iraq and the ongoing threat of terrorism, it is likely that hotels will be increasingly reliant on domestic demand. [Our] global hotel affordability index provides a key measure as to the affordability of accommodation."

Hotels in the Asia Pacific region and the United States were deemed to be good value, tending to cost between 30 and 40 times the cost of a Big Mac. The most expensive after London and Paris were Milan, Rome, Prague, Barcelona and New York.

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