Kate Simon: Need a cheap city break? Try Barcelona, Prague, or maybe Coventry

The hotel industry is on the up. So says a report released last week by the business advisory firm Deloitte. It confirms that demand for hotel rooms across Europe has risen since last October, with a 3.3 per cent increase in January compared with the same month in 2009.

Alex Kyriakidis, global managing partner of tourism hospitality and leisure at Deloitte, does temper the findings with a note of caution, saying: "No strong rebound in European tourism and hotel performance is expected in 2010 ...." Though it's his next comment that is of most interest to leisure travellers. "Further declines will now be city specific rather than the norm," he adds.

Deloitte identifies two favourite short-break destinations, Barcelona (pictured below) and Prague, among the worst-performing cities. Barcelona's average room rates have dropped from €105 per night in January 2009 to €91 in January 2010. Prague's rates dipped from CZK2,127 (£75) to CZK1,824 (£64) in the same period. Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Madrid, Moscow and Rome are among the other favourite cities that performed poorly.

So are they the places to go to for a bargain break? That all depends on how you define "bargain". One good place to discover more about best value is the Hotel Price Index compiled by the hotel booking website Hotels.com twice a year. The latest, comparing 2008 and 2009, was released this month and is on the firm's website (hotels.com/press/ hotel-price-index.html).

Nigel Pocklington, global marketing director at Hotels.com, points to a useful chart in the Hotel Price Index which reveals what star rating you can buy for under £100. "Berlin offers cheap prices for good quality hotels – we quote an average price per night of £77. It's a hidden gem because your money goes far and it's an interesting destination," he says. He also advises city-breakers to head east. "Talinn and Riga have room rates under £60."

London, it seems, is one city that has bucked the trend, according to Deloitte's report. "Hotels in London are an exception," it says. "It had the advantage of an inexpensive currency compared [with] the US dollar and the euro throughout the downturn, and it had limited new supply, so it did not experience the massive tourism drop-off that some European cities did."

Good news for British business, but not perhaps for city-breakers. "Hoteliers [in London] have been able to push up average room rates since November 2009," continues Deloitte, predicting that prices may increase by £10 per room per night.

But don't despair if your budget's too tight to fork out for a flight because the rest of Britain's hotel scene hasn't fared as well as the capital's. Deloitte names Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Cardiff as British cities that have seen room rates drop. But which city is the cheapest to stay the night in? Hotels.com has the definitive answer about where to send you – Coventry.

Have you got a travel issue? Email sundaytravel@ independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Product Development

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Day In a Page

    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
    Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

    The dark side of Mexico

    A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

    Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border