Hotels.com recently conducted a survey of hotel food prices around the world. The survey showed that Bangkok came 24th out of 28 countries for price of food. Only Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City and Bogota came out on average cheaper. What does that tell us about food pricing in hotels around the world?
- Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/tourism/609716/bangkok-one-of-the-cheapest-places-for-hotel-dining
How the Survey was Conducted
The survey covered 28 countries. Capitals or major tourist destinations were chosen for each country. For each country 30 hotels were visited and prices recorded. The hotels ranged from 3 stars to 5 stars. The comparison refers to a burger meal, a glass of red wine, a club sandwich and a cup of coffee. The results have been tabulated and put into Baht by the Bangkok post. See the graphic above.
Hotel Food is Relatively Expensive in Some Countries
The first thing to note is that the table reveals that there is little correlation between the comparative cost of items in a country as a whole and hotels in that country. While Switzerland is notoriously expensive (and is number 1 in the list), India is one of the cheapest countries in the world, and yet its hotel prices are ranked at 20. Indeed, Madrid is a capital in a developed country and yet it is cheaper than Bangkok.
Clearly hotel pricing inhabits its own orbit, not related to the market forces governing food prices outside the hotel doors. It is more likely that hotels, especially chains set prices in relation to its competition and running costs rather than in relation to restaurants in the surrounding area.
Hotel Food is Great Value in Bangkok
For those looking to promote Bangkok hotels (such as the Bangkok Post) the table reveals Bangkok hotels are some of the best value in the world. A similar survey for room prices around the world would reveal a similar result. In particular 3 and 4 star hotels in Bangkok are good value.
This is no doubt connected to supply and demand. In places like Sukhumvit, Silom and even Khao San there are so many hotels to choose from (and so many ways to book online) that price promotions as well as facilities (such as swimming pool, gym and restaurant) are essential to the success of a hotel business. Trip Advisor and its reviews of cleanliness and hotel service also go a long way to making or breaking a hotel.
This view of hotels seeking to maximise profits through comparatively expensive food would also explain the popularity of Japanese cuisine in Bangkok hotels. The Japanese food is trendy in Bangkok, and is perceived as more costly than say Chinese food. So it makes good business sense to give one of the hotel restaurants a Japanese theme.
It is Still Cheaper to Eat Outside Hotels in Bangkok
From a consumer point of view, the table should show that it is always better value to eat outside the hotel. While you take your chances with quality (less so if you study Trip Advisor before dining) you will invariably save money if you don’t eat in the hotel. In a place like Bangkok where it is safe to walk the streets at night and there is an overwhelming profusion of eating options it pays to not eat in the hotel restaurant.