Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals
Media Center


Tunis and Cape Town Offer Best Value Room Service for Aussies Abroad
TripAdvisor TripIndex Room Service compares the price of hotel amenities in 48 popular destinations around the world

Sydney, Australia – 26 March 2014 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, has revealed that Tunis offers the best value for Australian travellers this year when it comes to the common incidental costs while staying in a hotel, according to a cost comparison report released today. 

The results are taken from the second annual TripAdvisor TripIndex Room Service report, which compares the cost of room service items in 48 popular destinations around the world. The study takes into account the cost of a club sandwich ordered through room service, the dry cleaning of one shirt and from the mini bar: a bottle of water, peanuts, a mini bottle of vodka and a can of coke. 

The combined cost of these room service items will set you back $20.39 in Tunis – almost five times less than at the costliest destination, Helsinki, where the price totals $98.48. South Africa’s Cape Town follows closely as the second best value destination for room service at $25.42, while another Scandinavian city, Oslo, is revealed as the second most expensive at $96.97.

“The room rate alone doesn’t give an accurate picture of what the full cost of staying at a hotel can be, especially when you see the wide range of prices for everyday room service items between destinations around the world. It’s easy for Aussies to forget about the hidden costs when budgeting to travel abroad, so TripIndex Room Service gives travellers a useful snapshot of where their money will stretch the furthest when it comes to the cost of these items,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, Jean Ow-Yeong.

Shell out in Scandinavia, see savings in Africa

This year’s results show that if you’re heading to the northern hemisphere, you’re likely to pay a lot more as four Scandinavian cities make it into the world’s top ten most expensive destinations. Europe as a whole dominates the most expensive list laying claim to six of the top ten. Helsinki in Finland and Oslo in Norway take first and second place respectively while Zurich, Stockholm and Paris are placed fourth, fifth and sixth. Seoul is the only non-European city to be ranked within the top five most expensive destinations. 

The least expensive European city destination for room service is Istanbul, where a full set of basket items will cost almost a third of the price of the equivalent items’ cost in Helsinki.

Aussie travellers looking to bag a bargain should head to Africa where three of the continent’s destinations feature in the top five places offering the best value – Tunis in Tunisia, Cape Town in South Africa and Marrakech in Morocco. In Asia, the least expensive city destination for room service is Jakarta, Indonesia, where a full set of basket items ($131.38) will cost almost a third of the price of the equivalent items’ cost in Helsinki ($320.43).

Sydney not as pricey as once perceived

While Sydney is often classed as one of Australia’s most expensive cities, the results show that when it comes to the cost of room service items, Sydney sits in the middle of the pack, coming in at twentieth most expensive. In Sydney, a club sandwich is $19.00, bottle of water is $4.83, peanuts are $5.10, a can of Coke is $3.93, mini bottle of Vodka $9.38 and to dry clean a shirt is $11.34. In total, the basket of items costs $53.58 in Sydney.

Jakarta best value for room service and room rates combined

While Tunis is revealed as the number one destination for best value room service, when you consider the cost of room service and room rate combined, at $206.89, the North African destination drops down to eighteenth place. With a total combined cost of $131.38, Jakarta, Indonesia replaces Tunis as the number one destination for value overall. 

In the most expensive list, it seems that pricey room service and pricey hotel room rates go hand-in-hand as eight of the costliest destinations remain in the top 10. This time however, New York City replaces Helsinki as the most expensive with a total cost of $477.84 compared with Helsinki’s $320.43, taking it down to eighth place in the table.

TripIndex Room Service at a glance
From the least expensive to the most expensive (green and orange indicate least and most expensive destinations for each item respectively):
Full list of destinations included in the study is available upon request.
Notes to Editors:
The international TripIndex destination list is comprised of key destinations from 48 of the 50 countries which receive the largest number of international visitor arrivals (data compiled by the UNWTO, 2013).  
TripIndex Room Service prices out the following items in each destination to represent the cost of common incidental items and services that travellers may incur during a stay at a hotel:
Room service:
• Club sandwich
Mini bar:
• Bottle of water
• Peanuts
• Mini bottle of vodka
• Can of cola
Dry cleaning:
• One shirt
Prices shown specify the average cost (taken from a minimum of six hotels and up to ten hotels), collected from the top ten rated four star hotels in each featured destination. The top ten hotels were ranked according to the TripAdvisor Popularity Index. Hotels were selected from the Popularity Index between 27th January to 20th February 2014.  
Prices of all basket items were sourced from the same hotel, whenever possible, before average prices were calculated. Costs include sales tax and service charge, where applicable.
Prices were taken in local currencies between 3rd February 2014 and 20th February 2014 and currency conversion rates were taken on 17th February 2014. 
Room service: Room service prices specify the average cost of a club sandwich or the closest substitute item. 
Mini bar: Mini bar prices specify the average cost of one 500ml bottle of water (if not available pro rata costs were calculated), one packet of peanuts or the closest substitute item, one regular can of cola or closest substitute and one mini bottle of vodka* or closest substitute (pro rata costs were calculated if mini vodka was not available). 
*Please note – none of the hotels contacted in Riyadh serve any alcoholic drinks.
Dry cleaning: Dry cleaning prices specify the average cost to dry clean one shirt or the closest substitute (such as wash/iron shirt). 
Hotel room rates: Room rates specify the average cost of one night’s stay in 4 and 4.5 star hotels in each destination between 1st June to 31st August 2014.