Friday, June 17, 2016

Eastern Europe Cheaper than South America?

Because of the reversal of seasons, I was thinking this might be a good time to visit the southern part of South America in terms of prices and fewer tourists. However, an unscientific survey of the same dates in early July on Trip Advisor showed that there is more choice of inexpensive hotels in places like Moscow and Bucharest than in Buenos Aires or Santiago.

I uncovered just one hotel in Buenos Aires charging less than $100 per night, and none in Santiago. That compares to three is Moscow and four in Bucharest. The choice in B.A. is the Hotel Tango de Mayo, an Art Nouveau inn near a subway station and relatively central, on the Avenida de Mayo. The cheapest places I could unearth in Santiago were the Luciano K at $111 and the Su Merced at $107. Both are boutique hotels.

In Moscow, the Park Izmailovo was $52, the Mercure Moscow, part of a French chain, was $84 and the Design Hotel was $98. The elegant and beautifully located Metropol was $210.

In Romania, the Mercure Bucharest City Centre was $97, the NH Bucharest $74, the Tangio $62, and the Boutique Hotel Moxa $76. While I haven't visited Bucharest, I stayed in the NH Hotel at the Vienna Airport and enjoyed it. The above prices are all in Canadian dollars and do not include tax and fees, so the total is probably similar to what it would be in U.S. currency. The loonie is trading at around 77 cents U.S. now.

I had been hearing that Argentina is booming again, thanks to a new pro-business government. The business travellers must be the ones responsible for the rising hotel prices, with a lot of places charging $300 or $400 a night or more. Unfortunately, what is good for business is often bad for budget tourists.


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