Looking for a deal on a hotel rate in Miami? You might find it, but you probably won't like it. Turns out that tourists who book rooms at cheaper rates end up having issues with their stays in Miami more often than any other major tourist destination in America.
The info comes from CheapHotels.com, a website that, as the name suggests, helps users book cheap hotel rooms. The site also collects feedback about its users' stays and decided to rank the top markets in America by the percentage of negative feedback the site receives. Turns out Miami came in first for unsatisfied cheap-hotel guests. It wasn't even close.
Thirty-four percent of budget-hotel clients in Miami rated their stays at their hotels as either a one- or two-star experience. Las Vegas was second, but only 25 percent of reviews were bad.
In Miami, only 37 percent of users gave their hotels a rating of four or five. Twenty-nine percent decided a mediocre rating of three was the best way to describe their stay.
Meanwhile, Seattle apparently has the best cheap hotels. Sixty-two percent of users said their cheap hotel merited a rating of four or five.
Miami's low ranking shouldn't be much of a surprise. For one thing, Miami has the highest average hotel rates of anywhere in the nation, according to data from industry data tracker Smith Travel Research. It reported in June that the average rate through the year was $241.70 a night. Travelers are gladly snapping up those rooms. Miami led the industry in hotel occupancy as well.
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The market might even out some, though, as supply catches up with demand. As many as 8,000 new hotel rooms are expected to be built in Miami-Dade in the next five years.
Still, many of those hotel rooms won't fall into the "cheap" category. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hotel development boom mirrors the condo boom, with lots of units being built for the higher end of the market and not much being done to address the affordable sector.)
We also find that a lot of cheap hotels in Miami tend to have little to recommend other than they're a cheap hotel in Miami. People end up booking them simply because of price, and the hotels don't have to do much else to stand out. A 2010 survey found that two of the dirtiest hotels in America were in South Beach.
If you do book a cheap hotel in Miami, make sure your trip is planned so that you'll be doing little else in your hotel room besides sleeping, changing, and bathing. In fact, here's a tip: Stay out till 5 a.m., get only four or five hours of sleep in the room, and then get some rest while lying on the beach.