The Price You’ll Pay for Love This Valentine’s Day

This post was originally posted on TheHipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on January 21, 2016.


It’s a fact: on Valentine’s Day, romantic items are more expensive.

Flower shops sell roses for two to three times their usual price. Restaurants replace their normal menus with special prix-fixe (read: pricier) options. And of course, nice hotels boost the nightly rates on their rooms.

The typical hotel rate on Valentine’s Day is 25 percent more than it is on the same day just one week before — though some cities experience a much larger surge in demand than others. We decided to look at the average price Hipmunk travelers paid when booking a hotel room in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day last year (a Saturday), compared to the price on weekend prior.

So where exactly do hotel prices surge the most on Valentine’s Day? You may be surprised at what we found:

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 10.43.22 AMFar and away, Reno, Nevada is the most marked-up place to book a hotel on Feb. 14. Ironically, Reno is something of a mecca for those wishing to engage in “anti-Valentine’s Day” activities: the city offers a Vampire pub crawl (for “those who think V-Day sucks”), as well as a slew of discounted gambling and drinking options. Las Vegas, Nevada (62 percent increase) and Atlantic City, New Jersey (25 percent), both similar destinations, also make appearances on this list — though traditionally romantic cities like New York (70 percent) Miami (53 percent) and Honolulu (26 percent) are considerably inflated as well.

Feel bad that Valentine’s Day is coming up and you haven’t booked a hotel room yet for your special evening? Worry not: as it turns out, no one plans ahead when it comes to booking V-Day hotel rooms. According to search results for “Valentines Day” in our database, 69 percent of bookings are made last-minute, in early February.

Below, we’ve plotted out when people actually search for Valentine’s Day rooms. As you can see, pretty much everyone procrastinates on planning!

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So which cities are the most popular in terms of hotel bookings? Since the vast majority waits to book, we took a look at Hipmunk’s historical data from 2015 to see what destinations were trending last year:

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Now for the most important question: How much is a room on Valentine’s Day going to set you back?

For the typical U.S. city, the average price of a room on Valentine’s Day last year was$171. Using our data, we’ve parsed out the average prices of some of the most popular cities for bookings on that special day:

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Lastly, we wondered which of the above cities were the most romantic destinations, in terms of boasting the most hotels listed under Hipmunk’s “romantic” filter, an internal ranking system which tags hotels as romantic based on such features as neighborhood, food scene, and amenities like pool, spa, balcony, and kitchenette.

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Whether you’re looking for a $400 per night splurge in Key West, Florida, or a $95 getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we wish all you lovebirds out there the best of luck in planning your Valentine’s Day!

And one last friendly reminder: if you’re looking to book a hotel, you can use the “romantic” filter on the Hipmunk hotel search to find an extra special room for the occasion– or just email Hello@Hipmunk.com with a Valentine’s Day hotel request and let us do the searching for you.

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