India’s hotel boom

Maiden’s Hotel is an old colonial hotel in New Delhi. I’ve never stayed there, but I’ve heard good things about it, and I would consider staying there. I think it was, and perhaps still is, used as a training ground for Oberoi, one of the big Indian luxury hotel chains. It’s classed as a ‘heritage’ hotel, which better than a cheap business hotel but not as nice as a marble and mirror palace; ‘heritage’ is a good category.

Anyway, I somehow stumbled upon their rate card from 2006, which listed their superior room at $100/night. (The exchange rate isn’t relevant here; in rupees it was $99/night at current exchange rates.) To me, that’s a decent price for a room at a good hotel in Delhi; not an astounding value, but a reasonable enough price. You would pay more in the US for a similar room, maybe half again as much or double depending on the location.

But the updated rack list for 2011 has that same room for $275/night, or Rs.12,500, which is hard to believe. That is a lot of money for a hotel room anywhere, and this is a second tier hotel. Obviously, there is enough demand that they not only are charging that much, at least at list price, but that the demand has nearly tripled the price in the past four years. At $275/night, India — which has a PPP GDP of around $3,200/year — starts to look quite expensive for the foreign visitor.

Photo by sonnenkringel.