By Anne Taylor
8 April 2014
Raid the minibar at your hotel in Cape Town, and you’ll land up with a bill of $25.42 – a mere R265*. Do the same at a hotel in Helsinki, and your bill will be closer to $100 (R1 044). TripAdvisor, one the web’s most popular travel websites, has recently released the results of a cost comparison study.
The TripIndex Room Service report compares the cost of room service items in 62 destinations. Cape Town was the only South African city included in the study.
The study looked at the price of a club sandwich, the dry cleaning of one shirt, a bottle of water, peanuts, a mini bottle of vodka, and a can of cooldrink*. The prices were collected from Tripadvisor’s Top Ten four-star hotels in each city – and only Tunis came out cheaper ($20.39) than Cape Town. A bottle of water in Cape Town costs $2.37, but $6.44 in Helsinki and $6.67 in Las Vegas. Cape Town’s total room rate was found to be the fourth-cheapest of all cities surveyed, at $119.54, coming in behind Jakarta ($90.81), Hanoi in Vietnam ($98.98) and Budapest ($109.58).
As Cape Town Tourism says on its blog, “We’re cheaper than Budapest, Prague and Istanbul and a few other cool places: While a sarmie costs $8.11, peanuts $4.20 and dry-cleaning $5.92 in Prague, room service with all of the works in our digs will only set you back a mere $22.97.” That’s a piddly R240 at today’s exchange rate.
* Exchange rate: 1 = R10.45 (as at 8 April)
** Truth be told, if it was up to me, a packet of peanuts and a can of cooldrink would not be the first things out the minibar.