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So my wife and I had this idea of visiting friends in Toronto later this month and staying in a hotel downtown. Silly us.

A look at hotel prices on one travel site this week showed the cheapest room available at a three- or four-star property downtown cost $579 per night, including taxes. A nice bunch of additional choices at the low end of the cost scale were available in the $650 range.

We decided to pass on those prices. What we’re doing instead is using guest rooms at condo buildings where family and friends live. The cost: $75 or so per night.

It’s not unusual for high-rise condos to have guest rooms where guests of owners can stay. Owners book the rooms, which in my experience are set up like hotel rooms with fully equipped bathrooms, comfortable beds, wireless internet service and air conditioning. Many condos also have no-cost guest parking, so the cost is a true value.

I can say from personal experience that before COVID, it was almost always possible to find downtown Toronto hotels in the $200 range per night. Today’s prices reflect both inflation and the travel industry’s attempt to recoup money lost during the pandemic. As noted by Globe personal finance reporter Erica Alini, Airbnb prices are nearly as expensive as hotels.

Hotels are doing what they feel they need to do with their pricing in summer 2022. We’re doing what we need to do as well. That means saying no to $579 per night for hotels in downtown Toronto and making alternative arrangements.


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