Hawaii Tourism Swings Wildly Again As Visitor Spend Up 67%

Updated Hawaii Hotel Prices Avg. To $913 | Hawaii Vacation Rentals Avg. $251

We are all bracing for some unprecedented holiday Hawaii travel issues, not the least of which is Hawaii hotel prices. Here’s what’s going on as of October 25. As for the prices above, $913 is the average price of hotels in South Maui, while $251 is the average price of vacation rentals statewide. Overall, there are some glimmers of light, so read on to them.

Hawaii vacation rental demand is surging. The reasons are obvious. Right out of the gate, the high price of Hawaii hotels as shown below combined with hotels’ limited staff, and facilities, among other issues. Add to that having your own Hawaii vacation home or condo with a kitchen and little to no interaction with others needed.

Beat of Hawaii: This is a time when we are all rethinking travel. Being in greater control of our travel environment is going to remain key going forward. Put that together with most of us seeking a value paradigm, and you can see why Hawaii vacation rentals are uber popular.

Hawaii Hotels.

It was eye-opening to see the state’s most recent Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) hotel report (August 2021). What we found was that average hotel rates were up dramatically. You’ve already been saying that in many comments.

We use 2019 as the comparison year for pricing since 2020 was not applicable due to COVID. The Hawaii Hotel Performance Report published by HTA showed the average daily rate statewide had climbed significantly since 2019. Details are below. Taxes on Hawaii hotels and vacation rentals are a whole different matter.

The hotel survey includes 85% of all Hawaii hotels, including full service, limited service, and condominium hotels. Hawaii Vacation rentals and Hawaii timeshares were not part of that survey and are listed separately below.

Overall, “luxury class” properties had an average daily rate of $823, up 43% compared with 2019. “Midscale and economy” properties had an average daily rate of $288, up 68% vs. 2019.

Also read Next Big Tourist Problem: Hawaii Hotels And Filthy Rooms

Maui heads the pack with Hawaii hotel prices up 52% hefty daily rates.

Maui hotels had an average daily rate in August of $596, up 52% vs. 2019. The South Maui Wailea resort area was even higher, with an average daily rate of $913, up 46% compared with 2019. The West Maui area, including Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua, had an average daily rate of $491, up 51% compared with 2019.

Big Island hotels.

Hotels on the Big Island reported an average daily rate of $385, up 37% compared with 2019.

Kauai hotels.

Garden Island hotels had an average daily rate of $357, up 26% compared with 2019.

Honolulu hotels.

Oahu hotels had the lowest daily rate and were the only ones to decline since 2019. The average was $245, and that was down 4% vs. 2019.

Hawaii Vacation Rentals.

How the Hawaii vacation rental trend began.

It’s interesting to recall that although Hawaii vacation rentals have become popular across all demographics, the trend primarily began with younger travelers and those with higher incomes. Those who try Hawaii vacation rentals, largely don’t return to hotels. That according to a Goldman Sachs study, that indicated trouble was already brewing for the hotel industry.

Hawaii vacation rentals as change agents.

BOH: We have preferred Hawaii vacation rentals, when compared to Hawaii hotel stays of more than a couple of nights. We obviously aren’t alone. Things we consider about Hawaii vacation rentals include reduced costs and convenience through kitchen and laundry facilities, less contact with other travelers and staff, and automated/keyless check-in and check-out.

Note: As a reminder, please only stay in legal rentals in designated tourist areas in Hawaii. Staying in illegal rentals is problematic at every level, including no help for guests when things go wrong. Hosts should post the rental Tax ID on their listing.

Hawaii vacation rental report. Prices remain moderate overall.

The most recent state report on vacation rental performance is for July 2021. In that, there was a statewide decrease in average daily rates compared with 2019. The average daily rate for vacation rental units statewide was $251, an increase of 21% compared with 2019. That remained 32% lower than the average daily rate of $368 for Hawaii hotels that same month.

Maui vacation rentals.

The average daily rate was $282, up 20%, vs. 2019. That was 54% less than Maui hotels’ average of $618.

Honolulu vacation rentals.

An average daily rate of $203 was 22% less than hotels’ $259 average.

Big Island vacation rentals.

Hawaii island rentals had an average rate of $206, which was 45% less than hotels’ $375 rate.

Kauai vacation rentals.

Rentals on the garden island had the highest daily average at $321, which was 13% lower than Kauai hotels’ rate of $369.

Please add your thoughts to the many comments below.

Post updated 10/25/21.

Photo at Waikiki Beach. 

178 thoughts on “Updated Hawaii Hotel Prices Avg. To $913 | Hawaii Vacation Rentals Avg. $251”

  1. I question hotels raising their prices by almost 50%. I don’t know of anyone who received a pay raise of 50%! Who are they catering to? Most folks who come to Hawaii to vacation are those in mid-income bracket. Isn’t it possible they are contributing to their own problem of filling rooms by such high prices?

    Grand Wailea charges daily $45 resort fee and $65 parking on top of room rate. Staying in a hotel, I expect hskp., pool and parking are worked into the room rate. I guess I’m old school.

  2. Loving my timeshare at Pono Kai on beautiful Kauai. Could not use my three weeks last year so I rolled them and am now spending six amazing weeks in Paradise. Keep those updates coming and I shall keep breathing in this beautiful ambience and smiling all the while.

  3. Booked a trip for December and still planning on going. And, for the first time, I’m staying in a hotel that is actually cheaper than a vacation rental! And under $100, and two blocks from the beach in Waikiki. Cheap rates are out there folks. You’ve just to look for them.

  4. Aloha Rib and Jeff.
    Good to be in contact again.
    For a long while it seemed like European travelers might not get back to the beloved Islands. However, this week the President revoked the ban and travel to the States is open again from November. I was wondering what the visiting protocols for the Islands might be for one such as myself..,double-jabbed and likely a booster in the not to distant future…Health Service Certificate of proof and PCR tests readily available, I’d be hoping to visit around May of next year.
    Grateful for any and all information as it becomes available.
    Mahalo and all good wishes,

    1. Hi Michael.

      Thank you. Yes, it is good to be in touch again. We thought of you at the point of that announcement. There hasn’t been a peep from Hawaii yet, we do think it will be coming, perhaps in a month’s time or so. We’ll update when we learn more.


  5. What is the situation with AirB&B and VRBO? Supposedly, they are now “illegal” so hotels can charge more. Mahalo for your reply.

    1. Hi Karen.

      Those are not illegal. You just need to be sure that the rentals you choose are valid ones that have a transient vacation rental number.


    2. As an owner of a vacation rental, I appreciate you pointing out some of the benefits of staying in our type of accommodations. Thanks for all your research and writing.

  6. I agree vacation rentals can be wonderful. I’ve stayed in several great ones. But it’s important to remember that you’re staying in a residential area, where people live and work, and be respectful of that atmosphere.

    1. I would venture to say that most “vacation rentals” in Hawaii are not in residential areas. May be true in the Princeville area, but Kapa’a and Poipu have many resorts that are vacation rentals. We stay at the Waipouli Beach Resort every year. While it looks like a hotel from the outside, the units are independently owned save for the wing owned by Outrigger and are booked through VRBO and other companies.

  7. I prefer a condo for my Hawaii visits, however, I am not happy with some of the cancellation policies. Travel insurance does not cover everything so I’m going to go back to hotel stays on my next visits.
    Hawaii’s rules are constantly changing so If I don’t like the rules I can cancel up to a week, or two before my planned trip. In my choice hotel I can cancel right up to the day I was going to travel and pay a penalty. If I did that in some condos I’d have to eat the whole amount.

    1. You’re wise to keep an eye on rental cancellation policies. When the Caldor Fire caused South Lake Tahoe to be evacuated, many vacationers who’d rented through VRBO got the run around and lost 100% of what they’d paid upfront. Many lost thousands of dollars as it was a holiday week. Mahalo Rob & Jeff for keeping us all updated.

  8. From a devoted and respectful British Columbian, always visiting Kauai as my wife and I as our first choice, it looks like we will not be Spending our Canadian dollars (after USD exchange rates) at beautiful Kauai Island again.
    Shame on all the greed that our human race believes a necessity for the chosen few.
    What happened to democracy?
    Aristocracy at its finest 👌
    Congratulations to all who can still afford a vacation. Not us anymore…….

    1. We spent 5 weeks on the BI in August and we are back on the BI again this week and we paid WAY less than the amounts posted by BOH. Remember, those are just AVERAGES. That means 50% are over that price and 50% are under that price. Focus on the 50% under. There are deals to be found (and if we can find them, you can find them too!).

    2. How is this no longer democratic? I believe it’s a matter of supply and demand. Should owners of businesses not be allowed to maximize their profits? They have been hammered with losses from 2020. If they can recoup those losses more power to them.
      It’s unfortunate that you can no longer come to the islands but I can’t blame companies for charging what the market allows.
      Hopefully one day you will make it back to our islands

  9. Aloha BOH Bro’s

    I representing the minority resort stay poster who has for the last several years secured an unbelievable low rate for stays at a Grand Wailea Beach located mega resort.

    How may you ask?

    Our up coming October stay was booked last January through Costco Travel at the unbelievably low price of $500.00 a night for a Deluxe Ocean View room includes the $45.00 a night resort fee.

    This same room is currently going for about $1,200 a night.

    Our Deluxe Ocean view room comes with a mini fridge which we load with enough alcohol to kill an Elephant. Why the need to go off property when you can enjoy breakfast on your own ocean view private Lani.

    While the misses enjoys daily beach yoga I snorkel each end of Wailea Beach. As part of our resort experience we receive a beach lounge chair and umbrella setup. With plenty of snacks and water purchased at the local Costco we’re set for the day.

    Unlimited bath and beach towels!

    At the end of our week stay I’m left with a less than $1,000.00 additional stay bill. I like checking out at the desk they’re always shocked at how low my bill.

    So yes you don’t have to get a second mortgage to enjoy an upscale Maui Resort Stay

    1. Richard, I too have gotten unbelievable deals through Costco for Hawaii and am also going in October with one of them, after a prior great deal i got for a trip in May. But unfortunately I have been checking for next year and for the same amount of time with a much less package, the cost was $12K vs the $4K I’m paying for this trip. Huge sticker shock. I was extremely bummed.

      Thank you BOH, always appreciate the info you provide.

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