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