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London : hotels charge premiums of up 300 per cent during the Olympics

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Families planning to stay in the capital during this summer’s sporting events should expect to pay hotel rates far in excess of double the cost of an average week’s stay, according to new research from Santander 123 World.

The findings reveal that hotels in central London have taken advantage of the huge demand to holiday in the city during the summer, hiking prices by an average of 139 per cent for a week’s stay. The research is based on a family of four and compares the cost of a seven night stay commencing on the 27th July 2012 (the opening ceremony) with the cost of an ordinary week in late August, when the events have finished. Results highlighted extremely steep hotel premiums, finding that visitors to a central London hotel could incur an average extra cost of £2,891.

Four star hotels have some of the biggest premiums, according to the findings, with one central London venue increasing prices by 245 per cent over the period, an eye-watering uplift of £5,666 over a week.

Santander also investigated hotel prices near the Stratford Olympic Park, but found hotels with the new Olympic postcode mainly booked up. In one of the few hotels with vacancies, premiums exceeded even those in central London with an astonishing additional cost of £5,054 – a 301 per cent increase on ordinary rates.

Andy Smith, Santander spokesperson commented: “Although it’s not exactly a surprise that hotels have increased their rates during the opening ceremony weekend, the inflated prices that London hotels have chosen to impose is beyond even the premiums we usually see during popular bank holidays and events. The costs far exceed premiums recorded for national holidays such as the Royal Wedding last year and the recent Jubilee weekend.

“This research highlights just how enormous the demand to stay in London during this summer’s biggest sporting event is. The fact that the few limited rooms available near the Stratford Olympic Park can charge such expensive rates demonstrates how holidaymakers are willing to pay the extra costs.

“To avoid the steepest premiums, families should consider cheaper modes of transport where possible – buses are often low-cost compared to travelling by tube or taxi, and choose hotels further away from the Olympic Park in Stratford.”