Tags: Forgiveness

Remember when a night in a decent hotel cost less than a new car?

Two years ago, I got my first whiff that hotels cost staggeringly more than they did before the pandemic.

Some American friends were coming to Toronto for a family event in 2022. I said I’d cover their two nights here and set about booking a mid-price hotel. All I could get was the Delta Chelsea Inn in downtown Toronto, by no means five-star, for $500 a night.

That was nothing. Today, global hotel rates are like Toronto housing prices.

The big issue is supply and demand. Millions more of us are breaking free not just from our homes to travel, but from our home and native lands.

This is especially true with luxury hotels. As this week’s Air Mail points out: “The rich are continuing to get richer, and there are many, many more of them. Today, according to Statista, there are 59 million millionaires on the planet; in 2000, there were only 15 million.”

I remember growing up in Edmonton where my father had a flower shop in the Fairmont Hotel  Macdonald. One night, a wholesaler took a display room at the hotel and invited my dad up to see his wares. All I remember is that the room cost $80 a night. Ever since then, I’ve used $80 a night as my baseline for what a luxury hotel room should cost. I know that makes no sense. It was 65 years ago. But we all carry these childhood markers for value, just as I search in vain today for bacon and eggs and coffee for $5.

Today, the cheapest room at the Royal York in Toronto costs $957 per night, while the Four Seasons is $875. The Chateau Lake Louise is $1,427 and the Fogo Island Inn is $2,875.


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