TIME TO SPLURGE Currency changes make luxury hotels more affordable

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Gyrations in currency markets are helping to make some high-end hotels more affordable for Canadian travellers. The price of a five-star hotel room in Moscow, in Canadian dollars, fell 24 percent to $202 in the first half of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, according to a Hotels.com survey. The drop coincided with a slide in the value of the ruble versus the dollar.  
As well, four-star accommodation in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, dropped 30 percent to $152, along with a decline in the Brazilian real versus the loonie. It's a good time for Canadians to travel to those cities, “especially if you wanted to splurge,” said Hotels.com travel expert Taylor Cole. Warsaw offered the cheapest price for a five-star room during the same period - C$148 - followed by Berlin at $193 and Mumbai at $198.

At the other end of the scale, Canadians paid the most for five-star hotels in Los Angeles ($730), Montreal ($629), Tokyo ($607), Honolulu ($606) and Miami ($601). The data is based on Hotels.com bookings. The company notes there is no worldwide star-rating system. “Travellers should be aware of a possible disparity of standards and facilities when booking rooms with the same star ratings in different countries,” Hotels.com says.

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