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Why the most expensive hotels aren't always the best, according to a professional traveller who has stayed in over 3,000

INSIDER logoINSIDER 09/10/2019 Rachel Hosie
a person sitting on a dock next to a body of water © Getty/NicoElNino/Philippe Kjellgren
  • The most expensive hotels aren't always the best, according to a professional traveller.
  • "Digital nomad" Philippe Kjellgren has stayed in over 3,000 hotels, and he told Insider he believes hotels that target Americans hike their prices up more than they should.
  • Equally, his pet peeve is when already expensive hotels charge extortionate prices for everything else like food and activities.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The hotels we stay in while travelling can be as important a part of the holiday as the country we're visiting.

After all, who doesn't love a breakfast buffet, fluffy robes, and not having to clean up after yourself?

However, while it's easy to think that you'll have a better experience the more you spend, according to professional, full-time traveller Philippe Kjellgren, it's "definitely not" true that the most expensive hotels are the best.

"I think that a lot of hotels are overpriced based on what type of tourists they have," Kjellgren, who has stayed in over 3,000 hotels while vetting them for his hotel app PK's List, told Insider.

Getty © Getty Getty Specifically, he believes hotels that target American tourists hike their prices up. 

"I would say markets that are catering a lot to American tourists, the prices are higher," Kjellgren said.

He cites the example of certain areas of Italy which are "much much more expensive" than they should be.

"I think that's a result of having so many American tourists that are willing to pay, because Italy is the number one destination for Americans," Kjellgren explained.

"So I think a lot of times, price is completely not part of the experience.

"I think that if you look, a lot of times you can get a cheaper hotel that provides a much better experience than the most expensive one in my opinion, and sometimes it's definitely not value for money." 

Despite this, Kjellgren does say there are some very expensive hotels that genuinely do offer good value for money - Laucala private island resort in Fiji, for example, where rooms start from $4,800 a night.

"It sounds crazy - it's a lot of money - but compared to what you get in a place like the Seychelles or the Maldives for the same price, you get a lot more there because everything is included, even nice wines, spa treatments, and watersports like jet skis and a submarine," Kjellgren said.

Philippe Kjellgren standing in front of a mountain © Philippe Kjellgren

One of his pet peeves is when you visit an already expensive hotel, and then every add-on in pricey, too.

"I think it's irritating when you go to a hotel and they overcharge for certain things," Kjellgren said.

"You're already paying, let's say, $2,000 a night. You don't have to charge $50 for tacos on the beach, which a lot of them do. For me it's not value for money.

"An orange juice shouldn't cost $25 just because you pay $2,000 to stay the night. The reason you pay $2,000 to stay the night is just because they have spent maybe $2-3 million per room. And of course they need to charge for that.

"But the orange juice costs the same and you don't need to overcharge just because you have people with money there. That for me is really a pet peeve that I hate."

Gallery: 15 hotel rooms with seriously jaw-dropping views (Love Exploring)

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