For the budget traveler—and you’re a budget traveler even if expenses are an afterthought—a handy metric for comparing trip costs among various cities is the CSI. And with the release of CSI 2.0, it’s even handier.
In this case, CSI stands for club sandwich index. That’s a quick indicator, developed by hotel-booking site Hotels.com, of the average hotel-dining costs in many of the world’s most popular tourist and business cities. And what makes the new version rather more useful is the inclusion of several additional dining variables in the equation.
For this year’s CSI report, Hotels.com looked at the costs of four standard menu items at more than 840 hotels (three-, four-, and five-star properties) in 28 cities. In addition to the club sandwich, the index incorporates prices for a cup of coffee, a glass of house red wine, and a burger-fries-soda combo. What emerges, arguably, is a more holistic picture of relative hotel-dining costs.
Under the new scheme, the most expensive hotel meals, as reflected in the average total cost of all four items, are to be found in the following cities:
- Geneva, Switzerland – $86.71
- Paris – $72.62
- Hong Kong – $71.34
- Oslo, Norway – $68.42
- London – $65.45
- Seoul, South Korea – $65.32
- Stockholm, Sweden – $61.71
- Tokyo – $60.79
- Singapore – $60.54
- New York – $59.64
At the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest of the 28 cities included in the survey was Bogota, Colombia, where the average price of the four items was $30.08. If that’s not on your bucket list, hotel dining is also a relative bargain in Rio, Madrid, and Bangkok.
Looking at just U.S. cities, the top 10 were:
- New York – $59.64
- San Francisco – $53.52
- Los Angeles – $52.47
- Washington – $50.07
- Chicago – $48.44
- San Diego – $45.08
- New Orleans – $44.00
- Las Vegas – $42.41
- Houston – $42.18
- Orlando – $41.93
If the CSI were only a measure of the prices charged by a city’s more expensive hotel restaurants, it would be of limited value. What makes the hotel-dining results interesting, and useful, is their correlation with the total costs of visiting various cities. It’s a safe bet that a trip to Geneva is going to cost substantially more than a trip to Bogota, not just for hotel meals but overall as well.
Reader Reality Check
How much do local costs factor into your choice of travel destinations?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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