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U.S. Hotel Rates Hit Record High


Travelers are continuing their return to hotels, and they are paying record rates for their rooms.

The national average daily rate for a room in March was $146.61, the highest for any month on record, according to hospitality data provider STR. However, STR did note that, when adjusted for inflation, the March ADR was about 2% below the same metric for March 2019.

For example, the average rate in Miami last month was $329.50, an increase over the average rate of $252.80 in March 2019, according to The Points Guy, citing STR data. 

Revenue per available room was up 4% over March 2019, but that's mostly because of the higher average daily rate, which was 10% above 2019 figures from the same time. 

“Easter and spring break are just the two obvious indicators of continued pricing power for the U.S. hotel industry driven by, as we had said repeatedly before, very healthy leisure demand,” CoStar National Director of Hospitality Jan Freitag told The Points Guy. 

Occupancy still remained slightly below 2019 figures by about 4%, STR parent company CoStar reported, but March's numbers hinted at the beginning of business travelers' long-awaited return

STR data shows U.S. hotels sold a total of 6.6 million group room nights in March. While that's a long way from March 2019's 7.8 million group nights, it indicates further hotel demand improvement. 

Urban and airport-adjacent hotels, which rely on non-leisure travelers as guests, saw high increases month-over-month in room rates, CoStar reported. Urban hotels increased their average daily room rates 56% month-over-month, while airport locations were up 42%. Freitag said he hoped the data signaled the start of a recovery for these business-dependent hospitality properties.

"I'm very, very interested in seeing what the summer holds with regards to pricing power," Freitag said.