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Overseas luxury here at home

Staying in five-star style is easy in Darwin with hotels like the Doubletree Hilton on the Esplanade. Picture: News Corp Australia

ROBYN IRONSIDENews Corp Australia Network

DARWIN is one of two Australian cities giving cheap Asian holiday destinations a run for their money by charging under $200 a night for five-star comfort.

Adelaide and Darwin were among the top five cheapest places for luxury-loving Aussies to visit, just behind Siem Reap in Cambodia and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Even Pattaya in Thailand was ranked by the Hotels.com price index as more expensive than the Aussie cities – where five-star hotels cost an average of $190 a night (Adelaide) and $197 in Darwin. Other Australian cities where a five-star room could be booked for under $250 a night included Perth ($231), Brisbane ($232) and Cairns for $233.

Darwin’s Cullen Bay Marina is nice place for a holiday. Picture: David Silva, Tourism NT

Darwin’s Cullen Bay Marina is nice place for a holiday. Picture: David Silva, Tourism NTSource:Supplied

Melbourne visitors shelled out an average $274 for top quality accommodation, well clear of Sydney on $303 and the Gold Coast on $313.

The weaker Australian currency meant US hotels were the most expensive five-star option for travellers.

They averaged $689 a night in Los Angeles and $660 in Honolulu — which is more than the cost of a one-way airfare.

Hotels.com Regional Director Katherine Cole, said visitors to Darwin were reaping the benefits of the end of the resources boom while prices in Adelaide had remained unchanged for years.

“Darwin’s average hotel rate has declined 20 per cent in price in the last year, the biggest change we’ve seen of any city,” Ms Cole said.

“Adelaide’s a bit of a forgotten city. The percentage change year on year is one per cent which suggests the demand is not there when you compare it with other cities.”

You can enjoy five-star bliss in one of Adelaide’s fancy hotels. Picture: Mike Burton

You can enjoy five-star bliss in one of Adelaide’s fancy hotels. Picture: Mike BurtonSource:News Corp Australia

Sydney hotels were enjoying soaring occupancy thanks to demand from cruise ship passengers, on top of the traditionally strong corporate market, Ms Cole said.

“There are cruise ships nearly every day and that’s really putting pressure on prices in Sydney,” she said.

“It’s great for hotels, but not so great for corporate travellers who normally stay in five-star hotels, but are now having to stay in four-star.”

Australia’s most expensive place for a five-star hotel stay, the Gold Coast — was simply riding the wave of a growing tourism boom with cashed up visitors looking to “treat” themselves.

Gold Coast Tourism Chairman Paul Donovan said revenue was up for hoteliers, which in turn allowed them to invest more in their properties.

“Not only are hotels doing well, everyone’s doing well,” Mr Donovan said.

An artist’s impression of the redeveloped Jupiters’ integrated resort on the Gold Coast. Picture: Supplied.

An artist’s impression of the redeveloped Jupiters’ integrated resort on the Gold Coast. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

“It’s very exciting and a culmination of the marketing being done by Tourism Australia, Tourism and Events Queensland and Gold Coast Tourism.”

Despite being just an hour’s drive away, Brisbane hotels were not faring quite so well.

Perth was also in recovery after the end of the resources boom saw hotel prices come right off the boil in 2014-15.

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