The best day to check in

Let’s cut to the chase. Sunday nights provide the cheapest rates in hotels. Weekenders and other holiday makers usually depart on Sunday mornings and businesspeople don’t check in until Monday.

That leaves Sunday as your sweet spot, with rates up to 30 per cent lower than other days. As an added bonus, you won’t be competing for restaurant tables or spots by the swimming pool.

Most travellers recognise that hotel rates fluctuate with the tourist season or school holidays, but few take the day of the week into account. However, if you’re after a short getaway or staycation and have the flexibility, it pays to stay on certain days.

According to US-based travel aggregator Kayak after an analysis of 2021 data, the cheapest check-in days internationally are Sunday and Tuesday. No surprise that the most expensive days are Friday and Saturday.

That works well for three-day stays. If you can, check in on Sunday and depart on Wednesday morning for the lowest rates.

This rule of thumb applies best to tourist hotels and resorts. In city hotels with a big business clientele you can snag a bargain on Friday and Saturday nights. Check hotel websites: amenities such as a conference centre are clear signs of a business hotel. Who needs a pool if you can save several hundred dollars?

It doesn’t only matter what day you stay, but also on which day you book your hotel room. You’ll get lower rates by booking towards the end of the week, when significantly fewer people bother with hotel searches.

In 2019 an Expedia Group study of 895,000 hotel bookings found rates were lowest for bookings made on Fridays. Generally speaking, hotel prices peak if booked between Monday and

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Six of the best Melbourne hotels for a staycation

It seems like only yesterday it was tools down for the Christmas break yet suddenly, the kids are back to school and the working year officially under way. Cue the back-to-work blues.

Yet there’s hope on the horizon. Consider the fact that there’s now less than 70 days till Easter.

However, with rising inflation and interest rates, airfares going through the roof and petrol apparently not getting cheaper any time soon, not to mention Christmas holiday credit card bills arriving, getting away for another holiday in 2023 might seem an expense too far. 

That’s where the staycation comes in. 

Major sporting events, art in the parks and theatres, celebrations on the streets – there’s always something going on in Melbourne.

Plus, the Victorian capital is in the midst of a hotel boom.

For staycationers, that means an embarrassment of riches when it comes to finding an overnight base, especially as the hotel options are as varied as Melbourne’s attractions and events. Add in off-season stay dates, and you might also nab a bargain.

Here are six of the best.


Coming into town on VLine? Planning some staycation day trips to the delights of the ‘burbs? Melbourne’s Movenpick is conveniently located directly opposite Southern Cross Station. But it has plenty more to recommend it.

With 172 rooms taking up the first six floors of the 78-storey Premier Tower on Spencer St, a heated pool and 24-hour gym take care of the kilojoules from the foyer kiosk serving Movenpick ice-cream and the daily “Chocolate Hour” – this is a Swiss brand (though owned by France’s Accor) after all.

From this hotel, it’s a breeze to visit Monet & Friends

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Why hotels charge resort fees

The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, a Hyatt resort on 15 beachfront acres in Hawaii, is far from just a place to sleep. There are multiple pools, including a lagoon and three infinity pools. As part of the resort fee, you can also take a stand-up paddleboarding course, use the resort’s snorkel equipment and GoPro action camera and maybe even learn ukulele, hula or mixology.

It’s all marketed as complimentary — but it’s only sort of so. Andaz Maui is one of what the American Hotel and Lodging Association estimates is six per cent of all hotels that charge a resort fee. These fees run between $US20 ($28.45) and $US50 ($71.13) per night — and they’ve become one of the most controversial issues in the travel industry.

NerdWallet analysed more than 100 US hotels with January 2023 check-in dates as part of its 2023 Best-Of Awards to see which hotels have the best and worst fees. Among the hotels that charge them, the average resort fee was $US42.41, representing nearly 11 per cent of the overall nightly cost. The Andaz Maui’s daily resort fee is $US50 plus tax, which is above average. But because Andaz Maui’s nightly rates are also above average, the fee is about six per cent of the overall nightly cost to stay in January 2023, based on data gathered in December 2022.

And like most other resorts that charge such fees, the Andaz’s fee is not optional — even if you never use the amenities.


Resort fees may be a way for hotels to increase profits without necessarily charging guests more.

“Hotels claim that resort fees allow hotels to reduce the commissions paid to online travel agents,”

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