KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 ― Kuala Lumpur could be the ideal tourist destination for globe-trotters seeking a good deal as it has the cheapest five-star hotel room rates, a global survey of cities has shown.
It is also the second cheapest as a whole for a quick weekend trip.
In Deutsche Bank's “Mapping the World's Prices” 2019 survey, Kuala Lumpur's US$164 (RM687) rate makes it cheaper than 53 other cities surveyed to get a room with a view in a five-star hotel for one night, which is 61 per cent cheaper than New York City rates of US$415.
Others ranked as the top five cheapest cities for such a room are Turkey's Istanbul US$180, Belgium's Brussels US$194, Nigeria's Lagos (US$197) and Manila in the Philippines (US$200).
Neighbouring city Jakarta has a somewhat middle spot as the 27th cheapest or 28th most expensive city for a five-star hotel room with a view at US$351 per night, cheaper than Singapore at US$483 (15th priciest).
According to the Deutsche Bank report, it used the daily rates for a king-sized room with a view in mid-November in Hyatt Regency where available or Park Hyatt Hotels if the former does not have a property in a prominent location, noting that significant price differences between the two can occur.
The survey said equivalent rooms in other luxury hotels have been considered where Hyatt brand hotels were not available, including Ritz Carlton in Kuala Lumpur and Hotel Barsey by Warwick in Brussels.
A short trip
At US$754, a weekend getaway in Kuala Lumpur is the cheapest this year when compared against 50 other cities, except for Istanbul at US$711, the same survey showed.
Manila is the fourth cheapest at US$779 for such a trip over the weekend, while Jakarta at US$1,273 is 26th priciest/cheapest and Singapore at US$1,648 is the 14th priciest, the report showed.
Deutsche Bank based its calculations of how much a weekend holiday would cost by using a self-defined package of two nights' stay at a standard five-star hotel room, car rental for two days, two pub meals and two restaurant dinners for two persons, two pints of beer, four litres of soft drinks or water, and “a bit of shopping” with the purchase of a pair of jeans and a pair of sports shoes.
Admittedly not the typical holiday itinerary or plan of many Malaysians, but perhaps as a rough guide to gauge which city may be more affordable for a foreign tourist.
The fact that Kuala Lumpur is ranked as the second cheapest city for a weekend getaway may not be surprising, as it has some of the lowest prices around when it comes to many of the indicators used by Deutsche Bank to estimate holiday costs.
For example, Kuala Lumpur is the third and seventh cheapest city out of 55 cities to buy soft-drinks and branded sports shoes respectively, and also has the 18th cheapest daily car rental rates out of 40 cities surveyed and is the 23rd cheapest out of 55 cities to buy a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans or similar.
Using Expatistan figures, Deutsche Bank's report showed Kuala Lumpur as having the 25th most expensive prices out of 54 cities for one pint or 500ml of beer in a neighbourhood pub in an expatriate area at US$5.30 per pint.
Kuala Lumpur is, however, considerably cheaper for a basic dinner for two in a neighbourhood pub, being the seventh cheapest city out of 55 cities at US$18.90 for such meals, trailing slightly behind Manila at US$17.50 and Jakarta at US$17.70, and more than 20-odd rungs ahead of Singapore at US$40.30, based on the same report with Expatistan figures.
Kuala Lumpur is the 12th cheapest city out of 55 cities surveyed this year for a full-course dinner for two at an Italian restaurant at US$38.70, fairly comparable with Manila (US$31.80) and Jakarta (US$39.90), while Singapore is the fifth most expensive at US$104.20, according to the report that also cited Expatistan figures.
The Deutsche Bank report is now in its eighth edition this year and covered 56 cities.