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Honolulu is priciest city to visit in U.S.

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  • Craig T. kojima /

Honolulu has leapt to the top spot on an annual Trip­Advisor list, but the news could give potential visitors pause about booking travel here.

The travel site ranks Hono­­lulu the highest-priced U.S. destination this summer, following a 29 percent increase in summer hotel prices since last year.

Honolulu jumped four spots from the summer 2012 list, "leapfrogging" New York City, Boston and San Francisco, according to a statement.

The site’s TripIndex Cities list bases its rankings on the combined costs for two for a one-night stay at a four-star hotel, cocktails, a two-course dinner paired with a bottle of wine and round-trip taxi transportation of two miles each way.

Honolulu costs rang up at $504.94 compared with No. 2 New York City at $504.25 and No. 3 Boston at $473.59.

The same night in Las Vegas, the least expensive U.S. city on the list, would be $272.94.

Oslo, Norway, tops the list of international destinations at $581.08. Oslo is followed by Zurich, Switzerland, at $523.41 and Stockholm at $521.68.

The least expensive international destinations on the list are Sofia, Bulgaria, where the same night would cost $158.42, followed by Hanoi, Vietnam, at $176.14, and Warsaw, Poland, at $187.45.

It’s not any wonder that Hono­lulu shot to the top of TripAdvisor’s summer list given that Hawaii had the highest hotel room rates in the nation during the first quarter of this year. Through March, Hawaii hotel guests spent $233.33 per night on the average hotel room, or 13.1 percent more than in 2012, when the average rate was $206.22, according to Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research.

Hawaii ranged from $446.62 on the luxury side to $117.97 for an economy room. On average, guests saved about $10 a night if they visited Miami/Hia­leah, Fla., hotels and about $23 per night if they stayed in New York City.

Hotel rooms and transportation accounted for the highest growth in visitor expenditures through April. Lodging costs rose 11.3 percent, and transportation costs increased by 3 percent, according to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Still, some travelers, like Ric and Debbie Listella of Salem, Ore., say that they have managed to bypass some of the recent vacation price increase.

"We visit often, and we stay in a time-share, so we’re not buying hotels at rack rates," Ric Listella said. "Maintenance fees are escalating, too, but we’re still somewhat insulated."

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