I am looking to book 2 nights at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center - checking in Saturday July 27 and checking out Monday July 29.

When I try to book a 2 Double Bed room with the Advance Purchase option, it tells me that the night of July 27th will cost $212, and the night of July 28th will cost $183.

Out of curiosity, I changed the search for just one night - July 28th. The Advance Purchase option tells me a 2 Double Bed room will cost only $122.

(I also tried a search for just the night of July 27th, but oddly it says no rooms are available. Why don't they want to make the room available to people who just want to book Saturday night?)

Why is it that a room on a particular date for a one-night stay costs a certain price, but when part of a multi-night stay it costs significantly more?

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is more an economics question around pricing than travel - just because it pertains to hotel pricing doesn't make it travel related. This would be better on the Economics Stack Exchange.
    – user29788
    Jul 7, 2019 at 7:22
  • Please consider this other question and its comments when determining if my question is off-topic. Jul 7, 2019 at 8:03
  • 3
    @Moo I really don't see how this is off-topic, it's not just a matter of supply and demand, but a question about why the same night is priced differently depending on whether it's booked alone or with another night. It's no different from the many questions about flight pricing, and it is very definitely travel related.
    – jcaron
    Jul 7, 2019 at 13:18
  • It's primarily due to revenue optimization based on supply and demand. If rooms get sparse, they yank up the prices drastically and/or try to leverage bundle deals. There is a Holiday Inn in Boston that's $161 tonight but on a random day two weeks ago it was over $1400. Same room, same location, same hotel.
    – Hilmar
    Jul 7, 2019 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


In some situations, a hotel might require a minimum number of nights when a booking includes some specific nights, or prevent check-ins and/or check-outs on some specific dates.

I’ve seen this happen around New Year or Christmas for instance. This may be due to limited staff on those days, other practical constraints (e.g. they know in advance that traffic will be blocked around the hotel for a specific event), to take into account past experience (people party all night so they have a hard time waking up and leaving the room before check-out time, or additional cleanup may be required in many rooms...) or simply to take advantage of high demand.

Then then apply the same rate type to all nights in the booking which contains the specific night, while bookings for the other days taken individually would get a different, possibly lower, rate.

There seems to be quite a few events on July 27th in Milwaukee (Germans Fest, Brady Street Festival, Brewfest), I don’t know if any of those are large enough events to warrant such special treatment?

  • Having different prices for different nights is common. I think what is puzzling the OP is different prices for the same night, depending on whether it's booked by itself or together with another night.
    – jcaron
    Jul 7, 2019 at 13:16
  • Yep .. I mis-read the OPs question
    – Peter M
    Jul 7, 2019 at 13:26

I used to work at a Hotel. The manager of that hotel was not a big fan of booking someone for Saturday night only. He found that when Saturday got booked, Friday often was half empty. Most of the people that would stay Friday would also stay Saturday. Around the time that I left, he started requiring 2 night stays on the weekend (there was a private college right up the road and most of the guests were parents of those students who had the money to stay 2 nights). I can't answer to the differing price for the other night, but this is a reason you might not find the single Saturday night room available. This is frustrating to me as a traveler though as I drive cross country with my family to visit my parents. I have to plan carefully to get fair pricing on my way to and from. I have literally seen difference of $125+ for one night or another (I always look at flexible dates for vacation)

  • 1
    Welcome to Travel! I may be mistaken, but this seems opposite to the question, where a Saturday-only stay is cheaper than when it's part of a Friday & Saturday stay?
    – Glorfindel
    Feb 14, 2023 at 19:01

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