And the priciest place to stay in Europe this summer was ... ?

And the priciest place to stay in Europe this summer was ... ?

Big European capitals might offer comparative bargains, reading between lines of hotel survey results
Formentera
Pricey Formentera ... maybe just make it a day trip.

What's the most expensive place in Europe for a decent hotel over the summer?

Um, London?

Monaco, maybe.

Zurich?

None of the above.

The fiercest wallet burner for an August European stay, according to a survey, is Formentera, a tiny Spanish island south of Ibiza.

Average nightly August prices for a decent quality hotel there were a whistle-inducing €175 ($230).

In second place -- sounding more obvious -- is Edinburgh, with an average hotel price of €157 ($208).

Costly and obscure

Many of the destinations in the Cheaprooms.co.uk top 20 list of priciest European summer holiday stays are rather obscure.

Sylt -- one of the German North Frisian islands, since you ask -- is the third most expensive place in Europe, apparently.

Velden (an Austrian market town), Bibione (an Italian seaside resort) and Binz (another supposedly astronomical Deutsch island offender) are other relatively obscure inclusions.

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Other expensive cities and places cropping up -- Biarritz, Oslo, the Antibes and, yes, Zurich -- are less surprising.

But of London, Paris, Rome, Brussels and the like, there's no sign in the list of 20 costliest places to stay in Europe.

Secret in the method

The key to these strange-seeming results lies in the survey’s method.

Cheaprooms.co.uk -- which may lack a classy title, but has a huge volume of rooms on its books -- looked at only three-star or higher-rated hotels, during August, with a TripAdvisor rating of at least average.

The accommodation also had to be near the city center or beach.

Decoding the results, then, the lesson is that those supposedly exorbitant major European locales -- your Londons, Parises and whatever the plural of Brussels is -- should in fact have plenty of bargains, relatively speaking, in decent three-star and higher hotels.

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The reason? Sheer competition -- an inter-hotel price rivalry of a kind unlikely to prevail on a  North Frisian German island.

Speaking of which, lesson number two -- perhaps budget for fewer splash-up meals and hour-long massages on your next Sylt vacation.

20 most expensive places to stay in Europe during August

The most expensive August stays in Europe, according to CheapRooms.co.uk, with average prices for a three-star or above hotel, were:

1. Formentera -- €175 ($230)

2. Edinburgh -- €157 ($207)

3. Sylt -- €154 ($203)

4. Heringsdorf -- €147 ($194)

5. Lucerne -- €129 ($170)

6. Zurich -- €127 ($167)

7. Binz -- €125 ($165)

8. Ibiza -- €123 ($162)

9. Velden -- €119 ($157)

10. Bibione -- €113 ($149)

11. Biarritz -- €111 ($146)

12. Elba Island -- €110 ($145)

13. Capri -- €109 ($143)

14. Ile de Ré -- €107 ($141)

15. Bardolino -- €107 ($141)

16. Amalfi -- €106 ($139)

17. St. Moritz -- €105 ($138)

18. Oslo -- €103 ($135)

19. Antibes -- €102 ($134)

20. Bath -- €100 ($131)

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