Since that time they’ve made several changes that make the property a whole let less attractive of a value proposition.
- They cut back almost entirely on offering cash and points awards.
- They created a new category of breakfast in order to offer less to Diamond members
- And now they’ve introduced a $40 per night resort fee.
The Hotel Has Gotten Much More Expensive
The hotel doesn’t have a self parking option so if you drive, as nearly everyone will to take advantage of all that Maui has to offer, there’s a $30 per night valet parking fee.
Now with a $40 resort fee there’s a nearly-mandatory $70 per night on top of the room rate.
Here’s What the Resort Fee Gets You
- GoPro Hero 4 camera rental
- GoPro photo & video editing lab
- Outrigger excursion (Monday – Friday)
- Stand Up Paddleboard lessons (Saturday – Sunday)
- Snorkel rental
- Yoga classes
- Pilates classes
- Stand Up Paddleboard yoga
- Single & tandem bike rental
- Single & tandem kayak rental
- Ukulele lessons
- Hula lessons
- Body board rental
Some of these are things that were offered complimentary before, and it’s unlikely that most guests will take advantage of most of these (I could probably benefit from ukulele lessons).
Resort Fees are the Last Refuge of Scoundrel Hoteliers
Resort fees are offensive. They are not optional charges, so they are part of the room rate. Not including them in the room rate is disingenuous, the exact opposite of the narrative that Hyatt claims to tell about itself.
In 2012 the Federal Trade Commission warned hotel chains that mandatory resort fees may be illegal. Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas are being sued over their resort fees. Some Florida properties no longer charge resort fees as a result of a settlement with that state’s attorney general.
Misinformation About These Scam Charges
Hyatt Gold Passport award nights are exempt from this fee. Hyatt confirms this for me. So go ahead and book a category 6 award here, which is 25,000 points per night. If you have a Hyatt Visa, have registered for the promo, and stay by the end of July you’ll even get 20% of those points rebated back.
Interestingly I made a test booking and the resort fee is disclosed when booking an award night.
My confirmation e-mail included the resort fee in the room cost breakdown as well.
Separately, the 21 day cancellation policy was striking — as well as the two-night penalty (especially on a one night booking, hah!).
Resort fees do always apply on cash and points award nights as well, although cash and points have become very rare entities at the Andaz Maui unfortunately. (Here’s how hotels choose whether or not to make cash and points awards available.)
Another point of confusion is that the resort fee would be applied retroactively (to reservations made before this policy went into effect). There are reports that already-booked rooms now have the resort fee appearing on their reservations. The resort fee will not be applied on already-booked reservations made prior to the new policy.
- There is a long-standing Hyatt IT glitch that shows updated rates in several situations, although these rates aren’t actually charged.
- Hyatt confirms that the Andaz will not be trying to assess resort fees for bookings made prior to the new policy.
The most important thing is to know about the fees so that you can mentally factor them into the rate and make informed comparisons when deciding where to stay. Resort fees are offensive precisely because they hide this total cost.