Finally! The World’s Most Honest Resort Fee, Hotel Says It Includes ‘Nothing’

Resort fees are a bad practice that are highly deceptive. But hotels go through hoops to pretend they’re good for you. Marriott only lets hotels with above-average likelihood to recommend scores impose them and requires a package of ‘benefits’ that have a retail value at least four times as high as the fee itself.

Hotels really stretch to list amenities of value that are included in their resort fee, like the Hyatt which claimed it gave you access to the bathroom mirror or the Hilton which included use of the in-room TV.

These backflips are disingenuous at best. So it’s refreshing when a hotel is honest that the resort fee is nothing but an add-on, and provides literally no value to the guest.

A reader passes along his confirmation from the Carolina Hotel which imposes a resort fee, but at least they’re honest: the resort fee literally gets you nothing. He calls it “Schrödinger’s resort fee.”

Package includes accommodations with access to resort amenities at a la carte pricing

I actually just think it’s the world’s most honest resort fee. Everything mandatory about your stay is included in the mandatory price you pay. If it’s an extra charge it’s for something extra. If it’s mandatory, then the fee is simply a dishonest way to unbundle the room rate and make it seem cheaper (or to extract more money on contract rates, or on award stays for Marriott members).

This hotel is honest. The resort fee doesn’t actually get you anything. At the same time,

  • The hotel’s website shows all-in pricing, it’s only when you click through that you can see how much the resort fee is.
  • Though it’s bundled in with taxes unless you drill down further, so that’s even more misleading
  • And the resort fee is priced as a percentage of room rate, so the higher the room rate the higher the resort fee. The more your room costs, the more you pay extra to get nothing!

More hotels should simply state, as this one does, ‘the cost of a room is 10% higher than the rate we charge, plus tax.’ That would lay bare what a resort fee is. No need to hide it.

(HT: RT)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hi Gary, I’m a hotel GM and I detest resort fees as much as you, for all the same reasons. And there are plenty of other folks like me in the industry, but the fact is that in some markets hotels are forced to charge resort fees simply because all of their competitors do. An “honest” hotel would be punished severely by the market for seeming at first brush more expensive. Sadly, the effect on the bottom line would be huge.

  2. It’s funny the ones that mention “bedsheets” as part of their amenities. Okay not really. Just ridiculous.

  3. @John

    Yeah, I definitely understand that. While I’m normally not a fan of more regulations, this is a case where I do think they should be simply banned like what happened for airline fees that weren’t shown advertised prices a decade ago. It’s simply dishonest and anti-competitive marketing, nothing more, nothing less. The advertised price should be the final one, inclusive of all mandatory fees and taxes, full stop. Just like it already is with airlines.

  4. My sympathies to hotel owners who charge a junk fee ***IF*** the explanation of the fee is clear in that the fee is necessary in the course of business.

    I just don’t want the hotel to pretend like they’re doing me a favor by charging this fee. I don’t want to hear a lie that the fee includes valuable benefits.

    If you have to charge a junk fee, do so. It’s frustrating but I understand. If you facetiously explain to guests that the fee benefits them, that is not only frustrating, it is insulting.

    The market demands that you charge a junk fee. Okay. The market doesn’t demand you lie to your customers. Your fee is sh!t and you should openly feel bad about it when customers ask.

  5. @ John why not promote no resort fees here!
    Get what you pay for just as you should
    Develop new revenue streams that guests will be more happy to pay to support the property

  6. Do not charge a fee if it does not provide any benefit. Why is it that a Holiday Inn Express not have a resort fee…. because people that stay there would not see any value from the fee.

    We were at a hotel this year that charged a $25 guest fee that included
    $15 daily credit to our Restaurante and 2 bottles of water • Complimentary Vintage postcard and postage • Complimentary newspapers and magazines digitally via PressReader • Unlimited local and long distance phone calls • Upgraded WiFi for up to 5 devices

    The Restaurant was CLOSED that week because the stuff was struck down with Coivd.
    Water $3
    Postcard $.30 but dont want it
    Digital Newspapers $ Zero
    Unlimited Calls $ zero I have a cell phone
    Ugraded Wifi I am on holiday not working
    $3.30 for $25 no wonder this is a scam.

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