The 70,000 point per night Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman offers pretty good award availability, but you’d better not have an emergency while you’re there and have to leave early – or get fed up with service failures either and decide to leave – because the hotel’s rules say they impose a $10,000 early departure fee.
When you’re making the reservation and click ‘rate details’ this is not mentioned at all. When you click through to finalize the booking it’s not in the terms and conditions, either. Instead it’s buried under ‘other charges’.
Now if you redeem an award and show up late or leave early it’s much better where you forfeit your points for a night if you check out a day early (or arrive a day late due to flight cancellations) the way that Starwood Preferred Guest used to permit. At least most hotels at Marriott and Hyatt will charge you the prevailing room rate and you get back your points. Maybe they’ll even be so bold as to charge you rack rate.
- The Andaz Papagayo has non-cancellable award stays, I helped one reader successfully get a refund for a $7000 charge when they cancelled their stay more than 6 months in advance.
- The St. Regis Aspen will charge you $1000 if you show up a day late due to flight problems.
But this hotel (part of IHG Rewards Club), which was going for about $340 per night on the dates I checked, will charge you $10,000.
They also by the way say that they add a $75 resort fee per night on award redemptions. The IHG terms and conditions are silent on resort fees – though they are quite clear you should never have to pay taxes – but IHG has said in the past that resort fees shouldn’t be charged on redemption stays. Many hotels ignore this, and IHG customer service is hit and miss at best dealing with problems.
The world is uncertain enough right now. Why would anyone patronize this hotel, except perhaps if they didn’t notice the policy and only got whacked with it later by surprise?