A couple of months ago I speculated that Hyatt’s Motif hotel in Seattle had the country’s most egregious resort or destination fee which was described as covering the bathroom mirror, the television, and – among other things – the in-room coffee maker. After I exposed this they’ve removed these items from the list of things covered by the resort fee. They haven’t reduced or eliminated the fee.
There’s another destination fee, coincidentally also at a Hyatt property, that might be even worse – or at least just as bad. At the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor the destination fee covers the view and your right to photograph it. Describing the $25 per night inclusion, one of the covered items is “Panoramic Views of Boston with photo opportunity.” For a $25 per night fee, they might at least offer to take your photo with a high quality camera?
Credit: Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor
Is saying that the room’s rate doesn’t include looking out the window and taking a picture, so you have to be charged extra for that, better or worse than saying that it doesn’t include the television in the room or the bathroom mirror? And how to these hotel policies compare to Hyatt’s Hotel de Anza in San Jose including use of the desk in your room as a benefit of its resort fee?
“Resort fees” are extra charges, on top of a room rate, that aren’t optional. In other words they’re part of the price of a room, but the hotel advertises a lower price instead. That’s on face deceptive. They used to be limited to resorts but then city hotels came up with “destination fees.”
These fees – which are only displayed at checkout and not when you’re comparing hotel rates in a search – make it difficult to know up front how much a hotel will cost, and make it difficult to compare prices. But the Federal Trade Commission has said they’re ok with the practice as long as the fees are disclosed prior to confirming the stay.
Fortunately Hyatt doesn’t add resort and destination fees on award redemptions, and Globalist members don’t have to pay them on revenue stays. But these three most egregious fees I’ve seen are all at Hyatt’s, so maybe the chain needs better brand standards in this area at a minimum.
Update: A Hyatt spokesperson shares,
As soon as we were made aware of this, we looked into it further with the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor hotel team, and the hotel team is working to review its destination fee inclusions and remove any inclusions that that have changed or are no longer available.
Further, we are working to review and assess all U.S. Hyatt hotels’ destination and resort fees in an effort to ensure inclusions enhance guest experience at these properties and offer guests items and experiences of value.