Shocking Hotel Charges: Pay Extra To Use The Elevator, Sells Cannabis During Booking

The Hotel Lucia in Portland has one of the worst resort fees in the country, among other strange practices. @travelbabbo stayed there and reports that they were surprised by the fee at check-out, asked what it included, and the property’s manager told him it was for bike rides, coffee, and use of the elevators.

I went through a mock booking to see what I could learn about the “guest amenities fee” ($33.64 per night) and in the process found out some other things about the property.

While making a booking they wanted to sell me $45 early check-in. They also offer to sell you cannabis in the booking path. I guess because you’d have to be high to go along with their fees? And shouldn’t the cannabis be covered by the amenity fee?

To be clear, hotel resort and destination fees are scams.

  • They are mandatory, which means they’re part of the cost of staying there, which means they should be part of the room rate.
  • By adding them separately they make a hotel seem less expensive than it is (fraud) and they make it harder to compare rates across different hotels (since you have to click through to the final screen before seeing the real price).
  • They’re also disingenuous, pretending that they ‘add value to a guest’s stay’ by paying for certain amenities – usually things that should be part of a room rate anyway (the pool) or that guests don’t actually want or can’t take advantage of (a single exercise class a week at 10 a.m. on Wednesday).

At the Motif hotel in Seattle, their destination fee included the bathroom mirror, the television, and the in-room coffee maker. But I’ve never seen one before that included use of the elevator? Like, without the destination fee you’d have to take the fire stairs?

Let’s also be clear that bike rides and wifi cannot be part of the destination fee, since those are listed as complimentary on the hotel website. So charging for them would be fraud.

The Hotel Lucia website says that bike rides are free, yet somehow they’re charging customers extra for them. Perhaps if management spent less time at the Broadway Cannabis Market they’d be able to focus on dealing with customers more fairly.

(HT: Sight Doing)

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. I hope they made a scene and left a bad review. I do that on every website possible

  2. @ Gary — Except when traveling in Little Rock :), I generally forget about these stupid fees because I never have to pay them due to status (IC, Hyatt) or award booking (Hilton). The second I have to start paying this nonsense is the second I take my business elsewhere or just stay home.

  3. Actually charging for the elevators sounds like it might be a real violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And a quick check of one review site ( alleges that the hotel also charges for wi-fi and is owned by “the McMenamin brothers, who helm a string of converted historic hotels and microbreweries throughout Oregon.” Looks like a good group to stay away from.

  4. The elevator fee is clearly discriminatory. People with mobility disabilities and many others have no choice. This is beyond even my wildest bits of knowledge in 50+ years planning meetings! It’s why detailed RFPs for meetings are critical.

  5. I think $33.64 fee is a bargain.
    In comparison for 1 night midweek stay
    Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel (Southbeach, FA) has a room rate of $128 but then charges the following fees (even on reward nights):
    Additional charges (Resort fee) of $43($49.02 after tax) will be added per room each night of your stay. This fee includes DAYLIFE activities (daily) including wellness, family activities, and more, daily poolside activities, 2 beach lounge chairs, 2 pool towels, kids beach area with toys, backyard games for all ages, weekend yoga classes, Kimpton’s custom designed bikes to ride around town provided on a first come-first serve basis, business services like printing and faxing, local and domestic long distance calls.
    Note that if you are staying on Wed night, you are still charged for a (daily) activity of weekend yoga classes. I guess everyday is a weekend?
    Beach chairs are nice but the catch is that you would have to pay for an umbrella.
    No welcome marijuana package but during booking you are prompted to upgrade for a King Garden View room for $39++ extra.. .
    I think Hyatt is smart of not charging Globs such fees because they will be vocal to compliant but South Beach no longer has Hyatt properties to burn Cat 4 certificates.

  6. Ridiculous! I wonder if it’s like the airline industry where add-on fees, such as baggage fees, are not taxed.

  7. My comment is directed at those who make a living in the hotel and lodging industry: These scan fees make me want to avoid all travel, including to properties that are not participating in fraud. If you care about your industry, get this fixed! Otherwise, just count me out!!

  8. There’s an old saying that every industry gets the regulation that it deserves, and it looks like the hospitality business is pining for congressional action (outrage at these fees is truly bipartisan)

  9. The Biden Administration is on a campaign against hidden fees and such. Much of it seems over-reaching, but who in America thinks mandatory “resort fees” are a good idea? Everyone thinks the price should be the price. Even business competitors: like if you’re running a hotel, you almost HAVE to add a resort fee if your competitor does. Otherwise, if you fold these costs into your room rate and don’t charge an extra fee, your hotel looks “too expensive.” I see absolutely no downside to requiring hotels to include all mandatory fees in their quoted room rate. Nobody wants to live in a world where the price isn’t actually the price when you buy something.

  10. Agreed, ridiculous! Must be some illegal things there yet? Elevator fee? Wow!

    I can only speak for booking Hilton but I appreciate that they include resort fees (and what it covers) in the booking rate. It makes differentiating which resorts actually have fees because not every resort has them. Also like many people, psychologically as an analogy I’d prefer paying an extra for an item with free shipping then a cheaper base price with a shipping fee so not sure why more hotels wouldn’t adopt a similar strategy with resort fees and avoid the potential complaints later.

    One other thing I don’t get is how in 2024 free internet is not a given and it has to be advertised in the resort fee. I guess for resorts they might be less people part of the brand’s loyalty program, but still.

  11. Sadly, we live in an age where lies, misstatements and the intentional withholding of pertinent information is “just a way doing business”.
    As our politicians have gotten more brazen in their lies and misstatements, businesses have take the cue and know they, too will usually not be held accountable.
    Time to reintroduce honesty to our dealings, even if it must be legislated…

  12. Charging for use of elevators could be seen as a violation of ADA. Charging the disabled to access their floor? Class action lawsuit in the making.

  13. It is so easy to fix by legislation: just give the guest the option to say no to such fees. No, I’ll just pay the room rate plus tax.

  14. So what is the hotel guests’ remedy when a hotel like this engages in fraud? Where can they report it? Are there penalties? Sounds like the hotel guests just have to take it as normal business practices.

  15. Or is this, like airline fees, driven by hotel operator taxes based on room rate, so making part of the rate a resort fee the hotel operator yields more actual income

  16. Between Avis and Budget trying to add fuel charges when the vehicle was returned with the tank full (twice now in the last year) and for the first time a hotel giving us a hard time using Marriott gift cards, travel is becoming more of a burden and hassle. Should the equation shift too far it’ll be nicer to just stay home. While we’re just one data point, stupid nefarious charges like an elevator fee will push the bar to levels of critical mass.

  17. Nefarious fees have been around since the purchase of the first automobile. How many fees have suddenly appeared when its time to sign the contract.
    Hotels got on the band wagon years ago. I remember my first “resort fee” at a NYC hotel 20 years ago. No pool, no workout room.
    Have you taken a hard look at your rental car receipt (if you can get one). Supplement fees make up one quarter to one third of the total. My favorite is a fee if you use points to rent the car.
    Now, restaurants have hopped on the bandwagon with additional fees for credit cards, hygiene protocols (I was under the impression this was a given), mandatory tips, etc.
    Its the new norm…get used to it.

  18. Everyone complains on the internet but few, if anyone, complain to state attorneys general, state consumer protection offices, or file a lawsuit themselves.

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