This Hyatt Charges $20 Extra To Use The Bathroom Mirror

Update: The hotel’s General Manager emails to say they’ve removed some of the egregious items like the mirror being what you get for the hotel’s destination fee. You can decide whether you think that makes the practice better.

Thank you for bringing your concerns regarding Motif Seattle’s Destination Fee to our attention through your recent article which my team and I had the chance to see. Rest assured that the items you noted are in fact not part of the hotel’s Destination Fee, and as soon as we saw your article, we took immediate action to have these items removed from our hotel website and vanity page, which should reflect the revised list of items soon, if not already. These items were inadvertently included in the list of our hotel’s Destination Fee inclusions by error, and we apologize for the confusion caused by this error. Our Destination Fee helps us enhance the guest experience, and the fees are reflective of various amenities, activities, and other benefits, available either on-property or around our destination. We will continue to look for opportunities to provide robust benefits especially as more local partners and businesses recover and open here in the Emerald City.



Hyatt’s Motif Seattle hotel may have the most egregious resort fee I’ve ever seen. Your room rate doesn’t include use of the bathroom mirror, the television, or the in-room coffee maker – and so they charge extra for that. It gets much worse from there at a property that already acted egregiously during the pandemic.

Resort and destination fees have truly gotten out of hand. It was bad enough when the deceptive practice of hotels adding a mandatory fee to guest bills on top of the advertised room rate was taking place before the pandemic. They usually ‘included’ a bundle of services you probably didn’t want but whose retail price exceeded the charge, if purchased separately.

During the pandemic hotels were still charging these fees, which often included use of a fitness center which was closed due to Covid-19 or access to a pool which might have been capacity-controlled (so some guests couldn’t use it) if it was open at all.

Hyatt’s Motif Hotel in Seattle continued charging a resort fee last year even while its restaurants were closed and housekeeping services weren’t being provided. What service, exactly, was being offered?

The hotel, part of a Hong Kong-based investment group, even went so far as to solicit guest donations for its owners.

Now that domestic travel has recovered and some hotels are beginning to reinstitute service, what does the Motif’s $20 per night destination fee cover?

  • Pacific Northwest Beverage tasting upon arrival
  • Keurig single brewer with Starbucks coffee and tea
  • In-room Amazon Alexa for guest requests and questions
  • Mini-refrigerator
  • LCD Flat screen TV
  • DIRECTV
  • 24/7 access to the fitness center on the 4th floor of the hotel
  • Bluetooth speaker alarm clock
  • Tesla and electric vehicle charging station
  • Iron and ironing board
  • In-room safe
  • Hairdryer and vanity mirror
  • NEST Bath Products
  • Convenient and spacious workstation
  • Unlimited phone calls, local and long distance within the Continental US
  • Business center access


Credit: Motif Seattle

At Hyatt’s Motif hotel your room rate does not include the coffeemaker, TV, alarm clock, iron, mirror, or bath products.

For $20 per night you get unlimited local calls if you’ve somehow forgotten your cell phone; access to an electric vehicle charging station (Hertz gives me those all the time!); and an in-room Alexa that will let Jeff Bezos listen in while you’re doing you-know-what.

While the fee is supposed to entitle you to “24/7 access to the fitness center” don’t expect the hotel to deliver this because its website says the fitness center is by “appointment only.” When they won’t make the appointment you want, and thus you lack 24/7 access, do you think they’ll remove this charge?

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 I genuinely don’t recall a hotel with the gall before to claim that the room rate doesn’t include the room’s mirror or television.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. I guess you don’t remember Motel 6 when it originally cost $6 per night. The TV was an extra $0.25, to turn the small black&white TV on. I don’t remember if I ever stayed for $6, but do remember the fee for the TV.

  2. Gary,

    How does Hertz give you electric charging? I don’t see that benefit anywhere on the web.

  3. @John H

    I still remember a stay at a Days Inn in Ohio for 29.99 ~15 yrs ago – where they wanted a $10 “deposit” for the TV remote and as for the bath products – well there was a “vending machine” at the front desk for that!

  4. @John H. I did not know thatl. Thats pretty funny.
    Hyatt’s Motif Seattle those charges must get some pissed customers at the front counter. Outrageous.

  5. Hyatt has truly lost it! What a complete lack of business sense from this locations management and Hyatt. All this does is piss people off! I want a flat rate to stay at a hotel, no more games and mystery fees. I will be avoiding Hyatt for allowing this idiocy!

  6. @Hickson – it’s poorly worded, but I think Gary is saying (in jest) that he gets a lot of electric vehicles when renting a car.

  7. What next: Charging a fee for flushing the toilet or wiping your butt with toilet paper? This is lunacy. What does the nightly rate cover?

  8. Motel 6 TV charge was optional for all. This “resort” fee is compulsory for most.

  9. From my conversation with them, they DO charge the resort fees even if you’re using award nights. I had booked myself 2 nights using the annual award certificates for August. Right after it, I called to ask if I would still be charged the resort fees and sure enough, they said yes I would.
    I left it for a month and a half till I heard some outrageous stories about this hotel. Just cancelled the entire stay here yesterday and am using my certificates at a nearby IHG location instead.
    Hyatt really has lost its way. As a kid, I remember staying at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong always and the Park Hyatt in Tokyo which got me staying at the Hyatt properties in India this last year. With the exception to the one in Mumbai, I really couldn’t tell the rest of the properties apart from a Hyatt property and a competitor. Considering possibly not using them for much longer.

  10. There’s a line from ‘Master of the House’ (from Les Mis’) that is apropos:
    ‘Two percent for looking in the mirror twice’

  11. Motif in downtown Seattle is a dump.

    My company — HQ in Seattle, couple blocks from Motif — used Motif for corporate events all the time. Everybody hated it except for the meeting planners who I think were picking up points on the booking.

    But somehow the Motif managed to suck less than the Downtown Sheraton which had fee bundling down to an exquisite science.

  12. And note that if you are dumb enough to make a $25 “donation” to this low-life hotel, it’s “plus tax”.

  13. Resort fees aren’t real. They’re not really charging you for those things but I do agree it is amusing if not insulting to consider the things they include. But really, they’re just charging you in a way that does not result in a commission for third-party booking agents/sites. I mean, because sites are not required to show the total price up-front inclusive of such fees, it does become very hard to compare prices since those fees only show up in the final stage of a booking. Recall that airlines used to do this– the various fees used to be tacked on at the very end, which made it more difficult hard to comparison until the US Department of Transportation required it in 2012.

  14. Hyatt should be relentlessly harangued and outed over this. Only a fool would book this property.

  15. I stayed there last month on an award night, and there was no resort fee.

    The hotel was great, the staff were very attentive and bent over to help, the hotel itself was comfortable, clean and large rooms, as a globalist got free parking right under the hotel, the breakfast (while a to go), was the best to go that I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot!) and it was freshly cooked while you wait, and the free beers were also allowed as “to go”.

    Maybe it was an aberration that we weren’t charged a resort fee, but I confirmed and it definitely wasn’t (and isn’t) mentioned when redeeming an award. So, to those redeeming points, even if you are charged (which, again, we weren’t) it’s an easy dispute and you won’t be paying it.

  16. @Raju – Park Hyatt Chennai is pretty awesome, if you’ve not been there.

    Not defending Hyatt’s obvious growth pains, though. They ought to offer some form of bounties for reporting misbehaving hotels like this one, like $1000, and transfer that straight to the guests that report them. I can only imagine that would quickly resolve these issues.

  17. @ghostrider5408
    Have to agree Hyatt seems to be going down the wrong road just like Marriott
    shrinking benefits for their top 20% and seasonal over priced award redemption’s coming. I’ve decided to go back to Priceline and other 3rd party sites where I find lower rates and dump earning elite status.Only book direct when its a killer deal.Their stuopidity made me look more at price so they won the severed relationship not Covid
    I’m tired of asking for the upgrade and getting a meager breakfast at some select hotels with stingy dollar amounts.Rather buy my breakfast and not stay loyal.Cherry pick my brands or spin the wheel and take any 4 star or up
    Hyatt has sadly lost its way too many former SPG Marriott execs in the kitchen?
    Other than that there has been the Free Britney campaign how about a Free Gary movement from the Hertz Jailers

  18. @ Gary — We recently stayed at IC San Diego, and the hotel was the first to explain that the destination fee that is waived for Royal Ambassadors is actually paid by IHG and that the daily amenities (like F&B credit) were available for our use.

    There is another IC hotel whose management is despicable (we stay there anyway), and we will be sure to use all of our amenity benefits there going forward. Payback is hell.

  19. Please people DO NOT patronize this hotel. There are much better options in Seattle. The only way they will stop this nonsense is if their occupancy drops. Just say NO!

  20. Unreal. Thank you for sharing. The Motif is on my no-go list now. I appreciate the info!

  21. I had a nice stay at this hotel over July 4th weekend. I paid $79 per night then they gave me $40 credit for breakfast anywhere I wanted (just show receipt) which brought the room rate down to $40 / per night. The annoying part was parking. They charge $50 but I found a spot nearby using spot hero for $15. We were upgraded to a suite. They tried to charge me my destination fee but waived it due to my status. I took the paper copy but the emailed version had the destination fees back on. Pretty deceiving if you ask me. I texted the hotel and they removed it again. For $40./ night for a suite that was going for $400 my expectations were super low. Was it the Park Hyatt Aviara? No but my expectations were very low.

  22. @John H says:
    “I guess you don’t remember Motel 6 when it originally cost $6 per night. The TV was an extra $0.25, to turn the small black&white TV on. I don’t remember if I ever stayed for $6, but do remember the fee for the TV.”

    How many View From the Wing readers remember for $0.25, some top-rated Holiday Inns had ‘magic fingers” vibrators attached to their beds to help you experience a relaxing, soothing sleep environment.

    In 1958, John Houghtaling invented Magic Fingers, a device mounted onto a bed that would vibrate the mattress under you for 15 minutes, promising escape from the work-a-day non-vibrating bed world.

    If you aspire to enhance your bed to a 1970’s Holiday Inn adventure, I discovered this information online: American Entertainment is the national distributor for Magic Fingers, Comfortease, and Night Magic bed massagers. We keep thousands of them on hand so there is no delay in receiving your bed vibrator. Most people buy our massager/vibrators for the relaxing effect that you receive after about 10 minutes. A good part of our business is from referrals of people that have already purchased one of our models. I am sure that you would enjoy the vibrating massage that you would get from one of our models. And I know you’ll appreciate our 38 years of “Legendary Customer Service.”

  23. While I’m not a frequent traveler like many here, I get frustrated with the hidden fees junk as well. I understand that these hotels got hammered with Covid restrictions, many got boatloads of free money from the government, many didn’t, it was a great race to see who got their applications in fastest, who had their accounting acts together and who knew how to fill out an awesome credit application. I know a lot of small biz owners, some cleaned up, got grants, PPP, nearly free loans, etc. and others got denied for everything, there seemed to be no method to the madness.
    The reality is that depending on WHERE a hotel is located, some had harder restrictions for longer periods and some still have very stringent restrictions while some have virtually none required by their state/county/city jurisdictions. Not defending these people but I will say that Seattle was the place where it all started here for the most part, if memory serves, they were the first to implement lock downs and I understand much of the West Coast is still pretty tight with them even now? While places like here in Alabama have virtually no restrictions (mind you we have a 33% vaccination rate and a lot of dingbats too) and most of the other “Red States” placed limited restrictions on hotels, those “Blue States” had a lot more restrictions and those hotels lost a LOT more money. With a city like Seattle and from what I’ve seen, most of the West Coast states/cities are highly regulated, I can’t imagine the nightmare of what those businesses have been put through. I don’t know if those states/cities/counties gave them breaks, like on their property taxes, license fees and a lot of nit-picky junk fees etc bc those fees will eat you alive in city limits most of the time in good times. We once moved our business to another county to avoid a newly implemented tax (license fee) that a city wanted over 20k for.
    Yes, the way they are trying to recoup the losses absolutely is short sighted and tacky but it seems born more out of desperation than anything else. I’d say try to see what they may have been through to cause this, were they always cheap and tacky or is this post-Covid?

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