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.
— Alex Kremer (@axk) August 5, 2020
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
- LCD Flat screen TV
- 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.