The Hyatt Centric Sacramento adds $17.43 per night for an “historical commitment fee.” This fee does not cover anything related to historic preservation. It’s just a resort fee, re-named, so that it sounds more reasonable and so they can charge Hyatt elite members who would otherwise be exempt from this fee.
As Live and Let’s Fly relates, the $15 plus tax charge is part of the hotel’s “commitment to preserving the property’s historical identity” but actually covers nothing at all related to the property’s history. Instead you get,
- A welcome drink
- A package of discounts that won’t be valuable to most guests, and simply drive incremental business for the hotel and other retailers: 20% Disc Crocker Art Museum Admission; BOGO Admission Sac History Museum; Beach Hut Deli 10% off or free chips & fountain drink (purchase of large sandwich); Medici Pizza 10% off; 2 Free Games- Flat Stick Pub; Free App- Punch Bowl Social; Tru Spa $30 off treatment of $120 or more; $5 off Dry Cleaning
And while the hotel actually describes it on the Hyatt site as a particular kind of destination fee, that they cannot bill guests on award stays and Globalists on paid stays, at the front desk they reportedly… disagree.
They tried to argue that this did not qualify for globalist benefit as it’s not a resort or destination fee but rather to assure the historic preservation of the building. I asked if this is imposed by the city as a tax and they said no. I pushed that given this fact it is nothing more than a resort fee disguised. She wouldn’t take it off until calling a manager who relented.
In this case at least the destination fee itself isn’t like when Hyatt’s Motif in Seattle claimed their charge included among other things the “Iron and ironing board, In-room safe, Hairdryer and vanity mirror” along with the bath products in the bathroom and the desk in the room.
However it was only last month that I confirmed with Hyatt that a hotel cannot simply change the name of a resort or destination fee in order to bill top tier elites who are exempt from the charges. While Hyatt reimburses hotels for this elite benefit, they do so at a discount. There was no ambiguity:
[R]esort/destination fees that are occasionally called by another name (e.g., facility fees) get waived for all award stays and for a Globalist’s eligible paid stays.
This is not the first hotel to impose a historical preservation fund charge as part of a resort fee. Hilton’s Hotel del Coronado and the chain itself wouldn’t even answer questions about their fee – which appears to reference a government program which receives tax dollars, and it is not clear that the hotel is adding additional funds from each room night to support the effort (though perhaps the hotel must make payments to a fund as part of zoning or permitting negotiations).
Several hotels in the Hilton and Marriott chains now now add sustainability or green energy fees that are really contributions to each hotel’s property tax payments.
Like Marx’s The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, resort fees were first introduced as tragedy but have proceeded to farce.