Resort fees are a bad practice that are highly deceptive. But hotels go through hoops to pretend they’re good for you. Marriott only lets hotels with above-average likelihood to recommend scores impose them and requires a package of ‘benefits’ that have a retail value at least four times as high as the fee itself.
Hotels really stretch to list amenities of value that are included in their resort fee, like the Hyatt which claimed it gave you access to the bathroom mirror or the Hilton which included use of the in-room TV.
These backflips are disingenuous at best. So it’s refreshing when a hotel is honest that the resort fee is nothing but an add-on, and provides literally no value to the guest.
A reader passes along his confirmation from the Carolina Hotel which imposes a resort fee, but at least they’re honest: the resort fee literally gets you nothing. He calls it “Schrödinger’s resort fee.”
Package includes accommodations with access to resort amenities at a la carte pricing
I actually just think it’s the world’s most honest resort fee. Everything mandatory about your stay is included in the mandatory price you pay. If it’s an extra charge it’s for something extra. If it’s mandatory, then the fee is simply a dishonest way to unbundle the room rate and make it seem cheaper (or to extract more money on contract rates, or on award stays for Marriott members).
This hotel is honest. The resort fee doesn’t actually get you anything. At the same time,
- The hotel’s website shows all-in pricing, it’s only when you click through that you can see how much the resort fee is.
- Though it’s bundled in with taxes unless you drill down further, so that’s even more misleading
- And the resort fee is priced as a percentage of room rate, so the higher the room rate the higher the resort fee. The more your room costs, the more you pay extra to get nothing!
More hotels should simply state, as this one does, ‘the cost of a room is 10% higher than the rate we charge, plus tax.’ That would lay bare what a resort fee is. No need to hide it.