One of the most annoying trends in the hotel industry is the “resort fee”… or “facility fee”… or “amenity fee” …or “urban destination fee.” In fact, the fee has a few different names but the concept is still the same.
Las Vegas is infamous for these charges and is a major reason why I haven’t visited Las Vegas in years. However, my family recently held a family reunion in Las Vegas so there was no way to escape paying the fees.
WHAT IS A RESORT FEE?
If you are not familiar with “resort fees,” they are mandatory charges that hotels apply to your bill (in addition to the room rate). For example, here is my final bill from a recent stay at The Mirage in Las Vegas. In addition to the room rate (blacked out), I paid roughly $30/night in taxes, and $42 in “resort fees.”
It may not seem like a lot but I paid, between $50-70 extra each night. Typically, “resort fees” grant gym access, wireless internet access, pool access and local calls. However, hotels can justify “resort fees” to cover whatever the hotel wants it to cover.
WHY DO HOTELS CHARGE RESORT FEES?
Hotels charge these “resort fees” for a number of reasons but ultimately it’s a way for hotels to obtain more revenue without increasing the room rate.
Over the last decade, resort fees have significantly increased in price. Although many more hotels (and hotel chains) have adopted them, I’ve largely avoided hotels that have implemented resort fees in the hopes that they would disappear.
Well, it looks like my wishes may soon come true…
AG FILES LAWSUIT OVER RESORT FEES
A lawsuit was filed recently by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine against Marriott alleging hotels are misleading customers by advertising room rates without including mandatory “resort fees” in attempt to increase profits.
According to the lawsuit, Marriott doesn’t include mandatory resort fees in the room rates it displays online and consumers only discover the fees after they begin to book a room and this has caused harm.
Additionally, the lawsuit notes that many people book hotels through third party sites which allow hotels to advertise daily rates that are lower than the true total price. Then when consumers book, the hotel adds mandatory fees.
Last week, a lawsuit was filed against Hilton for their “resort fees.”
This week, a lawsuit was filed against Marriott for their “resort fees” AND they were fined for their data breach.
The last few weeks have not been good for the hotel industry.
However, I’m thrilled to see action being taken against “resort fees.” Some Marriott properties are known to charge as much as $95/night for their resort fee and I think it’s exploitative and unecessary. I prefer for hotels to accurately advertise prices from the beginning of the booking process.
Unfortunately, resort fees weren’t eliminated in Las Vegas prior to my stay but I hope to see other parts of the country follow DC’s lead.
Have you ever stayed at a hotel with a “resort fee?” Were you aware of the fee before you arrived?