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5 Hotels That Are Acting Like The Airlines With Extra Fees

June 22, 2011 at 3:00 PM | by | ()

Is this offer from an airline or a hotel?

Whee!! Summer is officially here and you've got the urge to book a flight+hotel (or two or three) for a summery getaway. But while we've all begrudgingly accepted that airlines are extra fees-obsessed (baggage fees, leg room fees, change fees, security fees, early boarding fees, etc.), we're disheartened to see that more and more hotels are acting like airlines these days by charging big fees for little extras.

Here are five of the top offenders so far:

5. Fontainebleau: The good news is that it looks like this popular Miami Beach hotel has dropped their $8 baggage fee in case you want to store your luggage after check-out but before your flight home. The bad news is they are charging you $150 for incidentals when you check-in. Yup, they automatically charge you $150 before you even step foot in your hotel room.

Now, if you don't charge anything to your room during your stay, the charge will be released at check-out but will take five to seven days to appear back in your account. If you don't have a credit card at check-in, you will be asked to fork over $600 in cash. Then you will be refunded the money via a check in the mail sometime after you check out. Seriously. You can read for yourself here.

4. Kimpton Hotels: Lately, Kimpton has been emailing its Kimpton InTouch reservation-holders with an option of upgrading their room choice for $19, if there's availability. The name of the program is called eStay Upgrade Program which sounds as if it was a leftover idea from a United Airlines marketing brainstorming session.

Kimpton calls it a Win/Win incentive since the guest gets to experience a nicer room for a nominal fee (remember, if it's available) while the hotel gets some additional revenue on a room that would otherwise go empty. We understand that but can you make the name of the program sound less like an airline standby program (that never actually lets you fly standby)?

3. Thompson Beverly Hills: Drinks atop this Beverly Hills hotel are nice, especially on a clear day but is it worth the automatically added service charge? No. Perhaps if the service was quicker and also up front about the charge (a simple, "Thanks for visiting. Here is your bill and don't worry, a service charge has already been added in for your convenience") then perhaps we wouldn't have minded.

2. Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa: This hotel may be popular for its location to Legoland in San Diego but it certainly doesn't win us over with its $12 resort fee and $50 early check-in fee if you arrive before 4pm and want to get situated immediately (as one TripAdvisor reviewer was shocked to learn.) Oh and that ocean view room will cost an extra $40.

1. Caesars Entertainment Group: Formerly Harrah's Entertainment Group, Caesars runs some of the major casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City like Caesars Palace and Paris Las Vegas. Yet while they tout their "No Resort Fees" policy all throughout Sin City, they actually charge a processing fee for reservations made over the phone. Last we heard, it was about $10 for each reservation. This is totally an airline move as evidenced on Airfare Watchdog's airline fee chart which lists airlines that charge for reservations made over the phone.

Experienced any other annoying hotel fees during your travels this summer? Tell us in comments below!

Archived Comments:

Nothing new

I can't belive hotelchatter is posting a story about hotel incidentals. Plus they have the story wrong, hotels don't charge you, they authorize your credit card. All hotels authorize a credit card for incidentals but most importantly for security measures to prevent damages done to the room. I mean, this is nothing new and is ancient information. I mean what do you expect, to stay in a resort hotel and not put down a security form of payment!?

God formid if a rent a car agency lets you take their car off the lot without running your card for higher than the rental fee.

Hotelchatter - I'm disappointed in this storry. I like to read your daily email newsletters but I have to say, this one just caught me by surprise. Out of all the stories you've written this is the silliest, writing this as if the hotel's are doing something wrong.

Why don't you write about how many stories hotels can tell you of guests coming into town, thinking they are the Queen of England, destroy their hotel room and then the hotel has to foot the bill because the guests didn't put down a security deposit and skipped town?


I mean really? Airline fees are charges you cannot control and say no to. In this story, if you don't want an upgraded room then say NO and avoid the upgrade fee. You don't want to pay an early check-in fee, then arrive at 4pm! Plus I've known hotels which waive the fee if you arrive at a reasonable early time. If you arrive lets say at 10am (6 hours before check-in) and demand to enter your room, then you have the option to WAIT or you pay to accommodate yourself.

I'm sorry but no company whether airline, hotel, restaurant, etc... should have to give a free amenity when the consumer is requesting it and is informed of the costs associated with this.

Again, I am disappointed with this newsletter, I thought Hotelchatter would write about interesting stories, not this.


I absolutely agree with the post above. I've never been able to figure it out but for some reasons people thinks they can walk all over hotels. Do you go to your local Ford, pick out a card with heated leather seats, chrome features and satellite radio and tell (read: demand) that you aren't paying for the extras? No, you don't, and they would tell you to leave. Why is it that hotels are different? It costs the hotel money to have someone in their room, every hour. WHY, then, would you expect not to pay for it? What other consumer venue do you just 'expect' as though it is your god given right, to get 'comps'. Yes, hotels are all about hospitality, but lets not forget they are a business.

From the recent stories Hotel Chatter has been running, it seems as though you'd rather see a hotel run into the ground and all its staff without a job then pay a $12.95 fee for internet. HOW DO YOU EXPECT A HOTEL TO MAKE MONEY? Yes, most people think internet is a necessity, and if you agree, that's fine. However, when staying at a high end hotel or resort, you will be charged. If they didn't 'nickle and dime' their guests, they simply could not afford a 4 or 5 star building and atmosphere.

If you want everything to be free, stay at a HoJo's or Comfort Inn. If you want (or expect) and upgrade, pay for it. If you want to check-in 6 hours before check-in time, book the room the night before. Get over yourselves and enter the real world.

Essential topics

a best guide on the hotel. It covers all the essential topics and I really like this part of the information.

These real aren't so bad

I was expecting some crazy and funny things to read about.  These don't seem like that big of a deal.