Watch Out For These Hidden Hotel Fees
In addition to the resort fees that have been a topic of late, more often we’re seeing little charges on our hotel bills or hearing of people being nickel-and-dimed for services they feel should be included in the hotel rate. The Federal Trade Commission has recently sent a letter to some hotels, warning them to disclose all fees in the total hotel price.
Here’s some of the more finer print charges you should be on the look-out for:
Bedside Water: Oh, you think that bottle of water at turndown is to quench your middle-of-the night the thirst? Sure it is, to the tune of $7. Take a look a pic above. The bottle was turned so we didn’t see the price sticker until the morning (we’d come in pretty late night before) and had already taken a swig. Bam! And it tasted like regular tap water to boot!
Early departure fee: Some hotels will charge you if you have reserved for a certain amount of days and decide to check-out early. They’ve already counted on that revenue and need to make it up if you’ve changed your mind.
Minibar removal fees: You think you’re doing the right thing by removing treat temptation if you ask staff to remove or empty the mini-bar. This is especially true with small children on board. But that service isn’t free in some hotels. You may find a charge of up to $25 on your bill. And if you ask for a minifridge to chill your own treats? Expect a fee for that!
Newspaper charge: That USA Today that’s neatly folded outside your room every morning? Did you ask for it? Did you see the small print when you checked-in that said you’d be charged .75 per day for it? No? Best march down to the front desk and ask for it to be removed.
Pay-per-use WiFi: Some hotels are already hip to tiered internet access plans—asking you to choose your rate depending on whether you need basic service (to check email) or more expensive plans that come with higher bandwidth in case you’ve got download or movie streaming plans. Oh, and some are getting slick and charging a fee per device.
Safe Key: You’ll see this in many small island resorts where they still have old-fashioned block locks to go to the hotel safe. You get a key for this heavy thing and are charged a daily fee (usually $2-3 a day) that will be credited back to you once the key is returned safely.
Towel Card charge: More and more beach resorts are providing towel cards at check-in. The deal is you exchange your card for a towel. But you’re also supposed to return your towel and get your card back, which is to be returned at check-out. Don’t do that, and hotel’s may assume that pool towel may be in your suitcase and you can see fees as high as $25 for a non-returned card.
[Photo: Chanize Thorpe for HotelChatter]