Tag: Hotel FeesView All Tags
But, but, but it looks so pretty!
While we were thrilled to get a sneak peek at the just-opened Bulgari Hotel in London from a spy who said the place was "oozing quality", it looks like
a reporter the travel editor from Daily Mail who spent the night couldn't get out of the place fast enough.
Dubbing the spot "The Vulgari Hotel (ouch), Mark Palmer found Britain's most expensive hotel to be just another "crass monument to bling" populated with fawning Bulgari flunkeys. Needless to say, he wasn't impressed by the hotel's style featuring black granite floors in the lobby, polished mahogany, glass cabinets displaying Bulgari jewelry and security guards.
Nor was he taken with the overservice of the hotel's employees, saying there is "the almost obligatory dispensing of £5 notes to grovelling staff as they press the lift buttons on your behalf and generally buzz about like pesky wasps."
The harshest criticisms were reserved for the hotel's bar and restaurant which aside from extremely high prices, the joint according to Palmer is staffed by "waiters are so greasy you can practically smell the Brylcreem." Also, "the lighting is harsh, the acoustics appalling." And ordering is nothing short of a visit to a hospital. Palmer writes:
In addition to the main menu, there’s a list of ‘bites to share to start your meal’ and a pencil. You’re meant to tick the boxes opposite the dishes you want, rather like patients in hospital: seven little mouthfuls come in at £28.
Hotel Woes / Hotel Fees / Hotel Credit Cards / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Lawsuits / Hotel Fraud / → All Tags
The WSJ is reporting that an auditor for Amsterdam Hospitality Group has greedily helped himself to the credit card information of 237 guests, drawing from three of the group's eight Manhattan hotels. Luckily, NYC's Fashion Week mainstay, the Empire Hotel, which the company owns, wasn't affected.
Phew! Though we dote happily on the Empire's ritzy Lincoln Center location and rooftop drinking accommodations, we'd rather not take our chances when handing over our credit cards for a $450-a-night stay. We have enough "mystery charges" showing up on our monthly statements (as we mentioned earlier this morning, our love of hotels is exceeded only by our love of shopping) as it is, and have no need for disappearing funds.
OpenThread / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Fees / Toiletry Dispensers / Smart Check-In / Hotel Bathtubs / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
Nothing gets the HotelChatter debate going faster than a mention of the uber-controvertial—and increasingly common—toiletry dispensers popping up these days. But according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), that's just one of the trends guests are now seeing.
The article starts by tackling the beast that is hotel fees—something we know a little about. And with our ear firmly on the carpeted hotel ground, we can safely bet this is a "trend" hated by everyone. But disappearing bathtubs? Colorful lobby couches? Locally-sourced food and drink options? These can't all be bad, can they? Click below to see the full list, and weigh in with your own "love it" or "hate it" of hotel trends.
This story is for all the people who leave us nasty comments when we complain about annoying hotel fees. At least we haven't filed a lawsuit about them yet.
Yes, one man is so upset about being charged 75 cents for what he thought was a free copy of USA Today that he is suing Hilton Hotels in a federal class action lawsuit. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Rodney Harmon, 55, of Sacramento said he visited the Hilton Garden Inn Sonoma County Airport on March 28 and saw a copy of USA Today outside his door.
"He did not request a newspaper and assumed it had been placed there by hotel staff," said the suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Harmon didn't realize until later that a 75-cent charge for the paper had been added to his bill. Harmon accused Hilton of deliberately hiding the newspaper charge by describing the fee in an "extremely small font which is difficult to notice or read" on the sleeve of the room card.
We're sorry to ruin your Friday with this story about an outrageously expensive hotel fee but we feel you just had to know, especially if you were considering booking a stay at the St. Regis Bahia Bahia in Puerto Rico.
A prospective guest and tipster emailed us the description of the $60 resort fee which is found on the hotel's website:
Guest will be charged $60 USD daily for a resort charge inclusive of tax. This includes: toll-free and local phone calls, high-speed wireless Internet access in public areas and guest rooms, a welcome cocktail amenity in each room upon arrival, beach and pool services including beach umbrellas, ice cold water “spritzing”, frozen grapes, electronic books and I-pods (based upon availability), fresh-fruit bites, unlimited use of all non-motorized water sports and snorkeling equipment exclusively at the Boat House, bicycles (based upon availability), tennis center/courts day and night (equipment available at no additional cost), and use of our golf course driving range.
Hotel Fees / Hotel Hell / Kimpton Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Las Vegas Hotels / Miami Beach Hotels / San Diego Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Fees / Resort Fees / Hotel Hell / Viva Vegas / Smoking Ban / Smokies Hotels / MGM MIrage Hotels / → All Tags
What exactly is going on with MGM Grand?
No sooner were we relieved that it had caved to public opinion/common sense and ditched its $20 fee for guaranteeing you a non-smoking room, than we realized they’d done something even more ridonkulous.
Yes, they did, as they promised, take down the $20 non-smoking charge off their website.
But instead, yesterday they replaced it with a $20 charge for a smoking room.
Oh yeah. Last night, the reservations page of MGM Grand had replaced the $20 non-smoking fee with a $20 fee to guarantee a smoking room. Here’s the proof, with screenshots and everything.
Hotel News / Hotel Fees / Smoking Ban / Smokies Hotels / Viva Vegas / MGM Mirage Hotels / → All Tags
UPDATE 2.15pm: MGM Grand just announced that they are rescinding the $20 non-smoking fee. It's still showing on the website, but hopefully they'll take it off soon, and refund the people who've checked that box.
More and more hotels are eliminating their smoking rooms thanks to both customer requests and local regulations, says a huge USA Today report that frames the issue in terms of similar prohibitions on smoking on airplanes, in bars and restaurants and in rental cars. It's interesting reading if you like heaps of hotel statistics but the upshot is that, at least in the U.S., you're almost guaranteed a smoke-free room.
Well, except in Vegas. According to the Seattle Times, seems the MGM Grand has launched a $20-per-night "Non Smoking Room Guarantee," meaning you can ostensibly lock in a smoke-free room for an extra charge of $20. A quick search of other mid-range MGM properties in Vegas, like the Luxor, Monte Carlo, Circus Circus, Excalibur, and New York New York, reveal that this appears to be an MGM-exclusive fee. Aria and Bellagio, however, are not showing the charge.
For being the hotel snobs that we are, we actually dig the "no frills" concept of Tune Hotels. And despite having a room that was only slightly larger than a sleeper cabin on a train, we really enjoyed our stay at the Tune Hotel Westminster in London. The price was right and the room was rather cozy.
But the one thing that did sort of irk us was all the add-ons that the hotel charges, mostly before you even get there.
However, Tune is finally doing away with one fee--the room administration fee. In conjunction/celebration of the new Tune Hotel Bintulu opening in Malaysia, Tune Hotel is dropping this fee across all 12 properties starting today. And you can thank Tune expansion for that.
Hotel Excelsior, now an extra €3 per person per night.
We've railed on hotel fees before and aside from resort fees and WiFi charges, we especially dislike those extra tourism fees mandated by local governments, in addition to taxes.
But now when you're in Rome, you better get ready to pay a little more for your hotel stay.
That's because Rome has added a new hotel tax for visitors staying in hotels. Expect to pay an extra €2 per person per night in a hotel up to a three-star rating and an extra €3 per person per night when staying in four or five-star hotels.
But here's the rub--the tax must be settled at check-out and guests must pay in cash. No debit cards, credit cards or American Express Traveler's Checques allowed. So don't throw your Euros in the Trevi fountain until after you've checked-out.
[Photo: Tom Barnes/HotelChatter Flickr Pool]
Pet-Friendly Hotels / Hotel Fees / Hilton Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
Pet owners, get ready to start planning more trips with Fido. Hilton's making it cheaper for you to stay in its hotels by slashing its brand-wide pet fee from $75 to $50.
Hotel Fees / Resort Fees / Lists / Hotel Hell / → All Tags
Grrr...Hotel Fees. It's never fun to check into a hotel only to discover that the room rate essentially covers sleeping in the bed and taking a shower and that anything else you want to do in-room or on the property is going to cost you. There's been a lot of talk lately about the rise of hotel fees and we thought it was time to weigh in on this issue again.
Now, there are the obvious hotel fees like on-demand movies and Pringles from the minibar. Then there are some other understandable fees, such as if you smoked in a non-smoking hotel room then you should pay that $200+ cleaning fee. Same goes for the pet-cleaning fees for your dogs, cats and other hotel-approved animals you must travel with.
But most hotel fees are simply a rip-off. A blatant way for hotels to nickel and dime you every minute that you spend in their hotel. And worse, some fees are for things you don't even use during your stay! So much for hospitality huh?
We've rounded up what we think are the 10 Most Ridiculous Hotel Fees but we definitely want you to chime in below with your biggest hotel fee gripes too.