Tag: Hotel FeesView All Tags
We all know that early check-ins at hotels are elusive. It all depends on a few things--how full the hotel was the night before, how fast the other guests get their belongings together and out the door and how quickly housekeeping can get in there and turn over the room.
We typically have good luck with early check-ins during the week and at huge hotels that don't always sell out like the big casino hotels in Las Vegas (mid-week of course, definitely not on a Friday or a Sunday.) But if that doesn't work, then we have to find ways to kill time in the hotel lobby, or the nearby area, for a few hours until the 3pm check-in time. Unless we want to pay extra for it with an early check-in fee.
We first noticed early check-in fees back in 2011 when we compared hotels to airlines, thanks to all the extra fees they were tacking onto hotel stays. But we've never actually seen them in the wild.
But at Caesars Atlantic City we saw this sign at check-in.
We know there have been lots of complaints about the resort fees that have popped up in recent years, those pesky room-rate increasers that drive up the price and seemingly add very little to the experience. The hotels explain this by insisting that it helps to pay for things like local phone calls, in-room safes and mini fridges –- things that used to and should be included in the regular room rate. Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas even put out a load of PR BS about how "guests asked for them."
To that, we tend to roll our eyes. Personally, we’d rather hotels just increase the base rate instead of using the resort fee to help them advertise what turns out to be a misleading rate.
That all said, we always try to keep a good head on our shoulders and a positive attitude, so we did some digging. What we found is that while all resort fees are annoying, some aren’t as worthless as others. It still doesn’t make them a joy to pay, but at least, in some places, we are getting something in return that might actually save us a few dimes elsewhere. Think access to spas, yoga sessions, scuba classes, green fees, complimentary appetizers, and shuttle services.
Lounging at this oasis in the middle of the desert will cost you an extra $30 a night.
We've compiled a list of desert hotels that are adding an extra charge, per night, plus tax for things that you would normally expect to be free with your hotel stay (Use of the "computer center"? Uh, no thanks.) However, you do get more of your money's worth at the bigger golf and spa resorts where they offer bag storage, shuttle service and exercises classes.
What's even more frustrating is that some of these hotels don't list their resort fee anywhere on their websites until you get to the final step of the online booking process. But hopefully, our list will help you be better informed about your desert getaway. And for what it's worth, most of these fees do include WiFi.
Know of a resort fee in Palm Springs that we missed? Let us know and we'll add it to the list!
School's out for summer and in Orlando that means the crowds are a-coming. If you're heading to Disney World, Sea World or Universal Studios during peak season (now-August), you know you are going to end up paying more than you'd like for everything from park admission to food and worst of all, souvenirs. You should also be prepared to read the fine print for your hotel stay as several hotels in the area charge the dreaded resort fees.
While not as prevalent as Las Vegas, Orlando does have a fair amount of hotels that charge additonal for services that used to be "free" like pool access and in-room safes.
Below we've rounded up the hotels that charge an all-encompassing resort fee (and not just separate fees for parking or shuttle services.) Some fees include internet and some do not. All of these are also taxable.
Know of a resort fee in Orlando? Tell us in comments!
Hotel Behaviors / Hotel Guests / Lists / Hotel Toiletries / Hotel Fees / Hotel Secrets / Hotel Shame / → All Tags
Let's just get it all out there in the open today. Here are 10 Things Everyone Does in a Hotel Room But Won’t Admit. Confessing our sins to one another will cleanse us from all unrighteousness, right? Eh, whatever. You paid for the room, go wild!
1. Steals the toiletries, even the no-name ones: Because what if you run out of shampoo or conditioner at home and can't get to the drugstore before your next shower? Also, because deep down you're a hoarder.
2. Pays $4 for a candy bar: Especially after long flights. Damn you, Snickers. And Kit Kat, too.
3. Walks around naked: Why not? So long as we're not doing sex acts in front of the High Line, it's more than ok to walk around naked in our room. And so long as the curtains are closed.
Hotel Fees / Hotel Tips / Lists / → All Tags
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!
The new Nobu Hotel has barely been open a full month and already some changes are being made. And we wish it were for the better.
Caeasars Palace, who along with its sister properties in Vegas, so valiantly fought the resort fee craze a few years ago, has finally given in and will now be charging $10-$25 a night at their hotels. Those fees will include a variety of services and amenities, among them, WiFi and fitness center access. We're guessing Nobu, a luxury hotel located within Caesars, will be charging near the $25 mark but we're still awaiting confirmation of the exact price.
Hurricane Sandy / Hotel News / Manhattan Hotels / New Jersey Hotels / Saturday Night Live / Hotel Fees / Room Service / → All Tags
As was the case in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, disaster victims in New York and New Jersey are now being promised temporary government-paid hotel stays, if their housing situation (or lack thereof) warrants it. Though, don't go thinking these folks are headed for The Plaza or anything. At this point, all they care about is a dry, warm bed and a toilet that flushes.
Here's how it works: FEMA agrees to foot the bill for pre-arranged hotel stays that have been assigned to victims by a third party contractor (whose name is Corporate Lodging Consultants, in case you were wondering). The cost of the rooms is set at a fixed rate--the same rate paid for all federal employees who stay in hotels while on business.
The trouble is, even with that cushy government discount, rooms in NYC are still kinda pricey. Like $295/night pricey.
Which is why FEMA is now stipulating that, while eligible victims will indeed receive hotel rooms, the government won't pick up any room service or telephone charges.
Hotel News Briefs / Hotel Fees / Hotel WiFi / Hotel Sick / Chicago Hotels / TripAdvisor / → All Tags
There's even more hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Hotels to Rake in $2 Billion in Fees: The next time you find yourself shelling out money for WiFi or to use the fitness center access during your hotel stay, remember, it's ok to be really pissed off about it. That's because hotels are set to take in about $2 billion in fees this year. That's up 5.4 percent from last year, according to the Tisch Center at New York University. While the annual take-in from fees isn't expected to keep growing, that's still a crazy high number. All the more reason to raise a fuss if that WiFi connection shorts out. Grrr.
· Seriously Sick at The JW Marriott Chicago: The new-ish JW Marriott Chicago is under investigation as a total of seven people who stayed at the hotel this summer have contracted the sometimes deadly Legionnaires’ disease which is found in water. The Chicago Tribune reports that the hotel has drained its pool, hot tub and fountain and even closed part of its spa. We're guessing that chlorine-free pool might not have been such a good idea after all. While the city's health department said there is "no ongoing health risk at the hotel", the JW Marriott is still working to alert the 8,500 guests who stayed at the hotel between July 16 and Aug. 15. Ugh. UPDATE: Two people have died from the outbreak.
Romantic Hotels / Outdoor Showers / Auberge Hotels / Sedona Hotels / Hotel Packages / Hotel Fees / → All Tags
Romance seekers and au naturel enthusiasts will be delighted to know that L'Auberge de Sedona wants you to stand outside your room, completely naked. Well that is only true in part- but it is true.
After a multiphase $25 million renovation completed last year that included a new lobby, the redesign of the resort’s Lodge rooms and Creekside and Garden Cottages, and the addition of several brand new Spa Cottages and Vista Cottages and Suites, we've learned that L'Auberge has also added private outdoor showers. Yup, to up the romance factor in our favorite cottages to an "11", L'Auberge has added luxurious enclosed outdoor cedar showers open to the sky for viewing the sunrise or the stars.
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.