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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.
Resort fees may not be our favorite thing in the world (in fact they’re one of our least favorite things in hotel land) but since it looks like they’re here to stay (particularly in Vegas), we may as well appreciate some of the loopier things that come with them.
We were looking into booking a room at the boutiquey Rumor Resort in Vegas yesterday, when we noticed the daily resort fee of $11.95. It stung, a lot, so we called up to ask what it included. And were jazzed to find that as well as the usual - valet parking (uh, that’s always free in Vegas), local calls (gee, thanks, cos they aren’t included on our monthly package or anything), water by the bedside (purified water? Wowee), and WiFi (ok, that we’ll take) – the resort fee also includes free access to one adult channel.
We were confused. Did the nice lady in reservations really just say that? So we said, “What, you mean like porn?” And she stifled a giggle and said yes, but only the one. Channel, you understand. Not film.
Hooters Calendar Girl Water! Yes, two small bottles of Hooters Calendar Water are included in the $7.50 resort fee at Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas.
The resort fee also includes pool and gym access, local and toll free 800 phone calls and use of the in-room safe. Internet access in-room is not included in that fee. That costs an extra $14.95 a day for an ethernet connection. Booo.
Still, we couldn't complain about these extra add-ons when the room rate was just $20 during our stay in June. $20! And the room was large, clean and smelled wonderful. Just make sure you find a way to get black-out drunk so the HVAC noise doesn't wake you up in the middle of the night.
For more on who charges resort fees in Vegas and how much, check out VegasChatter's Complete List of Resort Fees
Perhaps the only way to really enjoy The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas without worrying about being nickel and dimed for everything is to be Katy Perry (or any of the other pop sensations that have performed at the resort this summer.)
The "California Gurls" singer/problem speller splashed around the water park with her entourage the day after performing to a sold-out crowd at the hotel's Grand Ballroom, according to the Daily Mail.
The Aquaventure water park at Atlantis is typically populated with children but there is a lot going on there--11 pools, water slides, (fake) river rides and even rock-climbing. And this is all included in your room rate. But about that room rate....
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.
Peekaboo Bathrooms / Key West Hotels / Waldorf-Astoria Collection / Hotel Renovations / Resort Fees / → All Tags
Chalk up another point for Team Enclosed Bathrooms. We know how many of you feel about the hotel trend that is not going away, Peekaboo Bathrooms, and most of you are against it.
Here's another gripe about the lack of privacy in the bathrooms at the newly renovated Reach Hotel which is actually now part of the Waldorf-Astoria Collection. Our reader also has a problem with the nude photographs in the restaurant. In short, this may not be the best hotel for families visiting Key West.
UPDATE 3.19.10: That fee could be a part of the other city taxes. See below.
it is official, we are accepting reservations for April 5th Grand Opening date is earlier than we thought.
And indeed the website's reservations system reflects this change. We found room rezzies for April 5 for $246 a night at an Advance Purchase rate which is nonrefundable and requires full prepayment. More flexible room rates start at $289 a night. However, the hotel is tacking on a $3.50 fee.
For what, we don't exactly know. There is free WiFi in the guest rooms so maybe this fee is a way to recoup that cost. Which is fine with us. Totally beats paying $12.99 or more.
Don't stare too long, it might cost ya!
A tipster pointed us to the TA reviews today and we saw that recent guests are saying that the resort is apparently charging fees up the wazoo, starting with a new resort fee that is voluntary for now but will become mandatory by May 2010. Yes, voluntary now. Mandatory in May.
The $12.95 fee includes unlimited internet access on the in-room iMac, beach chairs, free daily newspaper and access to the gym. And may we mention again that it's "voluntary?" So at first you may not be inclined to agree to it but it might be better instead of doing things a la carte. Then again, everything at this hotel costs extra.
If you're missing your Bermuda shorts now that Fall has arrived and want to take them out for a whirl in the real Bermuda, the Fairmont Southampton is offering rates of $149 per night but only for seven days so get booking.
The offer includes a guestroom, complimentary breakfast, unlimited golf for two at the hotel's own golf course, as well as some resort activities over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
The sale begins today at noon (now) and lasts until 11:59pm on October 13. The hotel stay must take place between November 1 and April 16, 2010. The $149 rate does not include taxes, gratuities or resort fees which are a little overboard here.
There's a $10.20 gratuity per person per night and a $9.65 per person resort "levy." Add in taxes and the room is nearly $200 a night. Also that rate is good for a "Moderate Room" category with "no view" as the room description kindly points out. Deluxe Harbour view rooms start at $199 a night.
To book, use the code PTLZ (It's also a Travelzoo special deal.)
The stretch of islands most famous for being a tax haven for banks, big money investors and hedge fundy type transactions has some impressively low resort rates this summer.
Starting June 1 through September 6, 2009, the The Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa Grand Cayman located along eight acres of Seven Mile Beach has slashed prices more than 40 percent for their Summer Spectacular. Nightly rates in the 343-room hotel start at $159 for an Island View room and $259 for an Ocean Front room.
With prices this cheap could Grand Cayman be the new West Palm Beach? Victims of Ponzi schemes may have lost millions but they haven't lost their taste for luxury. Hopefully this means the Westin is also dropping the reported (according to Travelocity readers) extra $20 a day resort fee for beach towels and chairs. But we doubt it.
Resort Fees are never loved. No one likes ponying up another $20 atop a room rate at check-in. And resort fees are a major buzzkill when you think you've found a room within your budget only to find out that you have to pay an extra $35 a night.
Hotels know that these resort fees suck so they try to trick you by calling it different things like a "Service Charge" or a "Hospitality Fee" or even a "Bellman's Gratuity Fee." But whatever they call it, it still feels like a serious case of nickel and diming.
As we've seen with hotel WiFi, hotel guests don't like to be charged for extra services. We would rather you just roll that into the room rate.
But could there be a silver lining to resort fees?
Some resort fees that we have encountered recently we didn't mind, especially when they covered the cost of valet or self-parking and in certain situations, internet access. Some hotels charge $15 a day for WiFi, while resort fees can be $20 and cover internet, breakfast and parking.
Sure, it's not ideal but if a resort fee saves us from constantly having to pull out our credit card or fumble for single bills to tip the staff, then maybe resort fees can actually make your hotel stay easier. Then again, some resorts charge a fee that doesn't include internet or parking or anything extra that's really of value.
Here we're hoping to create an unofficial list of hotels with resort fees and what you get for those extra dollars a night.
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Hawaii Hotels / Resort Fees / Hotel Renovations / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
[Ed. Note: Alex Salkever is the founder/editor of Hawaii travel blog Hawaiirama.com.]
You've coughed up mucho dinero for the getaway of your dreams in Hawaii (or, if you're local, that luxe holoholo). Natch, the resorts will charge a premium for food, drink and activities. But what the hell is a resort fee and why is it on my bill?
These fees appeared a while back in Hawaii and have become a key source of hotel revenue. They are also kinda sleazy. The hotels do disclose them but, for example, charging paying guests $20 per day for parking their own cars in the hotel lot is beyond the pale.
Some resorts are worse than others. Many include things like yoga classes and high-speed Internet as part of the resort fee. Fair enough -- such things are still extra at many high-end resorts. Others, such as the Ritz-Carton Kapalua on Maui, push it a bit.
The $18 daily resort fee at the Ritz gets discounted greens fees (off the already stratospheric rates at Kapalua), shuttle service to the nearby shopping district (shouldn't that be free) and coffee or tea in the lobby each morning. Umm, great. And what if I don't play golf? [Note: This hotel is actually closing down on July 2 to undergo a $110 million makeover.]
Other resort fees appear to be a bargain. At the Wailea Maui Marriott, kids eat free with adults for the resort fee of $20 per day. That's a great deal. The fee also includes two Mai Tais per day. Make that a superb deal (resort Mai Tais usually run around $10 a pop).
The excellent chaps over at Travel Hawaii (a local travel agency that knows the islands well and isn't afraid to make hard-nosed judgments) have cobbled together a list of resort fees at the 15 hotels which charge them.
Others (the Hilton chain) charges them indirectly through parking and other fees. This is a good place to look.