Tag: Resort FeesView All Tags
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.
Until a reader tipped us off, we hadn't heard anything about Hilton settling a class action suit on how it administered "resort fees." While resort fees are universally panned as being unethical, illogical, annoying, and basically just an extra tax slapped on guests, this is the first time we've seem them pegged as illegal.
It turns out that the problem was Hilton didn't disclose the fees up front, nor tell guests that the fees were optional. The legal nitty gritty can be found here on the settlement site.
The settlement is kind of an odd one that you'll need a calculator to decipher. The bottom line is that Hilton is lowering its resort fees across all properties by a certain percentage until the overcharged amount in the past is paid down. This might not go into the reservation system until after the final mid-November settlement ruling though: when we went through the booking process at Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa (pictured here), no resort fee was disclosed.
In addition, former guests who can provide documented proof that they stayed at any of the 11 hotels prior to Jan. 1, 2004 and paid the resort fee will receive full reimbursement.
(The complete list of hotels can be found after the jump.)
Alas, this probably won't keep other resorts from charging a resort fee, even though this is kind of like a golf course charging a "cart path fee." They might get slapped with the same kind of suit though if they haven't been making it optional. Unless you're an attorney that finds another legal snag in the practice, we suggest you just ask up front and then vote with your wallet.