It’s a practice that has, thank goodness, been declining in the last few years. However, there are still hotels out there (and especially, I have to say in the USA) that charge resort fees to their guests.
These fees are usually charged per night, per room and can add a considerable amount to your overall accommodation costs. In many cases, guests aren’t aware of the resort fees until the very last minute of their booking process and the per-night resort fee can be higher than the room rate, unbelievably.
This is anecdotal because I’ve never come across this personally although I am aware of a hotel which is not too far from where I live and has a resort fee of $160 per room, per night. Oh yes, plus tax.
It makes comparison shopping a tricky proposition. Although you can try resortfeechecker.com – hopefully, it is frequently updated.
- Pool access
- Pool towels
- Fitness centre
- Complimentary bike hire
- Overnight shoe shine service
- Complimentary newspapers
- Use of the business centre
- Complimentary morning coffee in the lobby
- Local phone calls
- Printing of boarding passes
- Internet (in the room and in public areas)
- Use of private beach
There are many more of course but the above is a good representative sample. And don’t you think that these hotels have, to put it mildly, a bit of a cheek?
Often the services that are included in the resort fee and simply outdated features that no-one really wants. Daily newspaper? Shoe shine service? As for printing boarding passes. When did I last print a boarding pass? And really, who uses the landline at a hotel? Including local phone calls in the resort fee list is just bonkers.
Sometimes they are services that we’d just expect that we were paying for in our regular room cost. I’d expect use of the pool, the business centre (which is often just an old-fashioned computer plonked on a stray desk somewhere and a rattly fax – and who uses faxes these days) and the use of the beach.
Many hotels, in their list of what the resort fees include, quote housekeeping. Housekeeping is an extra?
Whereas the resort fees are applicable to all guests, whether or not they use the listed facilities, hotels have additional fees too although these are only for the guests who use them. For example, if you want a roll-out bed or to take a pet there will be a one time fee.
Breakfast will probably cost extra – in the hotels I’ve just been looking at, this will cost an average of $35 per person. (And that’s for a continental breakfast). Valet parking really racks up your final bill too. Even if you avoid using the valet parker, many hotels charge you parking fees even if you’re actually parking the car yourself.
Some of the services included in the fee are quite bizarre. I saw:
- Refrigerator fee: $30 per stay
- In-room microwave fee: $30 per stay
I’ve seen ‘in-room coffee maker’ and ‘in-room safe’ also. I just expect these things to be included, don’t you?
There are various ‘helpful’ articles on the internet that tell you how to get out of paying resort fees or even take a hotel to the small claims court if you’ve already been charged. I don’t know about you but I simply find that it’s easier to avoid hotels with resort fees altogether – unless I accept that I want those services and I’m happy to pay for them.
It’s worth remembering that so many of the services that you’re charged for in a resort fee are items that are often provided absolutely free when you choose an alternative form of accommodation such as an Airbnb. Well worth thinking about…
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.