I was extremely happy about the great deal I got on a hotel room at Treasure Island recently. I bought the hotel room on Priceline, which allows you to ‘Name Your Own Price’ and save big. The savings are big if you bid strategically. However, upon check-in at the hotel, I was informed that there is a resort fee of $20 per night per room. “A resort fee,” I asked. I was informed that the hotel has implemented a resort fee but not to worry as it included many services that would normally have additional charges. In the case of Treasure Island, the $20 fee includes:
In room high speed internet access
In room local and toll free phone calls
Daily local newspaper at Guest Services
Access to fitness center
Admission to Christian Audigier The Nightclub (Thur – Sun)
Access to VIP viewing area for Sirens of TI show
Printed airline boarding passes at Guest Services
Copies and faxes (up to 10 pages) and notary services
$20 resort credit for future stay
The problem I have is that the resort fee is mandatory even if you do not want to use these services. Furthermore, many hotels include these services without charging a resort fee — fitness center and daily newspaper most specifically. In my case, I did not take advantage of any of the services included in the fee except for the daily newspaper.
I decided to do some research on resort fees and found that many hotels are now adding a resort fee above and beyond the advertised hotel room rate. They range from a few dollars a night to as high as $20/night and beyond. This is somewhat deceptive, especially in the case of making a hotel room reservation on non-refundable sites like Priceline and Hotwire. Should these fees not be disclosed before you buy?
Buyer beware. It looks like resort fees are here to stay. They are a clever way of advertising low rates to get the sale while increasing overall revenue.