Destination Fee BS

Aug 31st, 2019, 04:22 PM
  #1  
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Destination Fee BS

I was going to add this to zebec's thread on redemption flights but it's too much of a digression so I thought I'd start my own.

I was in NY last weekend with my sisters and nieces and booked two rooms at the Hyatt Civic Times Square (TS is my least favourite location in NY but the best rate we could get for the types of rooms we wanted). The hotel was fine but I really resent having to pay $30 per room per night for this 'destination fee' (sometimes called a resort fee) which gives you things like the coffee maker that was formerly in every room for free. We also got bottles of water and coupons for the types of things no one ever uses like a 3-minute (3-minute!) makeover at one of Macy's cosmetic counters and some other stuff which, even if you did use it, would not cost you $30 a day.

Now, this wasn't a surprise -- they do have to tell you when you book, but that doesn't make it any more palatable. When my sister questioned it as she was paying, the desk clerk told her that all the hotels in NYC must charge this fee. THIS IS NOT TRUE. It was an outright lie. You can google which hotels charge it and if the name isn't on that list, that hotel very likely does not charge it (although you should check when booking just to be safe).
My preferred hotel in NY, the Omni Berkshire, does not charge this fee.

I can understand it if you're going to an actual resort where you may want to use their snorkeling gear or use a beach umbrella and those costs should be covered by the resort fee. But this destination fee in NY -- what a ripoff!!!!

goddesstogo is offline  
Aug 31st, 2019, 05:17 PM
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where you may want to use their snorkeling gear or use a beach umbrella and those costs should be covered by the resort fee.
”may” is the operative word. Since I “may not”, why should it be mandatory. And if it’s mandatory, why isn’t it just built into the price of the room. Infuriating.
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Aug 31st, 2019, 05:17 PM
  #3  
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You're so right gtg. I wish they would force the hotels to quote the entire price when booking as it often makes a substantial difference. I call BS too!!
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Aug 31st, 2019, 06:28 PM
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by goddesstogo View Post

I can understand it if you're going to an actual resort where you may want to use their snorkeling gear or use a beach umbrella and those costs should be covered by the resort fee. But this destination fee in NY -- what a ripoff!!!!

Not even then. It's a short leap to charging for the sand that sticks to your feet while you're walking on the beach.
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Aug 31st, 2019, 06:39 PM
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Year before last my friend and I booked a 49.00 per night room at Treasure Island in Las Vegas and when all was charged and done that room became 110.00 per night. It's even worse now because they have added feeds to pay for the Raiders new stadium and most of the people who paid for it won't be able to afford to go to a game there.......sorry I digress, but it IS another fee and something I don't want to have to pay for, but there it is.

I told the last hotel I stayed at how pissed I was over all the fees. Just make the darn room 125.00 per night, fine, done, don't add all the crap, itemize it so you can rub my nose in it while I pay the bill. I'm trying to think when all this add on fee crap began? Can't recall.
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Aug 31st, 2019, 06:47 PM
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Resort/destination fees are fraudulent ways to appear to have a lower daily room rate and avoid the rather high hotel taxes that are based on a percentage of the room rate. A search result with the real rate (room plus mandatory fee) will cause a hotel to lose bookings to an apparently cheaper place that does use fees.. Customers are defrauded. Putting part of the real daily charge outside the apparent room rate defrauds the local taxing authority of revenus. It's like an ultra low priced airline that gets its money by charging fees. Will we see a hotel chain that rents its rooms for $1.99 a night with a $200 destination fee?
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Aug 31st, 2019, 08:40 PM
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Seems some people are trying to do something:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/trave...els-or-guests/
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Aug 31st, 2019, 09:21 PM
  #8  
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Well, I wish them luck but I think those fees are here.to stay,. I think a consumer strike is the most effective tactic and I'm going to make a point of seeking out hotels that don't charge resort fees as often as I can.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 04:09 AM
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I assume you are speaking of the Hyatt Centric.

It depends on the hotel in New York as to how valuable or not that fee you are talking about actually is. Last time we stayed in the city the fee in our hotel could be used toward a number of thing including food and drink. I don't like these fees either but to say they are totally useless and a total ripoff depends IMO on what the fee provides or can be used for.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 04:27 AM
  #10  
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I believe the fees are here to stay but we should be quoted the full price when booking.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 05:55 AM
  #11  
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Dukey, yes, you're right, it was the Hyatt Centric.
I think our 'treats' included a 10% discount on food (not drinks) in the hotel but as I never eat in the hotel anyway, it had no value to us. Free Wi-Fi was on there also and you get free wi-fi if you're a member of any loyalty program; same with bottled water; coffee and tea in room meant an Nespresso coffee maker and coffee makers have been in rooms since the beginning of time.
There were a few other discounts on things but even if you used them, the discounted amounts wouldn't add up to $30 a day.
By the way, at the Omni, if you're a member, they bring you hot coffee or tea in carafes every morning with real cups and saucers and cloth napkins. Now THAT's a perk and it costs me nothing!
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Sep 1st, 2019, 06:01 AM
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"Last time we stayed in the city the fee in our hotel could be used toward a number of thing including food and drink"

Sorry, I meant to add this. I think by 'drink' it was non-alcoholic, right? And the discount on food was probably 10%. So yes, if you ate three meals a day in the hotel maybe you used up the whole value of the fee but I'm guessing that wasn't the case. So say the two of you ate a $50 breakfast in the hotel every day. That's a $5 discount/day. You were probably paying $30 a day in fees. Wouldn't you rather pay the full price of your breakfast (or whatever other 'offer' you use) and not pay the fee?
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Sep 1st, 2019, 06:22 AM
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I booked the Hyatt for the DC gtg next weekend a few months ago. I was looking at the site in May and there was a small notice that all new and existing reservations would be subject to $20/night resort or destination fee. Pissed me right off.

I called to nicely complain about it and got my rate reduced, but not enough to cover the daily fee. There’s a $10/day food credit, but I don’t eat at the hotel, and it doesn’t include alcohol. The only useful thing is s $3 Metro card.

I wish they’d do it like the airlines and travel companies where they have to quote the full price right up front, inclusive of fees and extra charges. No surprises, and no annoyance when you click through to book.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 06:26 AM
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I have no idea how they can get away with adding that fee to existing reservations, sugarmaple. Isn't that called 'bait and switch'? I'm not sure but I think that's illegal.
Any chance you'd book a non-fee hotel and cancel at the Hyatt and let them know why?
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Sep 1st, 2019, 06:49 AM
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That’s what I thought, it shouldn’t apply to an existing reservation, right? They weren’t moving off that no matter what I said. Fortunately, someone posted on FB a better price so I grabbed that, and it resulted in a better than expected price, even with the fee.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 09:04 AM
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Pisses me off too. It's getting harder and harder to find a hotel in Vegas that doesn't charge a resort fee. I refuse to pay them, which limits my hotel choices, but since Vegas isn't a big draw for us anymore, easy enough to avoid.

Sorry to hear it's catching on elsewhere. Just tell me what the total price is up front! I feel the same way about airlines.

Also recently looked at a hotel in Auckland that came to the top of the page due to it's low price, only to click through to the booking page to discover the taxes were more than the hotel. What a bunch of crap.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 09:15 AM
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Melnq8, our airlines now have to show the total price right upfront. Same with all inclusives and tours. It makes it so much easier when comparing flights or packaged trips. Seems like a no brainer now, although the airlines didn’t much care for it at the time.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 09:22 AM
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The hotels want the lowest "base room rate" possible so that the hotel will come up first when travelers use booking sites and search by "lowest rate". Also apparently it has something to do with travel agents and booking sites taking their 10% or 8% fee or whatever they get. Like in the Treasure Island example above, the booking site/travel agent gets $4.90 per night on a $49.00 room but would have gotten $11.00 per night had Treasure Island just made the room rate all-inclusive.

If you use "booking.com" I've noticed that they always include a little blurb noting "destination fees" and "resort fees" under the room rate and say that they are not included and will be collected at check-in time.

Last edited by clarkgriswold; Sep 1st, 2019 at 09:25 AM.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 09:32 AM
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To answer what I believe was the question: no, our fee was fully applicable toward food and drink.
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Sep 1st, 2019, 09:41 AM
  #20  
ira
 
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What difference does it make what they call it?

Upon booking they give you the whole price: room, bkfst, destination fee, room tax, sales tax, parking, refrigerator stocking fee, toilet bowl cleanser, etc.

If you can find a cheaper place, go there.

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