Resort fees - agree or diagree?

Old Oct 6th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Resort fees - agree or diagree?

I just booked a night at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, FL using Starpoints. After making the reservation, I was informed that there is a $16 per day resort fee. I am slightly annoyed - why charge extra for the facilities and make customers feel they are being nickel and dimed? Or just don't make the fees mandatory, charge guests on a per use basis. I'm not planning on making any local calls or using the shuttle to their sister property, but if I did then I would pay for it. I was thinking I would have a completely free room - the whole reason why I hoard Starpoints (although free is not really the case - I have spent about $4,000 to earn 10,000 points but that is a whole other issue.) Here is what the fee includes:

* Complimentary shuttle service between The Westin and The Country Club
* In-room coffee
* Use of the Westin Health Club
* Unlimited in-room internet access
* Complimentary domestic long distance calls in continental United States
(1 hour max. per call)
* Complimentary local, calling card and toll-free calls (1 hour max. per call)

So, should we travelers just accept resort fees as a part of life now?
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 08:33 AM
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I don't mind the resort fees as long as I am taking advantage of the amenities.

However, I've never had a problem getting a resort fee removed if I don't use the amenities.

Most of the time they include things like beach chairs, bottled water, and gym access which are all things I use at a resort.
 
Old Oct 6th, 2004, 08:35 AM
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If you use the health club, get on the internet and make long distance calls every day, that more than makes up for the fee. If you don't use any of those services, do you still have to pay the fee?
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 08:39 AM
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I don't understand these fees either. If everyone has to pay them, why not just raise the room rate to cover these expenses? Being told I have to pay for amenities I don't use is annoying.
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 08:42 AM
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I don't know where "accept" or "not accept" comes into it--this just seems like a hotel pricing policy. Many of the things on the list are in fact ones that many hotels charge for separately, and the aggregate cost could amount to much more than $16 a day if one used them all. I think you are just miffed at having to pay ANYthing for your "free" room. But resort fees are very common, especially in Florida.
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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pdxgirl, hotel room rates fluctuate wildly from room to room within a certain range.

Guests complain about being nickle and dimed to death but are much more accepting of the resort fee.

You can count on the resort fee to cover certain expenses and budget accordingly.

You can't do that by trying to add this into the room rate.
 
Old Oct 6th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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Dan
 
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Resort fees are annoying but not nearly as bad as fees to use the in-room safe, "fuel surcharges" and the like.
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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Three thoughts come to mind:
1. Since you are using Starpoints and are paying nothing for the room itself, it's obvious that this policy enables the hotel to collect $16 that it wouldn't have collected had it been included in the room "charge" (points in your situation).
2. That's the hotel's policy. You may not like it, but it's there. Obviously, the best way to show your displeasure is not to go there again. But, then, you were using points, so what would the hotel be losing?
3. I would think your complaint might be more effective (i.e., get better results) if you were paying cash for the room.
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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I would be more than willing to pay a fee for something I was going to use. But, I never use the hotel phone and rarely use the health club. If I did, then I would certainly pay for these services. At check-out, I will ask to see if I could get the $16 waived if I do not end up using any of the services that the fee covers.

And yes, I am miffed that I have to pay anything for my "free" room. It seems like less of a "deal" when fees become involved. Silly I know. But Starwood makes beaucoup bucks off of me and my husband (about 35 nights a year) so it would be nice to stay someplace for a night with all charges waived I'm sure the Westin will be fantastic and I won't give the charge a second thought but it was a surprise to me when agent told me about the fee after I made the reservation.
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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kcap, why don't you call the hotel (which is stunning by the way, it will knock your socks off), ask to speak with the Rooms Division Manager, GM, or AGM and explain your situation.

Tell that person how many room nights a year your family stays with Westin, that you stay there by choice, and you would like to have the resort fee removed.

One big plus you have going for you is that parking is on resort grounds so they don't contract out parking. Also, there is very little beach at the Westin so they cannot contract out beach chair and umbrella companies whom they have to pay.

The pool is so stunning, it makes up for lack of beach.

If you want to go to the beach, drive about six blocks north and turn right on Azalea. That is one of the most beautiful beaches in South Florida.
 
Old Oct 6th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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IMO, a "resort" (since when did so many hotels start calling themselves that??) can't have it both ways. If they're going to separate certain amenities from the room rate and charge extra for them, they should permit guests to opt out of using those amenities. This just doesn't pass the logic test: if the fee is mandatory, why isn't it part of the room rate? I think resort fees are shabby, and would tell the GM and anyone else who would listen so in no uncertain terms.
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Author: E
Date: 10/06/2004, 01:43 pm
Message: IMO, a "resort" (since when did so many hotels start calling themselves that??)

Actually, E, I think they started that the same time they started wedging a love seat in at the end of a standard motel room and calling it a "suite" or at least a "junior suite".

I was under the impression that these fees were not an option. But I'd yell and scream BEFORE not AFTER staying there if I didn't plan to use any of those services.
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 11:06 AM
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"Hotel room rates fluctuate wildly from room to room within a certain range.
You can count on the resort fee to cover certain expenses and budget accordingly." I still don't get it, GoTravel. If everyone has to pay the fee, why can't you add it on to all the room rates? The fee is not presented as an option but as a mandatory fee for all guests, regardless of the rate for a particular room.
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Old Oct 6th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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I'd bet the O.P. (as well as myself) doesn't care if the room was free or was $500. - whatever the stated price should be it. Final. Any surcharges should be optional, both for the use of the service, and being charged for it, not a compulsory surcharge.

Taking the "resort fee" concept to extremes, a hotel could advertise $15 rates, but then add on fees for electric, beds, water, sewage ... etc. The rate should be exactly that.

In the case of franchise properties, I question if this is a tactic to avoid paying full license fees to the franchiser, as they're usually based on "room revenue". And even though advantageous to the guest, I wonder if they circumvent local lodging taxes by calling this something else than "room".

Q: If you call a dog's tail a "leg", then how many legs does a dog have?

A: 4, of course. Calling something a leg doesn't make it so, anymore than calling room charges a "resort fee" make them something else.
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Old Oct 7th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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I hate resort fees! Are not the amenities what make the property a resort? If you are staying at a resort you expect to have things like in room coffee, internet access and a health club. They should be included in the price of the room. Does anyone use the room phone anymore now that we have nationwide cellular service? What to me is ironic is that we stayed in a Holiday Inn this summer and all these things were included. (And breakfast!)
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Old Oct 7th, 2004, 04:56 PM
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There is nothing I dislike more than being nickel & dimed. Please, please, please just include whatever you need in the bill. Restaurants that charge $.35 extra for blue cheese dressing, carnivals that charge one price for all rides but the best ones, hotels who have fridges available for a price, campgrounds who penalize you for bringing 3 kids instead of two. It's endless. What a wonderful life it would be if you could simply pay a specific amount upon turning 40 (halfway) and then do everything at your leisure. Maybe $25, 000 for campers & budget hotels, $50,000 for Holiday Inn type places and $200,000 for the Ritz crowd. You could eat, fly, and stay all on the same one-time payment. Distribution could be decided by the CEOs of the involved parties. Then I woke up and had to pay a charge for the alarm clock.
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Old Oct 7th, 2004, 06:18 PM
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Unless I am misinformed, I believe this is a tax issue. There is a differentiation between what is being "sold" and the tax laws for each are different. This is why they are separate.
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