Many of you are probably familiar with resort fees, whereby resorts charge a mandatory daily fee that covers basic hotel amenities. It’s nothing but a sneaky way to artificially raise rates by not clearly disclosing fees up front and screwing travel agents out of commission (since they would earn a commission on base rates, but not a resort fee).
Well, it seems that we’re now seeing hotel fees, which sets a very bad precedent. Starting January 1, 2013, Le Parker Meridien New York City will charge a mandatory $10 “facilities charge,” which apparently includes the following:
- Wired or Wireless High Speed Internet Access for multi-devices in guestrooms, the lobby, restaurants and the bar.
- Unlimited use of gravity fitness Center.
- Unlimited use of the penthouse pool.
- Unlimited toll free and local calls from your in room phone.
Even worse than a mandatory charge is that they don’t disclose it upfront. When you look at the price breakdown on spg.com while making a booking at the hotel, this is what’s displayed for a sample date search:
As a matter of fact the only way to even know about the fee is through the “Special Conditions” tab that appears on the initial search page.
Not only is the concept of a mandatory fee at a city hotel (let alone a resort) ridiculous, but even worse is the complete lack of disclosure on this. I really hope they reconsider, or at least very clearly disclose this clearly at the time of booking. Also, I hope this is waived for Platinum members, as they receive free internet anyway, so are the ones that would really get screwed by a policy like this.
(Tip of the hat to Mike)