The Grand Hyatt New York Has A New $25 Destination Fee

Yesterday I wrote about how the Sheraton New York Times Square and St. Regis New York have added daily “destination charges,” of $25 and $50, respectively. Those aren’t even all the Starwood properties in New York that have new destination charges, as several other properties have added them as well.

This is obviously a money-grab from hotels that’s intended to mimic resort fees that are in place at some resorts. Of course they’re ridiculous, though the reason we’re seeing these fees spread is that:

  • They’re a way for hotels to try and get more revenue without increasing the room rate
  • It works out better for them than an increase in the room rate, since they don’t have to pay travel agents a commission on the destination fee; in some areas it also allows them to skirt the typical occupancy tax that otherwise applies on the room rate
  • Loyalty program members don’t earn points on the destination/resort fee, so the hotel saves money there as well
  • For those traveling on government business, the resort/destination fee is reimbursable on top of whatever the limit is, so it allows government employees to spend more on hotels

I’m not surprised to see several Starwood hotels introduce this fee as of February 1, 2018, though they’re not the only NYC hotels to add fees as of that date. The Grand Hyatt New York has added a new $25 destination fee. This daily fee applies to the first seven nights of a guest’s stay, “and the hotel may decide to waive the fee thereafter.”

I also love how the hotel is marketing this:

This fee will focus on providing opportunities for guests to enjoy the “New York experience” highlighting attractions close to its location including local neighborhoods and Grand Central Station. The goal is to enhance the guest experience and provide opportunities to explore Grand Central and the surrounding area.”

How nice of them!

Here’s what’s included with the Grand Hyatt’s $25 daily destination fee:

  • High speed premium internet
  • Local, long distance and international calls
  • $15 food and beverage credit in hotel Market per room per day
  • Access to daily New York Times & Financial Times via in-room app
  • Grand Central self-guided audio tour for two per stay
  • Seasonal rooftop tour viewing NYC skyline
  • Exclusive Grand Central coupon book with discounts and free offers for Grand Central Terminal vendors
  • Macy’s VIP passport which includes 15% discount on regular and sale merchandise, 20% off food and beverage & complimentary fine jewelry & “MyStylist” personal shopper
  • Luggage storage upon check in (up to four (4 bags) and upon check out (maximum eight (8) hours)

The good news is that the Grand Hyatt’s daily destination fee is waived for World of Hyatt Globalist members. This is a nice feature of Globalist status, as both resort and facility fees are waived for eligible members. I guess we’ll have to see if over time they decide to change that policy on some technicality (“this isn’t a facility fee, but rather a destination fee”), but for now that’s great news, as it’s a Hyatt-wide policy.

Furthermore, those who booked before the fee was introduced shouldn’t have to pay it either. However, you may have to specifically ask for it to be removed at check-out.

This fee isn’t yet being charged at other NYC Hyatt hotels, though I suspect it’s only a matter of time…

Comments

  1. Lucky – I am curious: can you confirm whether these destination fees are taxed at the prevailing local sales tax rate, or whether they are subject to the (higher) room / occupancy tax?

    Like fees for the airlines, it seems there is a desire to charge a higher room rate without subjecting a portion of it to certain taxes that only apply to the room.

  2. @ keitherson — Hah, no. The Sheraton was the first one I found out about it, which is why I wrote about it. I wrote about the St. Regis because it’s the first time I’ve seen a luxury hotel in NYC do that. As you can see, I didn’t write about the other SPG properties. I wrote about the Grand Hyatt because it’s the first Hyatt property to do so.

  3. You’re also forgetting that many franchise fees are based on the brands getting a percentage of rooms revenue from the hotel. The resort fees are also a way for owners to try and exempt a portion of their revenue from paying franchise fees.

  4. Hey Lucky,

    If the Travel Agent (I.e Expedia) collects the payment for the rooms and it’s not a government tax, the Hotels will pay a commission on those fees unless it’s listed as Pay At Hotel

  5. “Local, long distance and international calls”. Who in today’s world uses this? Nobody makes international calls anymore as you have tons of ways to do this for free. Also, I would imagine that most hotels have some sort of VoIP system which basically means these calls cost them absolutely nothing.

  6. I fully predict that these will be illegal within the next few years, unless some (smart) hotel chain starts a brilliant no-fee marketing campaign and shames everyone else into decency.

    This is just pure greed, and so surprising that customers are willing to go along with it, especially frequent travelers who ought to know better and be ashamed of themselves if they go along.

    The only time I pay a resort fee is when I know everyone’s doing it and there’s simply no way around it, such as the beach. In areas where it is clearly avoidable, it’s an automatic rule-out for me.

    So, here’s hoping to 2018 travel trends: Elimination of emotional support animal privileges & hotel resort fees gone!

  7. I am always surprised when “full-service” hotels don’t provide really basic service. A limit on bag storage to a few hours? I mean, literally any hostel in the world will hold your bags all day, and often for a couple days if you are popping out for a hike or similar. To not only charge for this, but to limit the time to 4-8 hours – what exactly are the “full service” things one is paying for at a hotel like this?

  8. What kevincure said. It wasn’t that long ago that $$ brands were still charging $30 or more daily for basic wifi, while less “prestigious” hotels simply provided it for all guests.

    It really is just a money grab … because they think they can. Perhaps not factoring in the ill-will it generates. I am far less likely to stay at IHG (for instance) as they were among the worst offenders with the absurd wifi fees. Coming soon: Oh, you wanted pillows on the bed? That’ll be a $50 bedding fee. And $25 tap fee to turn the water on.

    Stay at AirBnB’s. You might even meet some nice folks.

  9. Problem solved
    Its simple I will never set foot in one of these hotels that do that.
    Taxes are outrageous as it is
    The cost of a single night in NYC has now become absurd.

  10. What a BS fee. The only thing of real value is the $15 credit (maybe), all other things are items that are of little use / should be free anyway. Just a way to increase their price. These hotels should be forced to include these mandatory fees in the advertised nightly rate when people compare prices, as a consumer protection.

  11. Hate these hidden fees – should be laws against it. However, if you call your own, premium rate international line it might work out profitable…

  12. I hate getting nickeled and dimed! I’d rather pay $25 more for the room! Last week at the Hyatt Mission Bay San Diego I ordered a glass of wine. A 3% swim surcharge was added to the total. On the other side of the pool at the restaurant (that also serves takeout) there is no surcharge. Grrr.

  13. So Luggage Storage is now considered a premium perk that justifies incremental fees??? did they previously charge for such a generous benefit – or will other Hyatt’s decline to store luggage until they are paid for the incremental burden to their business?

    Surmise they are just trying to come up with list of “benefits” to justify charge, but this is absurd.

  14. The Grand Hyatt in NYC has a strange union rule that results in the baggage storage fee. They have been charging $2 per bag and enforced a strictly no overnight storage policy for at least 5 years now. It originated from a dispute in pay with management where European tourists don’t tip the bellmen.

  15. Yet another diminution of benefits for Discoverists – high speed internet is supposed to be one of them. I assume they don’t reduce the fee for us.

  16. Anybody remembers when paying airline ticket also included checked luggage, seat selection and (somewhat) edible meal? Now these are offered as “additional” service charge, and we are left with crowded overheads, split families/travel companions and airport food that stinks up the whole plane. At least these are still “optional”. Car dealerships do the same, there are thousands of dollars worth of “dealeship fees” in various names that are NOT advertised and do not represent the value of the car. You just got great deal and bought the car for 30k? How about those 6k in various fees (transportation, marketing, delivery??? fee), you car is actually worth 24k.
    Obscure pricing is hallmark of lowest-price-wins consumerism. The fact that price looks lower for mass market is hiding the plethora of confusion about actual cost.

    Hate this trend with passion, but if history is any indication, I’m on losing side.

  17. Absurd. Rooms in NYC are already prohibitively expensive most of the time. And the hotels wonder why they are losing business to Airbnb.

  18. Destination fee, huh? Okay.

    I can’t wait to tell hotel staff that any and all tips are now being paid via “the destination charge”.

    Don’t like that? Please go complain to the hotel’s General Manager.

  19. I’m generally a big fan of Hyatt. I’m also generally against overly excessive government intervention. However, with moves like this I think it might be time for some legislation to be filed to force hotels to be transparent with the specific price. When I buy an airline ticket I see the whole price including all fees and numerous little charges. I hate surprises based on lame fine print that nobody reads and most of all BS fees for BS services.

    What’s next? A roof fee? Maybe a $10 mattress fee? How about a fee for a toilet lid (the lid is an extra benefit, your don’t *really* need it.

  20. This is ridiculous. It is like a low cost airline adding fees for extra services and in this case maybe some services that a guest does not want . Can a guest refuse charge and say he/she does not want the services ? If a guest is in the city for 2 nights and one day of business meetings then unlikely to have time to access services like a Macy discount !!!

  21. Just book a 4 star hotel instead , some great hotels at good value without big brand names and without these extra charges .

  22. Lucky while World Of Hyatt Globalist member get the fee waived do they still receive the $15 food and beverage credit and the other “benefits”.

  23. So in airlines world, for fee to be a “fee” there should be a way to avoid it.
    I was always wondering, is it theoretically possible to ask at checkout to not give me high speed internet, long distance calls and access to award-winning gym and not pay the resort fee?

  24. Marriott Marquis NYC added $25 daily fee, too. Only thing that’s a benefit is in-room internet (which costs them nothing anyway). What a rip.

  25. I called Grand Hyatt New York about a reservation made before the fee was implemented. They told me it won’t apply to my reservation even if it shows up on my reservation.

    World Hyatt customer service on Facebook’s Messenger, on the other hand, said the fee cannot be waived.

    So if you are in the same situation, contact the hotel directly instead of going through Messenger.

    This is seriously bad form.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *