Category Archives: Hotel Properties

US$28.00 for Room Service for Four People — Food Not Included

One might think that $7 for each place setting at the New York Hilton is a phenomenally incredible deal if one was catering an affair or event at a hotel located in Midtown Manhattan.

Alas, that is the charge for room service per setting if one orders four plates, four glasses, and four forks, which are to be used with food brought in from outside the hotel property — and the per-setting charge does not include taxes, fees or gratuities.

While some people may be appalled by the charge, there are others who have never encountered this situation before, and there are still others who would not be surprised in the least. However, one might argue why one would expect room service to deliver place settings if one did not order their food with their room service. Also, does the hotel property not have a right to at least be compensated for the cost of having someone deliver the place settings, as well as the cost of cleaning them once they are used?

Is this a form of hotel “fee” with which you have encountered?

Are Airlines Following the Model of Hotels?

Is it rather odd that one can spend as little as $50.00 for a room at a property such as a Hampton Inn and receive such amenities as free continental breakfast, free Internet service and free local telephone calls; yet if one stays at a Hilton hotel for $150.00, those amenities are not included but rather only available for an extra charge?

Interestingly, both Hampton Inn and Hilton are part of the Hilton Worldwide family of properties. However, Hilton is only being used as an example, as many global lodging companies practice similar policies between their lower-end and higher-end brands.

Now the larger airlines are charging for what seems to be a fee for anything that is not bolted down, yet certain low-cost airlines offer the same services and products for no extra charge to the airfare.

Is this sustainable?

Given, the legacy carriers offer a number of products and services not offered by some low-cost carriers, such as an extensive route network, upgrades, international destinations and increased frequency of flights on many routes. Similarly, higher-end hotel properties offer concierge services, more toiletries in each room, turn-down service and valet parking.

Does the user experience at higher-end lodging properties and legacy airlines significantly surpass that of their lower-end counterparts? Even if it does, is it worth all of the additional fees levied on their customers in recent years on top of their already-higher costs?

It is possible to get a reasonably comfortable seat on a low-cost carrier, as well as a reasonably comfortable bed in which to sleep at a lower-end lodging property. With the advent of ancillary fees, are legacy airlines and higher-end hotel properties “nickling and diming” their customers away and driving them to the lower-cost options?

Because of increased prices and ancillary fees, are the lower-cost options no longer for those who view airlines only as a means of transportation and lodging only as a place to sleep?

$5.50 Resort Fee For a $36.00 Rodeway Inn Room

It is one thing to pay a resort fee at a fancy property somewhere in the Caribbean where one can sip piña coladas while lounging at poolside under a palm tree swaying in the light breeze with a view of the deep azure sea nearby. True, those mandatory resort fees are usually overpriced and sometimes inexplicable, but at least the atmosphere and environment of the resort exceeds the frustration of possibly being gouged…

…but to pay a mandatory $5.50 resort fee per day for a $36.00 room at a Rodeway Inn property in Kissimmee, Florida near Walt Disney World is outrageous and a scam, according to some people.

A representative from one property in California claims “that all hotels less than a mile from Disneyland are required to charge it” because the properties themselves within what is known as the Anaheim Resort District are charged in order for the signage in the area to be more visually appealing. Could this be the case in Florida as well?

Harrah’s Entertainment Boasts No-Fee Hotel Properties in Las Vegas

Competitor hotel properties in Las Vegas grossed $12 million in June on new ancillary fees for unbundled hotel resort services formerly included with the room rate, such as charges for placing telephone calls or using the pool, according to Harrah’s Entertainment as reported in an article by United Press International, or UPI.

However, Harrah’s Entertainment reportedly is bucking the trend of charging its guests ancillary fees for unbundled hotel resort services, as it attempts to position itself as the no-fee business amongst hotel properties in Las Vegas.

There Are Fees for Air Conditioning and Towels?!?

Yes, there are ancillary fees for such amenities as toiletries, towel rental, air conditioning, hair dryer, Internet connection, room cleaning and other fees if you stay at a Tune Hotel, which advertises “5-star beds at 1-star prices.”

Not only can you see all of the Tune Hotel add-ons, but you may also view the Tune Hotels Fee Schedule which, depending on the hotel property in which you stay, includes fees for such services as administration, cancellations, name changes, call centre bookings, luggage storage and credit card processing, amongst other fees.

Tune Hotels is a natural extension of its founder, who also launched AirAsia, a Malaysia-based low-cost airline.

The concept is clear: why pay for amenities you may not need if all you want is a bed in which to sleep in a comfortable, clean room?

We are not knocking this concept; rather, we think it is a good idea if you know what fees you might expect to pay before you travel. That $53 room rate may actually be a real bargain if you do not need a towel or air conditioning…