So you think you know the cost of your hotel stay

hotel pool areaI recently went to a nice hotel for a business seminar.  The published rate was $350.00 per night.  Ok.  That is high for me right now but the business seminar was my main focus. I naively thought that was it.  Let’s be honest, we never figure in the tax.  Ok.  Our bad.

So, you put in the tax (or taxes and that can be another $35.00 per night).  Then there is the nicely hidden fees that grab you by your jugular.  Almost always at a nice hotel there is a 20 percent service charge.  For what?  Isn’t that in their daily rate?  I guess not.  All you get is the room. Really!

So, let’s continue down the gauging path of high end hotels.  I entered the room and immediately noticed the wi-fi brochure. On the hotel website, all they say is complimentary high-speed wi-fi.  So, I opened my browser and to my shock the free wi-fi has the speed of a 1998 AOL dial-up!  To get the “high-speed” wi-fi, its $14.95 per day.  So, I try it for one day.  If you call speeds of 7 Mbps fast, then you never streamed anything.  You need at least 12 Mbps to stream.  So, their so-called high-speed option not only costs $14.95 a day, but it is useless.  So, I had to use my valuable data plan on my phone to get decent service.

Next is the infamous ‘facility fee.”  This one is just plain insulting and mind-boggling.  The fee is $35.00 a day.  No mention of it on the website.  For that fee, guests get to use the pool, beach and gym (not the spa).  Wow!  First, there is no choice. The fee is mandatory.  Second, are they saying that the standard resort services are not included in the room rate? Could you imagine if it were optional?  I can see it now.  I walk down to the pool at a high price resort, and a pool guard refuses me entrance to sit on a lounge chair.  Even the Comfort Inn has these things included!

The coup de grace is the valet parking fee.  Again, no option to park on the street, so another forced fee.  This ‘amenity’ to park your car in a place that has an abundance of land is a nauseating $45.00 a day!  If you want to be frugal, you can self park for $35.00 a day.  I thought the $22.00 parking fee at Citi Field was a rip off.  I just got a relative appreciation for the Mets parking prices. I never thought I would utter those words out of my mouth.

So, when you add up all the fees, the original $350 a night hotel room for my business trip cost $574.00 a night!  Thank god I had someone loan me the money!

So, it cost me 60% more than the stated published fee.  That did not even include the $6.00 Coca-Cola in the room’s mini bar. Needless to say I drank a lot of sink water thereafter.

The lesson is that the hotel industry has very sneaky fees and you should never assume that the fee you booked will be anything close to the final bill.

Just stay away from the $16.00 Margarita’s at the pool.  That will break the bank.

Categories: Business

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