How to Spot Those Pesky (and Expensive) Lodging Fees


Resort fees have been made more explicit by many hotels rather than being bundled into room rates. As an example, the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., a Marriott Luxury Collection resort, lists on its website the amenities guests receive for a daily fee of $45 per room: Wi-Fi (worth $14.95), morning yoga ($30), an hour of tennis ($75), an hour of pickleball ($75), bikes ($35), and a craft beer tasting.

According to the A.H.L.A., room revenue is expected to drop nearly $44 billion in 2021 compared to 2019, which could make fees more appealing.

Professor John O’Neill, director of the Hospitality Real Estate Strategy Group at Pennsylvania State University, wrote in an email that “my research shows that large, full service resort hotels have been hurt particularly badly by Covid, and they’re still reeling from its effects,” he wrote. “Partitioned pricing,” he continued, is a practise where a fee is mandatory but designated for a specific service, such as baggage fees at airlines or resort fees at hotels that cover Wi-Fi and more.

Some fees have been put on hold for now. There is no resort fee at the Hilton Santa Monica Hotel & Suites, which includes a rooftop pool, and basic Wi-Fi costs $9.95, while the fastest service costs $14.95. The $39 fee, which will cover beach yoga and loaner bikes, won’t be implemented until 2023.

The administration fee at Mohonk Mountain House in New York’s Hudson Valley has been reduced from 15% to 5%. It plans to raise rates by about 7% in 2022 to cover the rising costs of wages and supplies.

The cost of cleaning and the cost of paying are increasing.

Despite the fact that masks and air circulation have proven to be far more effective at preventing the spread of Covid-19, there are still strict cleaning protocols in place at all types of lodging establishments. The additional cleaning required by the pandemic in vacation rentals increased guest fees because it required more time and materials.

While cleaning fees have been rising since 2017, they spiked after October 2020, when travel began to rebound, according to Joseph DiTomaso, founder and CEO of vacation rental market analytics firm AllTheRooms, which found that cleaning fees had been rising since 2017. “It’s an additional cost that’s being passed on.”