If a hotel claims “Rates from $29” what that might actually mean is “Rates from $29 plus a semi-hidden fee of $14.99”. Woah! So now your room is 50% more expensive than the hotel advertised? The difference is the dreaded “Resort Fee”. It is mandatory, but never really explained.
For the most part, the fees are masked in fine print or in “Terms and Conditions” that you have to click through to read. In some cases, we couldn’t find any fee explanations on the hotel web sites, so we had to write and ask. On almost all sites, they don’t even add them in when they give you a “total” cost for a reservation.
What do you get for your “Resort Fee”? In almost all cases, nothing you don’t get included in the basic rate at a Super 8 or Holiday Inn. The facy hotels give you “more” for the resort fee, but you are also paying more. Before “Resort Fees”, you had the option to opt in to things such as wi-fi. At some hotels you’ll also get things like free incoming faxes and a gift shop discount. (Big whoop). The fees are also explained by the resorts as a way to cover the cost of free self-parking, lounge entertainment, energy, pool access and pool towels.