Resort fees are a growing trend in the travel industry, and for good reason: they’re a method for hotels to make extra money on guests without offering any additional services. Unfortunately, these fees can add up quickly, especially if you’re not expecting them. Not to mention they are simply an added cost to consumers that shouldn’t be necessary.

Today, we’ll evaluate your rights on resort fees and if you should bear the cost of them. Additionally, we’ll provide some tips on how to best avoid paying resort fees.

Resort Fees

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What Are Resort Fees?

Resort fees are charges that hotels levy on guests for “resort-like” amenities and services. This can include anything from the use of the pool or fitness center to in-room Wi-Fi or parking.

A relatively new phenomenon in the travel industry, having only become popular in the past few years. Many hotels began instituting these fees in order to make up for lost revenue after the Great Recession of 2008. In a struggling economy, people were less likely to spend money on travel, so hotels turned to alternative means of generating income.

Now a common practice among hotels and can vary in amount from $5 to $40 per night. Resort fees are also deceptively hidden under other terms like “amenities fee, “guest amenity fees,’ urban fees, ‘good life fees,’ ‘urban fees,’  ‘mandatory fees,’ or New York mandatory hotel fees.

Unfortunately, they are often not included in the initial room rate that is quoted to guests, which can lead to some nasty surprises when it comes time to check out.

What are Your Rights?

The unfortunate reality is that there is no federal law that specifically prohibits hotels from charging resort fees. This means that, as of now, it is within the hotel’s right to charge these fees without providing any additional services in return.

However, some states have begun to enact their own laws against resort fees. So far, California, Florida, Hawaii, and Nevada have all passed legislation banning these fees unless they are disclosed the fees upfront during the booking process. If you’re traveling to one of these states, be sure to check and see if the hotel you’re considering discloses any and all fees.

If your state has not yet enacted any such laws, there are still a few things you can do to try and avoid paying resort fees.

How To Spot Resort Fees

For a resort charge to be valid, the facility must disclose the fees upfront during the booking process. Finding one is difficult, especially when many resorts tack on a “destination” charge that is usually low value. While most companies excel at publishing the resort fee on their website, others are more deceptive.

Resort fees can be a bit tricky to spot (and that’s done on purpose), but often they will be included in the booking process. However, some resorts will not include the fee in the initial booking, so it is important to be aware of what to look for.

Some common signs that a resort charges a resort fee are if the resort has a golf course or spa on-site, or if there is a mandatory restaurant dress code. If you are not sure whether a resort charges a resort fee, it is always best to contact the resort directly.

Are These Fees Worth It?

I think it’s a total scam. However, the answer to this question depends on the individual guest. Some people may find that the extra amenities and services provided by the hotel are worth the fee, while others may not. It is important to read over the list of services offered by the hotel and decide for oneself whether or not they are worth the added cost. And, will you use the amenities that the resort fee covers?

Some people may find that the extra amenities and services provided by the hotel are worth the resort fee, while others may not. It is important to read over the list of services offered by the hotel and decide for oneself whether or not they are worth the added cost.

Resort fees are generally not refundable, though there may be some exceptions depending on the resort. It is important to check with the resort directly to find out their policy on refunds.

Most resorts do not offer refunds for their resort fees, but there may be some exceptions depending on the particular hotel. It is always best to contact the resort directly to find out their policy.

Resort Fees

Can You Dispute Resort Fees?

You can dispute resort fees by talking to the hotel’s management. 

Sometimes the best way to get what we want is by asking. The person won’t always say yes, but most people will at least hear you out. And if they say no, it doesn’t hurt that you tried – and it shows that your expectations were realistic instead of inflated.

In the case of resort fees, it’s important to remember that – much like baggage fees – they’re not mandatory. If you feel like you didn’t get your money’s worth by paying the resort fee, speak up and ask if it can be waived.

You might be surprised at how many hotels are willing to waive the fee, especially if you can make a case for why you didn’t use the hotel’s amenities. Just be polite, and don’t be afraid to ask.

Resorts fees are becoming increasingly common across the country, and unfortunately, they often come with a lot of unexpected costs. But there are ways to avoid them – or at least try to get them waived.

What Can You Do To Avoid Paying A Resort Fee?

There are several things that you can do to avoid paying a resort fee. The most obvious is simply not to stay at a resort that charges a resort fee. However, if you do want to stay at a resort that charges a fee, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the amount that you have to pay.

Here’s how to think about it and to approach avoiding these ridiculous fees.

Tips On How to Fees

There are a few different ways that guests can avoid paying resort fees.

Look for a hotel without resort fees

When looking for a hotel, it’s important to consider whether or not they charge a resort fee. Resort fees can add up quickly and can often be avoided by booking through a third-party website or by calling the hotel directly. Be sure to compare prices between different hotels to find the best deal.

Looking for a hotel without resort fees can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Certain websites, like Expedia and Orbitz, often have deals on rooms that include free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and other amenities. You can also call the hotel directly and ask about their rates; sometimes they’ll waive the resort fee if you book over the phone.

Book an award stay

When you use hotel points to book rooms, you’ll almost certainly avoid resort fees. The hotel loyalty program frequently eliminates resort fees based only on points rather than cash and point costs.

Marriott and Hilton regularly waive resort fees when providing rewards, much like other programs. Wyndham Rewards is famous for waiving resort charges during awards, but there have been similar announcements from Choice Privileges and IHG Rewards Club.

You can build a hotel points balance much faster by using a travel rewards credit card and staying loyal to one particular brand. That way you can score free nights and avoid resort fees.

Ask for bonus points

This is a method to get around resort fees. Many customers ask why they are being fees. When I check into a hotel, I typically follow the same procedure as when the staff member asks me how I’ve been.

The stay was wonderful, but I was furious because I had to pay for services that I thought were supposed to be complimentary. This is a great opportunity to ask for bonus points, which often offset the cost of resort fees.

Be persistent

If the hotel doesn’t waive the resort fee, be persistent. Politely ask to speak to a manager and explain that you’re not happy about having to pay for a service that you thought was complimentary. If the manager doesn’t agree to waive the fee, ask for a discount.

Many hotels will offer a discount if you plead your case.

How to Avoid Resort Fees

Use credit card rewards to negate the fees

When it comes to resort fees, using your credit card rewards can be a huge help. If you have a Capital One credit card, you can erase your resort fees by making your payment with them. You can also earn cashback and bonus miles by using your card for business expenses.

So, if you’re planning on taking a trip and have to pay a resort fee, be sure to use your credit card rewards to help offset the cost.

This isn’t going to get rid of the fee completely overnight but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Learn to spot resort fees when you book

To begin, familiarize yourself with the criteria you should evaluate when selecting a hotel. Fees are not something that comes up very often, but they may be recognized if you know what to search for. Resort fees are not usually shown first in searches on consumer websites. When you perform a search on Expedia.com for hotels, you will notice that the first thing that is displayed is the price of the room. Any additional fees, such as resort fees, are typically included in a line below the room price called “taxes and fees.”

The easiest way to avoid these surprise fees is to book with a travel agent or directly through the hotel’s website. By booking through a travel agent, you can avoid the fees altogether. If you book through the hotel’s website, the best way to avoid the fees is to call and ask about them upfront.

Don’t use the amenities; ask for fees to be removed or reduced

If you don’t plan on using the resort’s amenities, make sure to ask for the fees to be waived or reduced. This will allow you to politely ask the hotel manager to eliminate the charge if you’re not going to use any of the included services. If you have a high profile or stay at the resort often, they may be more likely to waive the fees.

Hotel managers usually concentrate more on providing a good client experience rather than only profits. If you don’t plan on using the resort’s amenities, make sure to ask for the fees to be waived or reduced. This will allow you to politely ask the hotel manager to eliminate the charge if you’re not going to use any of the included services.

Use ResortFeeChecker

ResortFeeChecker is a website that can help you save money on your vacation. It compares the prices of your hotel to the prices of other hotels in the area. It’s free to use, and all you need to do is type in the location of your hotel. The results will show you how much you could save by choosing a different hotel.

Remember to always read the fine print before you book a hotel. Many hotels charge resort fees, and these fees can add up quickly. By using ResortFeeChecker, you can be sure that you’re getting the best deal on your vacation.

Consider using a travel agent

You may also want to consider using a travel agent. Travel agents have access to special deals and discounts that you might not be able to find online. They can also help you plan your entire vacation, from airfare to hotel reservations.

There are pros and cons to using a travel agent. On the one hand, travel agents can help you find special deals and discounts that you might not be able to find online. They can also help you plan your entire vacation, from airfare to hotel reservations. This can be helpful if you’re not familiar with the process or if you’re not sure what you want.

On the other hand, using a travel agent can be expensive. Some agents charge a fee, and you may also have to pay for their services in addition to the cost of your vacation. It’s important to do your research before choosing a travel agent. Consider if the agent will be more expensive than the resort fee. If that’s the case, then it’s probably not worth using one.

Earn Elite Status with a Hotel Brand

By earning elite status with a hotel brand, you can enjoy a variety of benefits that will help you avoid paying resort fees. For example, Hyatt provides a variety of services and amenities to its guests, which can make your stay more enjoyable.

Additionally, by being an elite member, you may be eligible for special rates or discounts on room rates. So, if you’re looking to avoid paying resort fees, it’s a good idea to become an elite member with a hotel brand.

How to Avoid Resort Fees

Hotel Brands Policies on Resort or Hotel Fees

Wyndham

Unfortunately, from our experience, Wyndham aims to keep its hotel charges undercover. As soon as your reservation is completed, the resort fee is automatically applied, and there is no way to avoid it.

Marriott

Before you book a Marriott hotel, make sure to verify the resort fees. Pay close attention to the language of the fee disclosure. If you are charged each day, the flat rate is generally the per-person rate is based on your room charge.

Hilton

When guests decide on the room type, they will learn if they have to pay resort fees. The price is only revealed after clicking on each room.

IHG

The hidden charges on the IHGs website are exorbitant, and they aren’t even mentioned until after your reservation. Be wary of any fees that appear to be harmless.

Hyatt

The cost of the Hyatt resort is not mentioned until after you have made your reservation.

Destinations That Typically Charge Fees

Generally speaking, resorts destinations such as Las Vegas, Orlando, and Hawaii charge resort fees. Any resort-based location will typically have larger hotels and resorts that have a ton of amenities. By knowing this, you’ll be able to plan your trip better so that you can avoid any nasty surprises.

Some destinations, like Miami, will tack on a fee for simply staying on the beach. If you’re looking to avoid any added expenses, steer clear of these areas. However, some smaller towns and villages may not have any resort fees at all – do your research ahead of time to avoid any surprises.

Frequently Asked Questions About Resort Fees

Is it mandatory to pay resort fees in Vegas?

No, hotel fees are not allowed unless disclosed during booking. The resort’s fee violates Nevada’s deceptive commercial practices legislation.

Why does Marriott charge a resort fee?

In order to cover the costs of expensive luxury amenities like spas, golf courses, and large-scale parking, as well as maintain its high level of service at a hotel.

The fee is expected to cover additional services provided by the resort including internet access, transportation to and from the airport, a fitness center with gym equipment, and an outdoor pool. For major markets such as New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, the fee can reach $40 per night.

Can you refuse to pay resort fees in New York?

Yes, you can refuse to pay resort fees in New York.  Resort fees are in violation of New York’s Unfair Trade Practices Law and many Attorneys General are currently investigating hotel resort fees for being deceptive and misleading.

Closing Thoughts

Resort fees can be a huge expense when traveling, but there are ways to avoid them. By understanding what they are and how they work, you can make sure that you’re not surprised by any hidden charges when you go to check out. If you do encounter resort fees, don’t hesitate to ask the hotel for an exemption – most hotels are happy to waive these fees if you ask. Enjoy your vacation without worrying about extra expenses.

Looking for more Travel Hacks? Start here:

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Author Bio: Kyle Kroeger is the owner of ViaTraveler.com. ViaTravelers is a destination travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to help you explore the world. Follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.

 

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