Resort Fees are often viewed as merely a cash grab and a dishonest way for hotels to make a few extra bucks. But there is more to the story. Our FAQ explains the fees and their actual purpose from a hotels & guest perspective.
Resort Fees FAQ Questions & Answers
What is a Resort Fee?
Technically, a resort fee is an added charge to a hotel bill in exchange for value added amenities that go above and beyond standard hotel amenities. These fees were originally created for resorts, but have been widely adopted by hotels.
When will I pay the Resort Fee?
Usually a Resort Fee is paid upon check-out, and not on pre-arrival bookings. For example, if the hotel charges a $10 a night resort fee on a $40 room your original booking bill will be $40, and your departure bill will include an additional $10.
Why do Hotels and Resorts Charge this Fee?
There are three main reasons hotels charge these fees:
1. Lower Sticker Price
These fees are charged to keep the initial sticker price of a room as low as possible. For instance, some Las Vegas hotels charge $50 per night but also have a $30 resort fee. When searching for hotels on OTA’s (online travel agency) sites such as Expedia or Priceline, the hotel would now show up as a $50 per night hotel, instead of $80 per night.
2. Save on Commission
Usually when hotels sell rooms they have to pay OTA’s like Expedia or Priceline 15% commission on the room price.
For example, when a hotel sells a room for $50 on an OTA they have to pay $7.50 (15%) in commission, only keeping $42.50
When this same hotel makes their room $30 per night with a $20 resort fee they keep 100% of the resort fee. By doing this the hotel earns: $25.50 ($30 – $4.50 commission) and $20 for the resort fee, for a net $45.50
3. They actually provide value
Some hotels and resort actually provide an added value for the Resort Fee. In these instances some will waive the fee if you are willing to give up the bonus amenities.
How is this allowed?
This is a question that is constantly raised by consumer groups and even the FTC. To this point no real regulation has been put in place to eliminate the fees or for increased transparency?
Are Resort Fees Evil?
No. Resort Fees are simply a method that hotels use to offset sticker price and to lower commissions. The real issue comes when hotels either don’t provide value for the Resort Fee (for example $30 a night for Wi-Fi & Bottled Water) or purposely hide the Fees inside terms of services on booking pages.
What can I expect from ResortFees.com?
ResortFees.com will provide sortable listings on fees based on:
- Fee amount
- Fee inclusions
Aren’t these always changing? How can I stay on top of this before planning a trip?
Simple– use our website before booking and sign-up for our free email newsletter that sends out fee change updates, as well as any news on potential regulation and industry changes.