You pay resort fees – make sure you get what you pay for


Commonly seen as a nuisance on hotel folios, the additional living costs can make you cringe. In addition to the cost of your room – and additional taxes – hotels add a daily living charge to your bill to cover the cost of amenities during your stay. These can range from $ 25 to $ 50 per day, per room. And, if you’re traveling with an extended family, these daily reviews can dramatically reduce your vacation budget.

“Hotel resort charges are not optional, they are just added to your bill,” said Sara Rathner, Travel Expert at NerdWallet.

Make the most of hotel costs

Instead of bemoaning the expense, a change in mindset could help you get more out of your trip. If you find out all the benefits you are entitled to for the fees and use the amenities, you can get the most out of your hotel experience.

“Hotel fees can be a nasty surprise when you check out, but they often support the services you enjoy while staying at hotels – pool service, clean towels, connected concierges, and even discounts on local attractions. “, Molly Fergus, spokesperson for TripSavvy, mentioned.

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The best approach, she said, is to research the fees up front and then come up with a plan to maximize the amenities.

“The benefits included are usually tailored to the destination itself, so there’s a good chance that you will experience the trip even more if you take advantage of the hotel’s recommendations. After all, the worst-case scenario is paying the expense. and miss out on all the benefits, ”Fergus says.

Collect your earnings on resort fees

Resort fees and services vary by property and go beyond a fitness center, towels, and pool access. The fun part is finding unique resort amenities that are a great compromise for what you will pay.

Fergus cites a few properties with notable benefits:

  • At Thompson Seattle Hotel, which is part of the Hyatt corporation, the daily resort fee of $ 25 includes rashes and explosive trips from the Coupe Rokei lounge
  • At Andaz Maui Wailea, which is part of the Hyatt company, the resort fee of $ 48 includes a daily outrigger canoe excursion, plus yoga and Pilates classes, mixology classes, stand-up paddleboarding, rental bicycles and snorkeling gear to use
  • At Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville resort in Times Square, the city tax of $ 49.95 / night may be justified, especially for the swimming pool. Only hotel guests can swim in the outdoor pool overlooking Times Square, an exciting new addition to the Big Apple.

Other attractive resort fee benefits

► Embrace nostalgia: Guests from Kimpton Alton Hotel, part of IGH Hotels & Resorts in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, pays a daily fee of $ 30 that offers unique perks: Victrola in-room record players and a lending vinyl library; loan of retro-inspired board games; and a $ 5 daily credit to the locally inspired Bodega onsite.

► Be an outdoor guest: The Kimpton marlowe in Cambridge, Massachusetts, charges a daily fee of $ 20 which includes inclusions like ready-to-use Polaroid cameras and GoPro cameras to explore Boston’s sights, backyard night movies (available seasonally), paddleboards, kayaks, sleds, snowshoes, snowball manufacturers, hand warmers and gloves (seasonal availability, some on loan) and free access to a Hydrow rower when booking one of the Hydrow suites of the establishment.

► Learn a new hobby: Located in the northwest corner of Georgia, Barnsley seaside resort offers a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy on its 3,000 acres. Guests must pay a daily resort fee of $ 40 which covers catch and release fishing (including spinning rods and bait), canoe rentals, seasonal s’more supplies, and usage hiking and biking trails.

► Capture still images: At South Beach Loews Hotel Miami BeachThe $ 32-per-day fee offers services like access to the fitness center, beach chairs, paddleboards, and banana boat rides. But, the most unique benefit is a 45 minute photoshoot, which can normally cost hundreds of dollars. A professional photographer can capture the memories of your stay in South Beach. The photoshoot includes an individual review of the images and a free digital branding image. The guest also has the option to purchase more images through multiple packages. So if you are in Miami Beach for a family vacation, bachelorette party, marriage proposal, or need baby photos, this gear can save you money.

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Focus on the value, not the nuisance

Since your hotel’s resort fee is not optional, make sure you get what you pay for. Don’t worry when you see services you might not be using; shift your mindset towards what creates value for you. For example, if you can’t benefit from a late check-out but have an afternoon to relax, these living expenses can come in handy.

“Take advantage of the afternoon pool access, work out in the hotel’s gym, and shower in the locker rooms before boarding the plane,” says Fergus of TripSavvy.

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Also, ask at the front desk if there are any extras that they don’t necessarily promote. Ask about a pillow menu, upgraded toiletries, bathrobes, umbrellas, wine reception, transportation services like shuttles, premium Wi-Fi, or fitness classes available at gyms or off-site studios.

“Travelers miss all the amenities they have access to, but don’t use them,” Rathner explains with NerdWallet. If your hotel has perks, services, and facilities that you aren’t using, says Rathner, you’re not getting your money’s worth.

Try the resort fee loophole

There is a way to create a win-win travel experience and save money. For Hyatt and Hilton loyalists who book nights with points, these two brands waive resort fees. But make sure you only use points, fee waiver is not eligible for points and cash bookings. Wyndham also has a resort fee waiver policy, but some reports indicate that this fee waiver policy is not always enforced.


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