Hotel Resort Fees: Looking for Some Kind of Value in These Unavoidable Fees

Maybe not everyone cares about the Resort Fees that some hotels charge, but they are high on my list of hotel pet peeves.  These Fees are just another way for hotels to make more money per reservation for little or no additional benefits to their guests. We need to do whatever we can to support travel industry efforts to force hotels to eliminate these mandatory costs for mostly “junk” services.  But in the meantime, we still have to deal with them.

Sometimes it is easier than others to find out what’s included in this unavoidable fee. But if I am going to be booking a hotel that has a Resort Fee, I want to know how much it is per night and what I am supposed to get for that money, so I am willing to dig a little if need be. The only way to get any value back from these fees is to make sure that you get all the items they promise (like tote bags and reusable water bottles) and use as many of the services that make sense during your stay.  That is just what I plan to do.

Since we are planning on spending 3 nights at a Hyatt property in Waikiki in October, I thought I would compare the Resort Fees at their 3 hotels to see what you can get for your Resort Fee money.

Resort Fee: Hyatt Centric Waikiki

When I looked up the Hyatt Centric on their app I simply clicked a Resort Fee link and immediately got this list.  So easy and user friendly.

Parking Fee $42 per night self parking or $45 per night valet parking

 

However, when I followed the same steps I used to identify the Hyatt Centric’s Resort Fee Inclusions for the Hyatt Place and the Hyatt Regency, it did not give me the same results.  I just got sent to another screen that said “Resort Fee”.  After a lot of googling on the web and scrolling and clicking on their website, I finally found some information for these 2 hotels.  Even though they are part of the same hotel chain and I was on the same website, it wasn’t nearly as user friendly or easy to find the Resort Fee information as it was for the Centric .  Weird!  I would think they would be more standardized.

 

Resort Fee: Hyatt Regancy Waikiki

A Resort Fee of $42 plus tax will be applied to each night of your stay.

  • This provides complimentary 1/2 hour Biki timeshare for 2
  • 2 water bottles
  • Hyatt tote bag
  • Savings coupons
  • Stay Fit gym access
  • Cultural activities and lessons
  • and much more.

(I had to look up Biki.  It’s a Hawaiian bike share program)

Parking Fee $40 per night self parking or $50 per night valet parking

 

Destination Fee Policy: Hyatt Place Waikiki

(Different name…same fee, lol)

A daily Destination Fee of $21.00 + taxes will apply to all room nights.

Invigorate your stay with Aloha and true Hawaiian Ho’okipa (hospitality) with inclusions that excite the senses and amplify your experience. The Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach offers a host of complimentary amenities, plus new offerings to enhance your stay, including:

  • Hyatt Place Logo Tote Bag with 2 bottles of water
  • Activity Discounts
  • Access to Beach Chairs & Toys (up to 2 per room, day rental, based on availability)
  • Unlimited Local & Toll Free Calls
  • Discounted Flat Rate of $29.00 on Airport Transportation To/From Honolulu International Airport (maximum party of 5, one way, tax inclusive contact hotel for more details)
  • $5.00 Daily Food & Beverage Credit at the Gallery Kitchen (not cumulative)

Parking Fee $39 per night valet parking only

 

Wow, they sure put a lot of effort into their lead in paragraph to make people feel like they were getting something awesome.  Not really much their though except for words as flowery as a Hawaiian shirt!

 

Final Thoughts

I am still surprised how difficult it can be to find information on what is included with the Resort Fee. Let’s chalk that up to a lack of transparency on the hotels part and a hope that people will give up, pay the fee and not use any of the included services that they are being forced to pay for.  Less services used equals more profit for the hotels.  I also find it interesting just how different the inclusion list is between the different properties in the same chain.

I would like to say that I am not picking on Hyatt,  I merely used them as an example since I was already planning to book with them. Almost all of the hotels in high tourist areas tend to partake in this Resort Fee feeding frenzy.

Remember, I am a Budget Traveler.  The whole reason that I am looking at Hyatt specifically is to cut some costs by redeeming 3 Reward Nights for the first 1/2 of our stay in Hawaii. But when they pile on these extra fees, it doesn’t feel like much of a Reward anymore.  Although it isn’t the cheapest, the $34.55 per night Resort Fee at the Hyatt Centric offers the best value in actually usable amenities among the 3 hotels.  I will have to consider this when deciding which property we will ultimately be booking for our trip.

We are also still Deciding if We will rent a car in Oahu or rely on public transportation in order to avoid all or part of the Parking Fees.

 

Make sure when you are booking your travels, that you check to see if there will be a Resort Fee for your hotel.  If there is, do a little research to find out what the fee includes so that you can try to get a little bit of value back for your Resort Fee costs.

 

 

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