Yesterday I wrote about how the Sheraton New York Times Square and St. Regis New York have added daily “destination charges,” of $25 and $50, respectively. Those aren’t even all the Starwood properties in New York that have new destination charges, as several other properties have added them as well.
This is obviously a money-grab from hotels that’s intended to mimic resort fees that are in place at some resorts. Of course they’re ridiculous, though the reason we’re seeing these fees spread is that:
- They’re a way for hotels to try and get more revenue without increasing the room rate
- It works out better for them than an increase in the room rate, since they don’t have to pay travel agents a commission on the destination fee; in some areas it also allows them to skirt the typical occupancy tax that otherwise applies on the room rate
- Loyalty program members don’t earn points on the destination/resort fee, so the hotel saves money there as well
- For those traveling on government business, the resort/destination fee is reimbursable on top of whatever the limit is, so it allows government employees to spend more on hotels
I’m not surprised to see several Starwood hotels introduce this fee as of February 1, 2018, though they’re not the only NYC hotels to add fees as of that date. The Grand Hyatt New York has added a new $25 destination fee. This daily fee applies to the first seven nights of a guest’s stay, “and the hotel may decide to waive the fee thereafter.”
I also love how the hotel is marketing this:
This fee will focus on providing opportunities for guests to enjoy the “New York experience” highlighting attractions close to its location including local neighborhoods and Grand Central Station. The goal is to enhance the guest experience and provide opportunities to explore Grand Central and the surrounding area.”
How nice of them!
Here’s what’s included with the Grand Hyatt’s $25 daily destination fee:
- High speed premium internet
- Local, long distance and international calls
- $15 food and beverage credit in hotel Market per room per day
- Access to daily New York Times & Financial Times via in-room app
- Grand Central self-guided audio tour for two per stay
- Seasonal rooftop tour viewing NYC skyline
- Exclusive Grand Central coupon book with discounts and free offers for Grand Central Terminal vendors
- Macy’s VIP passport which includes 15% discount on regular and sale merchandise, 20% off food and beverage & complimentary fine jewelry & “MyStylist” personal shopper
- Luggage storage upon check in (up to four (4 bags) and upon check out (maximum eight (8) hours)
The good news is that the Grand Hyatt’s daily destination fee is waived for World of Hyatt Globalist members. This is a nice feature of Globalist status, as both resort and facility fees are waived for eligible members. I guess we’ll have to see if over time they decide to change that policy on some technicality (“this isn’t a facility fee, but rather a destination fee”), but for now that’s great news, as it’s a Hyatt-wide policy.
Furthermore, those who booked before the fee was introduced shouldn’t have to pay it either. However, you may have to specifically ask for it to be removed at check-out.
This fee isn’t yet being charged at other NYC Hyatt hotels, though I suspect it’s only a matter of time…