At this point I think there’s officially nothing that hotels won’t charge fees for anymore.
Resort fees are bad enough…
Resort fees are probably the single most frustrating junk fee in the hotel industry. With this, we see hotels tack on a nightly fee that includes some number of amenities, most of which you’d expect to be standard at a hotel (like Wi-Fi, access to the gym, etc.).
We see this at resorts of all price points, and for that matter these fees spread across markets very quickly. When a few hotels in a market add them, they typically end up becoming the norm rather than the exception.
Why do hotels add resort fees?
- Resort fees are a way for hotels to deceive consumers into thinking rates are lower than they actually are, since hotels typically only have to display all-in pricing on the final booking page (this is an important point compared to airline fuel surcharges, since airlines typically have to display all-in pricing throughout the booking process)
- Resort fees allow hotels to pay travel agents smaller commissions (since they only get paid based on the room rate rather than the extra fees), and in some cases avoid the typical occupancy tax that would apply to the room rate
Those are the real reasons, though just to provide both sides, the CEO of the Hotel Association of New York has claimed that guests “appreciate the value offered” by mandatory fees.
…but an energy surcharge is next level
People have often joked, “what’s next, an electricity surcharge?” Well, one hotel seems to be fond of that concept, and has added it to room rates.
The Artisan Hotel Las Vegas charges a $19.95 daily resort fee plus a $3.95 daily energy surcharge. That’s right, the hotel is charging you separately for your electricity, and there’s no way to opt out. Seriously?
What’s next… wait, nevermind, I don’t want to give the hotel any ideas.
In fairness, if you’re trying to deceive consumers and make a few extra bucks, maybe this fee is kind of well thought out? It’s small enough that some people may not even notice it when checking out, yet it can add up, especially when you consider rooms here go for under $40 many nights.
Furthermore, I’d argue that it’s more reasonable than the JW Marriott Los Cabos adding a surcharge when redeeming points.
Prior to this I’ve only ever heard people joke about the concept of a hotel energy surcharge, but it’s now a real thing at a Las Vegas hotel. Fortunately it doesn’t seem like other hotels are matching (yet).
Where do energy surcharges rank on your list of ridiculous hotel fees?