Ridiculous: Hyatt Hotel Charging $79 Damage Waiver Fee

Ridiculous: Hyatt Hotel Charging $79 Damage Waiver Fee

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Hotels try to get away with charging all kinds of fees. The most common are resort fees or destination fees, though we’ve even seen some hotels try to get away with charging energy fees, sustainability fees, and more. Here’s another fee type you can add to the list…

Mauna Lani Point Resort charges $79 damage waiver fee

Mauna Lani Point, a Destination by Hyatt Residence in Hawaii, charges a fee I’ve never heard of at a hotel before. Specifically, all stays at the hotel are subject to a non-refundable damage waiver fee of $79 plus tax. That same fee applies regardless of how long you stay, or how many people are in the unit.

What’s included with the damage waiver fee?

  • You’re covered for up to $1,500 of accidental damage to the residence or its contents (including furniture, fixtures, and appliances); this doesn’t include personal property
  • This coverage only applies if the registered guest reports the incident prior to checking out
  • This damage waiver fee is intended to eliminate the need for a traditional security deposit
Mauna Lani Point charges a damage waiver fee

My take on a hotel damage waiver fee

In fairness to Mauna Lani Point, the property has apartment-style residences, rather than offering typical hotel rooms. I’m not sure about the ownership structure, but I imagine that many units might even be individually owned, and then be rented out by the night through the property.

While I can appreciate not wanting damage to these units, this concept just seems preposterous:

  • $79 is a very high price to pay for $1,500 worth of accidental coverage
  • This coverage only applies if you self-report something; meanwhile if the property later claims you damaged something, you’re not covered in any way by this policy
  • Even Airbnbs don’t have anything along these lines, which is saying a lot
  • It would be one thing if guests were given the choice of whether or not they wanted to buy this coverage (just as you’d find with a rental car), but I know many people would rather take their chances and then pay cash if they did accidentally break something
  • I can’t help but wonder how much paperwork would be involved with filing a claim; for example, say you break a couple of glasses, is it really worth going through a claims process so that you don’t have to pay a small amount of money?

To the hotel’s credit, at least this fee is pretty clearly disclosed on the homepage. Prospective guests can decide whether or not this policy is a deal-breaker for them. Personally I’m certainly not a fan of it, and I think it goes a step too far.

Does Mauna Lani Point’s fee cross the line?

Bottom line

A Destination by Hyatt Residence in Hawaii is charging a $79 non-refundable damage waiver fee for all stays. This covers up to $1,500 in accidental damage, but only if the guest reports it prior to check-out. I’ve never seen a fee like this before, and I think this goes too far.

What do you make of the concept of a hotel charging a mandatory damage waiver fee?

(Tip of the hat to azepine00)

Conversations (59)
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  1. John Eh Guest

    DAMAGE CHARGE?
    In Canada Taxis have a sign saying urination and / or defecation is a $100 dollar fine.
    You choose.

  2. Maryland Guest

    So it appears that the guests are required to complete a full inspection and inventory on both arrival and departure? And so they should be supplied an inventory and systems check list? Don't make me laugh. Performing pre and post inspections is just what makes a holiday vacation! I'd rather stay home and work.

  3. iamhere Guest

    I think the biggest issue is that they did not notice you in advance of this fee.
    I also think that if they partnered with a reputable insurance company and explained the fee and the coverage in detail, most people would not have a problem with this fee, DEPENDING on what it includes.

    1. Jason Rogers Guest

      My Chase credit card covers damages in hotel bookings. If I book a room here with that card, I would insist they waive the fee. That’s one of the most important reasons why I have that card! Because it has insurance on it that covers my travel, including hotels. To me, this fee is the same of frivolous “amenity” fees. If they refused to waive the fee, then I would insist the person and I...

      My Chase credit card covers damages in hotel bookings. If I book a room here with that card, I would insist they waive the fee. That’s one of the most important reasons why I have that card! Because it has insurance on it that covers my travel, including hotels. To me, this fee is the same of frivolous “amenity” fees. If they refused to waive the fee, then I would insist the person and I walk the room and discuss the value of each item in the room, as well as provide an itemized invoice stating the value of every single item in the room. What’s the adjusted insurance value of the mattress? The mirror in the bathroom? The carpet? The bad painting on the wall? If your going to charge me a fee for something, then I have a right as a reasonable consumer under the laws of the FTC to require you explain the reason behind your fee charges. That’s going to be so much fun for the hotel, when each time A guest checks into the room, they take the employee away from their position at the desk for the half hour to hour it would take for the employee to go over the room and the value of the items in the room. And trust me, if that employee thinks they’re going to value a mattress at say, $600, I’m going to insist we figure out the actual value of the mattress dependent on age, wear and tear and so on. So, I’m going to keep that employee in that room until we, negotiate the value of every single damn item in that room, down to the pillow. Even if it takes hours. And so I can tabulate exactly what and how much I can destroy or steal from the room as close to the $1,500 limit as possible. And if I damage the mattress, well, then I’m going to call the front desk and demand they replace the mattress immediately, that day, if I’m booked to stay more nights at the hotel. I can’t be expected to sleep on a damaged mattress if I’ve paid a damage waiver fee, right?

  4. Kendra Guest

    I just wonder where the 79 dollars goes? To pay wages? Cause it's non refundable and all...
    Too far! Both Hilton and Hyatt are really getting greedy and then are full of excuses, blame and penalties when questioned about the egregious charges for less and less "product" and services.

  5. Larry Guest

    We don’t like the fee so we will intentionally break stuff? What are you all teenagers? The fee is disclosed. Stay or don’t. It’s tacky and lame. But it is also legal. Breaking stuff on purpose isn’t. How disgustingly entitled. If you go there, pay the fee, enjoy Maui, clean up after yourselves, and leave stuff in good shape for the next guy. If you don’t like it, there are like 12,000 other options on the island. Vote with your wallet, not by being an ass.

  6. Joan not going to be a guest Guest

    This is why I stay in hotels not individually owned rentals. Mauna Lani Point is condos. I know it well. I don't want a place where I have to worry about getting makeup or blood on a towel (after I cut my foot on the glass I dropped). Hotels build minor things into the rates as operating cost. This is just a chance for somebody or a few to grab a quick fee.

  7. J Can Guest

    I also see it in the small print for Wailea Grand Champions Villas, a Destination by Hyatt Residence. We are booked there in the future. Could be the policy with all the Destination resorts Hyatt recently took on board. Not sure how much our complaining will change the policy...

  8. John Guest

    Sounds like incentive to do damage just to aggravate them

  9. Ali Guest

    Wait till its $75 Damage Waiver + Security Deposit... I see it going this way.
    Plus Damage Waiver will be uses for "accumulated" wear and tear... If you put a review online, you will be sued for defamation in some countries.
    Seems like we need another pandemic to put these hotels back on their knees.

  10. jack Guest

    It's not a hotel. It's a common fee when renting a condo.

  11. John Guest

    Waiting for @ConcordeGal to weigh in with her pearls of wisdom.

  12. Steve Guest

    I think it's on all the Destination Residence locations in Hawaii. These guys are only sort of Hyatt and play by their own rules a lot.

    1. Satellite Guest

      It's not. E.g. Lahaina shores beach resort doesn't have this fee.

  13. Clayton Guest

    I'll presume this is possible due to America's comparitevly poor consumer protection laws. In the UK that would be deemed illegal as you cant be forced to purchase ancillary services. Not to mention that they'd also need to have said "insurance waiver" lodged with an insurer and a full policy would have to be provided BEFORE you committed to it.

    I'm sure there must be some form of Act or Law that could challenge...

    I'll presume this is possible due to America's comparitevly poor consumer protection laws. In the UK that would be deemed illegal as you cant be forced to purchase ancillary services. Not to mention that they'd also need to have said "insurance waiver" lodged with an insurer and a full policy would have to be provided BEFORE you committed to it.

    I'm sure there must be some form of Act or Law that could challenge this for my American cousins?

    Personally it would be a deal breaker

  14. glenn t Diamond

    Not sure anyone Commenting here would really seek to get 'value' for their $79 for $1500 worth of damage, but if they do several things should be kept in mind.
    You must self-report the damage. A missing bar fridge might be a tricky one to get around.
    Your idea of $1500 worth of damage might be vastly different to that of the hotel. You could still be on the hook for a lot...

    Not sure anyone Commenting here would really seek to get 'value' for their $79 for $1500 worth of damage, but if they do several things should be kept in mind.
    You must self-report the damage. A missing bar fridge might be a tricky one to get around.
    Your idea of $1500 worth of damage might be vastly different to that of the hotel. You could still be on the hook for a lot of money. (We have all heard of or experienced how car rental companies turn this concept to their advantage, hey!)
    Lastly, here's a red rag to many Americans. Isn't the idea that everyone compulsorily pays fees (or taxes) to cover the misdeeds or misfortunes of a minority of others just SOCIALISM?

  15. AVGeekHNL New Member

    I would agree that this fee is out of line for a hotel. Hotels are already nickel-and-diming us with resort fees, etc.

    Recently I reserved a 4-night stay through VRBO and the owner of the condo required the damage waiver policy ($79 for $3,000 limit of coverage). It came with a 10-page policy from an insurance company (UNDERWRITTEN BY GENERALI US BRANCH, A Stock Company, Master Policy Number:TMP100010) and a whole lot of fine print....

    I would agree that this fee is out of line for a hotel. Hotels are already nickel-and-diming us with resort fees, etc.

    Recently I reserved a 4-night stay through VRBO and the owner of the condo required the damage waiver policy ($79 for $3,000 limit of coverage). It came with a 10-page policy from an insurance company (UNDERWRITTEN BY GENERALI US BRANCH, A Stock Company, Master Policy Number:TMP100010) and a whole lot of fine print. That said, this VRBO condo was cheaper than other units in the same condo complex, even with the required $79 fee added in. I can understand this damage waiver for VRBO condo owners, but it is not appropriate for Hyatt. IMO.

  16. Scott Guest

    Vote with your feet and avoid the place. Just like the Aloft Dadeland Mall Miami. Sub par for Aloft. Try the new AC next to Saks by the mall. Great hotel and brand new

  17. Scotty Guest

    If a car company won't accept my AMEX insurance and force me to pay an additional fee I warn them that the car may be returned in a shoe box

  18. AC Guest

    I understand the fact it is affiliated with Hyatt makes this unique but I have encountered many cases on VRBO and similar such property rental sites where a stay at a condo or house requires either a damage waiver fee, purchase of a damage insurance policy or something like a $5000 damage deposit (which would be reimbursed). I typically just buy the insurance policy and don't worry about it. Cost of doing business IMHO

    1. Donato Guest

      I spend much time in NY. I have learned to respect the term 'insurance; which is regulated. Waiver can mean anything and is unregulated.

  19. Cbchicago Guest

    Simple. Do not say there.

  20. Terry Guest

    I will never stay at a Hyatt property in the future!

  21. Andy Diamond

    Agree, this definitely goes too far. I’ve stayed thousands of nights in hotels around the world, but I haven’t damaged a single room! Why should I pay 79 bucks for something I’ve never done …

  22. Raj Guest

    So insurance provider is counting on no more than one in every 20 guests doing $1,500 worth of damage? Would be nice to have the option to not pay the fee but to provide assurance on up to $1,500 in damage. Either a $79 fee, or no fee plus up to $1,500 in liability.

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      There’s no insurance provider. It’s a damage waiver through the hotel.

  23. Glen Guest

    Every guest should accidently break the TV and report it. Ridiculous

  24. Reno Joe Guest

    And so it goes and so it goes . . . where it stops, no one knows. - Nick Lowe
    It's just the way it is, baby - The Rembrandts

    Why is anything that property owners pull a surprise?

  25. Mike Guest

    So for $79 I can “accidentally” have $1500 in damage? Deal. I can make that worth my while and teach the hotel a lesson at the same time.

    1. Nick Guest

      Teach the hotel a lesson…+1

  26. stogieguy7 Diamond

    Well, I'll say this: it's still 100 times more honest than these ridiculous "resort" fees. For which you get all the same stuff you'd have gotten anyway by paying for a room. Talk about a ripoff.

    1. Nobody Guest

      Resort fees often are a state or local tax.

    2. Bob Guest

      In San Diego some hotels will charge a resort fee and some will not. It's that kind of inconsistency and stupid wording that ticks people off.

    3. Carrie Guest

      I've never, not once seen a resort or destination fee, be listed as a state or local tax. That's illegal in the United States.

    4. KeninDFW Guest

      Agreed. Paying resort fees for wifi - which I already get as a Platinum member is no longer a benefit.

  27. TheBestBlackBrent Gold

    This is the most MURICAN thing ever, these types of fees...

    1. Bob Guest

      You should see the price breakdown for a plane ticket to Heathrow Airport. I've seen cases where the actual plane portion of the ticket is 40% of the entire fare. The rest are security fees, taxes, fuel surcharge and other random tax.

    2. Andrew Guest

      Try frontier sometime, lol. I've had a sub $1 flight many times with 30-50 in fees.

  28. Eskimo Guest

    This is like the best deal ever.
    $1500 worth of collage bucket list for $79.

    Bucket list, to be safe on charges, all will be on separate stays.
    1. Throw furniture off balcony.
    2. Punch TV when your team lost.
    3. Microwave weird stuff (including metals or TV remote after your team lost).
    4. All those Jackass Movie stunts.
    5. Indoor football. Indoor paintball.
    6. Bodyslam into coffee...

    This is like the best deal ever.
    $1500 worth of collage bucket list for $79.

    Bucket list, to be safe on charges, all will be on separate stays.
    1. Throw furniture off balcony.
    2. Punch TV when your team lost.
    3. Microwave weird stuff (including metals or TV remote after your team lost).
    4. All those Jackass Movie stunts.
    5. Indoor football. Indoor paintball.
    6. Bodyslam into coffee table or something fun.
    7. Furniture 'accidentally' gone missing (if that counts)
    And the list goes on.

    Wait till someone burns the whole place down.

    Do Globalists get this fee waived and still get $1500 worth of 'accidents'?

    Regardless, this is a great deal.

    Mauna Lani Point Resort Booked !!!!!!

    1. Andrew Diamond

      I am curious if 'missing fridge' counts. Objectively a good deal at $79.

    2. Bob Guest

      Maybe if they made that a refundable deposit people will respect the property and not try to recreate scenes from world war z in the room.

  29. Sel, D. Guest

    A damage waiver fee would imply that you wouldn’t have to fill out any paper work. Perhaps minimal, or you could refuse to fill it out.

  30. Icarus Guest

    They should be insured as should be any business, for damage and personal injury. $79 plus tax for just $1500 is a rip off.

    I pay significantly less than that each month for worldwide insurance including over $3 million in medical cover. My household cover is also just over that annually. And again for significantly more.

    1. Gaurav Guest

      I'm curious, what insurance do you carry?

  31. ugoren New Member

    Normally these fees make me angry, but not this one. I calmly know they'll get their due.

    When they tell people to pay extra for the right to break stuff, how does this affect the chances if damage? I personally would never break stuff just because I can do it for free, but that's just me.

  32. James S Guest

    Does damage include glasses, plates, and pillows that mysteriously go missing?

    Good opportunity to do $1,500 worth of shopping for $79. Deal of the year!

    1. Maryland Guest

      Why would anyone even want sub-par rental stuff? And without an inventory supplied what's to stop them from declaring those Walmart glasses were Lalique? And then you're really on the hook! No stealing. Always a bad idea! But clearly owners don't trust their paying guests so you cannot trust them.

  33. East2West Member

    So it’s ok to be careless as hell while your there since you only paid $79 for $1500 worth of items. Nice idea.

  34. Donna Diamond

    Just bury all additional fees in the nightly price otherwise your luxury property turns into Frontier Airlines.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      Agreed.

      It’s like the mandatory “resort” and “convenience” fees we see all over at hotels in Las Vegas snd San Francisco.

  35. Endre Guest

    The room looks outdated…

  36. patrick Guest

    As annoying as it is to have to pay this fee, at least they aren't trying to pull a fast one and slip it by.
    I'm wondering if there has been a lot of damage in the past that necessitated this charge?

  37. Stuart Guest

    A friend rented a truck in Alaska for two weeks and was forced to pay a mandatory $200 for windshield damage insurance. It was not disclosed at the booking. They told him he had to pay or they couldn't rent him the vehicle. There were no other companies with four wheel drives. With that, the day he returned it he got his revenge, he and his friends pelted the windshield with rocks until it was nicely cracked everywhere. Therein lies the problem with these things...

    1. guisun Gold

      Another creative way to capture more money without admitting it is a money grab. When will this stop? BMW will charge monthly subscription fee for heated seats. Where is the world headed to?

  38. Trey Guest

    If I'm paying mandatory insurance - I'm gonna throw a "smashing' party in the room!

  39. CoLi Guest

    If forced to pay that fee, it might be cathartic to accidentally smash a window before leaving and report it to management. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, "Better include the insurance, because I am gonna beat the hell out of this [residence]"

    1. The Joe Guest

      That Seinfeld reference came to my mind, as well.

      Sucks how things turned out for him, though

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Stuart Guest

A friend rented a truck in Alaska for two weeks and was forced to pay a mandatory $200 for windshield damage insurance. It was not disclosed at the booking. They told him he had to pay or they couldn't rent him the vehicle. There were no other companies with four wheel drives. With that, the day he returned it he got his revenge, he and his friends pelted the windshield with rocks until it was nicely cracked everywhere. Therein lies the problem with these things...

9
James S Guest

Does damage include glasses, plates, and pillows that mysteriously go missing? Good opportunity to do $1,500 worth of shopping for $79. Deal of the year!

8
Mike Guest

So for $79 I can “accidentally” have $1500 in damage? Deal. I can make that worth my while and teach the hotel a lesson at the same time.

2
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