We’ve seen an increasing number of hotels add “destination fees” to room rates. Initially this trend started at resorts with “resort fees,” but clearly city hotels wanted in on the action as well. The concept of destination fees is that hotels claim to add some perks for all guests, and then introduce a mandatory daily fee to cover it.
Why do this rather than just raising the room rate? There are a variety of reasons — through many booking channels the initial rate will appear lower this way when booking, the hotel doesn’t have to pay travel agents a commission on these fees, and sometimes there are even tax benefits.
Sometimes you see a destination fee with such ridiculous inclusions that you can’t help but just call it out…
Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor $25 destination fee
When hotels have destination fees, they seem to love to make the list of inclusions as long as possible, even if there’s no merit to it. And that brings us to the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor‘s $25 nightly destination fee. This includes the following:
- Premium WIFI
- Local & Domestic LD only
- Morning Drip Coffee at Harborside Grill
- Daily Newspaper
- Panoramic Views of Boston with photo opportunity
- 2 water bottles daily
- Waived Rollaway bed fee
- Discount area attractions
- Discount round-trip Water Taxi Ticket
- $10 Food Credit in Harborside Grill (Dinner Only)
- 10% off of laundry/dry cleaning
- $10 Overnight Self -Parking Credit
- Boston gift bag with memento magnet, chocolate truffle, and Boston Baked Beans
- Waived fee for incoming/outgoing faxes and printing
Does anything on that list stand out?
There’s a lot of questionable stuff on this list of destination fee inclusions, though one thing stands out in particular — panoramic views of Boston with photo opportunity? Really?! This is purely speculation on my part, but I would have to imagine that the hotel included these views as a standard amenity before a destination fee was added.
And that also gets at the double charging going on with resort fees:
- Hotels are typically (in part) priced based on the views that they offer
- The hotel sells rooms with a harbor view at a premium
So do you get the destination fee waived if you book a harbor view room, since you’re already paying extra for the view? Or does that not include a photo opportunity?
I’m not sure if this is better or worse than Hyatt’s Motif Seattle, which included use of the in-room vanity with the destination fee. The hotel manager reached out after the post, and claimed that was included in error. Right.
C’mon hotels, if you’re going to charge a destination fee (but please don’t), at least don’t make up a long list of fake things that are included. If the hotel were being honest, this should say:
A destination fee of $25.00 (tax included) will apply to each night of your stay and includes more money in the pockets of hotel owners and reduced commissions for travel agents.
The Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor has a daily destination fee of $25. These fees are a frustrating practice in general. What’s even more frustrating is when hotels include fake things as part of this fee, like… a nice view with photo opportunities.
My guess is that the hotel will soon claim that this was an “error.”
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)