10 Annoying Hidden Hotel Fees

Forbes Traveler has compiled a list of the top 10 most annoying hidden hotel fees. We’re not exactly jetsetters or anything so a few of them were news to us.

Apparently we’re not the only ones who haven’t heard of some of these fees, Forbes Traveler says that there have been lawsuits over them:

In Maulding v. Hilton Hotels, Hilton was forced to settle a class-action suit relating to hidden resort fees at 11 of its resort properties. Wyndham Hotels paid $2.3 million to settle with the state of Florida in 2006 after a five-year investigation showed that it had not adequately disclosed hidden fees. Today Wyndham discloses all fees nationwide and requires that online sites that sell rooms on its behalf do the same. Still pending is a lawsuit by James Shulevitz against Arizona’s Phoenician resort, where he was forced to pay undisclosed housekeeper and bellman gratuities.

The Top 10 Most Annoying Hidden Hotel Fees:

The Resort Fee
“Why, then, would a resort tack on an additional $10 to $25 resort fee for each day of your stay, even if you never go near the pool or the beach? Because it can.”

Telephone Fees
“AT&T would charge our hotel 10 cents per local call. The hotel would then charge the guest between $1.50 and $2. Long distance was even worse. It’s a very easy way to add to the bottom line.”

The Energy Fee
“In reality, the fee has nothing to do with the amount of energy you actually consume during your stay. It just is what it is.”

The Technology Fee
“You’d think by now hotels would be scrambling to offer free high-speed Internet access as a competitive advantage, but that’s often not the case.”

The Groundskeeping Fee
“Here’s hoping you enjoy looking at the rose bushes that line the resort’s driveway. They could cost you an additional few bucks in “groundskeeping fees,” one of the more absurd fees that some resorts have come up with.”

The Towel Fee
Proceed with caution, especially at poolside, where cabana boys will offer you extra towels and then ask for your room number.”

The Safe Fee
“One could easily argue that a fee for an in-room safe is fair…if you actually use the safe. What’s unfair is charging you $3 a day just for the privilege of sleeping in the same room with a safe even if you never touch it. “

The Housekeeping and Bellman Fees
“Maids and bellmen work hard for the money, and they depend on tips to supplement their income. That’s fine, but the tips should be up to you, not up to the hotel, which may assess mandatory gratuities but not tell you until you check out, long after you’ve already put cash in hands all around the hotel.”

The Parking Fee
“Hotels routinely get away with charging $20 or more per night (plus tips) for mandatory valet parking, even if there’s a convenient hotel parking lot just steps away.”

The Mineral Water Fee
“How nice to see a bottle of Evian or Fiji water on the credenza next your bed, just begging to be the quencher of your traveler’s thirst. And how utterly frustrating to be charged a $7 anti-dehydration fee.”

The Top 10 Most Annoying Hidden Hotel Fees (Article) [Forbes Traveler]
Top 10 Most Annoying Hidden Hotel Fees (Slideshow) [Forbes Traveler]
(Photo:DCVision2006)

Comments

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  1. joebloe says:

    Don’t forgot the gym fee. You pay $300 bucks a night but you still have to pay $10 to use the treadmill.

  2. BigNutty says:

    Nice business practices. Now you can ask all the above questions to the desk clerk the next time you check in and see what they say.

  3. poodlepoodle says:

    I was at a hotel that had a $25 a day “resort fee.” It wasn’t on the website, it wasn’t mentioned when we checked in but there it was mocking me when we checked out. The kicker was that the room was $300+. For Christ’s sake at that point I think you can just call it $325, it isn’t like we were bargain shopping. Oh and there was also a $12 luggage fee — both ways, even if you carried your own.

    Cheap.

  4. bohemian says:

    On my last stay in a real hotel they had the $4 warm bottle of Ice Spring brand water on the table. Or I could step out my door, turn the corner and pay $1.50 for a cold bottle of the same stuff.

    What is really obnoxious is the $30 internet access fee per user to get a computer online. That was at the Hyatt in Chicago. I suppose business travelers just put it on their work account.

  5. Coder4Life says:

    and on top of all that there’s the hugeeeee tax on logging. usually 10+% from what i normally see…

  6. Black Bellamy says:

    I worked in the hotel business for many years. Those charges are the easiest thing to dispute with your credit card company. When you make a reservation all the charges need to shown clearly. If they try to tack stuff on just dispute it.

  7. ptkdude says:

    My last stay at a hotel (Hampton Inn) didn’t include any of these fees. I was able to use the gym for free, got a free breakfast, free bottle of water in my room every day, free wifi, free parking, free local calls, etc. All for $80 a night (including taxes). It wasn’t a shithole, either. It was actually quite nice.

  8. Buran says:

    On my last stay at a hotel, just this past weekend in the Chicago area, a Hyatt screwed up my reservation so badly that a group of three wound up with a single double-size bed room and the hotel would not move us to an acceptable room or even give us a rollaway bed. So one of us had to find alternate accommodations at his own trouble and expense and one of us wound up sleeping on the floor.

    Yes, I said the Hyatt left someone on the FLOOR.

    Don’t stay at the Hyatt Woodfield.

    Oh yeah, and they charged $10/day for Internet access.

    Next time I go to Chicago I’m going to find a place that charges $45/night, has free breakfast, and doesn’t charge for net access. $100/night for the above treatment is just apalling.

    I filed a complaint earlier today and we’ll see if they actually appear to give a shit. Anyone got EECB info for them in case they don’t?

  9. rjhiggins says:

    @Coder4Life: Well, I think there *should* be a hefty tax on logging. Particularly since everyone already paid that groundskeeping fee.

  10. MercuryPDX says:

    The Housekeeping and Bellman Fees

    I’m one of those people that actually DOES tip housekeeping at the end of my stay, and I would be pissed to find out that because of this fee I just tipped them twice.

  11. MatthewVA says:

    Riddle me this… I stayed at a boutique hotel in NYC at a pretty penny, Wi-Fi was $12/day. However, ye old La Quinta down in Dallas, TX was not only 1/5th the price per night, but also had free Wi-Fi.

    You would think at such a high price, these shi-shi places would just throw it in, right?

    So weird. Don’t get it. Phone home.

  12. Skiffer says:

    @rjhiggins: Save the rainforest!!!

  13. Beerad says:

    @Buran: $45 bucks a night? In Chicago? I’m not sure when the last decade was that you could find prices like that, but I don’t think computers, let alone teh interwebs had been invented yet.

  14. Starfury says:

    One weekend a year I stay at a Hayatt for a game convention. There aren’t really any fees except parking (I park across the street, saves $10/day) but the taxes get you. 10% hotel tax, 2% local tax, and I think there was some other piddly tax added on that too.

    The hotels I’ve stayed at on vacation haven’t had any of these fees up front but all have the big $$ phone/water/soda charges in the rooms.

  15. MercuryPDX says:

    @MatthewVA: I stayed at a boutique hotel in NYC…

    Therin lies the problem. The La Quinta Manhattan has free Wi-Fi. :)

  16. timmus says:

    Pretty soon you’ll be patting yourself on the back for avoiding the hotel room minibar, until you check out and find the $10 Minibar Underconsumption Recovery Fee.

    Damn, that’s good… I should work in the hotel industry!

  17. Myron says:

    I also enjoy the stadium fee when you rent a car at the Denver airport. But I had to laugh when Southern Living tried to charge me a $3 shipping and handling fee to renew my wife’s subscription.

  18. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Buran – (240) 744-1000. That’s the phone number to their corporate office in Bethesda, MD. Christopher J.Nassetta is President and CEO. You can get more info by downloading their annual report:

    [www.hosthotels.com]

  19. The hotel I work at in Toronto always quotes you the price “before taxes and fees” and will specify the fees if you ask.

    We charge a nomial fee per day that covers access to highspeed, the health club, the business centre and all local phone calls.

    Long distance calls (as a rule in the industry) are 50 to 60% above the actual carrier rates.

    Ontario has bizare levels of tax on everything and in Toronto taxes on accomodation are 14%.

    It’s room service that will kill you, I’ve seen a post of tea cost upwards of $12.

  20. missdona says:

    @ptkdude: The Hampton Inn isn’t a “full service” hotel, with a restaurant, concierge etc. So they give you the good stuff to make up for it. I love the Hampton Inn when it’s my dime paying for the hotel.

    The Hiltons in Hawaii were part of the suit mentioned in the article. Now they have optional resort fees for the gym and spa and such. The pool is included for everyone. And, of course, because they’re “full service,” internet and parking are about $15/day each.

  21. toddkravos says:

    I always get a chuckle out of the “Bed Tax” that applies to my hotel stays.

  22. Buran says:

    @Beerad: Generically speaking you can find hotels that let you stay at that price. Varies by market. Places I have in mind are places like Motel 6, Days Inn, La Quinta etc. All perfectly adequate for most.

  23. bohemian says:

    @ptkdude
    We stayed at a Hampton last summer when we were traveling. Compared to some of the other places we stayed it was freaking awesome. I don’t know if they are all as well kept, the one we stayed in was less than a year old. It cost us about $90 a night (had kids with). Free breakfast, wifi, pool, gym, nice rooms with a fridge.

  24. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Buran – scratch that:

    Today Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:HST) announced its CEO, Christopher J. Nassetta has resigned as President and CEO. Nassetta is resigning effective Nov. 30, so he can help his replacement with the transition. Mr. Nassetta is planning on taking the President and CEO position at Hilton Hotels. Host Hotel’s board of directors has named W. Edward Walter as the new President and CEO effective today.

    So it looks like W. Edward Walter is your new contact.

  25. Buran says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: Oooh, thanks. I’ll use this if I don’t hear back in a few days.

  26. Buran says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: And thanks for that too, although if I end up escalating before the 30th I’ll contact the first guy since he won’t have quit at that point. We’ll see.

  27. Buran says:

    @MercuryPDX: Most La Quintas do – hence one reason I cited them by name when I described my horrid Hyatt experience. La Quinta is fairly priced and gives you a good deal.

    I wound up in the Hyatt due to a convention rate but that’s not an excuse to be jerks to customers who registered five months in advance (the reservation was filed on 6/16)

  28. Nytmare says:

    @timmus: Dammit, I just discovered that exact fee last night on my Verizon long distance bill. On a plan I had originally chosen specifically for having no monthly minimum.

  29. bohemian says:

    @ buran
    You couldn’t get me to stay in a $45 a night hotel in Chicago on a dare. If there still is such a thing I would imagine it would be below the 1/2 star rating.

  30. brendanm14 says:

    @Buran:
    Actually, the Hyatt Woodfield is owned by The Harp Group
    [www.theharpgroup.com]
    They bought it in May 2007.

  31. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    A few hotels in Vegas have a “Phone Activation Fee”. They charge you $1-$3/day for turning on the phone in your room, so even if you never make a local or long distance call, you pay for having the ability to make such calls.

    Oh, and you can’t refuse to have the phone turned on, because “what if the hotel needs to reach you in your room?” Yes, the “phone activation fee” includes inter-hotel calls to room service, the front desk, etc.

  32. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    As for the “The Housekeeping and Bellman Fees”, I’ve stayed with so many people who’ve had NO CLUE they were supposed to tip the housekeeper $2/person per day or the bellman $2 per bag, so I get why hotels have started to tack this fee on.

    But that don’t make it right.

  33. ladyamazon says:

    As someone who works as a front desk agent most of these charges are insane but there are some that make perfect sense for the industry and easily avoided by guests. In defense of the water charge, there is absolutely no requirement for anyone to drink the water in the room. You could always use the ice machine which is transformed into chilled water in a couple hours for FREE. There is also the option to simply go off property and purchasing the water from somewhere else. You’re paying for the convenience and your own greediness, nothing more. As for the telephone fee, who doesn’t own a cell phones these days. And who in the world makes a phone call without checking how much it would cost first???? This sounds like someone with money to burn.

  34. marciepooh says:

    I think hotels should just pay the maids and bellman living wages and then we wouldn’t have to tip them. (Same goes for waiters.)

    A HoJo I stayed in recently charged $1.50 a day for the convience of having a safe in the office for guests use. You could, if you saw the sign in time, ask to have the fee taken of your bill at check-out assuming you didn’t use the safe.

  35. SOhp101 says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: $2/bag? Not even my friends who don’t bat an eye over $7 bottled water would pay that much. $2/day for housekeeping is definitely appropriate, although sometimes I do leave them more when I leave a huge mess in the room.

    All I have to say in response to this article: Thank God for American Express online dispute resolution.

  36. avantartist says:

    when i’m traveling [usually driving] i always stop at a truck stop and pick up one of the travel / lodge guides [not sure what they're called exactly]. you can just about always find places for under $50 with free wifi all over the country.

    I also go to the airport help desk / visitors center, tell them i missed my flight and they’ll get you a reduced rate [it’s usually 15-20% off the hotels normal rate.

  37. twoback says:

    I just stayed at an expensive hotel outside of Vegas for a convention. The mini-bar there was hilarious. It had a weighted tray with items sitting on it, if you actually took something off the tray for longer than 45 seconds, it registered the weight and charged you for it!

    The worst part, one of the items on it was a First Aid Kit!! How wrong is that.

  38. avantartist says:

    but does the housekeeper actually get the housekeeping fee or does the hotel pocket it?

  39. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @SOhp101: I’m lazy as hell when I travel, so if min. wage bellhop is lugging my heavy overstuffed bags in and out of my car and to and from my room, hell, $2 bucks in totally worth it.

    I also tip skycaps $2/bag. My great-uncle was an AA skycap and worked his ass off yessir, no mam-ing all kind of assholes to put his kids thru medical and law school.

  40. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee: Of course, I write off all tips as necessary business expenses.

  41. S_SILVERS says:

    I recently stayed at a place in Washington DC. The room description said it had a refrigerator. When I get there, it’s filled to the brim with the mini-bar stuff. When I called to the front desk to have the stuff removed, they said there was a “$50 mini-bar removal fee”

    And their “available wireless internet” was $10/day

    ugh

  42. ideagirl says:

    @nytmare: ARe you serious? I heard a parody commercial yesterday of a lady complaining to her cell carrier about an extra $30 “underage” fee (as opposed to an overage fee). I thought some clever copy writer just made that up…

  43. hypebreaker says:

    Ok, the resort fee I kinda’ get -even though I think it’s stupid to charge that if the hotel you’re paying 300/night for is, in fact, a RESORT destination. I suppose someone’s gotta’ pay for all those exotic birds frolicking in the lagoon so it might as well be us.

    What I really take umbrage over are the safe fees. If a hotel, after taking a substantial amount of your hard-earned money for the privilege of staying there, has to provide a safe to guarantee that none of the help is going to slip your watch into their pocket, that should be on their dime, not ours.

    But then I also believe that clothing companies should pay US to walk around with their logos plastered all over our shirts.

  44. reviarg says:

    I find that most of these fees are only assessed at “luxury” hotels such as Hilton, Doubletree, and such. I worked on the road for about 9 months and I always stayed at places like Super 8, Sleep Inn, and Comfort Inn and the only extra fee was for the safe (< 1/2 the time). Luckily there was always a sign at the front desk that let everybody know so it would be easy to take off. After those 9 months I spend 1 night at a double tree and suddenly everything costs extra. I need to pay for internet access, pool use, exercise room use, and breakfast. Cheap hotels like Super 8 may cost less but it’s pretty obvious which hotels are “cheap.”

  45. GearheadGeek says:

    It’s not exactly the fees themselves that are ridiculous (though many of them are, obviously.) It’s the fact so many of them are treated as mandatory fees for all guests rather than usage fees for whatever amenity they nominally apply to. If the room costs $350/night, advertise it for $350/night, not $275/night and then tack on another $75 in “telephone availability” and “safe availability” and “breathable air availability” fees. It’s deceptive and sleazy and that’s why the hotels are losing these cases.

    As to the horrific taxes… it’s everyone’s favorite device, taxation without representation! Politicians don’t take much heat for taxing people who don’t vote in their districts, y’know, so they like to tax tourists and business visitors with the wallet-raping charges we see on rental cars, lodging, etc. I don’t go to the stadium around home, much less in bloody Denver, it’s not my responsibility to pay for the damned thing just because I need to rent a car at DIA.

  46. nick_r says:

    I still can’t get over that the Beverly Hills Hotel — the Beverly Hills Goddamned Hotel — charged a $15 per day WiFi fee. Apparently that $50/month cable modem and a few $40 routers are enough to drive them to bankruptcy unless the guests chip in.

  47. JayXJ says:

    For business travel I had really good luck with Best Western.

  48. Notsewfast says:

    @MatthewVA:
    In my experience, the most expensive hotels tend to charge for things that “lower-end” hotels offer for free. For example, both the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC and the Fairmont in Dallas charge $10+/day for wi-fi, whereas run-of-the mill LaQuintas and Holiday Inn Expreses offer them for free.

    Also, the Waldorf is very over-rated, stay there only if you like to lose $1000+ a night and sleeping in a museum.

  49. DjDynasty says:

    @GearheadGeek: Colorado also has a “right to work” tax. Which means just for the privledge of holding a job, you have to pay .2% of your income to a tax to support the welfare to work people get retrained. Most of them would go back on welfare a month later because when you’re broke anyway, and realize that $300 a week before taxes is really nice, after taxes is crap, but $700 a month on food stamps without any taxes incurred goes REALLY far!!!

  50. eross says:

    Has anyone ever had an independent hotel try to get away with bullshit fees? After more than 100 nights in hotels in the past few years, (about 2/3 independent, 1/3 chain)I’ve found in all but one case, it’s just corporate chains doing this. Something to think about when you’re comparing lodging options.

  51. alfista says:

    c’mon – nobody mentions the copy of USA Today you get for ‘Free’? Check it out, it is usually a 75cent Opt-Out option. Now, the 75 cents doesn’t bug me much, but the extra waste and the misleading nature of this ‘benefit’ really does…

  52. christoj879 says:

    If you’re going somewhere that charges parking and there’s a casino nearby, check if the casino will give you free parking in exchange for gambling there. When I went to Nigara Falls, ALL the hotels charged $10-$20/day for parking. I found out that as long as I gambled I think $20/2 days in the casino, I would get free parking. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you’re going to gamble anyway, you might as well get something from it.

    To hell with the Doubletree and their parking fees. By the way, make sure you find out if breakfast is or isn’t included in your rate. By neglecting to read the word “not” as in “Breakfast is not included in the guestroom rate” I was fleeced for $40 for two omlettes, cereal and orange juice.

  53. Sudonum says:

    I remember in the ’90’s all the employees at the resorts in Hawaii went on strike. One of their “demands” was for the hotel to start assessing their guest the “Housekeeping / Bellman Fee” They didn’t get it then, but they might have gotten it in the intervening years. Or maybe they just got the idea from the union and started doing it on their own.

  54. peggyhill says:

    WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO OPT OUT OF THE USA TODAY FEE?

  55. Trick says:

    I am on business here at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco… the room is only $174 a night which is pretty good for downtown SF, with a view of the bay.

    But parking is $55.00 a day! Yes, $55.00. That is not a mistake that should read $5.00. It is $49 + tax.

    Amazing…

  56. scoosdad says:

    @timmus: “Minibar Underconsumption Recovery Fee”– well, Verizon already adds their $2 fee every month now when you don’t happen to use any of their (landline) long distance services. What’s next… will my local gas station ding me every month when I fail to fill up there?

    Daily newspaper fee.. I saw that in a hotel once, even if you didn’t read the one they tossed outside your door every morning. Turns out if you thought to tell the desk when you checked in you didn’t want the paper every morning, they’d skip you and not bill you for it.

  57. scoosdad says:

    A number of years ago, the clamor over hotels charging outrageous fees for using their phones resulted in most hotels posting prominent placards or notices in the rooms listing the fees up front. Did some legislation require them to do that, or did they get sued?

    Seems like we now need another bit of legislation or a lawsuit to force them to post all these other fees prominently at the front desk so you can review them when you check in. You know how the car rental companies force you to initial key parts of the rental agreement? Something like that will need to happen with this.

  58. deserthiker says:

    Expensive parking in San francisco is the norm. Have you ever tried to park on your own there? It’s close to impossible. The good thing is that public transportation is so good you don’t need a car there. If you fly to SFO take the BART downtown and if you drive just don’t stay in the city. $50 a night for parking is the norm there.

    Also, according to AAA $2 per bag is the standard for bellman. Don’t be so cheap. Plus if you don’t like your room there’s a good chance the bellman will get you a better room. He knows the rooms better than anyone and works for tips. Just give him a good one unless you want a 3 a. m. wake-up call.

  59. loueloui says:

    Man I used to live like a few miles from this place. it was Miami Beach just north of Bal Harbour. Creepy as hell seeing the sign again.

  60. loueloui says:

    @ladyamazon:

    Okay how about I leave a pen on your desk when I check in. If you or any of your guests use this pen you agree to give me 40 cents. Sound reasonable?

    And, I was wrong about the vagabond motel. This is actually a slummy crack hotel in El Portal on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. No, I never lived near here, just had it confused with somewhere else.

  61. TangDrinker says:

    I agree with pps about LaQuinta (they also let you bring big dogs – a plus when traveling for us). Hampton Inn is also a great option for business travel – both chains usually offer free Wifi and free hot breakfast. We’ve recently had success staying at “corporate housing,” a furnished 3 bedroom apartment, for a week in Indianapolis – for less than $600 a week. 4 adults, 1 child, no occupancy tax. It was great. Just do a search for corporate or executive housing and you might find a cheaper option than a hotel, especially if traveling with kids. Helps if you have a car, though.

  62. kc2idf says:

    I recently stayed in a hotel in midtown Manhattan. This is a seller’s market for hotels. Even so, I didn’t have half of this crap!. They did have the $7 mineral water (though I would point out that New York has the best tap water in the world), and I imagine the telephone fees were up there as typical…. I don’t know; I just used my cell phone.

  63. juri squared says:

    @Buran: Wasn’t there a furry con at the Hyatt Woodfield this past weekend? Hotels have a lot of trouble keeping up with the demand of fan conventions. They may have been out of rollaways. Hell, they may have been out of appropriate rooms.

    I’m not saying that it excuses them, but I’ve worked with a lot of conventions and I see it all the time.

  64. ltlbbynthn says:

    Hey!! I used to live down the street from the Vagabond Motel! It really is that classy

  65. Buran says:

    @jurijuri: And that is my problem how? They had 5 months notice to ensure that they could accomodate us. They didn’t.

    If I don’t get a satisfactory answer, Hyatt lost a customer. Forever.

  66. lolinterweb says:

    Last time I stayed in a hotel (in Milwaukee after a flight was delayed) the airline paid for it. Since I had some work to do I asked about internet access. They told me it would be $29 out of pocket for me to use their wifi and I declined. I fired up my laptop when I got up to my room and did a quick network scan and found a couple different MAC addresses around me. I wrote them down, and a few hours later (Since I am a night owl) when one of them had signed off I changed the MAC address my laptop was sending out and they let me right online. Just a thought to avoid the wifi fees, but make sure the other one got offline or else you may both get kicked off.

  67. missdona says:

    @twoback: Bellagio automatically charged my room for M&Ms that my husband picked up and put back. I think it was $4.50. They took it off with no problem, but the automatic billing was trippy.

  68. juri squared says:

    @Buran: Didn’t say it was.

    However, it’s always a good idea to check in as early as possible at a con, because they overbook those suckers. They don’t care who reserved first; it’s all about who gets there first.

  69. krztov says:

    i know that hotel sign! thats in miami not far from where i used to live, right on US-1 :D

  70. edwardso says:

    @S_SILVERS:
    you should see how expensive it is to live here

  71. Buran says:

    @jurijuri: They’ll care when their execs start getting the carpet bomb for leaving someone on the freakin’ floor … and I didn’t check in any later than I habitually do when travelling, either. If a hotel thinks you have to check in at 2AM to get what you reserved, they’re out of their minds.

    Is 48 hrs typical for an emailed complaint? I’ve been waiting about that long so far.

  72. jbohanon says:

    This is called the “Principle of the Lazy Rich”.

    If you are staying for more than a few days at a resort, you might be able to avoid massive fees to use their internet by calling ahead of time, finding out who provides it, and signing up for a month of roaming access with that company. I stayed at a resort that wanted 15 bucks a day for wireless. Thankfully, on the way there I stopped at O’Hare and signed up for a “cheap” month with Boingo for something like 10 bucks. Then I just had to cancel after I left.

  73. Outtacontext says:

    @MatthewVA: In NYC all you have to do is to stick your computer next to your hotel room window. You’re bound to find free WiFi. I just make sure I use SSH for security.

  74. WV.Hillbilly says:

    @Buran:
    I’d say 48 hours is generous.
    I’d have been emailing that night from the floor
    I was sleeping on.

  75. hellinmyeyes says:

    I’m curious which hotels are more likely to have these fees. I’m pretty much a Marriott whore, and I always reserve online. They seem to do a good job of spelling out all the fees, and I’ve never been blindsided by anything unexpected.

    This sounds like a potential project that might guide consumers to less unscrupulous hotels and maybe hit them where it hurts (kind of like the gift card fee web site that spells out all the fees of various retailers).

  76. theslik1 says:

    I’d gladly pay a $10 “DNA Removal Fee” before and after my stay.

  77. alexiso says:

    I used to be a housekeeper for an “upscale” chain of hotels and they refused to implement a “Housekeeper’s Fee” that would go directly to the person who cleaned the room. If they had one it would go to the hotel. The fee should definitely be given to the housekeeper because we do depend on tips and people should always leave at least a couple of bucks behind for having someone else clean up after you.

  78. DTaylor404 says:

    In my experience, the more a hotel charges for the room, the more likely they are to hit you for additional fees, the more additional fees they will hit you for, and the higher those fees will be.

    If the local Krystal hamburger joint offers free Wi-Fi, you know the Sheraton’s hourly fee for that service has nothing to do with what it costs them to offer it.

  79. dgcaste says:

    What I can’t believe is they actually charged me a “structural damage fee” when I set a hotel in Vegas on fire last week.

  80. chrisbacke says:

    So the next time I’m calling about prices, I know to ask about these fees…. Every. single. one. And I’ll record the call so when I get charged them, I’ll play the tape and ask for an explanation… Maybe I’ll throw a copy of the tape and the bill to the local newspaper just for kicks… And we’ll see how fast they fall over themselves to pay me off…

  81. MBZ321 says:

    How long will it be before they put sensors in the sinks and charge you for the amount of water used? I mean this is getting ridiculous. When I travel, I stay at budget/mid priced places so I don’t have to deal with this stuff, and have had much better experiences.

  82. balthisar says:

    @hellinmyeyes: Similar to my experience with Residence Inn ( Marriott hotel). Free internet; free, good breakfast; afternoon snack (almost a meal!) for free; free alcohol during snack time in places that it’s legal; a real fridge; and a kitchen.

    My only complaint is that the new Residence Inns are all hotel style, you know, huge single building.

  83. HomerJ66 says:

    I spend an average of over 100 nights a year in a hotel. I tend to stay at Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn or Hilton Garden Inn. They are always clean, well lit and well kept up. I have stayed at a number of Holiday Inns (too many are not kept up to date), Holiday Inn Express (can be real bad at times, kind of a crap shoot), Comfort Inns (better than Holiday Inn Express, but there have been a few bad ones), Best Western is the same way. The nice part about Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn, is they are owned by Hilton, so I stay there enough to be a Diamond Level member of Hilton Honors, that got me a real nice room at their resort in Hawaii for free, they did hit me for self parking though, oh well. I guess my advice would be to stick with the national business hotels, they will give you more for the buck, and they are likely owned by an upscale chain where you can stay for free on vacation. Also if you tend to stick to one company, you can move up in their frequent guest program. You have never seen a manager jump to resolve a problem, as when a frequent guest had to call the hotline to resolve an issue that the hotel should have handled. The hotline then called the manager and told him to fix it immediately.
    Just my .02

    D’oh

    Homer J

  84. bar_merch says:

    I work for a hotel, and we don’t have those “extra fees”. The cost of the room and tax INCLUDES full hot breakfast, wireless internet, workout room, laundry facilities (you buy the detergent, but the machines are free), free dinner 3 nights out of the week (including free beer and wine), free copying/faxing/printing, full kitchen with everything except for an over (safety precautions..) but two stove top burners, eating utensils (including pots and pans, the works. The highest price I have seen on one of our rooms is $159, but that is a rare find. Normally, depending on if we have negotiated rates with your company, you are looking at $99-$129. Just be nice to all of us that work at the front. We are just trying to do our jobs, which means following orders from above.