When you search for on any travel booking website – one of the first questions you’re asked is destination. Where are you going? By definition, anywhere you go is a destination. So why are hotels now pretending as if more and more destinations are special, and require ridiculous fees, on top of the going rate?

a building with colorful domes and a bridge over waterWhy?

It’s a very fair question, isn’t it? Travelers have long known about resort fees for golf retreats, beachside luxury hotels and destination spas, but why are cities now part of the mix? If you ask the hotel chains – it’s to deliver a “better guest experience” – but we’re not buying it.


Hotels around the world, even in major cities are adding “destination fees”. These fees are said to cover things such as internet access, daily newspapers, restaurant discounts and other perks – but aren’t these already included? Unlike many of the above, these fees are not optional. Worst of all – they’re deceptive.


These fees are being roped into taxes and surcharges, so bookers do not see them listed until it’s almost too late. Yep, that $199 a night hotel in San Francisco is probably more like $259 a night all in – once taxes and these new pesky resort fees are accounted for. This comes at a time of ripe competition with the rise of Airbnb, Oasis collection and other hotel alternatives – and in our opinion, it’s further driving consumers from the traditional hotel experience.

a large room with tables and chairsPerks?

The fall back viewpoint for hotels is that they’re adding perks for guests. How kind of them. In some cases, “urban destination” charges offer a $10 bar credit, complimentary wifi or similar. Of course – $10 is hardly going to get you anything at a hotel bar, and it’s clearly a ploy to attract people to the hotels offerings. Why not just offer a coupon at check in if that’s what it’s really about.


So, what should you do? Many of these fees are only fully realized by booking direct with hotels. Since this is something we highly suggest doing anyway, we encourage travelers to take a deeper dive into the fine print at the booking stages. Look for casual pop ups about “resort fees” or worse, just in the lines of price breakdown at boarding. Not all hotels have moved to this deceptive business practice, so if they bother you the way they do us – perhaps reward your business to hotels which do not add these ridiculous “resort fees”

Have you been a victim of these new fees?

HT: ViewFromTheWing

Featured image courtesy of Atlas Singapore

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Guests should leave one star rating on TripAdvisor for these hotels. If these fees affect future reservations (by lowering their tripadvisor rating) hotel may understand that guests feel the fees are a scam. Hit their pocketbook too. And this will warn Tripadvisor readers in advance of these fees.

  2. Interesting pic of Art Deco “foyer” in article on hotels.
    It looks VERY much like the amazing Atlas Bar in Singapore – not a hotel at all ??

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