Rosebuds Blog

A word about online hotel ‘deals’ and ‘resort fees’

October 09, 2012

There are two important new trends that are getting travelers frustrated.

One has to do with using online travel sites to find “deals” on hotels, airline tickets, rental cars, cruises and other travel products and services. The other has to do with so-called resort fees that unsuspecting guests are charged during check-in.

We’ll take these issues one by one. But first we want to emphasize that we have long urged our guests and prospects to book their Rose Hotel room directly on this website or by calling our front desk to get the best price available, and to ensure the best customer experience. Secondly, we do not, and never have, charge a “resort fee” or any other kind of hidden fee. We don’t do business that way. However, some hotels and resorts do.

Just ask Catharine Hamm, travel writer for the Los Angeles Times. She recently wrote about “resort fees” calling them the “uninvited guest in your vacation budget.”

“Mostly I call them annoying,” Hamm writes.

How annoying? When she looked online at booking a room at the MGM Signature in Las Vegas, for example, the first-night rate was $100 and the second night $125. Hamm thought they were pretty good rates until she clicked to the second page and found $27 in taxes plus a daily resort fee added to all room reservations at check-in. Ostensibly, the resort fees cover amenities such as the fitness center, internet access, in-suite private label coffee, daily newspapers, and so on.

Really? Since when do hotels hit their customers with add-on fees for their standard amenities?

The other trend foiling travelers has been ownership consolidation of online travel sites. A report in the Detroit Free Press said online hotel prices are “becoming as homogenized as a quart of milk.” Now that the big travel sites have bought their competitors, prices for hotel rooms and air fares are exactly the same, regardless of the site you visit.

When Free Press reporter Ellen Creager did a test, looking to book a room at the Westin Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon, the price came up $269.48 on all of the following sites: Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, TripAdvisor, CheapTickets, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, and on and on… 

Don’t waste your time. Book directly with The Rose Hotel for the best value and customer service experience (800-843-9540), and be assured that we do not – and never have – charged any additional fees for our amenities. They are always included in our room rates.

We’ll surprise you with the quality of our facilities and services, not with unexpected and unwarranted fees.

Written by Mike Consol

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