HOTEL

Why hotels charge resort fees

The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, a Hyatt resort on 15 beachfront acres in Hawaii, is far from just a place to sleep. There are multiple pools, including a lagoon and three infinity pools. As part of the resort fee, you can also take a stand-up paddleboarding course, use the resort’s snorkel equipment and GoPro action camera and maybe even learn ukulele, hula or mixology.

It’s all marketed as complimentary — but it’s only sort of so. Andaz Maui is one of what the American Hotel and Lodging Association estimates is six per cent of all hotels that charge a resort fee. These fees run between $US20 ($28.45) and $US50 ($71.13) per night — and they’ve become one of the most controversial issues in the travel industry.

NerdWallet analysed more than 100 US hotels with January 2023 check-in dates as part of its 2023 Best-Of Awards to see which hotels have the best and worst fees. Among the hotels that charge them, the average resort fee was $US42.41, representing nearly 11 per cent of the overall nightly cost. The Andaz Maui’s daily resort fee is $US50 plus tax, which is above average. But because Andaz Maui’s nightly rates are also above average, the fee is about six per cent of the overall nightly cost to stay in January 2023, based on data gathered in December 2022.

And like most other resorts that charge such fees, the Andaz’s fee is not optional — even if you never use the amenities.

THE CASE FOR RESORT FEES

Resort fees may be a way for hotels to increase profits without necessarily charging guests more.

“Hotels claim that resort fees allow hotels to reduce the commissions paid to online travel agents,”

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HOTEL

Are resort fees ever worth it?

The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, a Hyatt resort on 15 beachfront acres in Hawaii, is far from a place to sleep. There are multiple pools, including a lagoon and three infinity pools. As part of the resort fee, you can also take a stand-up paddleboarding course, use the resort’s snorkel equipment and GoPro action camera and maybe even learn ukulele, hula or mixology.

It’s all marketed as complimentary — but it’s only sort of so. Andaz Maui is one of what the American Hotel and Lodging Association estimates is 6% of all hotels that charge a resort fee. These fees run between $20 and $50 per night — and they’ve become one of the most controversial issues in the travel industry.

NerdWallet analyzed more than 100 U.S. hotels with January 2023 check-in dates as part of its 2023 Best-Of Awards to see which hotels have the best and worst fees. Among the hotels that charge them, the average resort fee was $42.41, representing nearly 11% of the overall nightly cost. The Andaz Maui’s daily resort fee is $50 plus tax, which is above average. But because Andaz Maui’s nightly rates are also above average, the fee is about 6% of the overall nightly cost to stay in January 2023, based on data gathered in December 2022.

And like most other resorts that charge such fees, the Andaz’s fee is not optional — even if you never use the amenities.

THE CASE FOR RESORT FEES

Resort fees may be a way for hotels to increase profits without necessarily charging guests more.

“Hotels claim that resort fees allow hotels to reduce the commissions paid to online travel agents,” according to the Federal Trade Commission’s 2017 report.

Most resorts pay travel agents a commission based on the nightly rate rather than

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