Resort Fees Reducing Benefits For Elites

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by HaveMilesWillTravel, Nov 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I brought this up recently in the context of researching a stay at the HR Waikiki, and I also submitted a question for the chat yesterday (but it wasn't picked): while waived for Diamonds (not sure about Plats) for award stays, it seems that resort fees often take away a significant portion of the earned status benefits for Platinum and Diamond members.

    Waikiki:

    A Resort Fee of $18.00 plus tax per room, per night will be assessed. The fee covers the following items: two large bottles of water - replenished daily, high speed internet access, complimentary use of in-room safe, complimentary local phone calls, complimentary 1-800 calls, complimentary international calls (up to 60 minutes) per stay, local newspaper (Monday-Friday), pick up at the Front Desk, complimentary incoming faxes, Health Club access, resort cultural activities, access to beach amenities.

    Kauai:

    A Resort Fee of $25 per room, per night will be assessed. The resort fee program covers: Access for two (2) to the fitness center including fitness classes, internet access, self parking, two (2) bottled waters in-room daily, in-room coffee and tea, 10% discount on select merchandise at Anara Spa, the Logo Shop at the Tennis Garden, Poipu Bay Golf Pro Shop and Captain Andy's Lagoon Side Hut, One (1) hour tennis court time each day, 10% discount on business center internet access, local and 1-800 phone calls, incoming faxes, local newspaper, luggage tag made with key upon checkout.

    Maui:

    A Resort Fee of $25 per room, per night will be assessed. The fee covers the following items: Admission to the fitness center Moana Athletic Club, Fitness classes including Hydro-Fit, Water Aerobics, Yoga, Flexibility Training, Meditation, Body Conditioning, Pilates, Step, Boot Camp and Zumba, in-room coffee and tea, 1-800/888 and local calls, daily Maui News newspaper, one hour of court time at the Tennis Center, and wireless internet access in guestroom.

    Clearwater Beach, FL:

    A Resort Fee of $20 per room, per night will be assessed. The fee includes: High Speed Wireless or Wired Internet Access in Guest Rooms, Poolside Activities & Games (Ping Pong, Foosball, Wii), Pool Chair & Towel Service and Beach Towel Service, Two Bottles of Water Replenished Daily, Complimentary Self Service Laundry, 24 Hour Access to Our Stay Fit Gym, Local Newspaper Upon Request, Complimentary Arrival Beverage, Incoming & Outgoing Fax Service, Local & 800 Calls, In Room Coffee

    Tamaya:

    A Resort Fee of $20 per room, per night will be assessed. The fee covers the following items: High Speed Wired Internet, Golf bag storage, bicycle rental, local telephone calls, 800/888 telephone surcharges, incoming faxes, self-parking, spa facility access, and 24 hour Stay Fit exercise facilities.

    ...

    Personally, I feel offended by being asked to pay a surcharge for something I either should get for "free" based on my elite level or simply don't care about (Golf Bag Storage? I don't play golf. Incoming faxes? What's that worth, 3 cents a page? I haven't used a fax machine in probably 5 years. In-room coffee? All your Hyatt Place properties have free in-room coffee. Etc. etc. etc.)

    I believe SPG faced a lot of criticism for their resort fees from elites and instituted a policy last year that properties are required to offer an alternative benefit for the resort fee portion that is covering elite benefits. What's Hyatt GP's view of this?
     
  2. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    I wonder if they do this because of the amount of business travelers that stay there. If these places are known to host corporate outings the hotel can add all these ridiculous fees because for business purposes, its just an expense that gets reimbursed, so its a victimless price gouge in that respect.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    My wife recently stayed at the HR Tamaya for a conference. Let's see what she got for the $20/day:

    High Speed Wired Internet -- she used her Android phone to tether her iPad as WiFi in the room didn't work properly

    Golf bag storage -- doesn't play golf, and if she did, she wouldn't have had time as she was there for the conference

    bicycle rental -- didn't ride a bike, she was there for a conference (beginning to sound familiar?)

    local telephone calls, 800/888 telephone surcharges -- cellphone with more free minutes anyone can use

    incoming faxes -- didn't receive any... maybe I should have faxed her a few chapters of War and Peace every day?!

    self-parking -- didn't have a car, used the (paid!) hotel shuttle to get from ABQ to the hotel

    spa facility access -- didn't have time for spa activities. didn't even use the pool

    and 24 hour Stay Fit exercise facilities. -- I believe she went jogging along the Rio Grande river one evening... no gym use.

    She booked the hotel over the phone using the conference rate (which earned points). I have to believe that she wasn't told about the resort fee, because she was rather p*ssed when she got the bill at checkout and found out about the resort fee and what she got for it. And she isn't doesn't even have elite status with Hyatt...
     
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  4. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Doubtful that they would tell her about the fee since its significant enough to impact the rate. One thing if it was $5 a day, but 20? You're wife (or her company) paid a lot for nothing. Of course if you call Hyatt, they'll tell you that its in the terms/conditions. Still sucks.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I think the conference rate was something like $150/night, so an extra $20/room is quite a nice extra profit squeezed out of the hundreds of conference attendees.
     
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  6. theBOAT
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    theBOAT Silver Member

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    As a point of reference, I was able to get the $20/day resort fee reduced slightly, to $15/day, due to elite benefits overlap at the Hyatt Lost Pines outside of Austin, TX. My personal feeling is that it should have been reduced to $5 (or $0) b/c of the "benefits" provided by the fee, but I took what I could and moved on. YMMV...

    theBOAT
     
  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I would like to see an option where you have a choice to pay the resort fee to get a package of benefits or to waive it entirely, for all guests. That way elites who get free WiFi and don't need anything else don't have to worry about it. People who might want the water, the coffee, the WiFi, etc. can take care of it at once without a la cart charges.

    I agree with theBOAT that asking for a discount might help.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Once you whittle away the non-sense stuff that almost no one cares about, I think many people would come to the conclusion that they don't want to pay the fee for a bucket of "features".
     
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  9. mikew99
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    mikew99 Silver Member

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    Resort fees have become the fuel surcharges of the hotel industry. I'd have less of a problem with resort fees if hotels were required to include them in all advertised rates (as airlines are required to do in the U.S.), but even that won't necessarily help out with award stays.
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I compare them to the junk fees of the mortgage industry.
     

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