I would really like to be able to see honest prices shown when trying to book a hotel. IF so called resort fees are going to be forced upon all guests then please just make them part of the price. What I would really like is a button that filters our hotels that do charge a resort fee.
Vegas started this and made it so that I limit what locations I am willing to stay or tell others to stay.sorthonesty
jonsummers, I agree 100%. I am not aware of any way to screen for this other than to look at the nightly rate screen (button that says "view rates") and see if there is a banner saying there's a resort fee. Obviously the ones called "Resort" have a resort fee, but there are a bunch of hotels without the word resort in their names that also have a resort fee. I think it was brightlybob who had a theory that they don't include the resort fee in the nightly rate so that they appear more competitive on third party booking sites such as Expedia. That makes sense, but it still seems like a dubious business practice.
I would also love a way to search for properties with a CL but there doesn't appear to be any way to do that without looking at each individual property's page, and even that doesn't always give adequate info.
I wholeheartedly agree jonsummers
Unfortunately, there isn't a way to do this specifically. There is talk of legislation concerning this, primarily something similar to the regs. that force airlines to advertise the price of a ticket inclusive of all taxes and fees. Naturally, the lodging industry against this measure, and I haven't heard anything about it in a while.
I would say that most Courtyards in Hawaii do not charge resort fees, though their parking rates are getting ridiculous and many aren't what you'd want if you were on a exotic getaway. The Courtyard in Kona is pretty good, though, and has it's own little beach!
Glad to help jonsummers! In fact, if Kona is where you'd like to go, I did a little writeup regarding the Courtyard there last year Hotel Review: Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel - Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Please also check out the rest of my Insiders blog Hawaii & Beyond! I live in Hawaii and am always willing to help!
I have, mostly, avoided resort fees. Parking fees are more difficult to avoid, if one is staying in a city. I do factor these numbers into my decision when I choose a hotel.
I find these fees, especially resort fees, to be unreasonable. Any fee that is assessed upon every guest, should be included in the room rate. It's the honest way to do business!
Totally agree phctourist! Which is why I think this is an area that might benefit from additional regulation, like airline pricing.
Good luck with that one.
According to my nephew, who works in the industry, many resorts in close-in competitive markets needed a way to keep the base rate low. Thus began the ubiquitous "resort fee", which allowed them to display low rates while boosting their bottom line.
I think it's actually quite ingenious and think gas stations should try it. Imagine driving by a station advertising $1.45 a gallon and when you pull up to the pump there is a sign informing you of a 85¢ a gallon "dispensing fee".
I just discovered a hotel that actually gives something for the resort fee. I wish they would offer the opportunity to pass on the amenities but at least they do give something of value for the fee. The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay offers the following for $25 per day. Several of these items would not be expected without extra charge at most hotels. I'm not saying I like it, but I am saying that it is not so onerous as most resort fees.
Glass of wine during check-in (daily at the front desk from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
phctourist, good info. Have you stayed there yet? I drove by (near) that property, and it looked wonderful.
I will be staying there in late spring! I'll try to post a description of the trip on Insiders. I have told all three hotels that the trip is a double celebration in the hopes of getting something to special to help us celebrate several major milestones. (The trip is to celebrate our 50 anniversary and , hopefully, my recovery from cancer.)
Since I own several weeks at MVC resorts, I've been able to avoid staying at Marriott resort properties. Do the resort fees typically include parking? If not, then the resort fees, parking, and breakfast (typically not included for Gold/Platinum at resorts) can add $100+ per day in costs. Most MVC resorts have no parking or resort fees, and have full kitchens so you can save by preparing your own breakfasts.
superchief1, they used to include parking, but not anymore. The really kick in the pants is the fact that now resort fees and parking are about equal in price! It's normal to pay over $50/night extra in resort fees and parking.
Yup, it's ridiculous jonsummers. Hawaii is even higher!! Of course Marriott isn't alone in this, but it's been getting higher and higher with less and less benefits. Something has got to change as lodging companies continue to take greater and greater advantage of this.
superchief1, we do the same thing with the MVCIs, making our own breakfast, etc. And as you know, some of the MVCI properties have shared privileges with a neighboring Marriott, so you get all the resort amenities without paying the fee (e.g. World Center).
I just returned from a week at Canyon Villas and enjoyed the JW Desert Ridge facilities without paying any resort fees or parking. Although I would not likely buy MVC timeshares today, now that I have them they continue to provide great vacations for about $1300 per week in maintenance fees. Compare that to $450+ per night plus resort fees/parking for a single room at the JW.
This link should be helpful to assist in your quest for more information on purchasing shares from MVC owners: Marriott Vacation Club® Timeshare Resales (Official Site)
I suggest you check out the TimeshareUserGroup forum (TUG). This has been very helpful to me regarding timeshare ownership and rentals. Although I purchased all of my MVC weeks and points through Marriott, there are other resale and rental opportunities discussed in the forums.
Purchasing a resale directly from an owner is quite common. A lot of them are listed on eBay, which is where I purchased my week at the St. Thomas Frenchman's Cove. In the deepest throes of the recession I bought mine from a distressed seller for $2,500 (she paid > $20k). Marriott has the right of refusal in some locations, so they will have a say on whether you can buy it or not.
But be aware of one thing, if you purchase from a third party, you will not be entitled to enroll it in the Destination points program nor receive Marriott Reward points.
mikiegfla Any suggestions on where to buy them directly from folks? Also can you buy just time or borrow time? I am planning honeymoon and never considered that as an option.
jonsummers, you can call MVCI and see if they will offer you a discounted stay in exchange for your promise to attend a timeshare promo. Yes, that sounds like an awful thing to do on your honeymoon, but we did one of these promos at Ko Olina (Oahu - and not on our honeymoon) and got 6 nights in a 1 bedroom suite with full kitchen, washer and dryer for $799 which was quite a good price. The timeshare presentation was not bad at all - very low pressure and did not take more than 90 min. Ask for the guy from Iowa - I forgot his name, but he is very respectful and won't do a hard sell. If you do decide to buy, they will comp your entire stay. Or you can rent the MVCI units directly from Marriott.com (but they are very expensive if you do that) or you can rent a week (or whatever time you need) from an owner without having to buy the unit or points. You could even put a post on Insiders offering to rent from an MVCI owner. Some owners have designated weeks at designated properties, but a lot of us have points that can be used at any time at any property if space is available. We've used ours in Hawaii, the Caribbean, and at multiple locations in Florida. I might use some next winter in Park City as well. One thing to keep in mind with the timeshares is that they tend to attract families, so it might not be the most secluded romantic honeymoon in the world. If you want that, rent an overwater bungalow in French Polynesia (and no, Marriott does not have any properties that meet that description, but SPG does!). But we love the timeshares, and we spent our honeymoon traipsing around the UK in rain along with a tourist group so what do we know about romance and seclusion?
Just an update on the subject matter. Help "may" be on the way. The FTC has taken up the cause and is working on a new regulation which would require hotels to quote the fees in the nightly rate. I think this is one regulation whose time has come. It used to be that when booking a cruise that "port fees" were listed separately and around fifteen years ago the FTC stepped in to do away with that practice. The same goes for airlines that used to tease you online with a low fare only to jack them up with fees and surcharges once you started the booking process. Resort fees are no different.
No surprise that the hotel industry is fighting back. This interesting article also mentions some responses from hotel industry lobbying groups. If you can believe it, they state that in surveys, customers actually ask for resort fees.
Mentioned are these quotes: "Rosanna Maietta, a spokeswoman for the America Hotel & Lodging Association, says that resort fees benefit hotel guests"
"Sara Rayme, a spokeswoman for the American Gaming Association (AGA), which represents casino hotels, says their guests asked for resort fees because they didn’t want to pay separately for extras such as Wi-Fi, pool usage, gym and spa access, and bottles of water. “Resort fees simply bundle together such amenities, up front, for the consumer,” she says. “As a result, resort fees have provided a much more transparent experience for the customer.” "
Now I don't know about you, but before these fees arrived on the scene about a decade ago, I don't recall ever having to pay for using the pool at a hotel where I was a registered, paying guest.
the time has come to regulate. If it is mandatory than it should be part of the price. Most of what you get for the fee, used to be free. Many are part of elite benefits. From what I understand, they don't give points on those fees either. I have cancelled reservations at hotels that charge the fees. I also hate to pay for parking.
What makes it more complicated is that one hotel can not simply change the standard. Including resort fees in the room fee will make the room fee look a lot more hefty and then the hotel next door looks a lot more attractive to the non-informed resort shopper and Marriott will be missing out.
Exactly. The separate fee is there to make the room rate look artificially lower. However, another reason working against the fee being integrated are taxes. As a separate fee, resort fees aren't subject to transient accommodations taxes. This allows the property to charge more since, for example, the GE tax in Hawaii is 4.6%, while the overall hotel tax (transient + GE) is about 13%. Not a fan of the practice either, but it is what it is.