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Hotels adding ‘resort fees’ in New York

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If you’ve ever stayed in Las Vegas or at a US beach resort, you have probably been subjected to ‘resort fees’.

These are, without a doubt, the biggest scam in the hotel business day.  If they weren’t a scam, they wouldn’t have been banned in pretty much everywhere else in the world.  They are a hidden fee – hidden to the extent they are not included in the price shown when searching for a hotel although they are disclosed later – covering, well, nothing in particular.

A typical example would be a $39 per day ‘resort fee’ to cover ‘use of the hotel pool’, internet, local phone calls and some water in your room.  These are all things you would expect to be included in your room rate, and you cannot refuse to pay the fee if you don’t use any of the ‘benefits’ listed.

This Wikipedia article is a good primer on the topic.

A reader recently told me that he had been hit for a ‘resort fee’ in New York.  I found this hard to believe but a bit of research pulled up this article.

One of the New York hotels with a ‘resort fee’ is the Crowne Plaza Times Square.  A quick search for 25th January showed a room available for $135.  This is the number that is used if you rank hotels by price on the IHG website or a third party site like Expedia.  Click ‘rate details’ though and it turns out that a $30 per night ‘resort / service fee’ is added mainly for wi-fi – which should be free to all guests signed up with IHG Rewards Club anyway.

Your $135 headline price becomes, with taxes, $188 per night.  Quite a difference …..

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Comments (90)

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  • Chilibenny says:

    I am trying to book Intercontinental Times Square two nights on points and one night cash in February – I am doing this separately as together the dollar cost is more. If that is the best way or not please advise.
    But on the resort fees, while it doesn’t say they have them whenever I go to book at a cash rate when I get to the end to pay on the IHG app it is always about 35 dollars more than the original price stated despite playing around with different room types. Could this be the resort fee?

    • Rob says:

      No, that’s the 14.75% city tax which is excluded from the headline rate, as it always is with US hotels.

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