Always read the fine print if you’re booking a hotel otherwise the super cheap room you’ve reserved could end up costing you more than double what you’re expecting to pay.
This is because some hotels are now charging hidden fees, which are only mentioned in the terms and conditions — if at all, The Sun reports.
One common charge that isn’t always explicitly mentioned is the “resort fee”, which charges you for on-site amenities even if you didn’t use them.
While you’re most likely to encounter it in the US, you could find it anywhere.
Resort fees can include anything from the gym and swimming pool to internet and phone calls.
The average resort fee is an additional $US30 ($43.60) a night, according to Forbes, although some hotels charge as much as $160 ($232.65) a night — which can end up doubling the cost of your hotel stay if you manage to find a cheap deal.
Some hotels list the resort charge, including how much it costs and what it includes, on their websites, such as the Waldorf Astoria in Florida.
If you’re booking via a third party, this is not always made clear.
AVOIDING PAYING RESORT FEES
Not all hotels charge resort fees, and some only charge the fee to certain guests, such as those who booked through a third party via a particularly cheap deal.
If you’re not sure whether your hotel carries the extra fee, contact them and ask or use online checkers such as ResortFeeChecker.com.
Resort fees are an extra charge, commonly found in the US, that travellers don’t expect. Picture: Resortfeechecker.comSource:Supplied
You can get out of paying resort fees if some of the amenities are not up to scratch, for example, closed pools or slow Wi-Fi.
Or if you’re a member of the hotel’s loyalty program, these fees are sometimes waived.
FUTURE OF RESORT FEES
Resort fees could soon be eradicated altogether.
Booking.com, one of the largest hotel comparison websites, recently announced they would start charging commission on resort fees as well as costs.
Hotels have an incentive to offer lower rates on bookings sites and make up the difference through resort fees, but if Booking.com’s new policy comes into play, this might not be a good deal for them.
According to Skift, this could mean hotels could get rid of them altogether.
A Booking.com spokesperson told the Independent the change was part of their pledge to “provide our customers with transparent information about the total price they will need to pay at a property when they make a booking”.
The practice is particularly prevalent in the United States in holiday spots like Hawaii and Las Vegas. Picture: iStockSource:istock
OTHER HIDDEN FEES
While resort fees are the most common hidden fee, there are plenty of others levied by unscrupulous hotels.
According to Smarter Travel, some hotels charge for the in-room safe, which is meant to insure the contents of the safe.
You might have to pay taxes or other local charges at your hotel, such as a tourist tax.
There could also be extra charges such as using more than one pool towel or leaving your bags with the concierge after you check out.
Some hotels are charging guests an “Urban Destination Charge” if they are near popular landmarks.
Hotel chains in New York have been accused of adding an extra $US25 ($36.35) a night if they are near Times Square.
Booking websites have also been accused of hiding additional fees such as resort charges.
Sun Online Travel has contacted Booking.com for additional comment.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
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