Sharon and I have written several articles about extra fees that hotels add to the bill for seemingly no reason other than “because they can.” Whether they call it a resort fee, destination fee, facility fee, amenity fee, or an urban destination fee, it’s all the same thing. The hotel charges an additional amount over the quoted room rate, and for that money, they provide something useless or that used to be included in the price of the room.
I’ve seen benefits such as in-room internet, bottled water (from Costco), pool towels, a welcome drink at the hotel bar, use of the hotel exercise room and business center, and hotel shuttle to a local mall given as justification of the fee. Hotels are insistent on getting you to pay the fee, even if you aren’t going to use any of the benefits. Some hotel chains make you pay the fee even when staying on a free night, while others do not.
In a comment to one of our articles, a reader pointed out one of the worst resort hotel fees I’ve ever seen. It’s not the $20 a day the hotel charges, but what they provide for the money.
The Wellington Hotel is located in Manhattan at 871 7th Ave. and 55th St. This is an excellent location if you’re looking to tour midtown as it’s close to Times Square and the theater district and also convenient to Central Park.
The hotel is independent of any hotel chain, so they depend on search engines and travel agencies for referrals. I’d imagine they get a decent amount of international visitors as a result (since most US travelers will book for themselves and therefore look at a chain hotel first).
When looking at Resort Fee Checker, here’s what you get for your $20:
- Fitness center access
- Nearby fitness center access
- Business center/computer access
- Internet access
- Phone calls
- Additional items may be included
The Wellington Hotel website provides “benefits” of the fee in greater detail when booking a room:
Wellington Hotel has a mandatory Facilities Fee of $20 per room, per night, provide guests with the following amenities and value-added offerings:
•High-Speed Wi-Fi – up to one device per guest
•All local and domestic phone calls within the US
•Full Access to our Business Center
•Access to local Gym – Athletic & Swim Club (787 7th Avenue, Concourse Level)
•One Regular Manicure session per guest at New York Nails & Spa (next to Wellington Hotel)
•10% off Spa services at New York Nails & Spa
•15% off at Danielle B. Jewelry on select items
•The Facilities Fee does not include service gratuities
A separate $100 (or $200 if paying cash) per stay refundable incidental deposit will be applicable on check-in.
Please be advised that if 10 or more passengers arrive at the hotel together via the same shared means of transportation, they are subject to a mandatory round-trip baggage handling charge, $9.92 per bag, minimum of one (1) bag per person. Effective July 1, 2020, the baggage handling charge will increase to $5.16 per bag each way ($10.32 round trip). In addition, a storage charge of $2 per bag each way is applicable for those groups and/or individuals arriving before 4pm and/or departing after 12noon. We suggest you anticipate and cost two (2) bags per person. Please note: you will be billed and must pay for this service whether you use it or not. The baggage handling charge is subject to change without notice.
So for $20, you can connect one device to the Wi-Fi, phone calls within the U.S., have use of the business center, and access to a gym located three blocks from the hotel. You’ll also get a free manicure (which is one of the strangest hotel fee amenities I’ve ever seen).
On top of the $20 per-night fee, the hotel also charges a $100 deposit (or $200 if you’re paying with cash) for incidentals, which need to be paid at check-in.
If you’re traveling with a group, the hotel charges a $10 fee per bag handling charge in addition to a $2 per bag “Storage fee” if you arrive before check-in time of 4PM or after check-out time of 12 noon. The handling fee is charged whether you use it or not, so just plan on paying it.
What if you don’t want to pay $20 a night so you can get a manicure or walk down the street to go to the gym?
First thing, you need to learn about all the different types of fees that hotels can charge.
If you want to join the movement to eliminate these fees, check out the Kill Resort Fees website.
If you end up staying at the Wellington Hotel and have to pay the $20 a night fee, make sure to take advantage of your free phone calls and manicure 🙂 You paid for it.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary