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Friday 20 May 2016

US hotels find yet another way to scam customers

I was idly browsing through the website of a hotel in the United States that I was vaguely considering as a possible "treat" destination. 

Then I came across a couple of lines that made me vow to look elsewhere for a place to lay my head.

This is a city hotel, a few blocks back from the beach, but it wants to nickel and dime its customers by imposing a "resort fee" - a growing trend. 

The hotel says it is "proud to announce the inclusion of the following amenities for all our guests at a nominal charge of $21 per night: a welcome glass of prosecco upon arrival, daily bike rentals, morning selection of coffee and tea, seasonal wellness programs, seasonal entertainment and seasonal pool offerings".

So these inhospitable folk in the hospitality industry want you to pay a non-negotiable fee for a "welcome" drink you may, or may not, want. And you pay $21 a night even though you only get the drink once. And they charge you for a cup of tea. Whether you want it, or not.

If, however, you are a member of the "loyalty" scheme to which this august hotel belongs "you will receive 50% off the daily guest amenity fee, an exclusive offer for members only".

As this hotel already charges in excess of $540 (that's US, by the way) a night for a "city view" room, you'd think it could afford to build "resort charges" into its already hefty rack rates (to which you can add taxes and endless tips). 

Anyway Viceroy Santa Monica, you and all others with similar rip-off policies can go rot. I'd rather stay in a Super 8 Motel than pay your "fees". 

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