The Destination Fee Plague Spreads Again — This Time, To…

Resort fee. Facilities fee. Destination fee.

Regardless of the name, this nefarious — and typically useless — mandatory charge which is added to your hotel bill has spread yet again.

The Destination Fee Plague Spreads Again — This Time, To…

This time, the latest hotel property to embrace this deceptive practice is the Grand Hyatt New York, which now charges $25.00 per day to the room rate — whether or not you use what is included in the destination fee — effective as of Thursday, February 1, 2018…

destination fee

Click on the image for an enlarge view. Source: Grand Hyatt New York.

…so what is included in the destination fee charged by the Grand Hyatt New York? The next section is copied verbatim from the official Internet web site of the hotel property — including spelling errors and other errors.

Destination Fee Policy

A mandatory $25 destination fee to the Rack, Special Offers, Discount and Internet rates. World of Hyatt Member rates within these segments as well as World of Hyatt members who book directly through Hyatt channels are excluded from the Destination Fee. This fee will be assessed for the first seven (7) nights of a guest’s stay and the hotel may decide to waive thereafter. This fee will focus on providing opportunities for guests to enjoy the “New York experience” highlighting attractions close to its location including local neighborhoods and Grand Central Station. The goal is to enhance the guest experience and provide opportunities to explore Grand Central and the surrounding area.  This fee includes:

  • High speed premium internet
  • Local, long distance and international calls
  • $15 food and beverage credit in hotel Market per room per day
  • Access to daily New York Times & Financial Times via in-room app
  • Grand Central self-guided audio tour for two per stay
  • Seasonal rooftop tour viewing NYC skyline
  • Exclusive Grand Central coupon book with discounts and free offers for Grand Central Terminal vendors
  • Macy’s  VIP passport  which includes 15% discount on regular and sale merchandise, 20% off food and beverage & complimentary fine jewlery & “MyStylist” personal shopper
  • Luggage storage upon check in (up to four (4 bags) and upon check out (maximum eight (8) hours)

 
AFTER this fee is implemented on Reserve and Hyatt.com, as well as via any other reservation method, including OTA’s, the fee may be added to a reservation. Reservations made prior to this implementation may not include the Destination Fee.

Summary

Be honest…how many of the aforementioned items which are included in the destination fee would you use and find that they have added value to you?

The list of items is nothing more than a disguise of sorts to deceive potential customers into thinking that the advertised room rate is artificially lower than it is in reality. The room rate shown in the aforementioned example is an arguably reasonable $210.68 — but totals $270.26 by the time all of the taxes and fees are added to it, creating a potential “sticker shock” for guests who did not expect to pay that much money. The room rate in this specific case should have been advertised as $235.68 — but I would not be surprised if the room rate before the destination fee was added was still $210.68; and if that is true, then this is a sneaky way of implementing a rate increase.

To add insult to injury, guests usually must pay taxes resulting from the fee.

The most effective way to combat this scourge — short of government legislation, of which no sign exists that that will happen anytime soon — is to boycott all hotel and resort properties which have the nerve to charge fees which guests are required to pay but get little to no value in return.

That I vehemently oppose the implementation of mandatory resort fees, facilities fees and now destination fees is no secret to you if you have been a reader of The Gate for years — they should either be optional or eliminated altogether — and I will just let this extensive body of work over the years pertaining to mandatory resort fees speak for me…

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

12 thoughts on “The Destination Fee Plague Spreads Again — This Time, To…”

  1. Carl P says:

    I’m confused,

    It says “World of Hyatt Member rates within these segments as well as World of Hyatt members who book directly through Hyatt channels are excluded from the Destination Fee.”

    Then it says “AFTER this fee is implemented on Reserve and Hyatt.com, as well as via any other reservation method “.

    Wouldn’t using Hyatt.com be a Hyatt channel with NO destination charge.

  2. Mike says:

    Trump will eliminate ALL destination charges. MAGA!!!

  3. Seth says:

    Check in, ring up a friend in an expensive-to-call country, leave phone off hook for duration of stay.

    Luggage storage for up to eight hours after check-out? Most hotels do longer than that even without a fee.

  4. DaninMCI says:

    What no HBO or color TV included? I assume I need to bring quarters for that like in the old days at Motel6.

  5. omatravel says:

    Seth, the GH charges $25 for 8 hours of luggage storage now sostat 1 night and you get it for free.

    As long as WOH members are exempt it won’t hit me personally, but that hotel was already an impersonal dumpy convention hotel that I would only use if it was cheap and I needed nights for Hyatt status.

  6. Todd says:

    The US has turned into a horrible country to travel to. It’s like a traveling to a developing country where people are waiting around every corner to rip you off…except that it’s all done legally and done by big corporations.

    I used to travel to the US 4-5 times a year on business and spent on an average $2000 per trip (excluding flights). But I’m voting with my money now. I visited only once in 2017 and will do my very best to avoid it in 2018.

    1. Leo says:

      Sweet! Thank you.

  7. Byron Miller says:

    Destination Fees… I don’t pay ’em when I buy a car, why would I choose a hotel that charges them?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That logical statement could be a good slogan, Byron Miller.

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