Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

You Pay For Employee Healthcare Benefits When You Dine at This Hotel Property.

Is this what some people consider to be healthy dining?

Beachfront hotel properties offer views of the ocean and easy access to the sandy beach — and they also provide an ambient noise of waves constantly crashing against the shoreline which can be conducive to a restful deep sleep overnight when opening a window or door to a balcony…

You Pay For Employee Healthcare Benefits When You Dine at This Hotel Property.

…so paying at least moderately expensive room rates is expected by guests, who believe that the premium is worth the experience — not to mention the taxes and fees which are added on to the final bill at the conclusion of the stay.

Guests who decide to stay at the Oceana Santa Monica beachfront hotel property — which is part of the LXR brand of Hilton — for one night on the randomly chosen dates of checking in on Thursday, February 24, 2022 and checking out on Friday, February 25, 2022 can expect to pay a minimum of $673.26 for the Oceana King room, which is the least expensive offering…

Source: Oceana Santa Monica.

…and they will also pay a mandatory resort fee of $45.00 per night — plus tax — which includes such valuable amenities as:

  • Wi-Fi access
  • Morning beach yoga
  • Beach cruiser bike rental
  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Newspaper delivery
  • In room streaming and Bluetooth
  • Welcome gift and beverage
  • House car use

Add on $107.96 for taxes, and the Oceana King room will cost a total of $826.22 for the night.

At a minimum of $1,096.62 — plus the aforementioned mandatory resort fee and tax — the Signature Oceanfront one bedroom suite is the most expensive room offered for that night. Add on $168.05 for taxes, and the Signature Oceanfront one bedroom suite will cost a total of $1,309.67 for the night.

Those aforementioned room rates are only available to members of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program. Guests who are not members can expect to pay even more for that one night.

Dining — and Healthcare Benefits For Employees On the Side

Of course, none of the room rates — nor the mandatory resort fee — include meals or snacks; so guests might be tempted to check out the fare offered by a famed chef of the dining room, which is a restaurant that is open exclusively to guests of the hotel property. You can have a classic pizza for $28.00 at lunch time — unless you want pepperoni, which added will increase the price by six additional dollars. You can also instead choose to dine on a Caesar salad for lunch at a cost of $26.00 — but if you add steak to it, the price of the Caesar salad becomes $48.00. Fish tacos are $32.00.

None of the menu prices include tax and gratuity — but look at the bottom of some of the menus at the restaurant of the hotel property, and you will see stated in light blue type:

Click on the lunch menu above to access the dining menus of the restaurant inside of the Oceana Santa Monica hotel property. Source: Oceana Santa Monica.

“20% gratuity is included on all checks. 5% charge is added to offer healthcare benefits to our employees.”

A different version of this statement is included on some of the menus — such as the Sunset Terrace sample menu:

Click on the Sunset Terrace sample menu above to access the dining menus of the restaurant inside of the Oceana Santa Monica hotel property. Source: Oceana Santa Monica.

“20% gratuity will be included on all guest checks. A 5% charge is added by the restaurant to all checks to help offer fully covered healthcare to our employees. Please let us know if you have questions. Thanks for supporting a healthier staff!!”

If the total bill for two people dining on a meal totals $100.00 — which is not unrealistic — five dollars is added to the bill to help offer fully covered healthcare to employees.

Final Boarding Call

Room rates can be expensive at a beachfront hotel property. As I wrote at the beginning of this article, paying at least moderately expensive room rates is expected by guests, who believe that the premium is worth the experience…

…but I would think that funds for offering fully covered healthcare to employees would be part of the cost which is derived from the room rate — or, at least, from the obnoxious mandatory resort fee — at the Oceana Santa Monica.

Why are only guests who dine in the restaurant required to pay this fee? Who does the mandatory fee cover — employees of the restaurant; or employees of the hotel property? Is this fee charged anywhere else on the hotel property? Does the hotel property pay taxes on this fee? Is this fee charged at other hotel properties?

As much as I believe that employees in general should be offered healthcare benefits — I did not always have them myself during my entire career — I think this mandatory charge is ridiculous and should be eliminated, as all this hotel property is doing is needlessly nickel-and-diming guests.

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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