Just how many fees are hotels really charging? And how many more do they plan to implement?
If there's one common complaint from travelers, it all centers around hotel fees. WiFi, mini-bars, resort fees, luggage storage, parking.
Some hotels have even started charging premiums for late-night room service and daily housekeeping, or access to guest room safes and business centers. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight, either.
Fees aren't uncommon at hotels, and the reality is that many hotels increase their fees every year. Whether or not you know it, you've been paying these fees all along.
At one point, fees were actually bundled into the price of the room. But as consumers demanded more transparency around what they're paying for, hotels are forced to show the truth. And it appears in various black lines on your guest folio.
According to a new report, hotel fees and surcharges will increase to $2.1 million in 2013, setting an all-time new record.
So what's going on? The increase for 2013 reflects a combination of approximately 2.25 percent more occupied hotel rooms than in 2012, more fees and surcharges, and higher amounts charged at many hotels for a total increase of approximately 6.0 percent, according to the report, which was published by Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management Divisional Dean Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D.
The trend is far from over.
The same NYU report states that fees and surcharges from hotels are highly profitable. "Most have incremental profitability of 80 to 90 percent or more of the amounts collected," states Hanson.
In what could be considered a way for hotels to compensate against the backlash of more fees, more hotels are getting creative with their amenities and offerings. Butlers are making more of a comeback in more ways than one.
Cooking butlers, bath butlers, fire butlers, s'mores butlers and even tanning butlers and private concierges are just a few of the ways hotels are catering to guests.
Yes, these services come with a price, but at least they're a little more inventive!This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.
Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com