Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Hotel resort fees are the bane of my (travel) existence, right up there with airline “fuel” surcharges on award tickets.  There are few things more irritating than thinking that you have a free or cheap room, only to find that you’re getting charged anywhere from $5 to $30 extra (or more!) per night (or sometimes per person!).  This is right up with hotel “city taxes” that sometimes get charged (very sporadically)

(SEE ALSO: Hotel city tax: legitimate expense or extortion attempt?)

Trying to answer why do hotels charge resort fees

I read an interesting article over on Quora trying to answer this same question.  The answer was penned by Lauren Wolfe, who markets herself as the Founder and CEO of Kill Resort Fees, a website whose intent is to (wait for it) kill resort fees.

Lauren lists a few reasons why hotels charge resort fees, which mostly have to do with making sure they make more money (of course!).  Much of it has to do with the relationship that hotels have with OTAs like Orbitz or Expedia – by charging the resort fee the hotel can get a higher percentage of the daily rate.

Some of the excuses why hotels charge resort fees

I loved Lauren’s examples of some of the excuses that hotels give as to why hotels charge resort fees, like the increasing cost of some of the hotel facilities, with the money quote of  “…one has to wonder what the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Hotel in Hawaii, is doing charging $1,530 per night as their advertised room rate yet what on earth is not covered that the hotel still has an additional mandatory resort fee of $31.41 per night.”


If hotel resort fees were really about the facilities like the swimming pool or fitness center, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that you should get a refund if you didn’t use those?  Of course that never flies, because it’s basically just a hotel money grab (like airline fuel surcharges)

The entire article about why do hotels charge resort fees is a great (and very in-depth!) read.  I think most people would agree that hotel resort fees are annoying, very anti-consumer, borderline deceptive (very hard to find them disclosed on most hotel sites), and I’m sure the only reason Congress hasn’t made them illegal is that there are very powerful hotel lobbying groups.

What’s your take on why hotels charge resort fees and whether or not they should?

Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers and that compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners and I do not include all card companies, or all available card offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers and other offers and benefits listed on this page. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them

User Generated Content Disclosure: Points With a Crew encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.