Are Resort Fees Per Person or Room?
Resort fees are additional charges that hotels and resorts add to the final bill for guests staying on their property. They are separate from the advertised room rate and cover various amenities and services provided by the resort. These fees can vary in how they're charged, but are generally charged per room, (usually per day) not per person.
WHAT ARE RESORT FEES?
Resort fees are charged by resorts, casinos, hotels and other types of lodging usually on a nightly basis, not per person or per stay. These fees typically cover a range of services and facilities that the resort offers such as:
- Wi-Fi: High-speed internet or Wi-Fi access throughout the property.
- Gym/Pool Access: Use of fitness centers, pools, or other recreational facilities.
- Newspapers: Daily newspapers delivered to the room.
- Parking: Self-parking or valet services.
- Shuttle Services: Transportation services to nearby attractions or airports.
- In-room Amenities: Coffee/tea makers, bottled water, or other in-room perks.
- Business Services: Access to business centers, fax services, or printing facilities.
- Beach Access: Daily access to what could possibly be a private beach otherwise.
- Bike/Kayak/Equipment Rentals: Depending on the resort there may be an option to use a bike to cruise around town for example.
What’s confusing and frustrating to many travelers, is that these additional fees are not clearly revealed on booking websites and may come as an unexpected and expensive surprise during check-in or check-out. Resort fees are purposefully hidden in fine print and are not included in the advertised price of the stay. Since resort fees are not in the advertised price, they are left out of all third-party booking sites like Priceline and Expedia where people often search to compare prices. No online tool is available to compare prices with resort fees because those tools are searching for the advertised rate.
There’s also no correlation between a location being a “resort” and having a “resort fee.” In fact, many of the amenities that are being claimed in these fees are not actually available, relevant or even wanted by guests. Hotels and resorts have the ability to choose what’s included by these charges, and use names like destination charge, amenity charge, service charge, experience fee, good life fee, guest amenity fee, urban fee or resort charge for the same scheme of breaking the room rate into two parts. These fees have come under intense scrutiny in recent years and there’s currently a bill in Congress that would eliminate hidden hotel resort fees.
CAN YOU STAY SOMEWHERE WITHOUT RESORT FEES?
Yes, it is possible to find a resort, hotel or type of lodging that does not include an additional “resort fee”. However, these can be difficult to find because these fees are not prominently mentioned. Whether known as resort fees, destination fees or urban fees, these additional charges commonly don’t show up in the room price on an initial online search for accommodations until a consumer clicks all the way through to a payment page to then find the nightly rate has inflated. As a customer, you have no choice but to pay these fees even if you choose not to use the amenities they supposedly cover.
Some resorts may have policies where a resort fee is charged per person, especially in cases
where the fee includes specific services or perks allocated to each guest. All-inclusive resorts are accommodations that offer guests a comprehensive package that includes meals, drinks, activities, etc, all bundled into the cost of the stay. While all-inclusive rates may appear higher, guests know the full cost up front.
Always check the specific resort's policy regarding resort fees before booking to understand what's included and how the fees are structured. This information is not always easy to find, but should be available on the hotel or resort's website or can also be obtained by contacting their reservations or customer service department.