Hotel Gotchas

Since I was a young child, I have always loved hotels.  I just could not wait for my parents to say we were going to visit my grandmother or going to the family home.  Even though my father drove the speed limit and we had to make several stops on lengthy trips, I was super excited when we finally would reach.  Keep in mind this is quite a time ago, so this was before the electronic keys, before the microwaves and coffee pots in the room, and before better bedding.  This was during the time when the majority of hotels were facing a highway, so you would hear cars coming and going all day and night.  But, nothing excited me more.  And clearly, it was a better tipper as a child than I am as an adult because I was famous for leaving my allowance in the room by accident.  To the housekeepers who found it, you are welcome.

Much has changed during those days.  For one, I do not tip the housekeepers at all (I triple check room to make sure I am not leaving any money behind).  Another improvement is with bedding.  Long gone are those hard mattresses on the metal frames where if you accidentally kick it with your foot, you are surely going to the ER or will have to soak your foot in ice for 24 hours.  Mattresses today make you feel as if you were sleeping on cotton (Just check for bed bugs).  Also the rooms come with many more amenities such as: microwaves, Keurig coffee makers, refrigerators, full dining sets and dining tables.  The bathroom amenities are also upgraded.  Nice plush bath towels and brand name toiletries, as well as 2 ply tissue (that 1 ply would cause some serious accidents).  But, the change is not without a cost.

While is is normal to be charged taxes for the room, hotels now sometimes include a resort fee, a fee for receiving the newspaper at your room door, a fee for using the “courtesy shuttle”, a fee for housekeeping services, a local tax, a county tax, and a laundry list of other taxes and fees.  Even though some of these fees are only fifty cents or a dollar, they add up quickly and before you know it, you have racked up over $15 or more in fees on top of your room rate.  So, what do you do?  Do your homework.  There are many sites on the internet that will give you the total room charge for a stay.  If any of the fees do not seem logical to you, contact the property to find out if they are mandatory or option, whether or not they can be waived.  If they cannot be waived, look for a property nearby with the same amenities at a fraction of the cost.

Unless money is no object to you and you do not mind being nickel and dimed for everything, investigate before you book.  Be a wise consumer and get the best bang for your buck.