Resort fees are back in the news today, and Hawaii has some of the most eye-popping ones as far as we know. Yesterday, President Joe Biden attacked egregious hotel resort fees and called on Congress to limit some of these fees being levied on consumers.
These add up to unfair fees… when you check out, it can be over $50 a night. — President Joe Biden.
This subject has been dragging on for a very long time. More than five years ago, the FTC said that “Separating mandatory resort fees from posted room rates without first disclosing the total price is likely to harm consumers.” Yet it continues widely to this day. Resort fees force consumers into making “An incomplete, less informed decision that may result in a more costly room, ” added FTC.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association hit back, however, saying that 94% of hotels charge no resort. When they do, “it includes unique and tangible amenities such as food and beverage credits, special events, access to pools and beaches, transportation and spa services.”
It seems that Hawaii may have more than its fair share of hotel resort fees, and we simply fail to find the value in them. Read on for why these fees exist in the first place; it’s interesting.
InsultingHawaii Resort Fees Up To $65/Night.
Some of the highest Hawaii resort fees we found on checking today include the following. Below see the hotels with the highest percentage of total fees and taxes:
- Alohilani Resort $48/night.
- Andaz Maui $50/night.
- Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel $39/night.
- Aston Waikiki Beach Tower $45/night.
- Fairmont Orchid $42/night.
- Grand Hyatt Kauai $45/night.
- Grand Wailea Resort $50/night.
- Hilton Hawaiian Village $50/night. As an aside, also expect to pay $58-$68 for parking.
- Hotel Wailea $40/night.
- Hyatt Regency Waikiki $42/night.
- Koa Kea Resort $45/night.
- Mauna Lani Resort $45/night.
- Modern Honolulu $35/night
- Montage Kapalua Bay $65/night.
- Prince Hotel Waikiki $39/night.
- Royal Hawaiian $42/night.
Resort fees, together with taxes, can still add up to 50% to your bill.
Not only that, but some resort fees are very easy to find just by searching. Others are hidden away and can only be found when attempting to make a booking.
It’s interesting, too, that even some very high-end Hawaii hotels are no longer sharing resort fees. At the same time, others try to wrap resort fees together with parking fees and even allegedly with a car rental upgrade or discount, soft drinks, or other obscure and unnecessary things.
Some of the highest total fees and taxes when we last checked were at Prince Waikiki (48%), Outrigger Waikiki Beach (46%), and Laylow Autograph Collection (50%). Read the entire Hawaii resort fee and taxes article. Obviously, the higher the price of the hotel, the less percentage impact resort fees will have.
Why do Hawaii hotels charge resort fees?
It comes down to bait-and-switch to some degree. By hiding some of the costs until later in the visitor’s search process, it can frequently give the impression that the total cost is much less than it really is. It’s the same as airlines and their basic economy offerings.
Not only that, but Hawaii hotels don’t pay commissions to travel agencies on resort fees. So moving some of the money there helps their bottom line.
Avoiding Hawaii resort fees.
- Check different rate codes and see if you can find one without a resort fee. You can also call the property and ask for suggestions.
- Some hotels waive resort fees on award-type bookings.
- The hotel’s branded credit card, or a travel-focused premium credit card can be another way to mitigate these fees.
- Join the hotel’s frequent guest program and see if that reduces your resort fees.
- Consider vacation rentals because often there is no resort fee, even at condo resorts (but they do have other fees to be aware of).