Hawaii resort-fee cheatsheet

Travel-Hawaii.com, an online booking service, just posted a pretty useful overview of resort fees at 16 hotels in Hawaii. Not only does it list the fee, which often comes as an unpleasant surprise at checkout, but offers an overview of the amenities any added charge ostensibly covers. This resource can help you accurately calculate accommodations costs, for which hotels and many online booking sites don't account up front.

Resort fees, along with such gems as energy surcharges (I thought hotels were using less now that more guests are electing to use towels and sheets for multiple days, but hey) and workout room fees really raise my ire, and I know I'm in the majority here.

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For the most part, these fees are presented as mandatory, though you can try to wiggle out of them at check-out if you haven't used any of the amenities covered. But if these fees really are non-negotiable, why aren't they just included in the room rate? No one likes to feel nickel-and-dimed at the end of a hotel stay, especially if the nightly rate is already substantial.

When I'm surprised at checkout with a bunch of added fees, it has a real impact on my overall impression of the stay and the dramatically decreases the chance of a return visit. In the end, the hotel may get my $40, but if it wasn't clear about the fees up front or if I sense a scam, I'm pretty much guaranteed to go elsewhere next time.

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