A la carte hotels? I’m not into it

A recent article by Christopher Elliott in MSNBC travel got me thinking. His article states that there are hotels now charging fees, taking a page out of the airline book. He discusses “resort fees” (basically charging you to use the pool), charging for bottles of water without spelling it out, and of course, nonrefundable hotel rooms. There’s a hotel in Europe that is even starting to charge for TV use, housekeeping, and extra towels!! Seriously.

We’ve all seen the service charge for room service go up, we’re used to paying for internet at many hotels, and don’t touch that mini-bar!! Because chances are the mini-bar is weighted, and if you so much as pick something up to look at the nutritional content you will get charged. $6 for a Diet Coke? Yes ma’am. A couple of weeks ago when I booked a hotel in Vegas for a (long-overdue) vacation, the website was touting that there was “no resort fee”. I didn’t realize that was something to be so excited about! Wow, you’re letting me use the pool for free. Thanks!!

Luckily, there are so many hotels out there that we have choices. We don’t have to stay at one of four large chains, kind of like we have to fly one of four large airlines (can’t wait to see how the merger of United and Continental affects prices and service).  We can vote with our money, and refuse to stay in places that offer a seemingly good deal up front, and stack on the a la carte fees on the backend. Because we don’t want our hotels to turn into Spirit Airlines!

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