Mandatory resort fees, mandatory destination fees, mandatory facilities fees, mandatory amenities fees, and mandatory damage waiver fees have become increasingly prevalent within the United States — and they have slowly been spreading to other countries — but imagine having a service charge and resort fees on the same hotel folio that you would be required to pay.
A Service Charge AND Resort Fees on The Same Hotel Folio.
That scenario is exactly what will happen if you want to stay at the Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro hotel property in Brazil. You can get an Ocean Lagoon Suite for 860.80 Brazilian Reais, which is approximately $172.16 in United States dollars…
…but then, added to your folio are the following mandatory charges, which total $205.30 of the approximate total of $1,300.70 in United States dollars if you stay for six nights:
- Service charge of 516.48 Brazilian Reais — which is the equivalent of 103.30 United States dollars
- Resort fee of 510.00 Brazilian Reais — which is the equivalent of 102.00 United States dollars
Those mandatory charges comprise of almost 16 percent of the total bill.
A daily mandatory resort fee of 85.00 Brazilian Reais per room per night provides the following services and amenities to “enhance the guest experience”:
- Daily wellness and Fitness activities (check the daily schedule in the Activities page)
- Gastronomy workshops or special activities (check the daily schedule in the Activities page)
- One hour complimentary bike experience per person per day.
- Beach Service (Chaise lounge & towels).
- Pool Service (Flavored water, Chaise lounge & towels)
- One welcome drink at Cantô Restaurant per guest per stay.
- Access to the gym.
- Access to Kids Club and recreational activities.
- Ferry ride twice a week
No explanation seems to be given for the service charge.
Final Boarding Call
Mandatory fees are getting further out of control. You will not earn frequent guest membership program points when paying for mandatory fees. Hotel and resort properties can exclude mandatory fees from advertised rates to have them initially appear artificially lower to the consumer to lure them into booking a reservation. Finally, you get to pay the taxes on these unwanted fees — not the hotel or resort property.
A mandatory room fee is no different than a mandatory destination fee, mandatory resort fee, mandatory amenities fee, mandatory facilities fee, or a mandatory damage waiver fee, of which links to past articles which have been posted here at The Gate are found here in this article.
Government intervention is not the answer. The only answer is to avoid all hotel and resort properties which charge these ridiculous mandatory fees — especially the ones which multiply them on one folio. Only when they realize how unpopular they are with customers who vote with their wallets and purses will they then consider eliminating them.
Once again: avoid staying at hotel and resort properties which charge these unwelcome mandatory fees which offer little to nothing in return for your investment. That is the only effective way that these nefarious fees will possibly disappear.
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.