a room with two beds and a door
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Three New Ridiculous Mandatory Lodging Fees

What is a “curation fee”, a “housekeeping surcharge”, and a “baggage/porterage fee”?

The seemingly endless onslaught of mandatory fees continues when staying at hotel and resort properties, as no fewer than three new ridiculous mandatory lodging fees which guests must pay at a hotel or resort property have recently surfaced.

Three New Ridiculous Mandatory Lodging Fees

a screenshot of a website
Source: MADE Hotel.

The first of the three new ridiculous mandatory lodging fees is the “curation fee”, which is imposed upon guests of MADE Hotel in the city of New York.

$30 Daily Curation Fee
An additional Curation Fee of $30.00 + tax per night is collected by the hotel, which includes the following amenities:
• Filter coffee or tea for the morning redeemable at Paper coffee
• Glass of house red/white wine for the evening during our nightly wine hour from 5pm-6pm
• Access to Blink Fitness Gym (1) pass per day
• Wi-Fi throughout the building
• Access to Good Behavior, barring private events
• Tokyo Bikes available for hire on a first come, first serve basis. (Seasonal)

You can bet that the daily curation fee is not reduced when Tokyo Bikes are not available during your stay — nor will it be reduced or eliminated if you do not drink coffee, tea, or wine; and you do not typically exercise in a fitness center.

a white text on a black background
Source: Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

The “housekeeping surcharge” is next, which is imposed upon guests of Fairmont Chateau Whistler resort property in British Columbia in Canada, which also charges a daily resort experience fee of $35.00 in Canadian dollars per room per night — plus applicable Goods and Services Tax and Provincial Hotel Tax:

Housekeeping Surcharge:
We will charge an additional mandatory daily Housekeeping Surcharge of $5.00 CAD per room, plus applicable taxes, for Housekeeping services, of which $4.50 CAD is a gratuity that is distributed to the housekeeping team and the remaining $0.50 CAD is retained entirely by the Hotel (and not distributed as wages, tips or gratuities to any Hotel employee). We will post the mandatory daily surcharge, plus applicable taxes, in the same billing arrangements manner as requested for applicable room and tax charges. This surcharge may change from time to time without notice.

Finally, the “baggage/porterage fee” is also imposed upon guests of Fairmont Chateau Whistler resort property if they travel on a chartered vehicle that carries a minimum of eight passengers:

Baggage/Porterage Fee:
We will charge an additional mandatory Baggage/Porterage Fee of $7.00 CAD per person, plus applicable taxes, for Arrival and Departure days, of which $6.30 CAD is a gratuity that is distributed to the bell services team and the remaining $0.70 CAD is retained entirely by the Hotel (and not distributed as wages, tips or gratuities to any Hotel employee). This fee is applicable to all guests travelling on a chartered vehicle of 8 passengers or more.

In other words, an extra fee for both housekeeping services and carrying baggage to and from a hotel room is being charged to guests, who are apparently now the employers that pay members of the staff of this resort property. The “housekeeping surcharge” and the “baggage/porterage fee” are both actually mandatory gratuities in disguise — regardless of whether guests use their services.

At least the “baggage/porterage fee” is only applicable to all guests who travel on a chartered vehicle with a minimum of eight passengers; so if a guest arrives alone or with a few friends or members of a family, this fee will not be charged.

All Kinds of Mandatory Fees

Twenty dollar bills currency cash money
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Mandatory “hidden” fees have become increasingly prevalent within the United States; and they have slowly been spreading to other countries — such as the aforementioned example in Canada. Lodging companies engage in charging these fees to advertise artificially “lower” rates to attract unsuspecting customers — only to alert the customer pertaining to the addition of mandatory fees during the process of booking a reservation and justifying the extra fee with some nonsense items that are designed to give the illusion of adding value. For example, this mandatory resort fee includes notary services with a maximum of two documents per day.

An increasing number of hotel and resort properties — and even hostels and motel properties, for that matter — have been charging guests a mandatory:

Imagine these few of many examples of being:

Astonishingly, guests even get to have the privilege of paying taxes on most mandatory fees. In some cases, the mandatory fees are actually more expensive than the room rate itself. For example, a room rate that was advertised at $23.45 per night wound up totaling $79.37 per night when all of the taxes and mandatory fees were added, which is an increase of greater than 238.46 percent — or more than triple the initial advertised rate.

Remember that one simple way to reclaim that mandatory resort fee which you paid is still possible.

Final Boarding Call

a bed with white sheets and pillows
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

The pressure keeps mounting on the lodging industry to eliminate mandatory hidden “junk” fees — including the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019; the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2022; and an effort by the president of the United States himself with the Junk Fee Prevention Act — but little seems to be progressing or happening in favor of the consumer.

How many acts do we need enacted before the acts act on getting their acts together and acting on what they are supposed to act with actions?…

…or is this all merely an act as part of some sort of inane legislative theater?!?

This article which I wrote spoofing the mandatory fees imposed at lodging companies may be more accurate than I anticipated — with the highlighted fictitious fees seemingly not nearly as nonsensical as they were at the time I wrote that article.

Mandatory “hidden junk” fees need to cease once and for all — especially those fees that are thinly veiled as mandatory gratuities — preferably without inept government intervention, as they are generally profitable corporations that are panhandling for your hard-earned money by nickel-and-diming you every chance they get.

If a hotel or resort property wants to charge a fee to guests, ensure that the fee is optional — otherwise, include it as part of the advertised price…

All photographs ©2016, ©2023, and ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Basically charging you additional for the basic service that’s included with every other hotel. Looks like they will end up with many bad reviews and possibly class action as I have seen for other hotels that do not disclose mandatory fee for which is considered basic service. It’s just their deceptive ways to advertise cheaper to get more business then hit you with extra fees for normal basic service. The proper way to do that is act like a basic service airline (Sprit & Frontier) and give guess the option, choice to add what every additional service they want above the basic room charge.

    Normally hotels that charge tons of extra fees I only stay when I’m using points or certificates to “waive” those extra charges.

    Next week I’m staying at brand new Edition hotel Cancun, Maya & Conrad Tulum both with Certs to waive all the extra mandatory fees, im expecting they will probably try to slip something else in more so with the all-inclusive (mandatory tips etc..)

    1. On a side note, did anyone else earn the $100 Delta Reserve card Ecredit?

      “As a valued Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Member, we are reaching out because we announced in February that we would be thanking our existing Reserve and Reserve Business Card Members with a $100 Delta eCredit on April 2, 2024. We’d like to inform you that your one-time $100 Delta eCredit has been added to your account.”

      Delta is doing me good this month, I also booked 1 Night Canopy hotel, Cancun for $219, $19 out of pocket after using the new $200 Reserve card Delta stay credit.

  2. There’s an IHG property in Florida that charges an 8% “recycling fee” for covering such items as bottles & toner cartridges. I voted with my wallet and took my business elsewhere.

      1. My mistake, just 5% rather than 8%.

        GREEN HOTEL INITIATIVES We are currently charging an eco-fee of 5% plus the applicable taxes for each room night to help fund programs such as:Recycling of all batteries, light bulbs, electronics, printer toners, newspapers, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass and cans, paints, oils and solvents, as well as scrap metal.

        Holiday Inn Express & Suites Naples Downtown – 5th Avenue

      2. Here’s an even worse one. Kimpton Pallandian – Additional charges (Guest Amenities Fee) of $25 ($28.93 inclusive of tax) will be added per room each night of your stay. This fee includes: A $10 daily food and beverage credit to be used at Shaker + Spear, Pennyroyal or Front Desk Bodega (cannot combined, bundled, or rolled over), Complimentary Palladian postcard and postage, Complimentary jewelry cleaning at Siamonto Jewelers, Show your Kimpton Palladian Hotel reservation at Westland Distillery’s tasting room to receive a VIP Seattle Partner Perk, Unlimited local and long distance phone calls, and Upgraded WiFi speed throughout the hotel’s guest rooms and public spaces for up to 5 devices (Normally a $14.99 charge).

        So for $15+tax you get jewelry cleaning and a postcard/stamp!

        How is this still legal?

  3. I agree with Dave. We all need to vote with our wallet and then I think deceptive hotels will get the message.

  4. In most cases I have called a senior manager who agreed to waive the fees which shouldn’t be there in the first place.

  5. Voting with wallets is great of we actually catch the fees up front but then if we know they would not be considered hidden mandatory fees. For after the fact I normally vote with my 1 star review to help others advoid the situation.

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