Palm trees at sunset
Photograph ©2010 by Brian Cohen.

Wait a Minute…A Hostel Which Charges a Resort Fee?!?

“Even hostels are charging it. Freehand Hostel in Miami charges $25/day resort fee” is the comment which Waylo — who is a reader of The Gateposted in response to this article pertaining to a resort fee which was tacked on to a room whose rate was $36.00 per night.

Wait a Minute…A Hostel Which Charges a Resort Fee?!?

I had to investigate this claim for myself. As Waylo did not provide a link to the property in question, I search for it via the Internet and found Freehand Miami, which actually appears to be a hybrid of hotel property and hostel.

The first “perk” which is extolled at the very top of its Internet web site home is the claim of “Discounted Rates (you can’t find anywhere else”, as shown in the image below…

Source: Freehand Miami.

…and when I clicked on booking a room, I was met with an eclectic mix of choices: bungalow, king, king suite, accessible, private premium quad, super 8, and quad.

As the quad and super 8 choices appear to be shared spaces which are similar to those found at a hostel, I clicked on the super 8 option, which appears to accommodate up to eight people in one room with eight twin bunks.

Source: Freehand Miami.

I chose the random date of Wednesday, May 15, 2019 for one night.

Source: Freehand Miami.

The rate to share a room — and two bathrooms — with up to seven other people for the night starts at $21.96.

Source: Freehand Miami.

When I chose the least expensive option, I clicked on View Price Breakdown — and there it was…

Source: Freehand Miami.

…a nightly resort fee of six dollars — which may not seem like much money; but the resort fee alone represents an increase of greater than 27 percent. That does not include Florida state sales tax of seven percent; a resort tax of four percent; and a municipal tax of three percent…

…but if the resort fee was not bad enough, Freehand Miami charges an additional 14 percent tax on that resort fee — meaning that the total resort fee of $6.84 alone is actually more like an increase of almost 31.14 percent on the initial room rate of $21.96.

What you get in return for paying that resort fee is a complimentary breakfast, high speed Wi-Fi, pool essentials, complimentary bike rentals, curated events and activities for guests. While at least some of those items sound useful — I have no idea what is included in the complimentary breakfast — I cannot see why the room rate could not simply start at $28.80. That is still a low price towards what seems to be an idea target market of guest aged between 18 years old and 25 years old.

In case you were wondering where Waylo came up with a mandatory resort fee of $25.00, that is because the mandatory resort fee is $25.00 for private rooms and $6.00 for shared beds at Freehand Miami.

In other words, guests who want a private room not only pay more in terms of the room rate — which is understandable, given that some guest value privacy more than others — but they also pay a significantly higher amount for the mandatory resort fee for what seems to be the same exact items which are included in it…

…and if that is true, that is outright despicable.


…and here I thought that a mandatory resort fee charged at a Rodeway Inn hotel property was bad.

If you decided that you wanted to take advantage of the Upfront Savings room rate — which is the least expensive rate and you must pay in full at the time of booking your reservation — for Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Fisher Island Club in south Florida, the service charge per night of $160.50 represents a percentage increase of almost 14.6 percent over the initial room rate of $1,100.00 for the night…

…and while that may qualify for the most expensive resort fee per night which I have ever seen, that pales in comparison to the resort fee at Freehand Miami in terms of the percentage of the room rate, which — at almost a whopping 31.14 percent — is the highest percentage increase on the initial room rate which I have ever seen.

Congratulations, South Florida, for being the location of both lodging options which are located almost a mere five miles from each other and are two of the worst offenders pertaining to mandatory resort fees. Guests are required to pay resort fees which are either the most expensive or the highest in percentage of the original room rate which I have ever seen.

Stop with the games and the deception pertaining to perceived lower room rates; and just add those mandatory resort fees and include them in the room rate itself. Yeesh.

Other articles which I wrote over the years pertaining to mandatory resort fees include…

Photograph ©2010 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Thankfully, some European regulators have been looking into online sales and marketing practices where a resort/destination fee is a mandatory hotel charge but not disclosed in the initial search for hotels/rooms. The regulators have targeted the big online booking agents first and more seem set to continue in that direction, but they are set up to also go after the big hotel groups too that are in on this mandatory hotel fee scam that hits customers in a way that is deliberately meant to undermine price comparison and price competition.

    I can only hope it’s not just an American regulatory style slap on the wrist when it comes to confronting powerful interests in the travel space.

  2. I think based on percentage that some of the cheaper Vegas hotels would have them beat. I know I’ve seen the resort fee be at least half of what the room rate was for a mid week night at some of the lower end properties like the Excalibur.

  3. This is the same as tipping shenanigans. What should be included in the list price are passed as extra that you get with your order. In case of tipping you don’t even get extra service. You are just expected to pay it i.e for the right of the wait staff to exist. The hotel now passs normal services as extra for which you need to pay.

    Once you give an inch they want a foot. Who is surprised.

  4. I own an apartment that is part of resort in Puerto Rico and it is part of the hotel condo program. The hotel would quote a low fee and at checkout they would include a resort fee that is not government required. That fee would not enter in our rental distribution In my case was around $5k a year for around 15 when we found out When I do reservation I check what is going to be the final charge because the less expensive hotel could add “taxes” and raise the price significantly more

  5. “The first “perk” which is extolled at the very top of its Internet web site home is the claim of “Discounted Rates (you can’t find anywhere else””

    Laughable. They have secret rates on, discounts on Waylo and many other sites. The concept of a “resort fee” at a hostel is ironic.

    Irrespective of the perks, any mandatory fee is extortion that must be stopped.

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