Where's the Aloha? Resort Fees at Hawaii Hotels Become Pervasive

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Over 50 Hawaii hotels now charge Resort Fees ranging from from $2.50/day to $37/day. But other Hawaii hotels are using their lack of a Resort Fee as a selling point.

Waikiki & Diamond Head

Resort Fees are intrinsically deceptive because the hotels don't include them upfront in their pricing and instead charge them when clients are checking out. That's why we think of them as Anti-Aloha Spirit.

According to Travel-Hawaii.com, over 50 Hawaii hotels now charge mandatory Resort Fees ranging from $2.50 per night (Hotel Molokai) to $37/night (the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach). Resort Fees cover a variety of items that guests may or may not find useful, such as daily newspapers, access to fitness centers, internet access, tennis court use, and parking.

Travel-Hawaii.com has tracked the rise of Resort Fees since their inception around 2005. In 2007 just 12 Hawaii hotels had resort fees. Now there are over 50, most with daily resort fees and a few with a "one time" resort fee that's charged once per stay. Travel-Hawaii.com maintains an extensive database of Hawaii hotel information, including a webpage dedicated to Hawaii hotel resort fees.

"Resort Fees are intrinsically deceptive," said Travel-Hawaii.com's owner John Lindelow, "because the hotels don't include them upfront in their pricing and instead charge them when clients are checking out. That's why we think of them as Anti-Aloha Spirit." Travel-Hawaii.com makes sure that their clients know about each hotel's resort fees with prominent information on each hotel's web page, on guest itineraries, and in emails to clients. And they highlight hotels that don't charge resort fees by displaying "No Resort Fee" next to rates for these hotels.

A growing number of Hawaii hotels are going against the Resort Fee trend and are using their lack of a Resort Fee as a selling point. For instance, the Makena Beach & Golf Resort offers free internet and free parking with no resort fee.

The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel has long held to their "No Resort Fee" policy. They provide all of the following, which are exactly the types of things that so many other Hawaii hotels use to justify their resort fee: "Free In-Room Internet; Free Parking; Welcome Lei & Tropical Fruit Juice upon arrival; Fitness Club Lap pool; Snorkeling Equipment; In-room Kona Coffee & Tea; Local Newspaper; Hawaiian Entertainment; Bicycles to explore the resort; Joggers Amenities; Beach Amenities; Guest Laundry Room; Resort Shuttle Service; Fish & Turtle Feeding Tours; Ukulele & Hawaiian Weaving Lessons".

On the other hand, there's still one resort that's "double gouging" their guests: the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. At this resort guests are required to pay a $30 Resort Fee but they also have to pay $14.95/day if they want Internet access in their rooms. "That's totally beyond the pale" said Lindelow, "they've really got to change that and become more guest-friendly."

Author: John Lindelow
Publisher: Travel-Hawaii.com

About Travel-Hawaii.com
Founded in 1997, Travel-Hawaii.com is a leading Internet booking service for consumers wishing to vacation in Hawaii. Travel-Hawaii.com maintains sophisticated online booking systems and databases focused on Hawaii travel.

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