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Hotel Pricing : Explained


Several clients have recently asked me about the different fees that are added to a hotel price. To start, when I provide a quote for a hotel, I will provide you the price that includes the base price of the hotel room, the taxes and any mandatory fees.  I will also let you know of additional fees that might be collected on site.  I will also provide you with the price to obtain travel protection for your vacation should you decide to purchase insurance. It is important to check and see what any hotel price you are quoted includes.

Mandatory Costs :

  • Hotel fee – This is your base price and typically the price that a hotel will advertise. One thing to note, most hotel advertisements display the “starting at” price which is typically the cheapest room they have which many times is a “run of house room”. This type of room is one where you are assigned a room type (1 king bed, 2 double beds, etc) at check-in.
  • Room taxes – When you purchase your hotel there will be taxes that you are required to pay. These taxes vary greatly depending on the location. There are city taxes, state taxes, tourism taxes, VAT (Value Added Tax) and more that can be added to a hotel.
  • Additional fees – many hotels don’t have an additional fees. However, many luxury resorts or hotels in popular destinations (like Hawaii and Las Vegas) add additional fees to hotel rooms. These fees can vary based on occupancy and/or number of days and include things like cleaning fees and general resort fees.

Optional Items : Below are some of the additional fees that could be optional at a hotel. It is important to note that many of these items are included at all-inclusive resorts.

  • Dining – While some hotels might include breakfast with the room rate, dining is something that is typically additional at most hotels. Depending on the hotel, you could have options from room service to full service restaurants.
  • Tour and Excursions –  You can hang out and chill around the hotel or if you would like to get out and about you can schedule tours during your vacation.
  • Internet – In this day and age, many people like to post, tweet, snap, email – you know want I am talking about. Internet becomes very important, if you plan to share while you are away. Most hotels offer a business center with a couple of computers, but to have the freedom to share at anytime might require purchasing internet access.
  • Spa treatments – Many hotels have day spas. You are already on vacation, going to the spa is just the icing on the cake. Everything from massages to facials and anything in between are available at the spa.
  • Parking – Many hotels offer free parking. However, in cities with limited space, like Chicago or Honolulu, many hotels will require a fee for parking. Some hotels will even require that you valet your vehicle. When considering whether you will get a rental car, it is important to consider the cost of the car and the potential cost of parking. In some cities, it is more cost efficient to take public transportation, uber, and pre-arranged transfers. After all, most metropolitan cities have great transportation and in many island vacations your airport transfers will be quoted with airport transfers and most tours will pick up up at your hotel.
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