The Hidden Costs of Resort Fees: What You’re Paying For Without Getting Anything in Return

The industry group American Hotel & Lodging Association said only 6 percent of hotels charge them, averaging $26 a night. Still, they are lucrative; a 2018 report from the tourism analyst Bjorn Hanson, found that hotels rake in nearly $3 billion a year in resort fees.

Nightly fees can range from $10 at the otherwise affordable Freehand Chicago to $50 at the high-end Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, Calif., which discloses an itemized list of amenities covered by the fee.

In a 2023 Consumer Reports survey, 37 percent of American adults reported experiencing a hidden fee associated with a hotel stay. More than half said the fees pushed the cost of the stay over their budget.

The practice is firmly in the cross hairs of Congress. In the spring, Senators Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, introduced the Junk Fee Prevention Act, which targets a range of fees, including resort fees.

Over the summer, Senators Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, and Jerry Moran, Republican of Kansas, introduced the Hotel Fees Transparency Act, which would require hotels and short-term rentals to show the full price a consumer would pay, including fees, up front.

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