Similar to airlines also hotels have many additional charges that you usually don’t see when making your reservation. It is not uncommon to charge $15 per day to use WiFi, $30 to access the gym or $35 for parking. Here are ways how to avoid surprises and an overview of the most common (or uncommon) fees
Do your research
You are more likely to find out about hidden views on third-party websites like Tripadvisor.com. Often fees are explained on the hotel website but you usually have to dig for it. If you have specific requirements make sure to call the hotel to ask about surcharges.
Every property is different
Don’t assume all hotels under the same brand umbrella charge the same fees. Depending on the city charges can vary widely.
Don’t hesitate to negotiate
Not all fees are set in stone. If you are visiting frequently you might be able to have them waive parking fees. Signing up for the loyalty program also sometimes eliminates certain fees. Make sure to get your statement the day before checking out so you can review it.
The most common fees
If you stay at a resort you will often see an additional charge of $10 to $25 per guest per day. Often this fee can’t be waived even if you don’t use any of the resort amenities. Make sure you check when making a reservation. If they can be removed make sure to check your final bill at checkout.
Early check in fee
If you arrive early make sure to check if there is a fee to check in early. If they do charge a fee ask whether they can store your luggage free. Most hotels will store your bags for free.
Late check out fee
Even if a hotel isn’t fully booked they usually charge a late check out fee. Often you can negotiate to check out 1-2 hours later for free.
Sometimes you’ll need to cut your trip short and check out sooner than expected. Often you will have to pay 50% to 100% of the room charge if you don’t cancel prior to 48 hours. Read the cancellation policy and book a different hotel if you need additional flexibility.
Additional person fee
Most hotel rates are for double occupancy. Hotels often charge $20-$50 for an additional person.
Especially higher end hotels are still charging a WiFi fee of $15 to $20 per day. Often you can avoid this fee if you sign up for their free loyalty program. Budget hotels are more likely to not have additional charges for Internet. You also might be able to find free Wifi at the coffee shop around the corner.
Mini bar fee
You probably know consuming items from the mini bar are usually pricey. But also items like the “complimentary looking” water bottles are often not free. Make sure to check your bill at checkout to avoid any accidental charges. Often moving an item trips a sensor and you are automatically charged.
Hotels in big cities usually charge $35 or more for parking a day. Look for hotels that might offer free parking when making a reservation. Depending on the location you are more likely to find free street parking on weekends.
If you are using the gym make sure you check whether a fee is being charged for it.
Some hotels include a housekeeping gratuity. If they do you probably don’t have to tip housekeeping separately. If you find out after the fact you might be able to negotiate with the receptionist.
Some hotel spas include a spa gratuity. Make sure you don’t tip twice if they do.
This is becoming less common with the widespread availability of cellphones. Nevertheless there are some hotels that also charge for incoming calls. Be aware if you pick-up the phone.
Room block fees
If you are reserving multiple rooms on the same floor for some event you might find a room block fee of additional $10-$20.
If you routinely ask to clear out your mini bar when you make a hotel reservation you might encounter a “unstocking” fee of $50 on your bill. Keep this in mind when making this request.