Before I get tarred and feathered for speaking heresy, I want to point out that I am just like all of you. I hate resort/destination/whatever fees and I think they should cease immediately. We all recognize that they are a way to make us initially think the rate is lower than other hotels. I think they are also a way for the hotel to avoid taxes. I ardently try to avoid hotels with resort fees unless I can call ahead and convince them to waive it. I'm not a paid Marriott plant. I'm not drinking the kool-aid. I'm on your side of this one.
Alright, now that I have held the party line and will (hopefully) avoid getting hateful comments below, I wanted to mention a hotel that may, possibly, actually provide some value from their destination fee. My wife and I are planning a trip to NYC in late September as a last getaway together while my parents watch our children before the birth of our fourth child. We are staying at two different hotels and one night we will use my 40K certificate from the 75 night annual benefit last year. As I was looking for a category 5 hotel in midtown, I found that there aren't all that many and one of the best seems to be a Tribute Portfolio hotel called "The Maxwell New York City." I've only stayed in one other Tribute Portfolio property, but really enjoyed it, and this one looks great. The base room is $587 on the night I needed it and even the prepay rates are over $500, so it is a great value for the certificate. I was pretty excited about it as many similar properties in that area seem to be at least a Category 6 (and therefore unbookable with my certificate). . . . until I saw that little statement that starts with "Please note -- "
My blood started to boil, but then I read it in its entirety - "Please note – USD 25 daily destination fee will be added to room rate and includes USD 30 bar credit, USD 30 laundry credit and more.
I was happy to see that they don't even mention things like free WiFi, or a gym, or something else that every other Marriott provides me for free just based on status. I was also surprised to see that it is arguably possible to actually get outsized value from this deal.
Now, in no way am I suggesting that I will get $60 of value out of $25. With a one night stay, I almost certainly won't have anything laundered and I likely wouldn't stay in the hotel to buy things from the bar/restaurant except for the fact that I will have this credit. Even if people were able to get value, clearly this should be an optional fee, but, I'll try to make the most of it, and order some coffee, etc. after dinner, maybe grab desserts.
I'm curious whether any of you have found other outlier hotels that at least attempt to provide a serious chance at value from their resort fees.