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Aloha Bruce is unpacking Hawaii hotel resort fees on this Monday, February 13, 2023, episode of the Hawaii Vacation Podcast. “Are they just a big rip-off?” It’s a hot topic in Hawaii’s visitor industry right now, and Bruce breaks it down for the layperson and aspiring Hawaii vacationers.
First is a quick rundown of Hawaii travel news and the new move to make the mandatory Department of Agriculture forms for visitors a digital process. The program is meant to keep invasive species out of Hawaii. Jet Blue has merged with Sprint Airlines and they are considering Hawaii service. United Airlines is cancelling an Orange County to Honolulu flight. “It’s going to be missed.” Also, the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island was ranked 6th nationally for hotels in the US. Bruce notes some special features and amenities at the property.
On to the main topic of Hawaii hotel resort fees, Bruce notes that President Biden in his SOTU speech talked about regulating outrageous fees for services in many industries. “We have seen this happen in Hawaii,” he says. “You’ve got to be careful with this.”
Bruce says that Hawaii hotel resort fees “are always subject to change”. Those fees also come with a sales tax. “It seems like a big rip-off”. He compares those fees with retail gift cards that never get used. He also lists some of the minor items like packets of coffee that are listed under the hotel fees. Bruce also notes that many Hawaii properties will include admission discounts to Bishop Museum and the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Highgate properties in Waikiki including the Twin Fin offer “Beach Candy” discounts at various locations and beach rentals in Waikiki. Bruce says that most high end 5-star properties don’t have resort fees. The Waikiki Beach Tower is mentioned as having good amenities and activities onsite that are included with its fee. “These are the things that you should know about.”
Bruce also mentions the Courtyard by Marriott on Oahu’s North Shore, which does not have a resort fee but does have nice amenities and activities. Bruce talks about special discounts, coupons and offers that can add up to real savings. Bruce notes several other properties without Hawaii hotel resort fees. “Personally, I’m not a fan of these resort fees. I don’t like when they hide things!”
Bruce also mentions the proposed “Green Fee” that would charge $50 per visiting vacationer and says, “The prices are already so crazy!” The best way to avoid unnecessary fees and charges is to work with Aloha Bruce and the experts at Hawaii Aloha Travel.