Getting the most out of “annoying” Hawaii Resort Fees

Hawaii Aloha Travel > Podcast > Getting the most out of “annoying” Hawaii Resort Fees

Resort fees. Have you heard of them? They’re those LITTLE numbers tacked onto your hotel bill during checkout that make a BIG difference when it comes to price. And now in Hawaii almost every single hotel you stay in will have these “little” mandatory resort fees. That means you have no option, no choice in the matter of whether or not you want to partake in these amenities that are covered by these resort fees. You don’t get to choose whether or not you want that newspaper delivered to your door or that one-hour tennis court time reserved or even those fax and copy services made available to you in the hotel’s office. You’re forced to accept them and further more, pay for them. But just because we’re doing our fair share of griping doesn’t mean it’s all bad news. This topic is designed to inform people on how to take advantage of this seemingly annoying little extra fee. So instead of feeling shocked and pissed off when you see those little number signs slipped onto your bill on a daily rate, heed our advice and allow them to do YOU a favor.

It’s important to become familiar with the resort amenities that are covered under your hotel’s resort fees, in order to maximize your vacation. Go ahead and allow yourself the benefit of those snorkel rentals, free valet, or access to the DVD library so you can know you’re getting a good deal when those extra prices pop up. And remember, resort fees are usually a daily fee, which means you are charged anywhere from $2.50 to $37 per night, depending on your hotel. Some hotels do however, charge a “one-time” resort fee that is charged only once per stay. But regardless, let’s get you updated, informed, and in-the-know on these fees so that you can feel like the money you’re spending equals the amenities you’ll receive.

Here’s a brief look into some of Waikiki’s popular hotels and what they’re charging for what they’re offering:

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel- $18.75 per night. Amenities include: In-room Internet access; Playstation 2 console in each room; unlimited access to DVD movies and Playstation 2 games; daily newspaper; daily in-room safe; Local & Toll Free calls. (The only things we like about this are the Internet access and unlimited DVD rentals, so at least their price isn’t SO bad).

Hilton Hawaiian Village- $26.18 per night. Amenities include: High Speed Internet access in guest rooms and all public areas; Local calls and 800 access calls; In-Room PlayStation 3 Console with unlimited movies and games; Daily cultural activities including Lei Making, Hula Lessons, Ukulele Lessons (Subject to class availability); Resort Audio Tour. (The classes and activities are pretty cool here, but only relevant if you care to partake. If not, we recommend checking into other hotels, as this resort fee rate is pretty exorbitant).

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa- $25.00 per night. Amenities include: Wireless internet access; complimentary local phone and toll free calls; up to 60 minutes of international calls (per stay); health club access; resort cultural amenities (Hula lessons, Hawaiian history, etc.); beach amenities (towel, umbrella, beach chairs); 2 bottled waters daily. (Again, the classes offered are great, if you’re interested in taking them. But we also like the free waters and beach amenities with this hotel because any guest would most likely want to take the Hyatt up on these offers).

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa- $26.18 per night. Amenities include: High-speed internet access in guest room; Wireless high speed internet access in public areas to include lobby, pool area, and Banyan Courtyard; Self parking (valet parking available for a nominal fee); Unlimited local and 1-800 telephone calls; Up to 60 minutes of long distance and international telephone calls per day; Children 12 and under eat for free from children’s menu at designated dining outlets for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner with paying adult; Mini-surfing lesson (15 minutes, on the beach, on the basic fundamentals of surfing by Beach Services Surf Instruction); Moana Historical Tour (Monday, Wednesday and Friday); Ki Kilo Lani Yoga Class (Wednesday through Sunday) at 8:30am. (Probably one of the most generous in their offers, the Moana Surfrider offers some pretty cool things, especially if you’re looking into a family vacation. This one sounds like it might definitely be worth your while).

Sheraton Waikiki Resort- $26.85 per night. Amenities include: High-speed internet access in guest room; Self parking; Unlimited local and 1-800 telephone calls; Up to 60 minutes of long distance and international telephone calls per day; Adult pool floats; Fresh fruit served twice daily by pool staff at the Infinity Pool; Use of MP3 player featuring Hawaiian music; Use of portable DVD player with 8 inch screen and selected newly released movies; Fitness Classes; Children 12 and under eat for free from the children’s menu at designated dining outlets; Collections of Waikiki coupons; 4X6 color photograph per room. (Again, some pretty generous amenity offers. Just make sure to take them up on their offers, otherwise it’s pointless!)

Okay so you get the idea. Some of these hotels offer much more than others, which is why it’s a good idea to look into these amenities BEFORE you book your hotel. If things like parking, activities and classes, and DVD rentals are things you know you will pay for during your vacation, then you might as well snag a hotel that offers these things in their mandatory resort fee and get it included in one hotel charge. If you learn about these hidden little fees and give them a value, then they don’t seem so hidden anymore. And they won’t aggravate you, but instead make you feel as if you’re the one getting the great deal! Take advantage of the situation!

One last thing, these resort fees can’t be included in our prices we offer because they go directly to the hotel. And hotels don’t inform you of this till the very end. Resort fees are never included in the hotel room rate price, even if your room rate is expensive. So when budgeting for accommodations, be sure to include the mandatory resort fee into the total price, or ask your travel agent about it. Most agents are well informed about each hotel’s fees, so if you’re hoping to bamboozle the system, then get in touch with either the hotel or your travel agent and see how you can benefit. Hey if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?!