Planning a trip can be a daunting task, and with so many travel booking websites out there, it can be difficult to know where to turn. One of the most popular travel booking websites is Priceline, known for its competitive pricing and excellent deals. However, when it comes to resort fees, travelers may be left wondering whether they are included in the price. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of resort fees and explore how Priceline works with them. We’ll also take a look at Priceline’s policy on resort fees and provide tips on how to avoid them when booking through the website.
What are resort fees?
If you’ve ever booked a hotel room, you may have noticed an extra fee added to the total cost of your stay. These fees are known as resort fees, and they cover amenities like Wi-Fi, parking, and access to pools or gyms. While these fees can vary depending on the hotel and the amenities offered, they can add up quickly, sometimes costing as much as $50 or more per night.
One of the main issues with resort fees is that they are often not included in the advertised room rate. This can be frustrating for travelers who think they’re getting a good deal, only to find out that there are additional fees tacked on at the end. While some hotels are transparent about their resort fees, others bury them in the fine print or only mention them at the time of check-in.
How Priceline works
Priceline is a travel booking website that allows users to search for and book flights, hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages. One of the key features of Priceline is its “Name Your Own Price” option, which allows travelers to bid on hotel rooms and rental cars. Priceline also offers “Express Deals,” which offer discounted rates on hotels and other travel options without revealing the name of the hotel until after the booking is complete.
When it comes to displaying fees, Priceline is transparent about taxes and fees that are included in the total cost of a booking. However, resort fees are a bit trickier. Priceline includes a line item in the booking process for “Additional mandatory fees,” which is intended to cover things like resort fees. However, according to Priceline, this line item does not include resort fees, which are considered optional and may or may not be included in the total cost of the booking.
Priceline negotiates rates with hotels and other travel providers to offer competitive pricing to its users. However, it’s important to note that the rates offered on Priceline may not always be the same as the rates offered directly by the hotel or provider. This is because Priceline negotiates rates based on the availability and demand for certain travel options, which can vary from day to day and even hour to hour.
Priceline’s policy on resort fees
Priceline’s policy on resort fees is a bit murky. While the website claims that its “Additional mandatory fee” line covers things like resort fees, it’s clear that resort fees are not actually included in this line item. According to Priceline, resort fees are considered optional, and whether they are included in the total cost of a booking depends on the hotel or provider.
It’s worth noting that there are some cases where Priceline does include resort fees in the total cost of a booking. For example, some hotels may offer “Resort Package” deals that include the cost of the resort fee in the total price of the booking. In these cases, Priceline would include the cost of the resort fee in the advertised rate.
Ultimately, the responsibility for disclosing resort fees lies with the hotel or provider, not Priceline. Priceline works with hotels and other travel providers to negotiate rates and offers competitive pricing to its users, but it’s up to the hotel or provider to disclose any additional fees or charges, including resort fees.
That being said, Priceline does offer some tips on how to avoid resort fees when booking through the website. First and foremost, travelers should read the fine print carefully and look for any mention of resort fees. If the hotel or provider doesn’t disclose the resort fee upfront, travelers can try calling the hotel directly to ask if there are any additional fees that will be charged.
Another option is to book through Priceline’s “Express Deals” or “Name Your Own Price” options, which often offer discounted rates without including resort fees. However, it’s important to note that these options may come with some limitations, such as a lack of flexibility when it comes to room type or location.
Exceptions to Priceline’s Policy
While Priceline’s policy is not to include resort fees in their “Additional mandatory fee” line item, there are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, Priceline may have a “Resort Fee Optional” program, where they allow hotels to opt into charging resort fees. This means that the hotel may or may not charge a resort fee, but if they do, it will be listed in the “Resort Fee” section of the hotel description.
Another exception is when the hotel or provider changes their policy on resort fees after the booking has been made. In this case, Priceline may not be able to help the traveler avoid the fees, as the changes are made by the hotel or provider themselves. It’s important for travelers to keep an eye on any updates or changes from the hotel or provider to avoid any surprises.
Tips for Avoiding Resort Fees when Using Priceline
If you’re looking to avoid resort fees when using Priceline, there are a few tips that can help you save some money on your next trip. One of the easiest ways to avoid resort fees is to book directly with the hotel, rather than through a third-party website like Priceline. Many hotels will offer deals and promotions that aren’t available through booking sites, so it’s worth doing some research to see if you can find a better deal.
If you do decide to book through Priceline, make sure to read the fine print carefully and look for any mention of resort fees. As mentioned earlier, Priceline’s “Express Deals” and “Name Your Own Price” options may also be a good way to avoid resort fees, but they may come with some limitations. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
Another option is to look for hotels that don’t charge resort fees or that offer resort fee waivers for certain types of guests or reservations. Some hotels may waive resort fees for loyalty program members or for guests who book a certain number of nights. It’s worth doing some research to see if you can find a hotel that offers these types of deals.
What Consumers Should Know About Resort Fees
Resort fees are becoming more and more common in the travel industry, and it’s important for consumers to understand what they are and how they work. In general, resort fees are additional charges that are added to a guest’s bill on top of the room rate. These fees are meant to cover the cost of amenities and services that the hotel provides, such as pool access, gym use, or Wi-Fi.
One of the most frustrating aspects of resort fees is that they are often not disclosed upfront, which means that travelers may not be aware of the additional costs until they check out of the hotel. This can lead to surprise charges and frustration, especially for budget-conscious travelers who are trying to save money.
It’s important for travelers to read the fine print carefully and look for any mention of resort fees when booking a hotel. Some hotels may include resort fees in their advertised rates, while others may only disclose the fees in the fine print. By doing some research ahead of time, travelers can avoid any surprises and make an informed decision about their accommodations.
In conclusion, resort fees are an important consideration for travelers when booking a hotel, and it’s important to do your research to avoid any unexpected charges. Whether you’re booking through Priceline or another travel website, make sure to read the fine print carefully and look for any mention of resort fees. By being informed and proactive, you can make the most of your travel budget and enjoy a stress-free vacation.
The Pros and Cons of Resort Fees
Resort fees can be a contentious issue for travelers, as they can add a significant amount to the cost of a hotel stay. However, there are some arguments to be made in favor of resort fees. For one, they can help hotels keep their advertised room rates lower, which may make them more attractive to budget-conscious travelers. Additionally, resort fees can cover the cost of amenities that not all guests will use, which can help make the hotel more profitable in the long run.
On the other hand, there are some downsides to resort fees. For one, they can feel like a hidden cost to travelers, as they may not be aware of the fees until they check out of the hotel. Additionally, resort fees can make it difficult for travelers to compare prices between different hotels, as the fees can vary widely between properties. Finally, some travelers may feel like they are being nickel-and-dimed by hotels that charge resort fees, especially if they don’t use many of the amenities that are covered by the fees.
Overall, the pros and cons of resort fees are a matter of personal preference and travel style. Some travelers may be willing to pay extra for access to amenities, while others may prefer to stick to hotels that don’t charge resort fees.
Legal and Regulatory Issues with Resort Fees
Resort fees have been the subject of legal scrutiny in recent years, as some travelers and consumer advocacy groups have argued that they are misleading and deceptive. In particular, there have been concerns that hotels are not being transparent about the cost of resort fees, and that they are not being upfront about what amenities and services are covered by the fees.
In response to these concerns, several states have passed laws that require hotels to be more transparent about resort fees. For example, in 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent letters to 22 hotel operators warning them that their resort fee disclosures may violate consumer protection laws. Additionally, some states, such as Hawaii and Florida, have passed laws that require hotels to include resort fees in their advertised rates.
Despite these efforts, resort fees are still a contentious issue for travelers and consumer advocates. Some argue that more needs to be done to ensure that hotels are transparent about the cost of resort fees and what they cover.
Alternatives to Resort Fees
For travelers who are frustrated with resort fees, there are some alternatives to consider. One option is to look for hotels that don’t charge resort fees, or that offer amenities and services for free. Another option is to book through a hotel loyalty program, which may offer perks such as free Wi-Fi or waived resort fees for members.
Another alternative is to look for vacation rentals or home-sharing options, such as Airbnb or VRBO. These types of accommodations may not charge resort fees, and they may offer more flexibility and privacy than traditional hotels.
Finally, travelers can consider booking all-inclusive packages, which may include meals, drinks, and activities in the cost of the room rate. While all-inclusive packages can be more expensive upfront, they can help travelers avoid surprise charges and make it easier to stick to a budget while on vacation.
In conclusion, resort fees can be a frustrating extra cost for travelers to deal with, but they are a common practice in the hotel industry. When booking through Priceline, it’s important to understand the company’s policy on resort fees, as well as any exceptions or workarounds that may apply. By doing your research and being vigilant, you can avoid getting hit with unexpected fees and make sure that your hotel stay fits within your budget.