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New York City, the city of skyscrapers and bright lights, is renowned for its luxurious and breathtaking resorts. But the glamour fades slightly when the extra costs, such as resort fees, become apparent.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: It is possible, in some circumstances, to refuse to pay resort fees in New York. However, the options and outcomes vary.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the legality of resort fees, scenarios when you can contest these fees, and potential consequences of refusal.

Understanding Resort Fees: What Are They?

If you have ever booked a hotel room, you might have come across the term “resort fees.” But what exactly are resort fees? Resort fees, also known as amenity fees or destination fees, are additional charges that hotels and resorts impose on top of the room rate. These fees are intended to cover the cost of certain amenities and services provided by the hotel.

Definition of Resort Fees

Resort fees are a controversial topic in the travel industry. They are mandatory charges that guests must pay, regardless of whether they use the amenities or services included in the fee.

These fees vary from hotel to hotel and can range from a few dollars to over $50 per night. Some common amenities and services covered by resort fees include Wi-Fi access, pool access, fitness center usage, and complimentary newspapers.

Reasons for Resort Fees

The main reason hotels charge resort fees is to increase their revenue. By bundling additional amenities and services into a daily fee, hotels can advertise lower room rates and attract more customers. This pricing strategy allows hotels to remain competitive in the market while still generating additional income. However, this practice has faced criticism from consumers who feel that they are being deceived by the advertised room rates.

Typical Resort Fees in New York

New York is a popular tourist destination, and many hotels in the city charge resort fees. Here are some typical resort fees found at New York hotels and resorts:

  • $25-50 per night is a very common resort fee range in New York hotels.
  • Luxury properties in NYC tend to charge some of the highest resort fees, ranging from $50-100+ per night. High end properties like The Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt ($80 per night for valet or self parking) and Conrad hotels have fees in this range.
  • More budget conscious hotels and chains like Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn charge lower resort fees in the $25-35 per night range.
  • Hotels with extensive amenities like pools, lounges, gyms and views can have fees from $35-50 per night. Popular spots like Times Square hotels fall into this range.
  • Boutique hotels and charming inns typically charge lower fees if any, from $15-25 per night.
  • What’s included in the fee also varies – WiFi, gym access, newspapers, bottled water, etc. Each property includes different perks.

So in summary, expect resort fees averaging $25-50 per night for most New York hotels, with luxury properties charging up to $100+ and budget options as low as $15-25 per night. The fee covers various amenities at each hotel.

It’s important to note that not all hotels in New York charge resort fees, so it’s advisable to check the hotel’s policy before making a reservation.

Also Read: Does The New York Hotel Have Free Parking? A Comprehensive Guide

The Legality of Resort Fees in New York

Legal Perspective on Resort Fees

Resort fees have become increasingly common in the hotel industry, and many travelers have raised concerns about their legality. In New York, the issue of resort fees falls under the purview of consumer protection laws.

According to the New York State Department of State, hotels must disclose all charges and fees that will be added to the advertised room rate. This means that if a hotel charges a resort fee, they must clearly disclose this fee to guests before they make a reservation. Failure to do so could be considered deceptive business practices and may be in violation of the law.

It’s important to note that while resort fees are not explicitly illegal in New York, hotels must adhere to certain guidelines when implementing them. The fees must be clearly disclosed to guests, and they should reflect the actual cost of the amenities and services provided.

Hotels cannot charge resort fees without providing any additional benefits to guests. If a hotel fails to disclose resort fees or misrepresents the services included, guests may have grounds to refuse payment.

Regulations on Disclosure of Resort Fees

In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also addressed the issue of resort fees on a national level. The FTC requires hotels to prominently disclose mandatory fees to consumers before they book a room.

This means that hotels should not bury resort fees in the fine print or surprise guests with additional charges upon check-in. The goal is to ensure that consumers have access to accurate and transparent pricing information when making their travel arrangements.

While the FTC’s regulations are not specific to New York, they provide a framework for evaluating the legality of resort fees across the country. Hotels that fail to comply with these regulations may face legal consequences and damage to their reputation.

It’s worth noting that the legality of resort fees can vary from state to state, so it’s important for travelers to familiarize themselves with the specific laws and regulations of the destination they plan to visit. Additionally, consumers can protect themselves by reading the terms and conditions carefully before making a reservation and contacting the hotel directly if they have any questions or concerns about resort fees.

Scenarios When You Can Contest Resort Fees

Resort fees have become a common practice in the hospitality industry, but that doesn’t mean they are always fair or justified. There are several scenarios where you can contest resort fees and potentially avoid paying them. Understanding your rights as a consumer is crucial in these situations. Let’s explore some of the scenarios in which you can challenge resort fees.

Case of Non-disclosure

One of the main reasons you can contest resort fees is if the hotel failed to disclose them properly. According to American Hotel & Lodging Association, hotels are required to disclose resort fees upfront, including the amount and any conditions associated with them. If the hotel did not provide this information clearly during the booking process or at check-in, you have grounds to challenge the fees.

It is essential to keep any evidence, such as screenshots of the booking confirmation or advertisements, that do not mention the resort fees. This evidence can strengthen your case when disputing the charges with the hotel or your credit card company.

Also Read: Do Hotels Charge For Broken Glass? Understanding Hotel Policies And Fees

Resort Services Not Utilized

If you did not utilize any of the resort services included in the fees, you may have a valid reason to contest them. For example, if you did not use the gym, pool, or any other amenities during your stay, you should not be charged for them. In such cases, you can argue that the resort fees were not justified since you did not benefit from the services.

When disputing the charges, it is advisable to provide specific details and evidence to support your claim. For instance, you can mention the dates of your stay and explain why you did not use the services. This information will help strengthen your case and increase the chances of a successful resolution.

Disproportionate Resort Fees

Another scenario in which you can contest resort fees is if they are disproportionate to the services provided. If the fees are significantly higher than the actual value of the amenities or services offered, you have grounds to challenge them. This can be particularly relevant if the resort fees are higher than the nightly room rate itself.

When contesting disproportionate resort fees, it is helpful to compare the fees with similar hotels in the area. Look for other hotels with similar amenities and services and check if their resort fees are more reasonable. This comparison can serve as evidence to show that the fees charged by the hotel in question are excessive.

Remember, contesting resort fees requires persistence and clear evidence to support your claim. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe the fees are unjust, gather all relevant information and contact the hotel directly. In some cases, reaching out to your credit card company for assistance may also be necessary. By being informed and assertive, you can increase the likelihood of successfully contesting resort fees.

How to Refuse Resort Fees: Step by Step Guide

Initial Booking

When booking a hotel in New York, it is important to be aware of any potential resort fees that may be charged. To avoid surprises, do your research beforehand and look for hotels that do not impose resort fees. You can find this information on the hotel’s website or by contacting their customer service.

It is also a good idea to read reviews from previous guests to see if any hidden fees were mentioned. Websites like TripAdvisor or Expedia can provide valuable insights from fellow travelers.

During Your Stay

Once you have arrived at the hotel, it is essential to carefully review your bill and check for any additional charges. If you notice a resort fee that was not disclosed prior to your arrival, politely speak to the front desk staff or the manager. Explain that you were not made aware of this fee at the time of booking and request for it to be removed from your bill.

It is important to remain calm and respectful during this conversation, as the staff may not have the authority to waive the fee. In some cases, they may be willing to negotiate or offer alternatives to compensate for the fee. Remember, communication is key in resolving any issues.

At Check-out

If you were unsuccessful in having the resort fee removed during your stay, you still have the option to dispute the charge at check-out. Politely explain your situation to the front desk staff and ask to speak with a manager if necessary. Be prepared to provide any evidence or documentation that supports your claim of not being informed about the resort fee.

If the hotel refuses to remove the fee, you can also contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. Some credit card companies have policies in place to protect consumers from unexpected fees or charges. It is best to review your credit card’s terms and conditions or contact their customer service for guidance.

Remember, each situation may vary, and there is no guarantee that you will be successful in refusing resort fees. However, by being proactive during the booking process, staying informed, and calmly addressing the issue, you increase your chances of avoiding or disputing these additional charges.

Potential Consequences of Refusing Resort Fees

Possible Legal Implications

When it comes to refusing to pay resort fees in New York, there can be potential legal implications to consider. While each situation may vary, it’s important to be aware of the terms and conditions set forth by the resort when making a reservation. Refusing to pay the resort fees could result in the resort taking legal action against you for breach of contract. This could lead to further legal complications and potentially financial consequences.

Effect on Future Bookings

Refusing to pay resort fees in New York may also have an impact on your ability to make future bookings. Resorts have the right to deny service to customers who refuse to comply with their policies, including the payment of resort fees. By refusing to pay these fees, you may find it difficult to secure reservations in the future at the same resort or other establishments within the same network. It’s important to consider the potential consequences before making a decision.

Impact on Credit Score

Another consequence to refusing to pay resort fees is the potential impact on your credit score. If the resort decides to pursue legal action or sends your unpaid fees to a collection agency, this could negatively affect your credit score. Late payments and debt collections can be reported to credit bureaus and stay on your credit report for up to seven years. It’s important to be aware of the potential long-term implications before taking any actions that could jeopardize your creditworthiness.

Tips and Strategies to Avoid Resort Fees

Resort fees have become a common and often unwelcome addition to hotel bills in many popular tourist destinations, including New York. These fees, also known as destination fees or amenity fees, are charged by hotels to cover the cost of amenities and services that are not included in the room rate. While these fees are often mandatory, there are some tips and strategies you can employ to try and avoid them.

Book Directly Through the Hotel

One of the best ways to potentially avoid resort fees is to book your hotel room directly through the hotel’s website or by calling their reservation line. When you book through third-party websites, such as online travel agencies, the hotel may not have as much flexibility in waiving or reducing the resort fees. By booking directly, you can communicate your preferences and negotiate the fees more effectively.

Join a Loyalty Program

Another effective strategy to avoid resort fees is to join the hotel’s loyalty program. Many hotels offer perks and benefits to their loyal customers, including waived resort fees or discounted rates. By becoming a member, you not only gain access to these benefits but also increase your chances of negotiating a better deal, as hotels value their loyal guests and want to retain their business.

Negotiate the Fees

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the hotel to try and have the resort fees waived or reduced. Politely express your concerns about the fees and inquire about any available discounts or promotions. Hotels may be willing to accommodate your request, especially if you have a valid reason, such as being a repeat guest or booking a longer stay. Remember, it never hurts to ask, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

It is important to note that the effectiveness of these strategies may vary depending on the hotel’s policies and availability. It is always a good idea to do some research and inquire about resort fees before making a reservation. Additionally, be aware that some hotels may require you to pay the fees regardless of your efforts to avoid them.


As we conclude our comprehensive review, it is clear that refusing to pay resort fees in New York can be a complex matter, depending on the circumstances. While it is possible in some instances, understanding the associated risks and potential implications is crucial. Always strive for a clear communication with your hotel about these charges from the onset to avoid unexpected costs. And remember, the hospitality industry is built on negotiation, so don’t be afraid to speak up. Knowing your rights and being an informed consumer can significantly enhance your New York resort experience.

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