Are you planning a vacation and looking for a hotel to stay in? You may come across a term called a resort fee. What exactly is a resort fee and why do hotels charge it?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: A resort fee is an additional charge that hotels add to your bill for the use of certain amenities and services that are not included in the room rate.

In this article, we will discuss what exactly a resort fee is, why hotels charge it, what it typically includes, and how to avoid paying it.

What is a Resort Fee?

What is a Resort Fee?

A resort fee is an additional fee that hotels charge on top of room rates to cover amenities and services that are offered to guests. These fees are common in hotels that provide guests with access to a range of facilities and services, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and Wi-Fi.

Difference between Resort Fee and Room Rate

It is worth mentioning that a resort fee is different from the room rate. The room rate is the price that guests pay for the room itself, while the resort fee is an extra charge for the amenities and services provided by the hotel. Unfortunately, some hotels do not clearly disclose the resort fee during the booking process, which can come as a surprise to guests when they check out.

Examples of Amenities and Services Covered by Resort Fee

Keep in mind that the amenities and services covered by the resort fee can vary from hotel to hotel. Some hotels may include a wide range of amenities and services, while others may only offer a few. Here are some common examples of amenities and services covered by resort fees:

  • Access to fitness centers or gyms
  • Use of swimming pools, hot tubs, or saunas
  • Beach towels and chairs
  • Free Wi-Fi or internet access
  • Access to business centers or meeting rooms
  • Newspapers or magazines

On the other hand, some hotels may charge a resort fee but not offer any additional amenities or services. Before booking a hotel, it is important to check what the resort fee covers and make sure that it is worth paying for.

Why Do Hotels Charge a Resort Fee?

It is worth mentioning that hotels often charge a resort fee, which is a daily charge added to the base room rate. There are several reasons why hotels charge a resort fee:

  • To Cover the Cost of Amenities and Services: Many hotels offer a variety of amenities and services to their guests, such as access to a pool, gym, or spa. These amenities and services require maintenance and upkeep, which can be costly. Hotels charge a resort fee to cover these expenses and ensure the amenities and services are well-maintained for guests to enjoy.
  • To Increase Profit Margin: Unfortunately, some hotels charge a resort fee as a way to increase their profit margin. This means that guests are essentially paying more for the same services and amenities that would normally be included in the base room rate.
  • To Remain Competitive: On the other hand, some hotels charge a resort fee as a way to remain competitive in the market. Many hotels have started charging resort fees, so hotels that do not charge them may appear to be more expensive than their competitors. By charging a resort fee, hotels can keep their base room rates lower and remain competitive.

It is important to keep in mind that the resort fee is usually not optional, and guests must pay it regardless of whether or not they use the amenities and services provided. It is also important to note that the resort fee is not included in the advertised room rate, so guests should be aware of this additional charge when booking their stay.

Some popular hotel chains that charge resort fees include Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. Guests can typically find information about the resort fee on the hotel’s website or by contacting the hotel directly.

What Does a Resort Fee Typically Include?

When booking a hotel room, travelers may come across an additional charge known as a resort fee. A resort fee is a mandatory surcharge added to a guest’s bill to cover a variety of amenities and services offered by the hotel. It is important to note that a resort fee is different from the room rate and is charged per night, regardless of whether the guest uses any of the included amenities or services.

So, what does a resort fee typically include? It is worth mentioning that the amenities and services included in a resort fee can vary depending on the hotel. However, here are some of the most common inclusions:

  • Access to Fitness Centers and Pools: Guests can enjoy the hotel’s fitness center and swimming pools without any additional charges.
  • Internet and Wi-Fi Access: Guests can connect to the internet and Wi-Fi services provided by the hotel.
  • Newspapers and Magazines: Some hotels offer complimentary newspapers and magazines to guests.
  • Local Phone Calls: Guests can make local phone calls without any additional charges.
  • Beach Chairs and Umbrellas: Hotels located near beaches may provide beach chairs and umbrellas for guests to use.
  • Concierge Services: Guests can use the hotel’s concierge services to book tours, make restaurant reservations, and get recommendations for local activities and attractions.
  • In-room Coffee and Tea: Guests can enjoy complimentary coffee and tea in their rooms.
  • Bottled Water: Some hotels provide guests with complimentary bottled water.
  • Parking: Guests can park their vehicles in the hotel’s parking lot without any additional charges.
  • Resort Activities and Entertainment: Hotels may offer guests access to a variety of activities and entertainment options, such as live music performances, movie screenings, and fitness classes.

Keep in mind that some hotels may include additional amenities or services in their resort fees, such as airport transfers, shuttle services, and spa access. It is important to read the hotel’s policy and understand what is included in the resort fee before booking.

On the other hand, unfortunately, some hotels do not disclose the resort fee until the guest checks in or out of the hotel. This can be frustrating for travelers who were not aware of the additional charge. However, in 2017, the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to hotels to be more transparent about resort fees and disclose them upfront.

Hotel Chain Resort Fee (per night)
Marriott $25 – $45
Hilton $25 – $45
Hyatt $25 – $45
InterContinental $25 – $45

According to, as of 2021, the average resort fee in Las Vegas is $37.13 per night, while in Hawaii, it is $40.36 per night. It is important for travelers to factor in the resort fee when budgeting for their hotel stay.

How to Avoid Paying Resort Fees?

Resort fees are becoming more common in hotels, and they can add up quickly. These fees can range from a few dollars to over $50 per night, and they cover amenities such as Wi-Fi, pool access, and gym facilities. Here are some tips to avoid paying resort fees:

  • Look for Hotels That Don’t Charge Resort Fees: Some hotels do not charge resort fees, so it is worth checking before booking your stay. You can use hotel search engines like Kayak or to filter your search results by hotels that do not charge resort fees.
  • Join Hotel Loyalty Programs: Many hotel loyalty programs offer perks such as waived resort fees for their members. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy program offers free Wi-Fi and waived resort fees for members who book directly with Marriott.
  • Negotiate with the Hotel: If you are unable to find a hotel that does not charge resort fees, try negotiating with the hotel. Call the hotel directly and ask if they can waive the resort fee for your stay. Explain that you do not plan on using the amenities covered by the fee.
  • Book Through a Travel Agent: Some travel agents have access to special rates that include waived resort fees. It is worth checking with a travel agent to see if they can offer you a better rate that includes waived resort fees.
  • Use Points or Miles to Pay for Your Stay: If you have hotel points or airline miles, you may be able to use them to pay for your stay and avoid paying resort fees. Check with your hotel or airline loyalty program to see if this is an option.

By following these tips, you can avoid paying resort fees and save money on your hotel stay.


In conclusion, a resort fee is an additional charge that hotels add to your bill for the use of certain amenities and services that are not included in the room rate. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, hotels charge resort fees for a reason. They help cover the cost of providing guests with extra amenities and services, increase the hotel’s profit margin, and remain competitive in the market.

However, you can avoid paying resort fees by doing your research, joining hotel loyalty programs, negotiating with the hotel, booking through a travel agent, or using points or miles to pay for your stay. By understanding what a resort fee is and how to avoid paying it, you can make the most out of your vacation without breaking the bank.

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