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One thing that pretty much all travelers can agree on is their unified disdain for resort fees. Only occasionally does the resort fee actually include something useful that you wouldn’t have expected to simply be a part of you nightly hotel rate. Most of the time it is just a clear money-grab to charge you for things that either should be included by virtue of paying to stay at the hotel, or that you aren’t going to make use of anyway. As you have probably noticed the resort fee trend is on the rise with not only more properties tacking on this fee, but the fee itself has grown from usually being around $20 per night to being $50 – $100+ per night at some popular properties. To make matters worse, in many cases the resort fees even apply to award stays!
I saw a post on The Points Guy this morning calling out 8 different hotels for their over-the-top resort fees, and it made me want to give some props to some hotels that don’t have resort fees. These 8 hotels arguably could easily charge resort fees since they either are resorts, or at the very least are surrounded by hotels where resort fees are very common such as in Hawaii and Las Vegas.
1. Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach
While Hyatt Place properties generally don’t have resort fees regardless of location, this one deserves a round of applause since it is located in Waikiki where the overwhelming majority of hotels do charge a resort fee. You don’t pay a resort fee at any Hyatt property if you are staying on a purely Gold Passport points award, but even on points + cash or regular paid stays at this property you will be resort-fee-free. Paid rates can go below $200/night and award rates are 12,000 Hyatt points at this property that is just a few minutes walk from the beach.
2. Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk
Another Waikiki property where you can use or earn points and avoid resort fees is the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach. In the tradition of Embassy Suites you also have access to included cooked-to-order breakfast and the rooms are suites!
Rates here seem to be around $200+ per night or you can use 60,000 Hilton points per night when standard awards are available.
3. Hyatt Ziva and Zilara All-Inclusive Properties
I absolutely love the Hyatt all-inclusive properties I have visited, and I have yet to see a price for these Hyatt Ziva and Zilara all-inclusive resorts located in Mexico and The Caribbean with a separate resort fee tacked on. The price displayed seems to include taxes and any fees they may have built-in, so while I can’t swear they don’t have a portion of the rate designated as a “resort fee” on the backend, the price you see seems to be the price you pay making it essentially resort-fee-free to me. Paid rates at these properties can vary widely from $350-ish per night up to $800+ per night. Points rates for these all-inclusives for double occupancy ranges from 20,000 – 25,000 points per night.
4. Select Downtown Vegas Hotels + The M Resort
Sadly, the M Resort now charges a resort fee of about $17 per night.
Most hotels in Las Vegas have resort fees – in fact, the resort fee can be more than the base hotel nightly rate in some cases. However, there are a handful of downtown old-school properties that have resisted the resort fee as has The M Resort that is located about 10 miles south of The Strip. Rates at the M Resort seem to start at a little over $100/night.
5. Four Seasons Maui
Okay this one isn’t points or budget friendly, but it does boast repeatedly on its website that it has no resort fee. In fact, the Four Seasons Maui states it is the only resort on Maui with no resort fee. Of course, rates for this gorgeous property are usually $500 – $700+ per night, but at least there isn’t another resort fee on top of that. Even though there is no resort fee, this property doesn’t charge extra for cabanas at the fountain and children’s pools, beach service, snorkel gear, kid’s camp, fitness classes, and a resort car service within Wailea.
6. Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels may not all be inexpensive, but they typically do not charge a resort fee. Despite this, there are still plenty of extras included like transportation around the Disney complex and even transportation to and from the airport via the Magical Express bus! In contrast, do note that the Swan and Dolphin hotels where you can use SPG points to stay on Disney property do charge a $25 per night resort fee.
7. Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas
Near Beaver Creek in Colorado there are a few SPG hotels including the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, as well as the adjacent and similarly named Westin Riverfront Villas. We have stayed in both in these ski-friendly properties, but currently the villas are actually a better deal both because they start at just 12,000 points per night (or 9,600 on a five night stay), but also because they do not charge resort fees unlike the hotel portion of the property that charges a $30 per night resort fee.
8. All Hyatt Properties on Award Stays
While some Hyatt properties have very high resort fees on paid stays, none of them charge a resort fee on an award stay! In places like Hawaii, Colorado, Florida, and beyond you can save $50+ per night on resort fees by staying using your Hyatt Gold Passport points. On a multi-night stay this makes a pretty substantial difference. Note that this freedom from resort fees is only valid on purely points stays and is not valid on points + cash stays. The one exception to that is if you are lucky enough to be a top tier Hyatt Globalist Elite when the new World of Hyatt program launches in March 2017, as those top tier elites will not be charged resort fees on eligible paid stays or awards stays.
Have you been pleasantly surprised by a hotel that didn’t charge a resort fee?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.