Hotwire Resort Fees

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Jul 4, 2018
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#1
Hello!

Last week, I purchased one of Hotwire’s blind booking “hot rate” hotel deals. I saw that many of these hot rate deals listed a hotel resort fee without revealing the hotel’s name (e.g. “this hotel charges guests a resort fee of USD35.00 per room per night”). I reasonably assumed that Hotwire discloses these resort fees in all of its listings. I purchased a hot rate deal that did not list a resort fee.

The day after I made my reservation, I called Hotwire customer support to inquire about the type of room I was getting. I also wanted to confirm that there was no resort fee. However, the customer service agent informed me that I would in fact have to pay a $35 per night resort fee (luckily I only booked one night). I explained that I did not know or have reason to know of this resort fee at the time of booking. She referred me to Hotwire’s terms and conditions. The relevant section reads:

“Hotwire rates do not include special fees charged by hotels upon check-out (e.g., energy charges, convention fees, resort fees, parking fees). Customers will be required to pay these fees directly to the hotels at check-out time.”

This term simply states that if special fees exist, they are not paid to Hotwire. It doesn't say how or when these fees may exist. It certainly doesn't say that Hotwire may not disclose these special fees at all. Thus, it does not give me reason to know that I could potentially be liable for mandatory, undisclosed resort fees.

I am troubled by the way Hotwire has handled this situation. I have spent hours on the phone with Hotwire over the past week. I’ve probably talked to nearly a dozen customer service agents. My request is for Hotwire to simply deduct $35 from my bill. Every person I've spoken with has firmly denied my request.

The best remedy I was offered was to send in my resort fee receipt to Hotwire’s customer service email address. My reservation is in August and I will likely have to pay the resort fee then. Apparently Hotwire’s research team will look into the situation upon receiving my email. They explicitly made no guarantees of a refund and I am highly doubtful this will lead to an adequate resolution.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
If you did a blind bid you don’t get to choose the hotel.. If you wanted to guarantee a hotel with no resort fees, you don’t do blind bidding. You book a hotel that states they don’t have one.

However- have you tried to recreate what you did so you could do a screen print that shows that the hotel you chose didn’t have a resort fee?

What city,dates and star rating did you book? If we can recreate the booking and find that hotel that didn’t state the resort fee you would have better chance at going back at them. Screen prints don’t lie


Here are the disclosures on hot rates:

Hotwire Hot Rates are the low prices that Hotwire specially negotiates with our hotel suppliers. We work with only the best in the business. We don't have sales or weekly specials. Rather, our Hotwire Hot Rates consistently offer you deep discounts every time you book on our site, even at the last minute.

The key to getting these deals is flexibility: The hotel name and street location will be shown after you complete a booking. By allowing our partners to maintain their anonymity during the booking process, Hotwire can get you hotel room deals that are significantly lower.

In addition, please note that each hotel may also have its own charges - for example, parking, resort fees, convention fees, and energy charges. You will be required to pay any such fees directly to the hotel (usually at check-out time). Once you book a hotel reservation, we recommend that you contact your hotel directly to inquire about any additional charges.
 
Jul 4, 2018
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#3
If you did a blind bid you don’t get to choose the hotel.. If you wanted to guarantee a hotel with no resort fees, you don’t do blind bidding. You book a hotel that states they don’t have one.

However- have you tried to recreate what you did so you could do a screen print that shows that the hotel you chose didn’t have a resort fee?

What city,dates and star rating did you book? If we can recreate the booking and find that hotel that didn’t state the resort fee you would have better chance at going back at them. Screen prints don’t lie


Here are the disclosures on hot rates:

Hotwire Hot Rates are the low prices that Hotwire specially negotiates with our hotel suppliers. We work with only the best in the business. We don't have sales or weekly specials. Rather, our Hotwire Hot Rates consistently offer you deep discounts every time you book on our site, even at the last minute.

The key to getting these deals is flexibility: The hotel name and street location will be shown after you complete a booking. By allowing our partners to maintain their anonymity during the booking process, Hotwire can get you hotel room deals that are significantly lower.

In addition, please note that each hotel may also have its own charges - for example, parking, resort fees, convention fees, and energy charges. You will be required to pay any such fees directly to the hotel (usually at check-out time). Once you book a hotel reservation, we recommend that you contact your hotel directly to inquire about any additional charges.
Thanks for the reply! I booked a 4.5 star hotel in NYC for August 18-19.

Posing as a new customer, I have called Hotwire on three occasions to inquire if there is a resort fee for the particular hot rate deal I purchased. Each representative told me there was no resort fee. The first woman I spoke with said a resort fee will be listed on the billing page and there will be a specific amount in the terms and conditions. The second woman said resort fees are available prior to booking. The third woman I just spoke with said that if no resort fee is listed, then no resort fee exists. Again, this is for a hot rate blind bid.

Yes, I have gone back to the listing I purchased to take screen prints. In addition, every customer service representative I've spoken with at Hotwire has confirmed that no resort fee is listed on my itinerary. I've even had a representative tell me that in all the years she has been at Hotwire, she has never seen a resort fee not listed at the time of booking for hot rate deals. She went so far as to say she is embarrassed at the way management has handled this situation.
 
Last edited:
Oct 10, 2015
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#4
Still, the customer should be able to determine the total cost prior to being committed to make the purchase.

If Hotwire (or Priceline, etc.) were unable or unwilling to disclose the total cost (or a close approximation) and the customer found out later but reasonably quickly that the cost was to be well in excess of what the customer was able to determine in advance, then [Hotwire] should upon request cancel the deal with a complete cash refund.
 
Likes: tes64

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#5
If you are booking a hotel in New York City, how can there be a resort fee? Have you asked the hotel about this extra fee? This story does not make sense. I suggest that you write to HotWire to request a full refund and rebook your hotel directly.
 
Likes: tes64

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,280
13,571
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Thanks for the reply! I booked a 4.5 star hotel in NYC for August 18-19.

Posing as a new customer, I have called Hotwire on three occasions to inquire if there is a resort fee for the particular hot rate deal I purchased. Each representative told me there was no resort fee. The first woman I spoke with said a resort fee will be listed on the billing page and there will be a specific amount in the terms and conditions. The second woman said resort fees are available prior to booking. The third woman I just spoke with said that if no resort fee is listed, then no resort fee exists. Again, this is for a hot rate blind bid.

Yes, I have gone back to the listing I purchased to take screen prints. In addition, every customer service representative I've spoken with at Hotwire has confirmed that no resort fee is listed on my itinerary. I've even had a representative tell me that in all the years she has been at Hotwire, she has never seen a resort fee not listed at the time of booking for hot rate deals. She went so far as to say she is embarrassed at the way management has handled this situation.
What hotel did you book? Most NYC hotels don’t chsrge them. Many charge for internet of parking but not a resort fee. Maybe you are worried about nothing.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#7
If you are booking a hotel in New York City, how can there be a resort fee? Have you asked the hotel about this extra fee? This story does not make sense. I suggest that you write to HotWire to request a full refund and rebook your hotel directly.
"Resort" fees typically cover internet, gym, pool and other miscellaneous fees at hotels, even in NYC. Some also include "free" local phone calls, as if anyone ever uses a hotel phone anymore except to call room service. You do not have to be at a "resort" to have a resort fee added to your bill.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,280
13,571
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
"Resort" fees typically cover internet, gym, pool and other miscellaneous fees at hotels, even in NYC. Some also include "free" local phone calls, as if anyone ever uses a hotel phone anymore except to call room service. You do not have to be at a "resort" to have a resort fee added to your bill.
Many NYC city hotels don’t charge for it- they still charge individually.

I just tried to create booking and the first hotel that came up mentioned nothing about a resort fee. It is shown as s Boutique hotel in the Times Square area. In fact not one of the three showed a resort fee.

To our writer- I would do a screen print of a hotel with a resort fee in Hotwire and the ones that came up in NYC showing no fee and send it witbyour letters to the Executives. It won’t hurt to show them to he ba need to update their system description and include there might be a resort fee.
 
Likes: jsn55
Mar 14, 2018
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#9
Unfortunately, most of the big hotels that are on Times Square have started to charge resort fees. The Marriott, Renaissance, Sheraton, W, Hyatt and Crowne Plaza all have them. Once you get a couple blocks away, they become less common, although even there some hotels have them now.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
How to raise prices without raising prices. And this is one reason why people risk going to air bnb

https://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Hotel-News/Some-New-York-hotels-tacking-on-destination-fees

“At least 16 higher-end New York hotels have quietly begun imposing a mandatory $25 nightly "destination fee."

Hotel operators say the fees cover additional services and amenities, but some guests are complaining they are hidden and unwelcome costs.

Last August, Marriott International started what it called a pilot program, charging the fee at 13 hotels, including the New York Marriott Marquis, Sheraton New York Times Square, Westin New York Grand Central Station and JW Marriott Essex House.

Hilton began its destination-fee program at the New York Hilton Midtown and the Doubletree by Hilton Times Square, while Hyatt instituted the fee at the Grand Hyatt New York.

In each case, the fees are subject to both local and occupancy taxes.”
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,280
13,571
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
Then I’m curious as the why Hotwire doesn’t have that disclaimer on every Hot deal.

I have to agree with our writer in this one. Some say it and done don’t - Hotwire should put it in every description.

Tes64, I would rework your letter to the Executives-
Try something like this:

On xx/xx I bid on a 4.5 “hot rate” hotel and won. I have been very careful to look for hot rates you have that state there are Resort fees.

There was nothing in the listing inducating a resort fee on the bidding page. I was quite surprised after I booked to find there was resort fee at the hotel I placed a bid on.

The terms and conditions that you show on your website discusses resort fees for regular Hotwire bids but there is nothing stated about the Hot rates. Since you do disclose them on some listings, I assumed if isn’t stated, there are no resort frees.

Otherwise, you should have a disclaimer in every Hot Rate hotel that there might be a resort fee.

I am requesting a credit in the amount of my resort fee due to the fact that it wasn’t shown on the page. I also request you update your disclosures on all Hot Rates that state there might be a resort fee and to check with the particular hotel before bidding”
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#12
I very much doubt HotWire can enforce their contract without disclosing the amount of the resort fee, even if they disclose that it may exist. It's way too vague--What if the fee was $1000?

You might not be able to get HotWire to pay the fee for you. But they certainly should cancel the reservation and return your money.
 
Jul 4, 2018
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#13
What hotel did you book? Most NYC hotels don’t chsrge them. Many charge for internet of parking but not a resort fee. Maybe you are worried about nothing.
I booked the Intercontinental Barclay. The new resort fee went into effect in June. Hotwire must not have updated their systems in time when I made my reservation. The same hot rate deal I booked now fully discloses a $34 per night resort fee.
 
Jul 4, 2018
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#14
Thanks for the replies everyone!

Hotwire still hasn't moved an inch with either refunding the undisclosed resort fee or cancelling the reservation. I'll try writing to more executive contacts.