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Travel - Hotels
Written by Omie Ismail   
Monday, 26 July 2010 03:49
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Watch Out for These 5 Hotel Fees
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Hotels have followed the airlines' lead into adding fees to make up for low prices. While room rates have floundered for years, fees have risen at a fast clip. Before, you book your next cheap hotel room, you should pay attention to these 5 hotel fees:

1) Costly Parking:

While hotel rates have been stuck for years due to the weak economy, hotels have figured out a way to make more money off of guests without them factoring it in to their reservation: parking. Parking has increased by double digit rates for years. Four star hotels in major cities that used to charge $15 for parking just 5 years ago are often charging double that today. If you choose a 4 star hotel for $180 a night, you might just be paying $210 when you include the parking. Hotels love valet parking because it doesn't matter if you snagged a $90 room on Priceline or Hotwire or you paid the rack rate: they still will get their $10 to $35 a night. Check in advance for parking rates and see if they have free or low cost self parking. Another trick is to find a garage nearby and park at a much lower rate if the hotel is in an urban area.

2) Expensive "Resort Fees"

While many hotels dropped the "Resort Fee" years ago when the industry found themselves in hot water over the practice. A number of hotels still have fees ranging from $15 to $35 a night for facilities that arguably ought to be included with your room rate. These fees are seldom collected by the online booking engines and expect them to be added to your credit card upon check-in. Sometimes the fees do include nice extras including free wireless, premium newspapers, and free parking, but again most of these things are included for free in many higher end hotels.

Many hotels have started to market themselves as resort fee free. When booking a room online, make sure to add the cost of the resort fee when you compare prices. Along with parking, you may be looking at an extra $50 a night!

3) Mini-bar Restocking Fee

This is perhaps even more ludicrous than the daily resort fee. As if there wasn't enough margin built into the $6 Snickers candy bar or the $8 four ounce bag of cashews, many hotels are now adding a "restocking fee" to their mini-bars. Grab that Snickers for $6 and it might actually cost you $11 when the restocking fee is included. Fees can range from as little as $1.95 to as high as $10. $10 to restock something that is already incredibly overpriced. Word to the wise, avoid the mini-bar, it just isn't worth it.

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