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IHG- significantly devalues Elite Benefits in NYC and now charging 'amenities fees'

IHG- significantly devalues Elite Benefits in NYC and now charging 'amenities fees'

Old Jan 17, 19, 1:15 pm
  #1  
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IHG- significantly devalues Elite Benefits in NYC and now charging 'amenities fees'

I am spire elite and stayed many nights last year in NYC at a spectrum of IHG properties from HIE to Kimpton and Crown Plaza as well as the Candlewood Suites. NY is pricy and I had been accruing points while becoming Spire late last year.

New this year is that many IHG properties in NY City are charging a daily 'amenities' fee of 25-30 USD a night. Besides the annoyance factor, I am now spending on benefits I used to get either by being IHG Platinum/Spire; for instance, while I still have yet to see a breakfast or lounge access at any IHG hotel other than the ones that offer it to everyone (Staybridge, HIE) I have to pay the amenities fee to cover internet access, gym access, and perks that should be granted to everyone or certainly their most loyal travelers.

It smacks of devaluation and lack of transparency. I hope the competing hotels in NYC do not race to the bottom like this. I am Lifetime platinum with marriott and gold with Hilton, I usually get a comp'd breakfast or lounge access if they have one, plus internet, gym access.... and I dont have to justify my expense report when someone asks whats with this amenities fee?

Fix this IHG!
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Old Jan 17, 19, 1:19 pm
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Most chains now do this in nYC

Most chains have implemented an "amenity fee" or "destination fee" ... you will note that average rates have fallen by about the same amount.

If you stay a lot at InterContinental Hotels, and make Royal Ambassador, you will get the amenity fee waived at the IC Times Square and IC Barclay.
Spire, nope .
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Old Jan 17, 19, 1:32 pm
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The sky isn't falling, like you make it out to believe. This is a common practice amongst many hotel chains now as they generally don't pay commissions on the fees when sold through OTAs and it allows them to advertise a lower "price". Not that I like it, but it's basically built into the price. Them "removing" these fees, they just increase the price elsewhere.

I just had a stay in Times Square and my fees were waived for a reward night. That annoys me when I have fees when the room should be free.

Do a price comparison of IHG hotels vs Mariott hotels in NYC. Then come back and tell me about all of your free breakfasts and fees.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 1:50 pm
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Doesn't it also lower the tax liability? I know that's a driver on the airline bundling side since things like seat/bag fees are generally exempt from taxes that only apply to the base fare.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 1:51 pm
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@pjcflip

Here's a recent Marriott thread about NY resort fees: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marr...-nyc-50-a.html
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Old Jan 17, 19, 2:01 pm
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I should have known... thank you. I havent tested the marriott waters much yet this year to see it but last week I stayed at the Marriot VC Pulse in midtown and there was no amenities fee though there werent much amenities either but it was a nice spot.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by pjcflip View Post
I should have known... thank you. I havent tested the marriott waters much yet this year to see it but last week I stayed at the Marriot VC Pulse in midtown and there was no amenities fee though there werent much amenities either but it was a nice spot.
Would you rather have your room rate go up $30 to cover the costs?
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Old Jan 17, 19, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by hotelboy View Post
Would you rather have your room rate go up $30 to cover the costs?
Actually, yes. Bundle everything together as the nightly rate, and be up front about it. Then watch hotels actually compete for people's business as they are forced to advertise the actual cost of a night's stay.

Hell, make it a law.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by hotelboy View Post
Would you rather have your room rate go up $30 to cover the costs?
Absoluetly - In exactlr the same way that I dislike how in the US, hotels ( and other retailers ) are allowed to advertise prices without including all taxes

In many markets, the full price that will need to be paid needs to be advertised - this is a much better situation
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Old Jan 18, 19, 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by hotelboy View Post
Would you rather have your room rate go up $30 to cover the costs?
Yes as per Dave Noble, but also, hotels don't set their rates according to what it costs them to provide the services. They set their rates as high as they think people are willing to pay.

$25 amenities fee for internet/gym, $25 utilities fee to cover electricity and water, $25 service fee so they can pay their staff less, $25 room fee for housekeeping, then they will have the lowest headline rate out of everyone!

For me internet access is as essential as having a shower and sink in a hotel room, so if internet access can be "unbundled" why not just "unbundle" everything about the hotel in the first place?
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Old Jan 18, 19, 3:18 am
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Originally Posted by vsevolod4 View Post
Most chains have implemented an "amenity fee" or "destination fee" ... you will note that average rates have fallen by about the same amount.
I doubt that. It's just a way to seem to competitive in online listings that don't advertise the final price. Hotels should be made to show the final price at all stages, like they do here, in the UK.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by hotelboy View Post
Would you rather have your room rate go up $30 to cover the costs?
Absolutely. As it is, if I'm fishing around for a hotel and Stariott isn't an option, I don't like having to go in, book a room, and then find out how much the amenity fee is 2-3 steps in and then back out to compare apples to apples. Moreover, it isn't entirely clear in my mind whether points earning is based on the base room cost or on room cost plus hotel-imposed fees (but excluding taxes/external fees). I don't blame them for wanting to keep OTAs' hands off of part of the room cost, but it introduces a questionable element into my booking.

Moreover, it creates issues when sorting through a given chain's listed rates on their website. I get that taxes will vary a bit by destination. C'est la vie. But usually that won't be to the tune of $20/night for an otherwise similarly-priced room (unless we're talking five-star hotels in a major city).

I'm actually a bit annoyed that OTAs haven't just taken to either including the fee outright in the listed prices (so a $99 room with a $20 fee would be listed at $119) or alongside it (so that room would be openly listed as $99+$20) since I can't be the only one who has gotten stuck doing the back-out-and-re-check-prices game. Then again, I wish they'd also allow you to throw in parking (which is sometimes a concern for me and sometimes not) to estimate your actual cost for staying somewhere...Orlando hotels seem to be about half-and-half on charging for parking, for example.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
Yes as per Dave Noble, but also, hotels don't set their rates according to what it costs them to provide the services. They set their rates as high as they think people are willing to pay.

$25 amenities fee for internet/gym, $25 utilities fee to cover electricity and water, $25 service fee so they can pay their staff less, $25 room fee for housekeeping, then they will have the lowest headline rate out of everyone!

For me internet access is as essential as having a shower and sink in a hotel room, so if internet access can be "unbundled" why not just "unbundle" everything about the hotel in the first place?
In general, internet access is supposed to be "bundled" as part of loyalty program membership. That hotels are in effect trying to sneak around this (I generally don't give a rat's ... about the gym, etc.) is something that corporate probably needs to crack down on, either by imposing aggressive fee waivers or setting minimum standards for allowing fees to begin with.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:32 am
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Get used to it

Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
I'm actually a bit annoyed that OTAs haven't just taken to either including the fee outright in the listed prices (so a $99 room with a $20 fee would be listed at $119) or alongside it (so that room would be openly listed as $99+$20) since I can't be the only one who has gotten stuck doing the back-out-and-re-check-prices game.
They prefer it that way. Priceline sends me an email every 3 days: "LAS VEGAS FROM $19!!!*" (*Actual cost $109/night after resort fees, Priceline fees and taxes)
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by hotelboy View Post
Would you rather have your room rate go up $30 to cover the costs?
It would go down by $30 if using points.
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