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Boston - The Great Hotel Rip Off!!

Boston - The Great Hotel Rip Off!!

Old Mar 23, 2024, 12:35 pm
  #1  
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Boston - The Great Hotel Rip Off!!

I have been to the USA a few times now, different states and locations, but I have never seen anything as outrageous as Boston!

I am looking to book a solo trip there. The hotels are not cheap (by UK/European standards), but I am astounded that they are adding the following:
  • State Lodging Tax
  • City Tax
  • Convention Center Tax
  • Tourism Assessment Tax

Four types of TAX for a hotel stay! This is outrageous. Even more of a rip-off than the 'Resort Fee' I got stung for in Vegas!
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 12:56 pm
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Quick attempt to book Hilton Trafalgar shows one rate. But comments show "20% tax". Not sure if you are complaining about many small taxes or aggregate tax rate.
ETA: Looks like aggregate rate for the various Boston taxes is 16.25%

Last edited by xooz; Mar 23, 2024 at 1:03 pm
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 2:27 pm
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Boston can be outrageous depending on when you are visiting. Mid April has the Boston Marathon, which books every thing for 30-50 miles out. Mid October has the Head of the Charles Regatta, which isn't far behind. May/June see lots of college graduations, which also fills hotels, and September and October have Homecoming and Leaf Peeping, etc. It's tough to be popular,

What are your dates? What is your budget in USD per night?

Taxes at least go to city/state/etc. Resort fees just go into the pockets of hotel owners. We strongly disagree on which is a bigger ripoff

BTW, NYC hotel room taxes total about 15%, so not much less than Boston.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by hungry
I have been to the USA a few times now, different states and locations, but I have never seen anything as outrageous as Boston!

I am looking to book a solo trip there. The hotels are not cheap (by UK/European standards), but I am astounded that they are adding the following:
  • State Lodging Tax
  • City Tax
  • Convention Center Tax
  • Tourism Assessment Tax

Four types of TAX for a hotel stay! This is outrageous. Even more of a rip-off than the 'Resort Fee' I got stung for in Vegas!
this is very common.

you have a standard state sales tax and a local city/ county tax

then you can have special taxes like if you are in an airport area or a heavy tourist area. Many airport hotels are in an airport tax zone for maintenance fees.

many areas charge a tourist tax fr things like road work and area upkeep. Its much easier politically to tax visitors for fees

stadium/ arena tax to cover costs is a common one you will see.
rental cars also carry such extra taxes.
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 9:21 am
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I'm my experience most major cities have 15% tax if not higher. They break it into multiple ones but the quantity doesn't matter, it's too total that does. Some are only $2 per night no matter how expensive, and others are a percent.

You will find lower taxes if you stay just outside the city but then you need to go in and out of the city everyday
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 3:04 pm
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I hope the OP doesn't visit NYC any time soon - hotels there have the following:
- State Tax (8.875%)
- City Tax (5.875%)
- Occupancy Tax ($2/day)
- Javits Center Tax ($1.50/day)

And they'd better stay away from San Francisco as well (Occupancy Tax, SF Tourism Improvement District Tax, Moscone Expansion District Tax, CA Travel & Tourism Commission Tax)... maybe they should just not stay in any big city hotels lol
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 6:23 pm
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Thanks for the tips all.

The trip is March next year.

I managed to book the Hilton Park Plaza, in a King Superior room, for 4 nights for 607.00 through British Airways. This is about 191 USD per night. Or 766 USD for the 4 night stay. I know I have got to face up to paying the rip off wifi fee of 35USD per night when I get there (there REALLY should be a law against this! I don’t even want the stupid WIFI!).... but I thought it was a decent deal.

I no longer have status with HH, so not worried about not having booked direct. And its not even available for booking yet direct with Hilton.

Same room a few weeks earlier, in January, for the same days of the week available on the Hilton site is coming out at 220USD per night. So I thought the deal through BA was not that bad.
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by hungry
Thanks for the tips all.

The trip is March next year.

I managed to book the Hilton Park Plaza, in a King Superior room, for 4 nights for 607.00 through British Airways. This is about 191 USD per night. Or 766 USD for the 4 night stay. I know I have got to face up to paying the rip off wifi fee of 35USD per night when I get there (there REALLY should be a law against this! I dont even want the stupid WIFI!).... but I thought it was a decent deal.

I no longer have status with HH, so not worried about not having booked direct. And its not even available for booking yet direct with Hilton.

Same room a few weeks earlier, in January, for the same days of the week available on the Hilton site is coming out at 220USD per night. So I thought the deal through BA was not that bad.
In fact, looking at the Hilton website direct (and logged in) this hotel IS available for booking exactly ONE WEEK earlier than my trip, so checking in exactly 7 days earlier and out 7 days earlier, same duration, for an eye watering 598USD per night!!!!

2119 USD for the same 4 night stay. Compared to my 766, a week later, through BA.

If that is a similar price to what Hilton are charging when I go the week after, I have got a good old deal from BA I reckon!
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 7:23 pm
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Boston has historically been my hardest city to find decent hotel rates. About 10 years ago my son worked both North and South of the city at different times. When he was North of the city I found a Hilton Garden Inn that had recently been renovated from a different chain and the rates were great as they opened back up. There was also a Doubletree up that way that I found really good rates at too. College graduation season was the worst, where even the Motel 6’s were $500+ per night.
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by hungry
Thanks for the tips all.

The trip is March next year.

I managed to book the Hilton Park Plaza, in a King Superior room, for 4 nights for 607.00 through British Airways. This is about 191 USD per night. Or 766 USD for the 4 night stay. I know I have got to face up to paying the rip off wifi fee of 35USD per night when I get there (there REALLY should be a law against this! I dont even want the stupid WIFI!).... but I thought it was a decent deal.

I no longer have status with HH, so not worried about not having booked direct. And its not even available for booking yet direct with Hilton.

Same room a few weeks earlier, in January, for the same days of the week available on the Hilton site is coming out at 220USD per night. So I thought the deal through BA was not that bad.
Wifi is free if you are a member of the Hilton Honors program, you don't need status. $35 is the "resort fee", which also includes $15/day in Food & Beverage service and other things you probably don't know.

$191/night is a really good rate for a major city that time of year. Your reactions, starting with the thread title, are pretty over the top for what you ended up with. Booking early is nice to lock in the price, I hope you got a refundable rate in case rates drop further
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by Out of my Element
Wifi is free if you are a member of the Hilton Honors program, you don't need status. $35 is the "resort fee", which also includes $15/day in Food & Beverage service and other things you probably don't know.

$191/night is a really good rate for a major city that time of year. Your reactions, starting with the thread title, are pretty over the top for what you ended up with. Booking early is nice to lock in the price, I hope you got a refundable rate in case rates drop further
The resort fee is a con, simple as. How on earth is a city centre/business-heavy hotel a “resort”? It is even a con when actually the hotel could be referred to as a resort, but when it is city centre, it is even more of a con.

Incidentally, if you refuse to pay and tell them to keep their wifi and food and beverage credit, what do they do? Throw you out?

Why don’t they at least lower it by $15 a night and do away with the food credit??

Wonder if I try a chargeback through AMEX (post-stay) on the basis that I did not request, want, need, or use any of the items charged for, I would get any joy 😜
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 12:37 pm
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Funniest 'benefit' I saw recently, amongst the F & B credit, a whole $2 off a city bus/trolley tour that retails for ~$60, 'premium' WiFi and 'access to the gym' was a collectible fridge magnet souvenir on departure! (Hyatt Regency Boston, in case anyone is curious). Can't be long before working AC is cited as a benefit of the 'Resort Fee'.

The USA is particularly awful for hotels nickel-and-diming every last cent (to mix denominations!) from guests with all sorts of 'facility fees' on top of the already substantial State Taxes, City Taxes, Tourism Fees and of course there's always a crappy 'convention center' that the municipality owns and everybody who even sets foot in the city has to pay for.

Combine that with the egregious and excessive 'tipping culture' and I'm surprised anyopne ever vists the place at all

Moral is, you suck it up or go elsewhere, because it will never change for the better.
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 1:02 pm
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Hmm depending on what your days are next March you could be hitting St. Patrick's Day (very popular in Boston) or the 2025 World Figure Skating Championships. Just two large events I know of next March that would take up hotel rooms.
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by southlondonphil
Funniest 'benefit' I saw recently, amongst the F & B credit, a whole $2 off a city bus/trolley tour that retails for ~$60, 'premium' WiFi and 'access to the gym' was a collectible fridge magnet souvenir on departure! (Hyatt Regency Boston, in case anyone is curious). Can't be long before working AC is cited as a benefit of the 'Resort Fee'.

The USA is particularly awful for hotels nickel-and-diming every last cent (to mix denominations!) from guests with all sorts of 'facility fees' on top of the already substantial State Taxes, City Taxes, Tourism Fees and of course there's always a crappy 'convention center' that the municipality owns and everybody who even sets foot in the city has to pay for.

Combine that with the egregious and excessive 'tipping culture' and I'm surprised anyopne ever vists the place at all

Moral is, you suck it up or go elsewhere, because it will never change for the better.
Indeed!! I was furious the other week to learn that Manchester charges a 'city tax' now and I am booked in the Crowne Plaza for a couple of nights next month. It is only a quid a night or something... but a quid a night, to visit bloody rainy Manchester! But the USA takes the biscuit. Considering the cities are pretty similar size, at least population wise (553k Manchester England vs 654k Boston USA), my Crowne Plaza stay is costing me 155 per night for a Premium Executive Room, with Breakfast, No resort fee (although have to add on the 1 per night city tax), lounge access, and a couple of hours open bar each evening- and I won’t even have to shell out a single quid in tips during my stay.
Americans coming over here must be laughing all the way to the bank!

I basically have these last two trips, a few nights in Boston, and another separate trip with a few nights in NYC before a transatlantic Cunard Cruise back to good old resort fee-free Blighty! Then I honestly can not see myself going back to the USA for a while.

There are so many great cities in Europe where it costs half the price to goto without these rip off resort fees and similar (along with the tipping nonsense).
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Old Mar 27, 2024, 8:49 am
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Hotel rooms aren’t cheap in London and the VAT is embedded in the price quoted. One way or another, you pay the piper in desirable locations.
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