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FAQ: Award stays charged taxes on RACK rate in India? [Merged thread]

FAQ: Award stays charged taxes on RACK rate in India? [Merged thread]

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Old Dec 3, 16, 1:46 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: yosithezet
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Per Starwood Lurker II's research in April 2009:

1. If a SPG member has been offered a complimentary upgrade to a room of a higher category, is the member charged a luxury tax based on the Rack rate of the original room booked or the upgraded room?

Luxury tax is applicable to the Rack rate of the upgraded room for properties who are applying such taxes. I have verified that this is a government rule. Therefore do verify before checking in if you have been upgraded. Currently, properties in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmadabad are applying the luxury taxes to all their staying guests.

2. Are free night awards(in which taxes are already included) exempted from the luxury tax?

Yes.

3. Is this going to be forever?

This involves a couple of answers regarding the state governments so I shall leave this to any members who are residents in India.
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Old Sep 9, 08, 6:54 am
  #1  
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FAQ: Award stays charged taxes on RACK rate in India? [Merged thread]

I have 6 stay, 16 nights with SPG hotels at various locations in India starting mid-next week and noticed very interesting comment in the terms and conditions at most of my reservations (Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Jaipur):

* 12.5% or different percentage of tax calculated on the RACK rate of the room.

Usually, the rack rate and best available rates have at least 30-50% difference and this could mean a lot for taxes (especially for hotels in Delhi - very expensive - a 200 dollar rate can easily become 250 etc.).

Why does Indian hotels do this?

Another concern, as a Platinum member, is that when I get upgraded to a nice suite or rooms, the wording of the terms and conditions seems to indicate that taxes would be calculated based on the rack rate of the occupying room. Then a 200 dollar room upgraded to a very nice suite could easily become a 300 dollar room!!!

Nonetheless, this behavior is very unusual.
brahms77 is offline  
Old Sep 9, 08, 7:29 am
  #2  
 
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I had problems with this on a recent trip to India as well. It's not an India wide thing however.

The hotels do this because of state government regulations so wheather you are charged the taxes on the cash and points portion or the rack rate is determined by the state you are in. In my experience, Tamil Nadu (Chennai) taxes on the rack rate, but Kerala does it on the cash and points rate.

Although Starwood obviously can't control this, I feel that they could do more to highlight the issue during the booking process as the situation is different to every other cash and points booking elsewhere in the world.
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Old Sep 9, 08, 7:44 am
  #3  
 
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Have to say I didn't take too much notice of the taxes on my rooms in India recently (Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai - all SPG properties), but as a new Plat, the treatment I received at all the properties (all ITCs or Le Meridiens) was nothing short of fantastic.

Great upgrades everywhere, and genuine efforts by staff to do everything they could. Hope you enjoy your stays.

Cheers,
- Febs.

Last edited by Febs2; Sep 9, 08 at 7:53 am
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Old Sep 9, 08, 8:01 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Febs2 View Post
Have to say I didn't take too much notice of the taxes on my rooms in India recently (Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai - all SPG properties), but as a new Plat, the treatment I received at all the properties (all ITCs or Le Meridiens) was nothing short of fantastic.
- Febs.
How were your upgrades in Chennai and Delhi at LMs?

I have booked basic rooms (executive/club rooms)? Do they offer suites to Plats (This would be great!).
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Old Sep 9, 08, 8:37 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by brahms77 View Post
How were your upgrades in Chennai and Delhi at LMs?

I have booked basic rooms (executive/club rooms)? Do they offer suites to Plats (This would be great!).
I'd stayed at the Chennai LM previously (as a Gold, maybe even just as a Preferred Guest), and received a regular room. This time, I was given a much larger room with a small separate hallway/study area. I figured this was a "suite", until...

I received a random call from the manager on duty apologising for them not recognising my Platinum membership, and offering to upgrade me to a suite on the Executive floor.

This was a proper suite, with a large bedroom, huge bathroom, and separate study/lounge area (see below). This was on the 3rd floor, which is nothing like the 1st and 2nd floors. Much more modern - almost like a different hotel (the 1st and 2nd floors are fine, but quite dated. Probably the most average SPG property I've stayed at in India).
http://img.skitch.com/20080909-rgsb6...u5ndu16mym.jpg

The club was basic but had the basics you expect (drink and food).

In Delhi we stayed at the ITC Moruya (which interestingly has the restaurant voted "Best restaurant in Asia" - Bukhara). I was given a Towers room with access to the club floor. Room was small, but quite nice and with a modern/big bathroom.

Cheers,
- Febs.
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Old Sep 9, 08, 9:27 am
  #6  
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Febs2, thanks for the picture of LM Chennai. Not bad, but nothing fabulous. I will only be there for a short overnight and then off to Vellore the next morning for a project.
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Old Sep 9, 08, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by brahms77 View Post
Febs2, thanks for the picture of LM Chennai. Not bad, but nothing fabulous.
Agreed, but wait until you see the rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor.

Generally I've found the ITC's to be much nicer properties than the LM's. Not sure if there's an ITC in Chennai, but I think there might be.

Cheers,
- Febs.
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Old Sep 9, 08, 10:11 am
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I stayed at the ITC Park Sheraton in Chennai. As a gold, I was given an executive room with breakfast/afternoon cocktails/4 pieces of laundry on a cash and points stay. I couldn't speak more highly of the hotel really.

The LM isn't close to anything except the airport. It is about 40 minutes from the centre of town, but if you're just doing an overnight stop this wouldn't be a problem I guess.
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Old Sep 9, 08, 2:03 pm
  #9  
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As mentioned, the taxes, at least the Luxury Tax, is on the rack rate of the room. This is a regulation/law in some states. NCR (Delhi) is one of them, I think Karnataka is another. Not sure about Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra, for instance, doesn't have this. I don't recall seeing the luxury tax in Rajasthan. I suggest that you review post #36 in this thread. Also you can search for luxury here in the India forum.

Originally Posted by Febs2 View Post
Generally I've found the ITC's to be much nicer properties than the LM's. Not sure if there's an ITC in Chennai, but I think there might be.
I think all the ITCs are moving to become Luxury Collection properties. And of course you have ITC One which is run as a hotel within a hotel in a similar fashion to the shenanigans at Sheraton Hong Kong.

Last edited by yosithezet; Sep 9, 08 at 2:12 pm Reason: Wrong post number. Guess they merged the thread.
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Old Sep 9, 08, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
I think all the ITCs are moving to become Luxury Collection properties. And of course you have ITC One which is run as a hotel within a hotel in a similar fashion to the shenanigans at Sheraton Hong Kong.
Can you elaborate? ITC One is not part of the regular check-in etc... and so no way to get upgraded to them?
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Old Sep 9, 08, 9:20 pm
  #11  
 
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FYI

If you get a free upgrade to a higher priced room/suite, the taxes will be calculated on the RACK rate of that room instead of the room you originally booked. This happened to me in July'08 at ITC Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi. Check with them before accepting the upgrade.
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Old Sep 9, 08, 10:06 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by MC_ite View Post
Can you elaborate? ITC One is not part of the regular check-in etc... and so no way to get upgraded to them?
You do get upgraded to them, but it is considered a larger upgrade in their opinion.

Originally Posted by aglp2k View Post
FYI

If you get a free upgrade to a higher priced room/suite, the taxes will be calculated on the RACK rate of that room instead of the room you originally booked. This happened to me in July'08 at ITC Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi. Check with them before accepting the upgrade.
When I check into the LeM Delhi, which is at least twice a month, they always remind me that the taxes will be higher due to the upgrade.
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Old Sep 10, 08, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by MC_ite View Post
Can you elaborate? ITC One is not part of the regular check-in etc... and so no way to get upgraded to them?
When I arrived at ITC Moruya in Delhi, I was met by a staff member in the driveway who took me straight to the ITC One check-in desk. I figured this was a standard Platinum upgrade...perhaps not!
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Old Sep 10, 08, 4:58 pm
  #14  
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stayed at the Meridien in Delhi as a Platinum and had excellent treatment. Was upgraded to a suite and offered a manicure/pedicure as the "local gift" for the platinum amenity. took the points instead (i am male), but great experience.

the one part that disturbed me however was that they increased the tax i paid since they had to charge me taxes based on my upgraded room's rack rate instead of the room i reserved. I was travelling on business so a few extra rupees didnt matter but I would have been a bit dissappointed had it been a vacation trip
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Old Apr 21, 09, 11:37 am
  #15  
 
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Cash & Points in India - Tax on RACK rate?!

Hello,
Recently stayed at the Sheraton New Delhi on a cash and points reservation and was assessed a 12.5% tax on a ridiculously high rack rate instead of the cash and points rate of $60 USD. I was upgraded to an executive room, but to make it worse was charged the tax on the rack of this upgraded room and not my original deluxe room! The tax ended up being almost equivalent to the cost of the cash and points rate!

When you make a reservation online for this property, there is no mention that tax is on the rack rate. It is mentioned in the email confirmation that you get, which may not be helpful if you book last minute and it's too late to cancel.

I'm SPG Plat and have never seen this before - does anyone else have similar experiences?
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