Garatuities, Service Charge, and Resort Fees

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ALB22's picture
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What are everyone's general feelings and or policies on charging automatic gratuities, service charges, and or the "catch all" resort fee?   Does anyone do this?    What reactions if any do you get from guests?    B and B's and Inns include so much in the room rate, is it appropriate to have another "automatic" charge?  

 

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Experiences?

 

 

egoodell's picture
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We do not and never would charge a fee such as that. It's just an excuse to pad the bill. Period.

Riki

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OnTheShore's picture
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Thanks for the warning. Our dog is a very sensitive early alert system when it comes to T-storm!

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Madeleine's picture
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There was no announcement on the radio, it hit that fast.

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OnTheShore's picture
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One of our "competitors" (loosely speaking, I don't think we're really in direct competition with them, although there may be some overlap) apparently charges a resort fee. I remember reading some reviews on TA where the reviewers were questioning that fee...

Edited to add: the only added fees that we charge are a pet fee, for those that bring their pets, and dockage or mooring fees for those that bring their own boats requiring dock space or a mooring. 

Madeleine's picture
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Sidetrack alert...wicked t-storms headed your way right now!

Kay Nein's picture
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It's bad enough that I have to tack on an additional 12% in taxes!  I can't imagine telling a guest that there are other extra fees as well.  The local cabin rental companies nickle & dime their guests.  We brag about one flat rate for everything.

Tips are greatly appreciated, but few & far between and NEVER EVER asked for, insinuated or automatically charged.  Otherwise, you can expect that guest to never come back and I wouldn't blame them.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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In my opinion, a b&b should never charge a resort fee, or nickle and dime their guests. As others have said, just make sure it's all wrapped into your room rate. As far as tips, some places have tip envelopes for their housekeeper, but a mandatory gratuity goes against the spirit of the b&b concept, whether it's for housekeeping or owner.

If I saw on a b&b website that there are additional fees, I wouldn't book there.

Generic's picture
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Is this Las Vegas? I absolutely HATE them. In fact, I don't book anywhere that has them, I find them deceptive. And when deceived by them, I write about it and tell others. I can just imagine the T/A reviews now...

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Skamokawa's picture
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No extra charges of that sort here. Tips are entirely up to the guest's pleasure.

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If you are a resort then by all means charge a resort fee, just don't call your place a B&B, call it XYZ RESORT

I oppose to any 'forced' gratuity; anywhere.  It should only be given as a thank you for a service well done.  (note I always tip a server regardless of service but the amount varies depending on quality)

Service charges:  as a B&B your job is service. 

If you feel you need to charge for any of the items above, then raise your rates to cover them.  People stay at B&B's because we don't nickel and dime, we are all inclusive. 

Madeleine's picture
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Automatic service charges, resort fees and the like are not really how B&B's operate. Sure, there are big inns that charge you for every extra thing you ask for, but the smaller, non-boutique properties don't usually do that.

As a matter of fact, that is part of my sales pitch: a list of everything the guest gets for the price and 'there are no resort fees.'

As for how I feel about it? I avoid places that tack on fees for every little thing. Hard to do when you travel to cities and stay at hotels, but if I don't need to be in a city, I won't stay at a place that charges me extra.

Just come up with a fair 'inclusive' price and be done with it is how I would like to see it done.

Innkeep's picture
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IN my opinion and the way I operate my B&B the price I advertise is all inclusive. In addition to the room and the breakfast I offer my guests access to a microwave with popcorn, a fridge with water and soda, a one cup coffee machine and home baked cookies. 

That's why it costs a little more than the Comfort Inn.  Savvy B&B travellers understand that's why we charge what we do. I'm an affiliate of a national B&B organization that has a website called Better Way to Stay. There is a video you can find there sarcastically showing a couple who choose the "hotel package "at a B&B where their delicious breakfast is set before them and then wisked away to be replaced by a doughnut on styrofoam. It's produced as a reminder that you're not nickeled and dimed when you choose a B&B. 

A typical B&B is not a resort. Why would the averagee traveller expect to pay a resort fee?  That is just a dumb question. 

ALB22's picture
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I was looking for opinions and stances on the subject--I have seen both and am looking for some first hand knowledge. 

 

By the way..........the only dumb question is the one that is not asked. 

gillumhouse's picture
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By the way..........the only dumb question is the one that is not asked.

 

You are new so will be forgiven a bit - check out the avatar - one does not speak in such a manner to Herself. Besides, the question that was stated as a dumb question was not one of yours - it was a response to the question stated by Ma'am herself.

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Well guess you got what you asked for Smiling  Don't take it personally...most here just tell it like it is.

ALB22's picture
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It is good that everyone tells it like it is-- I like the candor.    The pen can be mightier than the sword, and it can also cut a very wide swath (of interpretation)

 

Let's get back to the question at hand-- does anyone have more opinions and or experiences with automatic service charges, gratuities, and the like?

 

Cheers.

Madeleine's picture
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We went away last year to a place we had looked at buying. There was an automatic gratuity added. With the caveat that we could ask the innkeeper to refund it if we weren't satisfied with the housekeeping.

I was peeved by this. But this was a place I wanted to see. Anyway, housekeeping suffered because of the auto gratuity. I always leave a lot more but I didn't.

Wrong way to handle it, I know. I should have left the tip I usually leave, less what I had already been charged.

Another place I wanted to try charged a 'convenience' fee to make an online rez. I skipped that place. I wasn't wed to the idea of going there.

gillumhouse's picture
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All you will hear is more of the same - we are innkeepers, not hoteliers. Hotels have  the hidden fees, B & Bs grab their ankles trying to make the guests' stay wonderful. And after all that, will get a TA review that gives a 4 (or less) for value.

Arks's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

All you will hear is more of the same - we are innkeepers, not hoteliers. Hotels have  the hidden fees, B & Bs grab their ankles trying to make the guests' stay wonderful. And after all that, will get a TA review that gives a 4 (or less) for value.

What she said. What everybody said. No automatic gratuity charge, no service charge, no such fees. You say you've seen it both ways, but if you've seen it at a B&B or similar inn, you've witnessed an exceedingly rare circumstance.

You can have optional add-ons picked by the guest, like a dozen roses or a massage, but no blanket charge to EVERY reservation in the form of a "tax" tacked on to the quoted room rate. That's just not done. If you're going to charge everybody an extra $25, increase the room rate to reflect the actual charge. Be honest. Don't hit people with an extra charge and try to hide it until the day of arrival. Guests don't like that sort of thing one bit. Not even from the Ritz Carlton!

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gillumhouse's picture
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That is why a B & B is the Better Way - we do NOT hit guests with resort and other hidden fees. We are like Popeye - We is what we is and that's all that we is!

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05/22/2008

Never expected a gratuity as an innkeeper. If someone leaves something wonderful. Otherwise, no. we are not resorts. I feel our rates should reflect the service and amenities we provide.

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