Resort fee add-ons and now housekeeping-free rooms? What's next at hotels?

In a story circulated by the Association Press recently entitled Watch for Hotel Fees, Not Just Internet , author Karen Schwartz warns “If you’re budgeting for summer travel, be on the lookout for fees on your hotel bill for everything from newspapers to luggage storage.” The article goes on to lament the myriad of  often non-discolsed fees  hotels and resorts add including everything from a $30 daily resort fee for facilities you may or may not use to parking, porters and package delivery.  The charges that get to me are the fees for the in-room safe, whether you use it or not, and the min-bar fees. In a blog entry posted back in February, we explored how one Cape Cod resort charged more $100 a day for  items and services offered free to guests at the Captain’s House Inn less than 2 miles away. We’ve also quoted NY Times reporter Joe Sharkey on his complaints about hotel fee-fests.

We don’t mean to pound the same message over and over, but inns simply march to the beat of a fee-free drummer. Compare any chain hotel or resort to a DINE member inn, and you’ll find that while the amenities are equal, the prices and certainly the add-ons are not.  Stay at a DINE member inn and you’ll find any where from $200 to $250 in added value. However, what you won’t find is those charges on your bill at the end of the stay! How does the added value add up?  In gourmet breakfasts ($20 per person at hotels and resorts), mini-bar stocking fees and outrageous sums for water and peanuts therein (water and peanuts will run you upwards of $15 in a hotel mini-bar) complimentary DVDs ($19.95 on pay-per-play at resorts), afternoon and evening refreshments and tea (up to $30 at resorts) and the list goes on.  Consult the AP story, and you’ll see how porter and concierge fees, parking, resort and credit card fees add up at check-out.

As we approach the summer season and planning for your romantic or family escapes gets underway, we know you’re looking for value, and you’re also looking for a relaxing, hassle-free getaway.  Who wants to end a week of R&R with surprises on the bill at check-out?  If you wish to save, we hope you don’t feel you must opt for the “housekeeping-free” rooms hotels have begun offering (does this mean it wasn’t cleaned prior to arriving??).  Consider a distinctive inn, anywhere in New England where you’ll find all the amenities and accoutrements you seek for a pampered surprise-free getaway and the housekeeping happens daily at no additional charge.

For more information on Distinctive Inns of New England, simply visit

A complimentary afternoon tea is served at the Rabbit Hill Inn. Jumping Rocks photo.


Complimentary port and sherry are served in the library along with a large selection of DVDs for guests' use at the Captains House Inn.