Hotels have been gauging their customers for years with extra “services” such as resort fees and self/valet parking but after staying a good amount of time in the Los Angeles area over the last month I really feel things have become absurd now.
Not only do many hotels now charge a “destination fee” of up to $40 but the price to park your vehicle has in many cases also broken the $50 ceiling with self or street parking being rarely available.
There are some cities that have always been notorious for crazy parking fees, two of which are San Francisco and San Diego but until a few years ago Los Angeles was always somewhat reasonable as most customers in fact do arrive with a vehicle.
Apparently, they have now finally caught on and not only introduced resort fees for many properties even in the rather filthy Downtown and Hollywood area.
For example, the InterContinental Downtown Los Angeles has a $25 per night plus tax resort (destination/scam) fee that can’t be waived based on tier level.
The same goes for the Thompson Hollywood and Andaz West Hollywood but at least with Hyatt Destination Fees will be waived for Globalist members.
What is always difficult is how to deal with parking fees. Again Hyatt excels here, waiving the parking fee for Globalist members when staying on full points stays (no cash and points) but that doesn’t mean that it’s right to charge everybody else exorbitant amounts just to park a car.
Yesterday I checked in at the Hyatt Regency LAX Airport and couldn’t believe my eyes that as a basic airport hotel they charge people US$55 to valet park.
Some hotels don’t have their own lot or have purposely outsourced parking services to another company to shed responsibility and make easy money without having much trouble with the actual process.
I also stayed at Hyatt’s Unbound Collection Hotel Figueroa in Downtown LA and likewise, they charged $48 + tax for their valet parking.
I did however find a private parking garage through Spot Hero (highly recommended) just around the corner where I was able to secure a spot for just $8 overnight.
These days I always check in advance what kind of scam fees and price gauging policies are associated with a hotel before making reservations. I’ve simply gotten burned too many times and refuse to pay such fantasy charges. In the case of yesterday’s Hyatt LAX stay I just arrived late, checked in, and then returned my car to Sixt. Originally I planned to return it later this morning but what for? Less stressful and most importantly less expensive this way.
Have you seen outrageous parking fees recently and what is the worst you’ve ever encountered?
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