What are “Resort Fees” or the “Amenity Fee” charged by many Maui hotels and resorts? How much do they cost? What do you get for this money? Do I have to pay the resort fees whether I use the extras or not?
I hate resort fees. These fees are mandatory extra charges per night that you have to pay when you stay in most large Maui hotels and resorts, and in some condos. A few hotels started charging these extra fees over ten years ago, but now almost all have adopted this practice. The reason hotels charge a resort fee is so that they can advertise a lower room price, and then tack on this extra charge in order to get more money per room per night. When a few hotels do it, then they all have to do it, in order to keep their advertised prices competitive.
The amount each hotel charges for resort fees is different. The range is from nothing, to $10 or $20, or up to $40 per night at some of the fancier hotels and resorts. Most condos do not have these fees, but more are adding them, though usually at much lower rates than the hotels.
Each hotel includes different things in what they give you for the resort fee you have to pay. The most common things to include are no extra charge for parking, local telephone calls, in-room safe, and sometimes beach towels or beachside cabanas. You will need to call each hotel directly to ask them how much is their resort fee and what you get included for that fee.
Unfortunately, you have to pay the daily resort fee whether you use any of the included amenities or not. But here’s an important thing to remember: the person behind the desk who prepares your bill is not the person who made the decision to charge this fee. So don’t be mad at them and don’t give them a hard time about it. If you want to complain (which I don’t think will do any good), complain politely to the manager. But to make your vacation as pleasant as possible, I suggest you just figure that it is part of the price of the room, and something we all have to put up with to enjoy going to Maui.