After suffering the worst self-imposed rate cuts in the industry during the recession, top-end hotels are now enjoying resurgence in demand – meaning they can once again raise their rates. They are also not holding back from imposing new fees on services. Occupancy in the “upper upscale” segment in the US, for example, is up by more than 18% year-on-year this April, with room rates up by 10%. These are the steepest increases in the industry.
A new term has been coined explaining how upscale customers are tired of saving money by stays at cheaper properties: “frugal fatigue”. But now that they’re back, many guests are annoyed at seeing extra fees and surcharges appear on the bill for Internet access, parking, even breakfast. One guest was angry at seeing a check inflated to include “Bellman Grat-Porterage”, a gratuity for bellhop service he did not use, plus a $3 a night charge for “housekeeping gratuities”, even though he always tips the housekeeper anyway.
The New York Times
[pictured: Corinthia Grand Hotel Royale, Budapest]