MSE Blog: Going away? Watch for secret hotel surprises

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Hi all, this is a thread to discuss the MSE blog:
Going away? Watch for secret hotel surprises


"As a general rule, I don’t spend money on anything without a bit of research..."


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  • jpsartre
    jpsartre Posts: 4,085 Forumite
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    Something tells me that the term "hidden costs" is once again being used as code for "easily obtainable costs, I just didn't bother".
  • johannalf88
    johannalf88 Posts: 2,827 Forumite
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    Oh good I wasn't the first to say it!! I read the article and it is about parking and Internet.

    I would assume that they would be extra. I even expect to pay taxes on top in the US, then a nice surprise when I don't! :)
    :T
  • pleasedelete
    pleasedelete Posts: 2,286 Forumite
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    edited 11 June 2013 at 11:08PM
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    Surely when you connected to the Internet there was a warning about the cost? I have never connected without a warning 1st. And parking- unless out of town then everyone expects hotel parking. In the USA most decent city hotels have valet and tbh 38usd a night is cheap. We are in USA in the summer and we already know it is 60usd amount at 1 hotels and 45 at another.

    If you have status with a hotel then free Internet is often a benefit.

    I can't imagine that most regular travellers would expect free Internet unless stated and free parking in a city hotel.

    It isn't really about it being a secret hotel but about checking the cost before you park or use the Internet at any hotel. Some charge for gym as well.

    Flyer talk is brilliant website especially for the USA. They have a luxury hotel forum, forums or most cities and also lots of reviews by hotel brand. I find it more informative than tripadvisor as if you ask questions the fellow posters are very helpful. Not just USA but most posters are us based.
    June challenge £100 a day £3161.63 plus £350 vouchers plus £108.37 food/shopping saving

    July challenge £50 a day. £ 1682.50/1550

    October challenge £100 a day. £385/£3100
  • ferf1223
    ferf1223 Posts: 8,935 Forumite
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    I would assume parking costs would be pretty similar (at least the existence of parking charges) for most hotels in any given area and would command a premium in certain areas, just like parking in the UK (hotel and otherwise)...the Holiday Inn not far from home has free parking...central London hotels? Probably not so much.

    I agree we've never been charged for wi-fi without knowing we would be as it was clear when we were initiating the connection there would be a charge.

    I do think I understand the point of the blog though...and it's not a bad one, it's just maybe not a great example of it...we've used Priceline occasionally for one-night stays and have always researched the hotels we're likely to get to make sure we know all the charges associated with them before we submitted our bid...we got lucky last time in LA and ended up in a hotel with a ton of free parking (near a shopping centre) but the other main options in the * rating and area charged up to $25/night...so we knew we might end up in one of those and factored that into our pricing decisions.
    Does remembering a time that a certain degree of personal responsibility was more or less standard means that I am officially old?
  • pleasedelete
    pleasedelete Posts: 2,286 Forumite
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    Good point ferf1223. Internet and car parking are not something that every guest would need. By including them in a base rate some would be paying for something that they didn't use.

    The hidden cost would be if by booking directly with the hotel those were included in the room but by booking with secret rooms they were add ons- which in this example doesn't seem to be the case as Internet and parking are commonly additional costs.

    Now if they had charged you for a towel or extra for a pillow that puld be unusual (although not unheard of in budget hotels).
    June challenge £100 a day £3161.63 plus £350 vouchers plus £108.37 food/shopping saving

    July challenge £50 a day. £ 1682.50/1550

    October challenge £100 a day. £385/£3100
  • ferf1223
    ferf1223 Posts: 8,935 Forumite
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    The hidden cost would be if by booking directly with the hotel those were included in the room but by booking with secret rooms they were add ons- which in this example doesn't seem to be the case as Internet and parking are commonly additional costs.

    from what we've experienced the treatment seems to be the same whether booking direct or through a 3rd party...if there's an extra charge for parking there's an extra charge for parking...I guess when booking direct at least you know what the charge would be (if you think/know to look for it)...with a secret/mystery hotel it won't be 100% clear until booked and I guess that's the point of the blog post - to be aware that the add-ons may cost extra and no way to know for sure how much until you've booked when going the secret/mystery route. Checking various hotels in the area to get a feel for things might help but still no guarantee you'll know all the potential costs up-front.
    Does remembering a time that a certain degree of personal responsibility was more or less standard means that I am officially old?
  • blindman
    blindman Posts: 5,659 Forumite
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    So this blog from an "expert" traveller (the same one who
    I’d booked my hotel room for the right date, but the wrong month.

    and starts with the obvious advice
    tip: tell your bank if you’re going on holiday to avoid rejected payments and stressful calls in Disneyworld)

    doesn't know about parking and Internet charges at a hotel in the French Quarter.

    She should stick to Skegness:cool: and leave travel advice to the experts.
  • thelawnet
    thelawnet Posts: 2,577 Forumite
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    How could anyone claiming to be an expert be taken by surprise at the cost of the internet? The parking I can maybe understand (although my guess is it was in the small print of your 'secret hotel'), because you drove there and had no choice, but internet, come on?
  • richardw
    richardw Posts: 19,458 Forumite
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    I'm incredibly thorough and search very wide and look at all kinds of details that could affect my trip. I certainly check car parking prices and wifi prices before booking.

    I recently rejected an NYC hotel that looked good because they were on a one way street that was in the wrong direction for returning in a cab at night. The blogger isn't as thorough as some of us.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • budgetflyer
    budgetflyer Posts: 5,949 Forumite
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    blindman wrote: »
    So this blog from an "expert" traveller (the same one who



    and starts with the obvious advice



    doesn't know about parking and Internet charges at a hotel in the French Quarter.

    She should stick to Skegness:cool: and leave travel advice to the experts.

    Its becoming more a case of quantity rather than quality with the articles these days
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