Airline travelers have come to expect add-on fees to check a bag, order alcohol or get food on their flight. While these items did not always incur an extra charge, it is now an industry standard that we are all accustomed to in 2021. Expectations during a hotel stay, however, are much different. Travelers expect that unless otherwise stated when booking, access to all spaces and amenities at the hotel such as the pool and gym are included in the price of their stay.
Some hotel owners, like MCR Hotels, are moving to charge fees for certain amenities at their properties in an a la carte pricing model. Charges may include a $20 fee to check into the hotel early, or $25 to use the swimming pool on a weekend as opposed to a free swim during the weekdays. Some properties are also charging travelers who wish to use the gym or add breakfast to their stay.
According to this Business Insider article, hotels who move to a la carte services are justifying the charges by in turn cutting room night prices.
"Not every guest wants every product, and they don't want to pay for something they were never going to use anyway," MCR’s CEO Tyler Morse told The Wall Street Journal.
Lower room night prices cater to travelers who simply want a place to sleep, allowing them to only select and pay for the services they know they will use. The concept has been around for years, as most brands already charge travelers extra money for items like the minibar in their room and the highest speed internet connection.
Charging for services like the gym and pool go a step farther, however, in a different type of pricing model intended to benefit both the property and the traveler. Hotels have also spent a lot of money on enhanced sanitation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this pricing model may help to off-set those expenses. While most of our partner brands continue to include most amenities in their room night price for now, it is certainly a trend that we might see properties begin to embrace in the future as the industry and the needs of the traveler continue to evolve.