When was the last time you were charged for a cup of coffee at a Bed and Breakfast? WiFi? A biscotti? A sip of sherry? I'm thinking never! This is becoming the norm as we see the ever-increasing hotel add-on fees. Mark Orwoll, trusted travel journalist, recently published a story in Travel & Leisure Magazine about the world's most outrageous hotel fees. Heather Tyreman, my colleague and fellow blogger for the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild, blogged about this same topic some time back in "Hotels vs Bed and Breakfasts: Pros and Cons and the Doily Factor". Read her blog, the Travel & Leisure Magazine article, there's more add-on fees mentioned there, and then this one and we hope you'll decide to choose a B&B next time you travel.
- Early Check-In Fees can set you back $50: Orwoll says, "Hotels used to go out of their way to accommodate early-arriving guests. Now you just might have to pay for the privilege at some properties". Your cost: fees average $20–$50. While B&Bs can't always guarantee early check-ins, we do our best to accommodate guests who request an early check-in or late check-out in advance with no added fees.
- Fees for in-room coffee and tea? Are you kidding? Some hotels are kindly placing an electric coffeepot on your dresser along with an assortment of tea bags and instant coffee. "Watch out," says Orwoll. "That amenity, which used to be gratis, is becoming a new source of revenue for hotels", insists Orwoll. Your cost: $2–$5 for a tea bag or a packet of coffee. Next time you travel choose a B&B where morning coffee usually appears before 7am and you hold a bottomless cup, many times with complimentary biscotti or cookie to go along with it.
- Maid service costs more than a tip: Cleanliness is next to Godliness at today's B&Bs. Chance are if you read a review for any B&B guests will comment on how clean the guest room was. Innkeepers are dedicated to offering the greenest and cleanest of rooms, and while they gratefully accept tips, they won't charge an extra housekeeping fee.
- Free wi-fi? Many budget hotel chains routinely offer free Internet connection but so many luxury brands don't. Your cost: $10–$20 (or more) a day. Yet, according to BedandBreakfast.com, the most comprehensive online B&B directory and reservation network worldwide, more than 87 percent of B&Bs offer a free wi-fi connection.
- No Mini-Bar fees here: "It's bad enough that you have to pay ten times or more the normal price for mini-bar items", maintains Orwoll, "but what's worse is the growing practice among hotels to add an extra charge to replace items you took. And it gets worse: hotels are increasingly using mini-bars armed with sensors that detect—and charge your room bill—if you so much as move an item!" Your cost: $3-$5. A recent survey by BedandBreakfast.com revealed that more 95 percent of B&Bs offer either complimentary afternoon or evening refreshments or a complimentary wine and cheese reception.