Resort fees stink. The only people that like resort fees are the hotels that are charging them. Resort fees are unadvertised fees for Las Vegas hotel rooms that are added to your nightly bill. The $100 hotel room you booked may actually cost you an extra 25% more per night after the fees are added to your bill. No bueno.
Most hotels in Las Vegas charge a resort fee so there’s very little you can do to avoid them. Rather than sit and complain about Las Vegas hotel resort fees it’s more useful to break down the resort fees and see what we can and can’t use. See, the resort fees include amenities that may or may not be useful. We might as make the best of the hand dealt to us so let’s look at ways to make the best of things.
In-Room Wifi – Obviously if you’re in Las Vegas for work having wifi access is a great way to keep in touch with your office and do some work. Wifi is also useful to watch movies through Netflix or another service. If you’re the kind of person that likes to hang out in your room (free robes at the Venetian and Palazzo come in handy), order room service and watch a movie this is a great way to save some money on a movie rental.
Property Wide Wifi – Taking a laptop to the casino coffee shop is a fun way to spend your morning working. When staying at The Venetian I enjoy grabbing a seat at the sports book, plugging my computer in and doing a little work. With property-wide wifi you can be an annoying friend and Skype with your pals that aren’t in Las Vegas. It’s a tad evil but fun – especially when it’s 70 degrees here and your friend is stuck in a foot of snow.
Coffee – Some of hotels will allow you a certain amount of cups of coffee with your room. If you receive k-cups daily you can drink them in your room, take them home or give them to a friend. Even discounted k-cups each cost about $0.75 so you might as well find a way to use them. If you’re in Las Vegas for a week this adds up to a decent savings. Some hotels will offer a coupon for coffee. If you don’t like coffee just pass it on. Someone will enjoy it.
Coupon Books – Some coupon books may offer little for your vacation but others will have coupons that offer huge discounts on meals and drinks. Use and abuse these discounts if you like the options provided. I’ve certainly saved more money with dining coupons than I paid in resort fees when traveling with friends in Las Vegas.
Shuttle Service – Some casinos may offer a complimentary shuttle from McCarran Airport to the hotel but most don’t. If a hotel provides a free shuttle to each member of your party you can save anywhere from $7 and up each way. That can be up to one night of resort fee each way.
Free Spa Services – The Palazzo offers complimentary access to their Canyon Ranch Spa. This is a $40 value for your $25 per night resort fee. You can add on treatments if you want ultimate relaxation but you might as well enjoy the free access to the spa if they’re offering it.
Resort fees stink but if you’re forced to pay them you might as well make use of some of the amenities the casino offers. A good reference for Las Vegas hotel resort fees is this list Vegas Chatter just updated for 2014. You may not see the resort fee or amenities when making the reservation so this is a great bookmark so that you know what you’re paying for and what you’re receiving.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.