A LoyaltyLobby reader sent a question over on Twitter DM about a ridiculously priced “mandatory” New Years Eve Gala Dinner at the Hilton Phuket hotel in Thailand.
You can access Hilton Phuket’s website here.
Here’s the question from the reader:
I’m looking at Hilton Phuket Arcadia resort to stay over new year. And they are imposing a compulsory charge of over 400 bucks for a Gala Dinner, which I find to be, first of all, ridiculously priced, and second no interest to attend it.
Wrote both to hotel and Hilton support, but the hotel insists its mandatory to pay it. Do you think it is even legal, to force all the visitors to pay ridiculous gala dinner price?
Oh Well. These infamous New Years Eve Gala Dinners….. that are basically money grabs for the properties participating in them.
As long as it is CLEARLY disclosed at the time of making the booking or online, it is not illegal. There has been instances in previous years when properties were trying to institute these afterwards for guests that had made their bookings. That obviously is a big no no.
My advice is to book another property for the New Years Eve without ridiculous gala dinner requirement. There are plenty of hotels in Phuket and doubt that all of them are participating in this money grab.
New Years is high season for hotels in Phuket and seems that there is great desire to get another $200 per person staying at this Hilton hotel for throwing a compulsory buffet dinner worth at max $30 to $50.
I would take my business simply away for the night. You can book a very nice hotel for the same price considering how much this “Gala Buffer” would cost and come back on New Years day. Problem solved!
Why wouldn’t these hotels bake these mandatory fees into the room rates?