Seems that hotels are becoming addicted to fees that they can add in top of their daily rates trying to obfuscate the total price of the room (often these fees are buried in the tax).
For a long travelers and also destinations have hated resort fees with very little if any value added benefits for the travelers (especially in case of elite members). Now, these “resort fees” are expanding to cities in the form of “destination fees”.
Here’s display from Crowne Plaza Times Square:
And from the Westin New York Times Square:
And also from the Algonquin Hotel Times Square (Autograph Collection):
Both Marriott and Starwood at least try to display the fee clearly on the booking page and give some additional benefits for guests. Crowne Plaza hides it and gives couple of adult beverages.
Why not bake this mandatory fee on the headline price? Guess what? You will likely not get points for it because it is considered a “tax”, at least many municipalities at resort location don’t get their share of lodging taxes on resort fees and I would assume that this applies for these destination fees too, travel agent won’t get their commissions, and likely price engines that won’t sort by the total price will mislead consumers with properties that have these fake fees (price in reality is much higher).
And these “destination fees” will just go up and in case of Marriott and SPG the baked in benefits reduced if they are actually used. I would assume that the assumption is that few take advantage of the F&B and laundry benefits daily or go over the allowed amount and hotel collects extra revenue.