Some (most) resorts and hotels in Las Vegas charges a resort fee. This fee is charged on top of your hotel price and is charged when you check in. This fee is not included in the price you paid when you booked the hotel. It is sometimes easy to miss that a resort charges a resort fee even if they have become a lot better than they used to be at informing people about this before you book a room.
It is very important that you always check if a hotel charges a resort fee before you book it. Once you booked the hotel room it might be too late to change your mind. “I did not know that you charge a resort fee” is not a valid reason to cancel a booking. It is also very important that you know that there is a resort fee when you check in. Otherwise, you might be met with the surprise that you have to pay a large extra fee to get the key to your room.
Resort fees can be rather large and the bill you get a check-in can be substantial depending on where you are staying and how long you are going to stay there, Some hotels charge as much as USD 40 a night in resort fee. The resort fee might be higher than your hotel room if you book during a campaign.
How much does the room really cost?
The number you first see on the booking website when you are booking a hotel in Las Vegas can often be a lot smaller than the price you will actually pay once all the fees have been added. Expect that both tax and resort fee will be added to the price. The tax will usually be charged by the booking website. The resort fee will be charged directly by the hotel.
The room will usually end up costing:
Advertised room price + resort fee + 13.35%.
Advertised room price USD 70 + Resort fee USD 39 + tax USD 14.55 (109 * 13.35%)
Total price: 123.55
The actual room price is 76.5% more expensive than the advertised price. And this does not include tips.
What do you get for the fee
The fee is charged to provide you with things that used to be free. Things that you might not want. Things like WiFi access, newspapers, coffee maker in the room, access to the pool and so on.
We do not support resort fees as it is a hidden fee for things you might not like. It would be different if you were able to choose which extra services you wanted in an ala carte menu.
Some things like Wifi should always be included in the price. It is an essentiality that all people need and any hotel should provide it free of charge. WiFi fees are common in Las Vegas.
Why do hotels charge a resort fee
A commonly cited reason that hotel charges resort fees is that they want to be able to trick customers using artificial low price and then charge them extra hidden fees that they did not know about. This is one reason that they charge the resort fee but it is not the only, nor the main reason that many hotels charge a resort fee.
The main reason that the hotel charges a resort fee it that they have to pay a percentage of the room price to the booking site you used to book the hotel room. This is not the case for the resort fee. They get to keep all of that.
The resort fee is in other words not designed to screw you, it is designed to screw the booking sites that attract bookings for the hotels.
Resort fees can also be used to reduce the tax bill for a hotel since the resort fee is considered to be for a service which has a lower tax rate than a hotel room. This tax loophole is normally not used in Las Vegas but is commonly used by hotels in New York.
Do I have to pay the resort fee
The hotels claim that the resort fee is mandatory but this is not the case. Resort fees are against the law in most states including Las Vegas. It is considered a deceitful practice. With this said it can be very hard to avoid paying them. It might be better to use a credit card to pay the resort fee and then demand a chargeback for the fraudulent transaction from your credit card company. Do not do that if you want to return to the hotel.