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Is this the most ridiculous hotel fee?

I travel a lot, and have seen some pretty ridiculous hotel fees. For example, when I last stayed at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, I had to borrow a cellphone charger, which had a $100 non-return fee. I’ve also seen fees for using too many towels, and even a fee to use a hotel concierge. However, this fee has to take the cake…

I’ve recently enjoyed a stay at the Ritz-Carlton Boston. It’s a decent hotel, and I get that luxury hotels often charge silly fees, but this one is ridiculous:


The text is minuscule, and is hard to read in person… here’s the offensive part:

A $5.00 delivery charge, a 18% service charge, a 1% order taker fee and 7% tax will be added to your bill. [emphasis added]

I get it. Hotels need to make money. And room service is a luxury, and I’m perfectly fine with a delivery charge and a mandatory service charge (though the latter part of the picture suggests that the 18% fee isn’t actually a tip). However, a “1% order take fee”, while insignificant, feels like a big middle finger to a guest. It’s so unnecessary, just make the service charge 19 or 20%.

What’s the most ridiculous hotel fee that you’ve ever seen?


  1. Actually it sounds like the $5 delivery charge is NOT a tip, but the 18% and 1% service charges are? In which case I guess I would be okay with a 19% gratuity placed on room service.

    1. For sure. When various people in our hobby loudly defend how they go Vendoming because it’s a heightened experience and you get 5-star service, all I see is a chance to get ripped off 1000 different ways. Like $5 per sock laundry.

  2. No offense to the people of Boston, but I find myself getting nickeled and dimed at every turn each time I visit there. The cabbies especially will rob you blind talking you the long way.

  3. Blame the unions. If this is a union hotel, I can almost 100% guarantee you these fees are union related. That’s why everything is so expensive in union cities like NY

  4. The 19% is not a gratuity if it’s required. They should just increase all the prices by 19% and show a $5 per order fee.

  5. $30 hotel parking fee for parking in the hotel’s garage. Told the front desk look right out that door see those handicap parking spaces. We parked there. Take the fee off! I wanted there until she did.

    This was also the same hotel that wanted to charge me $5 per day Utility charge due to the energy problems in Southern Calf in the late 90s. had them remove that also as it was not on my reservation .

  6. So first they charge 3x the normal price of the food then they want to charge another 18% service fee and 5 for delivery and 1% order fee? That’s rediculous I’m surprised no consumer protection agency is investigating. While I agree there should be a premium for the “luxury” when does the premium end and down right ruthless greed kick in? I guess I’ll have to order a pizza in Boston for sure…..

  7. $5 per day to use the in-room safe which did not have any disclosure of the fee but did explain that the hotel was not responsible for any theft or damage to items in said safe.

  8. We booked into a non-luxury hotel and they wanted to charge an additional $35 for our toddler in a 4-person capacity room, based on an $85/night room. They added as a tax (additional occupant tax).

    It makes me a bit mad because the room is advertised as four-person capacity, and you are paying for a defined space, not per person/night. I mean, they don’t offer a discount if just one person stays in the room vs double occupancy, and they typically don’t charge based on towel use either. So the cost to the hotel for the extra person, regardless of size, is pretty much negligible.

    I can only assume that the fee reflects an extra breakfast. However at $35, we can take all three of us for a decent breakfast.

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