A reader recently sent me an email that made my blood boil. In her message, she tells me about what I think is the most outrageous hotel fee ever. I was infuriated enough on her behalf to look into it. First, let’s start with her message:
Just had a question for you…
Last week we booked a 7 night stay at the Westin in Grand Cayman. We usually go to the Westin St John and the BVI’s in April but sadly, had to change plans due to Irma. We booked 2 rooms with points for the stay and requested connecting rooms explaining that the second room is for my two young daughters. To my surprise, they told us they would charge us a fee of $150 PER NIGHT to ensure we had connecting rooms. My husband was infuriated and after speaking to the hotel manager was able to settle on paying that fee for 3 nights instead of 7. We happen to be Starwood Gold status but that is not the point. I have never heard of such a fee. Is this a common hotel practice?
Thanks in advance for any insight you can lend.
We all know that hotels are trying to figure out ways to make money, some going so far as to nickel and dime their customers. But this has gone too far—not to mention that it’s a safety issue.
I asked around and got the official word from Westin that The Westin in Grand Cayman does charge this fee to guarantee a connecting room. The charge is not a standard practice across Marriott International hotels, nor across the Westin brand of hotels, and is specific to this particular hotel.
I think that’s crazy. My advice to the reader who submitted this question is to either cancel the reservation and go to another hotel or go to the hotel and not pay the fee. Personally, I’d roll the dice and hope that there are two connecting rooms available. If they indeed don’t put the two young girls in a room next to their parents, then one adult will have to stay in each room with one of the children. If they are older kids, I’d let them have a party in the room so the hotel either thinks to change its policy or refund the guests in the surrounding rooms who will no doubt complain.
What would you do?
Holy moly! I cannot tell you how many connecting rooms I have stayed in, all over the world, and I have never been charged an extra cent for the connecting rooms. I’ve been told sometimes that I could not be guaranteed connecting rooms when I asked for them, but never once have I arrived and not had connecting rooms. That truly is outrageous.