Tuesday, May 4, 2010
So I just read an article in the New York Times and I had seen something about the subject online earlier that is about hotels following the direction of airlines and coming up with additional add on fees. They can included a tray charge for room service or say $5.95, a restocking fee for the minibar for the first item removed of $5.95, a luggage storage fee of $1 per bag and internet access up to $19.95.
I know that times are a little tough in the industry and rates are competitive, but extra add on fees are a hidden cost when making a reservation.
Here at the Bacon Mansion we quote a rate for a reservation and the only thing we add on is the 9.5% that we collect for the state and submit once a month. (A little off subject, but I wouldn't be shocked if the state moved to multi-month collections if not daily, as so much of everything is done electronically and they could get the money sooner.) Anyhow, as we mention on our website in a couple of places, our tax rate is just the general sales tax and not the additional amount or 15.6% total collected by properties with more than 60 rooms(pretty much most hotels) that goes to the Convention Center Bonds.
In addition, if you have a car, you can expect to pay up to $30, an expanded continental breakfast with coffee and juice, cereal, fruit, yogurt, muffins would run at least $10 for the average person. We have complimentary afternoon tea, single serve coffee, hot chocolate, cider and cookies out all late afternoon and evening to help yourself. If a guest wants a soda and I have something they want, I offer it to them. The grocery store is just a few blocks away and you can stock your own minibar with your favorites at a fraction of the cost. All the rooms have wine glasses and corkscrews so you can get yourself a nice bottle and not have to settle for a house glass of hotel wine for $7 to $12 a glass.
I find the the local neighborhood restaurants tend to be less expensive than the one's downtown and many of our guests get fixings at Pike Place Market, the grocery store or take out and enjoy there meal on our patio in the warmer months or inside there room or living room with a beverage of there choice. I just let guests know they can take a place setting off the table and I will replace it in the morning. Doesn't mean they have kitchen assess, but they do have access to a fridge and microwave, plates and utensils.
We also try to help our guests by letting them know of some great things to see that cost little or nothing like the Water Tower and Conservatory up in Volunteer Park, renting canoes where the locals do over at the UW waterfront activities center, the value of the the Saverpass if they want to hit a certain number of the major attractions and so on.
Anyhow, just wanted to point out the real value of our rates and everything that is included here at the Bacon Mansion and what we do to help you make your vacation dollars go as far as they can. Let me know your comments.