To fee or not to fee: The truth about resort fees

Vegas enthusiast No. 1: “I just got a sweet deal on my hotel room. Only $50 a night!”
Vegas enthusiast No. 2: “Wow, enthusiastic Vegas vacationer, that is a pretty sweet deal. But what does the hotel charge for its resort fee?”
Vegas enthusiast No. 1: “Resort fee? WTF?!?!”

We’ve all been there. You score an amazing deal on your Vegas hotel room rate, only to discover upon check-in that you owe the hotel significantly more money. WTF indeed.

Some hotels in Vegas charge a mandatory resort fee, ranging in price from $1 to $24.99 per night (depending upon the hotel) and covering a variety of services. The hotel will require you to pay the fee in order for you to check-in. This charge is not charged or collected by or other travel companies, and it is completely independent of the price of the room.

Frustrating? Yes. But really you must be used to this by now. If you flew here, you may have paid an extra fee to pick your seats on the plane and check your luggage. If you drove from Southern California, you probably encountered a toll road or two. In this day and age it seems like there’s a fee for just about everything. My cousin’s friend’s brother once got charged an “extra-weight” fee for paying an attendant the $2 parking fee with all pennies and dimes. Ironically, he paid the “extra-weight” fee with even more pennies and dimes.

My suggestion: Send an anti-fee message by staying in one of the city’s many fine hotels who do not charge a resort fee like Bellagio, Caesars, Flamingo,  Golden Nugget, Harrah’s, Las Vegas Hilton,  M Resort, Rio  and more (hotels subject to change). The booking price may seem higher, but without the added fee, you may just find it all evens out in the end.

If you do end up in a hotel with a resort fee, however, don’t just give up and walk out. You’ll most likely spend a lot more money on Red Bull and booze if you’re aimlessly wandering the Strip all night long because you have no place to sleep, not to mention the cost of posting bail after you get so wired and drunk that you end up streaking down Las Vegas Boulevard.

I like to look at it like this: We all know you have to spend money to make money, right? Think of resort fees as an investment in your Las Vegas future. The next time you’re dealt an 11, you can double down with confidence knowing you will get a blackjack — the house owes this to you!*

*Disclaimer: The house does not owe this to you.


There are 29 comments for this article
  1. Will's Wifey at 4:49 pm

    OMG!!! So I am not crazy I usually stayed at hotels that I now know don’t have a hsf. So when I went two weeks ago I was like wtf!! seriously. I was like so the room I thought was such a great deal for last minute turn out to cost just as much as some of the more popular hotels. My first thought was we are not even going to use this stuff. We stayed at the Palace Station be aware they have a policy that they place a mandatory hold of $200 on your cc for 2wks and deduct the fees and costs you order room service, laundry service etc. then the remaining amount will be what you get back on your card. My friends and I all feel it is just a scam to get more money out of us to supplement loss.

  2. bill at 11:42 pm

    i don’t have a problem with a hotel charging an extra fee if it disclosed to customer. i received a special deal in the mail from the sahara with a number to call. i booked my room and paid in “full” the price on my card. at no time was i given any info on the check in fee. it was not disclosed on the mailing sent to me and was not disclosed by the sahara representative in which i called and made my payment. i can’t see how that could be legal. i complained but they would not back off the fees and it shows up on my charge card billing.

  3. JoAnn C. at 6:58 pm

    Do you work for one of the hotels or the Las Vegas Bureau of Tourism?? Come on now…
    I have frequented Vegas many times in the past 3 years and am now looking to book for Thanksgiving only to find that many of the hotels where I have stayed in the past are now charging “resort fees”. Why should I have to pay a resort fee to stay in a room that I’m also paying for? It doesn’t make sense. I am less likely to visit Vegas now if they keep adding on fees. Why not just raise the price of the room? Don’t tell me I have to pay a “fee” because they have restaurants I get to spend money at to eat there and have exercise rooms and pools that I may or may not use. Like the airlines charging for bags or Pizza Hut charging to cook your pizza, these fees are unjustified. The cost of the hotel stay shouyld be the price of the room period! $65 Resort fee for a 4 night stay? OUTRAGEOUS!!!

  4. Aleza Freeman at 8:48 am

    Hi JoAnn. Thank you for your comment. I work for We don’t set, charge or endorse the fees in question. We simply wanted to make visitors aware of these fees so they aren’t shocked when they arrive to check-in to their hotels.

  5. Donna Ott at 3:00 pm

    I just stayed at the Palace Station Oct.4 to 8 2009,and just today when I checked my credit card statement they had added on the resort fee of 14.99 plus tax which came to an extra 67.16 for the stay! I will certainly be checking on these fees if we ever go back to Vegas,because we did not use any of the so called ammenities. It made what we thought was a good deal on the room not so great,and left a bad impression on us since the night before we checked out, we asked at the desk and were told that there was nothing owing. We go to Reno all the time, and have never been charged there.

  6. Aleza Freeman at 3:55 pm

    Trust me, I know how frustrating these hotel fees can be. Hotels in cities across the U.S., including Scottsdale, New York and L.A. (not just in Vegas), are implementing hotel fees at a growing rate. Instead of letting it ruin your vacation, vote with your wallet by choosing a hotel before hand, such as the ones listed above, that doesn’t charge a fee. I can’t speak for the individual hotels and their booking process, but we list and constantly update their hotel fee information on our individual hotel pages as well as here:

  7. Randy at 10:20 am

    I don’t have a problem with mandatory extra fees if they are disclosed AND paid for when you book the room. What I have a problem with is booking and paying for a room and arriving at the hotel and be expected to pay an extra MANDATORY fee. This is simply a trap to get consumers to book rooms at a lower rate and get them for some extra $$ when they show up. Sure, airlines and rental cars all tack on extra fees, but these fees are listed and the final price is shown and when I pay I know I’ve paid for everything. Or these fees are optional (you have the option to not check a bag or the option to not upgrade your seat). This is not the case with “resort fees”. This is unethical and needs to stop because plenty of people are booking rooms due to lower rates and finding out later its not such a good deal after all.

  8. paul anka at 12:20 pm

    the TUSCANY SUITES charges $12 a day resort fee although this link and others say it doesnt charge 1 at all. be careful call ahead if u can.

  9. Aleza Freeman at 10:16 am

    Thank you for your comment. Resorts change their fee structures all the time, and resorts that didn’t used to have fees sometimes add them on the spur of the moment, or in some cases eliminate them. So it is absolutely always the best option to call ahead if you can.

  10. Ben Dover at 5:21 pm

    If you book thru the hotel instead of a second party and do it online there is no hidden fees( charges are broken down and its always cheaper direct. Luxor is now 14.95 fee for a 40.00 room, another scam. Douyble check everything 3 times…

  11. Phil at 3:00 am

    You’re joking right? A “resort fee” is an increase in the price which is hidden from the consumer and by the look of it not taxed by the state. It’s a complete fraud and rip off. We all know prices go up. But it’s ludicrous to hide price increases. It’s downright insulting. It’s just like the “energy fee” increase by airlines. We aren’t stupid, we know fuel prices have gone up. Don’t trick us into thinking your price on the website is $59 when it’s actually $65. Just show us your real price so we can make in informed decision.
    Would you accept buying a book to find out there’s a reading fee? How about going to the doctor and he decides to charge to a decision fee? Is it ok to go to the supermarket and pay a shopping fee?
    I’m sorry if I sound angry. But this just irks me. as I said, I’m perfectly willing to accept that prices go up, But hidden fees cynically called “resort” angers not just me, but a lot of travellers.
    I just booked a room at the Rio and what was shown was what I paid. I’m cancelling Hard Rock because I see a “resort fee”.

  12. Gregory at 7:55 am

    Are these fees legal and have to be paid, or can they be disputed on your credit card??? These stupid corporations are whats screwing up vegas!!

  13. Aleza Freeman at 9:25 am

    Yeah, resort fees are legal and are charged by resorts around the world, not only in Vegas. You can try to speak to the hotel about it, but we have yet to see a hotel waive the charge. Your best bet is to choose a hotel that doesn’t charge a fee.

  14. Glenn at 4:29 pm

    I have been going to Vegas basically 12 times a year and it still irks me that I get “comped” for a room and find out either a check in or even at check out that I get charged a resort fee, sometimes more expensive than the room itself. I just go back from the Venetian on a direct offer from them, they sent me an email confirming my price and tax for the two nights (without the resort fee) and then I get hit for a resort fee upon check out.
    They put the resort fee in tiny print on an LCD print out you can’t see. And actually no one explained what you get with a resort fee, so I didn’t wasn’t informed what I was entitled to use, and subsequently didn’t use it!
    I didn’t even get a newspaper they promised. I complained and they took the charges off. The rep said that they had just started with the fee this last fiscal quarter because of the economy. He explained it was a “room charge” (like room service) and they wouldn’t have to disclose this to you until you get to their hotel.
    Seriously, if they had disclosed this even at check in I would have refused their “comp” offer and gone to another hotel (thier competition) for a free room.

  15. Dino at 10:05 pm you guys better start adding this to your price. I get to excalibur and they tell me it’s $10 extra per night? WTF indeed. Then again, probably most people think like me: I don’t go to vegas to get pissed off, i go to piss off others, so I didn’t really care about the extra $10/day.

    Lesson learned tho for next time. Gonna stay somewhere else.

  16. staff at 4:19 pm

    We appreciate your response. We understand that resort fees can be an unwanted surprise for guests when they check in which is why we include information about these on every hotel page under incidental charges. We also include information about resort fees on the purchase page when guests are booking their room so that they are aware of these fees before they actually make a reservation. Below are links to screen shots that show where the incidental charges are listed on the hotel page and in’s shopping cart. Unfortunately, these fees are something the hotels require that they collect at check-in so we are not able to add them into our prices.

    On the Hotel Page

    In the shopping cart

  17. Linda r at 3:48 pm

    There are still “hidden fees” that are not called resort fees. Using the list on the non resort fee properties, I tried the Rivera for example and on their site: “Due to the unexpected spike in Nevada energy prices a $3.92 surcharge will be added per room per night.”.

  18. Damon at 11:01 am

    The Green Valley Ranch trumps them all. $28.99 PER DAY in “Resort Fees”. I’m still absolutely livid about this. I never write reviews or post comments. But I’m doing so on Hotwire (where I booked) and on Yelp. To top it all off the pools where all closed for winter and they charged extra for “deluxe WiFi” speeds b/c the “free” WiFi was literally as slow as dial-up.

    We have to ban together as consumers to stop this nonsense. It should be illegal. It’s not a disclosed cost. It’s fraud.

  19. Raymond at 12:42 pm

    Resort fees are a scam…they should required to include that in the price of the room…there’s is no distinction since you cannot opt out…there is not way for them to justify this additional fee as the “resort” and the “hotel” are one and the same….Monte Carlo charged $9.50..and then the TAXED it…so it was actually an additional $10.64….no one uses the room phone anymore (everyone has a cell phone with free long distance and roaming)…and it’s bs for them to charge you to print your boarding pass or to use the gym….next they will have coin operated elevators….and charge you for lights and a/c….SCAM I say….everyone should complain to the managers and threaten not to patron the hotel again…my friend complained long enough they took it off his bill…(the pool was closed too!)….

  20. jimmy at 6:58 am

    I have been looking through some of the hotels that charge a Resort Fee and to be honest most of the facilities offered I would not be using on my visit. E.G.- internet access, local and toll free calls, copying and faxing, daily newspaper, fitness suite, and many others. I’m at a loss to understand exactly why these fees should be payed for none use. If I had to contact someone at home(Scotland) I would be sending a text on my cell phone. If I had to phone to the U.K. then again I would use my cell phone.

  21. jimbo at 1:20 am

    The resort fee is a scam, pure and simple. I was about to book a stay at Tuscany Suites at $30/night but noticed the “resort fee” in fine print on the booking site. A little investigation turned up a $10/night fee. That’s a third of the room rate! Sure, $40/night is a good price for the size of the room but it’s a shady way to get their listings near the bottom of the price list. Palace Station now lists a $14.99/day fee. Their weekday room rate is $17.49. That’s a scam. Vegas has become my default “gotta use up some vacation time” destination the past couple of years because I’ve been able to get great room rates but, if this is the way the city is going to treat tourists, screw ’em. I’ll take my money to some place that doesn’t treat me like an idiot. It’s not about the money. $30-40/night is great price for a hotel room. It’s the way they’re going about extracting the money that pisses me off. Give me an honest rate up front. Don’t give me a low price then try to tack on 10, 20, 30, or 85(!!!) percent on top after I’ve booked my room.

  22. ben dover at 3:02 am

    Let me suggest something very clever.

    Go back home and go online and simply file a small claim against the corporation in small claims court.

    File a claim for the resort fee and add on a few hunderd bucks for pain and suffering because it traumatized you to feel so robbed by a corporation you assumed was honest.

    The reason this works is that in small claims court the deffendent can not hire a lawyer or a proxy to show up and represent a defendant. it must be the individual or if it’s a corporation it must be the owner of the corporation or an officer of the corporation and it must be an officer that is allready employed by the corporation. They can not just hire someone local to appear.

    So let’s get these officers of these corporations traveling all over the country fighting nickel and dime small claim cases over resort fees.

    Than let’s see how fast this corporate scam vanishes.

    Or we can just be typical americans and bend over and take it and do nothing which is why our government and the corporations try to screw us with every and any idea or any and every tax and extra fee they can possibly think of.

    Quit complaining people unless your willing to do somethiong about it. We have become a country that has clearly shown we are willing to let our government and politicians along with the corporations totally screw us in as many ways as they can possibly think of, so do not complain unless your willing to do something about it.

    It has been our wilingness to be screwed that has allowed us to get screwed.

  23. Jenna at 2:53 pm

    We had our wedding at the Hard Rock Hotel last fall and they not only have a resort fee, but they charge your credit card $100 security deposit for every night you are booked to stay. 3 nights = $300. My guests had a mini-fit, even though I warned them. Why HRH for our wedding you ask? Evening poolside ceremony and reception was irresistible.

  24. scott saucier at 2:54 am

    yes i agree. “resort fee’s” are b/s. charging you for stuff that should be free. but i was AWARE of the fee’s when i booked my stay thru you booked your stay thru someone else and was not aware of the fee’s .sorry to hear that. but i was well aware of them thru the information i READ and saw in the internet.and made the desicion to book my stay anyway. again thank-you your website was great

  25. dewey at 6:41 pm

    I have been trying to keep up with this issue. I collected quite a bit of information.
    Some charge tax on the fee as well, so it will add more than the list indicates. Great list, by the way, and thanks for putting this right up front unlike many of the other discounters.
    Missing is the Gold Spike in downtown. They are the only ones to charge a fee in downtown. It was just under two dollars.

  26. Darryn at 9:51 am

    If you book your reservations at the hotel’s website, some of them (maybe more) will add the resort fee in the price so you can see what you’re paying before taxes and before you type in your credit card. We go to Circus Circus all the time and they add their fee to the price so we could decide if we still want to go. Their $4.95/day seems to be the best of the hotels that charge resort fees for what you get with it.

  27. Kim at 6:21 pm

    And what if you are coming to stay for 10 days….arrrrgg – the place I have always stayed at every year now wants a $20 resort fee…. That’s $200 added onto my trip – which I would have used to gamble at their casino which I now will not be able to do…. are they dumb or what???