(NEW YORK) — Travel looks different in 2021 with changes at hotels like charges for amenities and services.
Some hotels have stripped-down room rates to the bare minimum, tacking on extras like access to the gym or pool for a fee.
MCR Hotels, one of the largest hotel owners in the country with 110 properties in 33 states, said it will experiment with this new feature at New York’s High Line Hotel and the retro hit TWA Hotel located at JFK airport.
The hotel will charge $25 to use the pool on weekends or a day pass at the gym. For guests who want an early check in, that will come with a $20 fee and breakfast will run an additional $10 to $25.
Tyler Morse, CEO of MCR hotels told Good Morning America that this new model tailors the appropriate cost of a stay to fit various guests and their needs.
“There’s business travelers, leisure travelers. Some people want to go to the pool. Some people want to go to the gym. Some people don’t want to do either,” he said. “But by having all of the products together for one price, it forces some people to pay for products that they don’t want or never going to consume.”
These new changes could also save some travelers money if they aren’t planning to use any amenities.
“By going to our cart model, it unbundles the product, it allows us to charge a lower rate for those who just want a sleeping room,” Morse explained. “You can buy the products that you want.”
The hotel and travel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and now faces labor shortages. Those in the industry are looking for ways to experiment with new options to recover losses and win back business.
“There is going to be quite a long period before we’re back to pre-pandemic levels,” Melanie Lieberman, senior editor of The Points Guy told GMA. She added: “it’s not surprising to see this type of model roll out right now as hotels are looking for ways to ways to save money and generate new revenue.”
Other hotel giants like Marriott and Hilton have yet to jump on the a la carte fee model.
“I think the hotel industry is going to take a cautious approach to doing this — but certainly the more brands, the more major players and the hotel space that start to participate in this type of pricing model, the faster it’s going to take off,” Lieberman said.
Before booking your next stay, she suggested to think about what you actually need for the type of trip you want.
“It certainly goes back to this concept of, if you think you want the whole buffet, you shouldn’t be ordering a la carte,” Lieberman said. “There’s a ton of choice out there for travelers right now. And they’re really going to have to choose at their discretion what kind of experience they want.”
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