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How Much Does Your Las Vegas Hotel Room Really Cost?

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 2nd June 2014 1:36pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 11

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Have you ever wondered how much your hotel room is going to cost? This isn't a joke, I'm serious! From the time you book to the time you leave, how much money are you going to have to give a hotel to stay there. Much like the airline industry, Las Vegas hotels have been subtracting services and adding fees to maximize their revenue streams. They've also been hiding resort fees to maintain the appearance that hotel rates are competitive, when in actuality, they aren't.

In an effort to find out how much one night in a Las Vegas hotel room is going to cost, we priced out three day averages of 16 different four and five star hotel offerings via hotel room rate aggregator Kayak.com to come up with a hotel room fee breakdown. Days picked were for an identical three night long weekend trip - Thursday arrival, Sunday departure.

We've gathered data for the following required metrics to come up with a Las Vegas hotel room fee breakdown:

Room Rate - a three day average for identical three night long weekend trip - arriving Thursday, departing Sunday. (Required)

Resort fee - the daily fee of many names (including tax) levied by hotels upon check in, usually not included in market prices or paid for when making reservations. (Required)

Tax - at the standard rate of 12%. (Required)

Early Check In - fee levied by hotel to check in before standard check in time. (Optional)

Late Check Out - fee levied by hotel to check out after the standard check out time. (Optional)

Higher Floor Upgrade - this can either be a fee for high floor preference OR the price difference between lower floor and higher floor room types. (Optional)

We've plotted the top 16 hotels data in a simple line graph to illustrate how resorts price their hotel competitively. The Room Rate (green) is generally what you see when you book via travel retailers but the vertical the black line is what the actual booking cost is. Everything to the right of the vertical black line are optional costs, added on by guest preference.

The order, from lowest to highest is Golden Nugget, Planet Hollywood, THEhotel, ARIA, Caesars (Forum), Bellagio, Palazzo, Venetian, Cromwell, Mandarin, Wynn (Resort), Encore (Resort), Cosmopolitan (Terrace Studio), Four Seasons, Wynn Tower Suites and then Encore Tower Suites.

Looking at the Las Vegas hotel room fee breakdown data is pretty amazing... Aria seems underpriced for being one of the newest hotels on The Strip - being bested by Caesars Forum tower? Is ARIA's depressed pricing about low demand driving down market price or...? The new kid on the block, The Cromwell is priced higher than Aria, Venetian, Palazzo AND Bellagio! Another unexpected result, the Four Seasons is besting Mandarin Oriental by a wide margin... perhaps this is another example of City Center-itis? Is it safe to say that the top tier paradigm of Wynn, LVS, Bellagio has been toppled? Not completely, Wynn and Encore Tower Suites stills sit at the top of the pricing pyramid - and do it on rack rate alone without resort fees.

Vegas hotel fee breakdown

So how much does your hotel room really cost?

For the non fussy traveler who can live with a view of HVAC ducts and checks in/out within the required time, their Room Rate will consume 84% of their total cost, resort fees 6% and taxes 11% of your hotel room cost.

Suppose you want that impressive view? You can expect to add $31.11 per night to your bill across the board, which for a three day trip is an extra $100, a number which makes "The $20 Trick" somewhat sensible option for the cheap skate. However you shouldn't bribe front desk operators until you're sure you don't have to.

Need to check in early? Stayed out late and need a few hours to get your shit together? Those will cost you $30 per.

Lots of interesting information to glean from this data visualization.



Tagged: travel tips   hotels   fees   resort fees   



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Comments & Discussion:

THEHotel, Aria, and the Mandarin are to me the best value out of all of these.
For $50 more to be able to be able to stay at MO vs the Forum Tower at Caesars is a no-brainer. The fact that Delano will be priced lower than all of these, despite having the largest rooms, newest furnishings, etc is crazy.

The hotels on Fremont Street charge 13% room tax as opposed to the 12% for Strip properties.

The percentage of add-ons is much more significant when you factor in discounted room offers. My room rate is often a small fraction of my total bill. I hate how they add taxes and fees onto mini-bar, room service, in-room movies, spa, bar tabs, and restaurant meals billed to the room. I usually end up with a multi-page itemized bill for just a two night stay. I also have trouble remembering how much deposit I paid when booking months earlier. This makes checking the final bill very difficult.

A good visual - you can see that your bottom line is cheaper at Golden Nugget than at Planet Ho, even though the published rate is lower at the Ho. What also stands out for me is that the resort fee is a flat dollar amount, no matter how wildly the room rate fluctuates. That means if it's $20 on a $100 room, it's 20%. But for that same room on a $300 night, it's only 6.67%. So in a way, the hotel is penalizing you for coming on a night when they've lowered price to attract you.

As for the questions you floated: it's hard to say without knowing which weekend you looked at. As a rule, the closer we are to the date the more the rate comparison is clouded by context we can't know: how big a convention commitment do they have, how many rooms are comped, etc. If you look at a weekend that's not a holiday, 6 months out to a year, you'll get more of a sense of that hotel's standard pricing before they start reacting to each other.

Setting aside my hatred of resort fees for a minute...

This graphic shows how hotels are starting to unbundle their experience (shoot me now for using those buzz words) in a way that's similar to what Frontier and Spirit airlines are trying to do.

MGM customers are only paying for what they want (put another bullet in me), but it's a way to get some Aria guests to pay Mandarin/Wynn prices while still keeping their basic rates low enough to attract other, cheaper guests.

I think MGM has read the studies that show people are willing to pay for a perceived luxury -- and even ENJOY paying for it (proof: www.google.com/#q=expensive+wine+tastes+better ) -- and are using that knowledge as a way to boost their bottom line at the same time the consumer's total expense is muddied.

I hate being treated as an ATM. But, like the resort fees, I think this mindset is the wave of the future, barring some sort of government regulation. And that's a shame.

Really interesting graph. The Aria rate does catch one's eye.
Caesars is really the only place that might need controlling for the particular tower quoted (Roman?) as only PHo has somewhat, but not nearly as much, of a variance in room types. You controlled for the Golden Nugget I see.
The staff at Cromwell are great as far as friendliness, they will need to be to maintain that rate level as it goes head up with the remarkably high rate Cosmo in competition for the hipsters while embracing an anti-player 6/5 casino philosophy.

I think the Vegas is becoming very much like Hawaii. The hotels figure most folks are there for a vacation (or a convention) and they are willing and able to pay the higher room rates, fees, taxes, etc.

Beginning to think that next time I go to Vegas I won't book a room and stay in a cardboard box. No resort fees at all.

Don't forget the tax on the Resort Fee itself...that adds a couple of dollars usually...

@Chuckmonster Eventhough Aria and Mandarin are pretty new, is it possible that CityCenter property rates are much lower than some of the other MGM properties because it's a 50/50 venture while other properties they wholly own?

@jester that thought certainly caught my mind... but wouldn't it make more sense to price the other way? 100% of a percentage less is better than a percentage of a percentage more. It also diverts players to the 100%... perhaps there are other agreements as to how rack rates are computed in relation to MGM properties.

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