Archive for September, 2009

It costs a lot to be lazy…

We just got back from a trip to wonderful Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, HI. It was a lot of fun all around and I would definitely recommend the trip. Of course, I took maximum advantage of Visa’s 25% off Hilton stay promotion, discount coupon + bonus miles at the off site airport parking, as well as saver fares and free upgrades on Alaska Airlines. I used the money I “saved” on a nice dinner, a trip to the spa (20% off course), surfing lessons, snorkeling, SCUBA diving (10% off) and overpriced drinks by the pool.

One thing I did NOT spend my money on was room service. Here’s the story – It was about 9PM and I had a craving for something sweet. I flip open my room service catalog and turned to the dessert section. There I found an array of highly priced items such as ice cream, cookies and pie… all ranging from $9 to $18 in price. Deciding I could “splurge” on the $10 bowl of ice cream, I proceeded to read the fine print. There I found that “all room service orders are subject to a 18% service charge and a $6 delivery charge”. WOW!

This means my $10 bowl of ice cream was actually going to cost me $10 + 18% + $6 or $17.80. Who on earth pays these prices? Let’s break it down:

  • The “raw” ice cream probably costs about $1 (Being generous here)
  • The service, cart, bowl and staff to deliver this probably costs $4 (Being generous here)
  • Let’s say that by default the hotel wants to make $5 profit (!)
  • Now slap on $1.80 in “service charges” – which if it is like the Spa is split between the house and the staff.
  • Now slap on $6 in “delivery charges” – This is the killer to me, room service by definition is delivered and is why the ice cream costs $10 instead of $5. Adding on this additional fee is just plan greedy IMO.

Anyway, I decided to take the elevator down and walk about 4 minutes to the local ice cream parlor where I had a waffle cone and two scoops for $7.