If you think hotels will never stoop to the level of airlines — charging extra for anything that isn’t bolted down — maybe you’ve never heard of easyHotel.

Sure, rooms at this cut-rate European hotel chain are cheap (about $35 a night) but if you need anything extra, like maid service, a fresh towel or a TV, it’ll cost you. Add it all up, and your stay costs closer to $50 a night, which is less of a bargain.

American hotels, long envious of the so-called “ancillary” revenues that they extract from guests by quoting a deceptively low base rate and then piling on mandatory extras, are watching easyHotel carefully. They’re no strangers to fees, but charging guests for housekeeping and TVs definitely crosses a line. Many are hoping customers will buy it.

Do we really want to live in an a la carte world?

It’s enough to deal with mandatory tips, room safe fees and concierge fees. But towels? TV sets? Room service? What’s next, a fee for a bed?

Hey, don’t laugh. Two decades ago, if I’d suggested airlines might someday charge for the first checked bag, or to make a reservation, or for soft drinks, you probably would have dismissed it as the uninformed conjecture of a cub reporter...

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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