Paying for what you get?

Ever notice that the nicer the hotel you stay in, the more you have to pay for? It seems to me that the more I pay for a room, the more likely it is that I have to pay for local phone calls, internet access, breakfast, gym access, etc.

I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago. I was in San Francisco and staying at a reasonably nice national chain hotel and paying over $200/night for the privilege. On top of that I had to pay  forInternet access ($9.95 for crappy 200kps throughput), local calls ($0.75 a pop) and access to their gym ($10/day).  Not so  when I stay at cheaper hotels(particularly down on the peninsula, but I’ve found this to be true all over the country) – I rarely pay for this stuff.  On one recent trip to Palo Alto I stayed at a  hotel that was less than $100/night, had fee internet access, free local calls,a descent work-out room and provided me with a nice continental breakfast (also for free).

I guess you don’t always get what you pay for . . .

  • Dave Jilk

    It’s all about market segmentation. My favorite example is pregnancy tests: there are two markets and two separate product lines. One is for people who do NOT want to get pregnant, and there is a picture of sensual lovers on the box. The other is for people who DO want to be pregnant; there is a picture of a mommy and a cute baby on the box. Inside? Exactly the same thing. Price? You know the answer — “nothing is too good for my possible baby”.
    The expensive hotels are filled with people who are spending someone else’s money, and they just don’t care much about all the add-ons. Or, they have plenty of money and just don’t care.

  • I don’t think there are very many people that don’t care overall. Rich people tend to be rich specifically because they don’t spend their money. There’s the other people’s money travelers (which seems to be a dying breed), and then there’s the people that aren’t paying attention at the moment, but if they travel enough, they’ll change their habits and start paying attention. So I think the expensive hotels are facing an ever shrinking market.