A glass of filtered waters costs $7.50. An order of whole-wheat ricotta pancakes goes for $39. A cookie will cost you $5.25. A bowl of pretzels is 40 bucks and Wi-Fi will set you back $175 per computer. These are just a handful of price quotes my wife received from a chain hotel in Washington, D.C., while planning a recent meeting for the hospital she works for in our nation's capital.
But those fees are just the tip of the iceberg. Hotels can really crush you on the A/V and technical charges. At this hotel, if you need an LCD projector to show a power point, they charge you $1,500, and even if you bring your own projector, as my wife did, they still charge you a mandatory setup fee of $800.
Perhaps the most laughable fee is a $250 charge for putting on "background music" during a reception. Wouldn't it be nice if you could sell $2 bags of chips for $40, get $250 for popping in a cd of elevator music, and charge $5 for cookies or a bottle of water that costs you only 25 cents?