Guests Get Fair Prices, not Fine Print at Historic Key West Inns
“Everybody’s doing it,” is not reason enough for Key West hotelier Julia Fondriest to add a hidden resort fee to the room rates she advertises online for her six independent, boutique hotels in the heart of Old Town Key West.
“When you ask guests what they like least about hotels, their answer is universal: Resort fees,” said Fondriest, who refuses to hide an additional $20- to $38-a-night resort fee in the fine print of her hotels’ online listings.
“When people look online for accommodations, they only see a list based on price,” Fondriest says. “The only way a property can distinguish itself from others on that list is by dangling a low rate out there in big, bold print.”
Of course, the nightly rate is often significantly higher when one factors in the fine print under the bold, lower rate that states, “Excludes $32 daily resort fee.”
“It’s a shell game that we just won’t play,” Fondriest emphasizes “We never have and never will. Our rate is our rate, and while it may not be the most profitable policy, we think it’s the fair and honest way to do business.”
It’s the only way Fondriest will operate her six properties: The Merlin Guest House, Key Lime Inn, Albury Court Hotel, Chelsea House Hotel, Lighthouse Court Hotel and Cypress House Hotel.
She acquired the Merlin Guest House, her first lodging property in Key West, 20 years ago this month.
20% Savings on 20 Quintessential Key West Experiences to Celebrate 20 Years
To celebrate the anniversary, Historic Key West Inns is offering guests who book their stay directly to join us between Sept. 1 and Oct. 19, 2017, 20% off 20 quintessential Key West experiences, from bike rentals and boat rides to fine dining and fishing trips.
Learn more about the 20th Anniversary Special Promotion.
“We offer a hotel experience that’s connected to the destination itself, and this anniversary package enables our guests to explore everything our island has to offer,” says Fondriest, who says with pride, “We’re not styled to look like someone’s image of Key West – we are Key West. When you stay with us, you know how the locals live. All of our 200 rooms among six independent properties feature the most modern amenities – the fastest Wi-Fi, the best beds, modern bathrooms and convenient charging stations – while the hotels themselves leave you with a true sense of the place you came to visit. We always want to stay true to the history of our properties, none of which were originally built to be lodging accommodations.”
When Fondriest found The Merlin property, it was a collection of five neglected buildings that had been stitched together in the 1970s. But she saw past the peeling paint, rusting roofs and rotting woodwork to the character of the enduring, wooden buildings.
“I knew I could revive and restore them.
And she did.
The Merlin’s five buildings in 1997 became the foundation of Fondriest’s future, now a collection of 50 classic wooden structures, each one constructed long before frozen drinks and four-day cruises found their way to the Southernmost City.
“The oldest building in our collection was built in 1854, and because of its location on what is now Truman, it escaped the devastation of the Great Fire of 1886,” Fondriest says. “And while on the outside, the buildings have all been accurately preserved, inside the rooms, everything is fresh and modern. We aim to offer the best of both worlds.”
All six properties are ideally located in the island’s Old Town district, where the character and chaos of Key West began, back when boats, not bridges, brought people to her shores. Parking is always at a premium, so the inns do charge a fair parking fee, although guests are encouraged in advance to forego their four-wheeled transportation and either walk or rent bikes to find their way and feel connected to their island destination. All of the hotels offer walkable locations for exploring the best of Key West.
Book directly at HistoricKeyWestInns.com to take advantage of the 20th anniversary special and save 20% on 20 quintessential Key West experiences.
Visit HistoricKeyWestInns.com for fair prices instead of fine print, and no resort fees or hidden fees, ever.
Historic Key West Inns, six boutique hotels located in the heart of Old Town Key West. Reservations: 800.549.4430
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