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Travel search engines have trouble with Luxe hotel's new "club fee"

Travel search engines have trouble with Luxe hotel's new "club fee"
The Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel has launched a "club fee" that gives guests access of breakfast and afternoon and evening snacks. But on most travel search engines, the charges resembles a typical resort fee. (Luxe Rodeo Drive)

Don't call it a resort fee.

The Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel has launched a new "club fee" at the boutique hotel in Beverly Hills. Guests who pay an extra $35 a night get free breakfast, plus hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon and evening as well as free coffee, sodas and alcoholic drinks around the clock.

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A similar program was announced last month for the Double Tree Inn hotels, called Little Extras Upgrade. It offered guests who stay in a standard room snacks and drinks for an added cost of $25 to $35 a night, depending on the package.

But the Luxe won't be serving bags of chips and cans of soda. The food, to be prepared daily by the hotel's chef, Olivier Rousselle, includes bocadillos, chilled soup, crostinis, flavored popcorn and freshly made lemonade.

The problem, according to general manager Adam Sydenham, is that most major online travel search engines cannot distinguish the Luxe's new club fee from the mandatory resort fees that many of the big hotels charge to use the gym or hook into the wireless Internet.

"Transparency in life is everything," he said.

If the program is a success, Sydenham said, the idea may be expanded to other Luxe hotels in Los Angeles.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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