Last weekend I stayed at the Hotel de Anza in downtown San Jose. The property is one of the new Destination Hotels that recently joined the Hyatt portfolio. Well, I should clarify: it’s definitely not new, just new to World of Hyatt.

When I checked in, I was handed a paper that explained the “vast array of amenities available” at the hotel. In order to “encompass a simplified and inclusive stay,” the Hotel de Anza charges a $14.95 nightly “amenity fee.” Huh?

I  find it pretty ludicrous that a downtown San Jose hotel charges this sort of fee. I mean, sure, you can probably nickel and dime the people coming to the Silicon Valley who have expense accounts and don’t care.

But the items on the list of “signature amenities” and “guest room amenities” are what really made me shake my head.

Seriously? An Extra Charge for a Desk and Power?

I wish I would have taken a look at the paper before heading up to my room, as I probably would have had words with the front desk right then and there. But I headed upstairs to get settled first.

One of the first things I noticed was how nice the desk is. It is a stylish, and has a nicely placed power panel in the corner. But then I looked at the paper and noticed that a “work desk equipped with power outlets and USB outlets” was listed. Excuse me?

That’s just insulting. The hotel is already reaching when they put together the list of what they offer, but to add the desk to the list of “signature amenities”? Ludicrous. I guess if I refuse to pay, they’d come up and haul it away?

I figured I’d try out the Late Night Snack Box, just because it’s listed as an amenity and actually something unique that this fee supposedly covers. My guess was that it would be a small selection of packaged snacks such as cookies, popcorn, and the like. Guess I gotta put that $14.95 to use?

Expectations were definitely not met when this was delivered:

Yes, it’s a green apple, a small cookie, string cheese, and a sandwich of cheap ham and cheese. Brilliant.

To boot, the High Speed WiFi (another listed amenity) was atrociously slow, so slow that I really struggled to upload photos to WordPress and stream Netflix. I’m literally in the Silicon Valley, and you can’t have excellent internet?! Unacceptable.

Getting the Fee Removed

Since I was staying on a free night award, I fortunately had an easy avenue for requesting the removal of the resort/amenity fee. I probably would have tried even if this wasn’t a perk of Hyatt award stays. A quick request at the desk at check-out confirmed that the amenity fee hadn’t been added to the folio. Thank you.

I thought about discussing my thoughts on the amenity fee, but I didn’t see any real point in doing so with the young guy manning the desk solo. He has no control over what the hotel charges.

If enough people take this up with Hyatt, my hope is that they will begin to make a change corporate-wide. It’s ridiculous that a hotel in downtown San Jose can get away with charging fees like this. Even more so when they try to pass of things like a desk with power as a “signature amenity”.