High-end hotels: Give golf travelers a break, drop the ticky tack charges
The easiest way to tell if you're in a high-end hotel isn't to check the thread count on the sheets, the plushness of the pillows or the swiftness of the room service. No, the surest sign is to check how much you're paying for an Internet connection.
If it's at least $10.99 or, more routinely these days, $14.99, you're in a hotel that thinks pretty highly of itself. If it's a $30-a-day, no-chance-to-decline resort fee, you're living large. Or at least shareholders in the hotel's parent company are living large off you.
Welcome to the ticky tack zone of nice hotels.
The better the resort and the more expensive the room rate, the more likely it's going to hit guests with more hidden surcharges than a third-rate credit card.
Stay in a Hampton Inn or similar chain where the rooms are often as nondescript as those in a nursing home and you get more freebies than a Hollywood Starlet collecting Oscar gift bags. Your Internet access comes with the basic room rate, as does a breakfast buffet and parking.
In a 4- or 5-star hotel, all that can easily set you back another $60 a night.
Do you think providing guests with Internet costs a four- or five-star luxury hotel any more than it does a Fairfield Inn?Better hotels hit their guests with ticky tack charges because they're confident their customers are just going to shut up and take it.
From the wonderful beach-hugging resorts of Hawaii, to the Mickey Mouse palaces and golf resorts of Florida, to (gasp!) even Canada's nature wonderlands of Whistler and the Okanagans, the places you dream of staying charge you extra for every little thing they can think of while you dream.
Filmmaker Michael Moore may swoon in envy of Canada's universal health care, but when it comes to ticky tack luxury hotel charges, our neighbors to the north are in the same boat as us.It's time for the intelligence insults to stop, though, time for the high-end chains to show as much respect for their financially comfortable guests as a Best Western does for their budget ones.
Great hotels need to rise above low-down charges.
Georgia is a big state with terrain as varied as its variety of peaches and soul singers. Mountains in the north, ocean to the east, swamp to the south. If you're thinking of traveling to Georgia to get in some golf, Tim McDonald has ranked the state's best resorts, with emphasis on those multi-course facilities. Kudos go to Reynolds Plantation, Sea Island Resort, Callaway Gardens, Hampton Club and more.
The flights of fancy of the hibernating golfer know no seasons. Short of a trip to the Sun Belt, nothing's better to keep you focused on the course through the winter months than a tall stack of golf books. Here's our recommended reading for this winter, including the latest from James Wolfe, Scott Gummer, Dave Andrews, and Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson.
A thriving real estate market and golf courses such as Prescott Lakes Golf Club are turning Prescott, Arizona into a happening golf retirement community. In fact, U.S. News & World Report just ranked Prescott as one of its 10 best spots to retire in America. How is this changing things in this laid-back Arizona town? Not too much, actually, except for the fact that real estate prices are continuing to surge.
Simply select where you want to play, find a tee time deal, and golf now!