The New York Times travel section has an article about hotels that are making like airlines and adding on extra fees for things — like suburban parking, early arrival, the in-room safe, or minibar restocking — that used to be included in the basic room fee. Glancingly but intriguingly, the Times suggests that these fees may be tax-driven:
why not just include the fees in the room rate?
There are a number of reasons, though the only one that possibly benefits the consumer is that if fees were included in the nightly rate, they would be subjected to municipal occupancy taxes.
There's an unintended consequence for you: cities jack up hotel taxes, and the hotels respond by changing their pricing policies so that all of a sudden a chunk of the money they are charging customers isn't subject to the tax.