I just completed a two week, three island honeymoon in Hawaii, reserved using points for the hotels/airfare.
Resort fees at the JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina were "optional" since I reserved prior to their "mandatory deadline". I was charged $25/day parking.
Resort fees were "mandatory" at the Wailea Beach Marriott ($30/day) and Kaua'i Marriott ($25/day). Of course, built into the resort activity package is complimentary internet and complimentary phone calls, which I get anyways as a Platinum Elite member.
As expected, when the points were posted to my account upon checkout, each stay had errors:
The JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina did not award points for $25/day parking.
The Wailea Beach Marriott did not award points for $30/day resort fee.
The Kaua'i Marriott did not reward points for $25/day resort fee.
I made three separate phone calls in total, each on the day that the points for awarded for each stay, to get the correct amount of points credited to my account.
The call to customer care for the JW Marriott went smoothly, as it is universally accepted that parking charges qualify for earning points.
However, the calls to customer care for the Wailea Beach Marriott and Kaua'i Marriott went much differently.
During phone call #2 and phone call #3, I was told by the Customer Care Representative that "our policy is that points cannot be earned for resort fees", which makes no sense to me. The money goes directly to the hotel properties and not to any third party. Naturally, I read the "Rewards Terms & Conditions" from the Marriott website verbatim to each Representative, which read as follows:
Nowhere in the Reward Terms & Conditions does it say resort fees do not qualify for points, and resort fees aren't a tax, gift card, charge from third party, etc. The Representatives seemed dumbfounded and both put me on hold for upwards of 45 minutes to speak to a supervisor about the situation. Eventually, I was given points for the resort fees at both properties after two 1 hour phone calls, as well as 1,000 goodwill points for each phone call (2,000 total, and frankly should have been more) because of the length of time I was put on hold.
Has anyone else had this issue? The language in Marriott's own "Rewards Terms & Conditions" could not be any more clear to me and anyone with a brain functioning at roughly 25% or greater. Are these representatives trained to say resort fees do not qualify for points in hopes that I/we don't read the Terms & Conditions? Is there any guidance available out there with this issue?
Oh man, resort fees, don't get me started - oops, you did. I'm in total agreement with you about if you're going to be forced to pay resort fees, you should at least earn the points - period (although I could see the scenario where someone at Marriott might try to nickel and dime us over whether some of the services provided by the resort fee were third party providers). Ironically, several times parking expenses are not generators of points, because of just that reason, Marriott uses a parking contractor, so I'm glad you got the JW points.
Now, shifting gears a bit, since we're discussing Resort Fees - over in the right column of More Like This is the two year old post Re: New Surcharge Added Onto Reward Stays at Marriott Resorts. merb or The specified item was not found. would you please confirm if this opting out remains an option ($25/30 a day can equal a pretty nice meal after a few days). Thank you.
After lengthy and insightful discussion, Laura the Marriott representative answered on April 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm
For any reward redemption stay you may choose whether or not you wish to pay the resort fees for the additional amenities, opt out entirely, or opt out and pay a la carte. If you decide to pay the resort fee you may pay with points using an “instant redemption award” (for properties that support instant redemption), or you may pay cash.
Since I don't know how to pull up just Laura's response, here's the full thread (or of course just click the link up in the right More Like This Column) Thanks for the follow up
Fast comment on Parking fees:
On a recent 3 day biz trip to San Francisco it was cheaper to take taxis than park with a rented car - saved 50 bucks a day!!!!!!!
Each city should be evaluated separately but you will find parking fees a major fee at most large centrally located hotels.
in reference to your Kauai visit - I first visited Kauai Marriott in 2001 - No self parking or resort fees - now it is a major expense - at nearby Vacation Club at Poipu - Waiohai (I own a week there) also had no parking fees - a few years ago some genius realized the possible revenue and now it has a parking fee (self) and we are supposed to be "owners".....
We should add to the list of "death and taxes", PARKING FEES
Parking in SF is really bad. If you go again, you might also ck. out the passes for the city transit inc. street cars and subway trains. Mr. EB got around there for more than a year using monthly passes on the city transit. He really liked it and they could connect anywhere in the city / county.
Mucho Gracias senior for the suggestion - will give it a try next trip there.
De nada, Senor, pero Senora. My husband was the one who was working in SF. He still works many hours a week and does genealogy in his spare time, so he doesn't post.
When free is not free. One uses points for a free night and that used to be free but if a resort now no longer free. Same for airlines: one got a free flight. Now have to pay for bags, etc.
At least give points if we have to pay. I hate resort fees and parking costs which have skyrocketed.