I just saw the below article. What do the rest of you think? I have to say while no one likes resort fees, at a minimum Marriott makes it very clear on the reservations page if the property has a fee, the amount, and what it covers. I agree with most that a room rate should include all standard amenities at a property and that wifi, local calls, and the like should be included in the rate and not be part of some extra fee. What does everyone else think?
I am OK with resort fees as long as the fee, and what it entitles you to are fully disclosed. About three years ago I had my one and only "run in" with Marriott. I had made a reservation using points and dollars to upgrade at the Wailea Marriott resort. After I had made my reservation I received a confirmation which indicated that there was a $30 resort fee. Back and forth with Marriott I was finally told (at that time) that the resort fee was optional. In corresponding directly with the concierge at the hotel I learned what the fee covered I elected to pay the resort fee. The $30 fee covered self parking which alone was, if I remember correctly $24.00. The additional discounts made the fee well worth paying.
It should be easy to see exactly what the fee is and exactly what the fee covers, or entitles the guest to. If this is disclosed up-front, when pricing a reservation, I have no issue with it
I am not OK with the fees. They charge fees for what we were getting in the room cost before. In many cases, they give what we have earned with our elite status. In almost all cases, I don't use what is given. They don't give points on the fees either. I avoid any hotel that charges the resort fee. I have actually cancelled a reservation once I found that there would be a fee.
Agreed, somewhat. If, like in your example, the resort fee costs nearly as much as the standalone parking rate, then just pay the fee. But for other properties, like the Waikiki Marriott, I do not agree with the fee. It's much more than parking and grants you 1 free breakfast for 2, free wifi and free mai tais. Of course, the first 2 are normally free at non-resort properties.
I noticed that the Wailea Beach Marriott's page now lists the fee as "resort activity pass," making it sound optional. However, when I called to make a reservation for later this year (1 night there, 2 nights @ CY Kahului on certificates), I was informed of a $30 resort fee...
I believe that most fees are for things that should already be covered in room rates or platinum benefits, and avoid properties that charge exhorbitant fees. I also think they are used at resorts to get money from those using reward nights. Things like internet, fitness center, pools, and beach usage should be included in the cost for the rooms. If I want to use more than that, then I should have the option to pay for it if I choose to use it. Parking seems to be a new revenue generator for hotels and resorts. Many properties that have expansive areas for parking, are now charging and often only offer valet parking. I don't mind paying a resort/ parking fee in cities or locations that have limited parking, but many locations that previously offered free parking now require valet at exhorbitant. costs.
The ironic thing is that resorts that charge the most offer very little benefit to loyal platinum members. There is no CL, free breakfast, or other perks. I am less concerned about these things when travelling on business, but when on vacation I don't want to waste money on 'extras' that I either don't use or shouldn't have to pay for. I am fortunate to have several MVC timeshare weeks in great locations so I don't have to use resorts for vacationing, but Marriott doesn't really offer much to its platinum members at a resort, and resort fees are becoming ridicululous.
Actually, the Marriott website does not do a good job of bringing additional fees to our attention. See for yourself. Pop over to the JW Hill Country Resort page and see if you can find it there. And personally, I'd like to see the $175 per person/per day mandatory meal plan charged by Kessler Canyon in bold red font on their dining page and while there is a mention of it there, good luck finding it. I posted last night on these surprises and I suggested to Marriott that we be informed online and/or over the phone of ALL extra fees prior to confirming.
Welcome to Insiders. Since you have written on about five different posts about hidden resort fees, I, the Pricing Quirk gadfly thought I'd look into it. Without a doubt, resort fees (which don't earn points) are a P.I.T.A. to most all of us, often duplicating what Platinums already are entitled to. And yes, Marriott has again gotten IMO, too clever by half in the way they dance around several of their charges.
I checked the J.W. Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa since I had recently stayed in San Antonio (Rivercenter, wanted to be closer in town) and didn't recall any issue. When I click view rates, this comes up right underneath Standard Rates/Room Packages/Marriott Rewards Offers
Please Note – USD 32 daily resort fee in addition to room rate includes Internet, use of spa fitness center and much more!
Now the Kessler Canyon Autograph property in DeBecque Colorado is a different story. I checked 9/21-9/25 and saw a rate of $1015 with the following language
and when you check Rate Rules by clicking the About this rate tab, (which nowadays, we'd be silly not to) it says nothing about any additional charge Except There is a 250 dollar additional per person (3rd guest plus). The $1,015 rate is the same for two people as it is for four, which is somewhat disingenuous. But something else caught my eye, when I was reading Rate Rules, the cancellation fee was $5,062 (again for a two person or four person reservation). At $4,060 for four nights, $5,062 tells me something is rotten in Denmark DeBecque! Sure enough checking the total when I click Select (as if I was making a reservation) there, deep in the bowels of the total, is a $1,002 Total Taxes and Fees charge. Well, even for us travelers used to getting hosed at airport car rentals and downtown hotels for cities building stadiums etc, a 25% tax is out of the usual painfully costly, low to midteen range. Sure enough when I click on the Blue Link Total Taxes and Fees, out pops a $203 Service Charge (which also doesn't earn points). This of course would require a phone call to discover what the Voodoo that they do so well is and the outcome, no doubt isn't pretty, or logical.
I faced a similar headache with another Autograph property the Punta Islita in Costa Rica (which like you, I wrote about) and I am in total agreement with you, it's a weasely thing to do, but that's how Marriott has started to play it as they pursue maximum revenue, perhaps at the long term cost of customer loyalty (a topic heavily discussed in this very forum).
Bottom line: yes, it would be nice if, as you request, Marriott was more transparent in their charges, but we would all be careless if we held our breath thinking they will just because we ask (I've been beating on them about AAA rates being higher than Standard Rates since I joined this Forum three years ago - no dice).
Ok Insiders regulars, all together now; As Hall of Fame Boxing Referee Mills Lane used to say before every Championship bout, "Protect Yourself At All Times". Sadly, we must go into these reservations, looking for the 'Gotchas', because they are there and they are growing, almost in direct relationship to Marriott's recent four year financial success.
Keep on keepin' on dth, we're all in this together.
KatieC since you're the social moderator and are obligated to "pass this along", I punish you (it's the company you keep ) by blue linking you; have a nice read.