“Resort fees” are extra charges, on top of a room rate, that aren’t optional. In other words they’re part of the price of a room, but the hotel advertises a lower price instead. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson says the deceptive practice of resort fees is justified because his chain insists that hotels provide packages that add value to a guest’s stay.
At the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani in Waikiki the $33 per night resort fee includes a keiki (child) gift upon request. They don’t give you the gift unless you ask for it, but since Jamie Larounis was paying for it anyway he asked.
The hotel delivered a book as a gift, “Dinosaurs Divorce, a Guide for Changing Families.” That’s right, the resort fee includes a ‘surprise’ gift intended to let children know their parents are breaking up. Hawaii used to be a romantic destination, but resort fees at the Princess Kaiulani turn it into something far darker.
Included in the resort fee here at the @SheratonPK is a “Keiki” (children’s) gift. They sent up the gift upon request, and, no joke, this is what arrived: “Dinosaurs Divorce, a Guide for Changing Families.” I think I’ve been #bonvoyed. Right, @bonvoyed? Lordy, @MBonvoyAssist… pic.twitter.com/VrI2WtOX0m
— Jamie Larounis (@TheForwardCabin) February 4, 2020
You go to Hawaii as a family, and the hotel breaks the news to the kids that their parents are divorcing. I suppose that’s a form of value, if it were true, it’s easier than the parents having to break the news? On the other hand the resort fee really ought to include therapy after this.
Parents might not have been getting divorced before incurring a resort fee at the Princess Kaiulani, but the trauma of deceptive pricing is something few relationships can endure? Is that the sort of value Arne Sorenson had in mind when he argued that offering value in exchange made the deceptive practice of resort fees acceptable?
The Princess Kaiulani proves that resort fees make even children cry – new charges in the government lawsuit against Marriott over resort fees, intentional infliction of emotional distress.