The hotel doesn’t describe the fee on its website, and staff on property reportedly haven’t been able to explain it either. It’s unclear what they’re sustaining… other than the $4.99 itself. They do not even appear to be pretending that tacking on a non-optional fee – drip pricing – somehow benefits the environment.
However this isn’t the only Marriott engaged in the practice. I looked up which group operates the property, and it turns out that Innkeeper Hospitality Services has three other Marriott Autograph Collection hotels. And they all add the same $4.99 per night junk fee.
- The Warrior hotel Sioux City, Iowa
- The Current Hotel Davenport, Iowa
- Hotel Blackhawk Davenport, Iowa
This is just another indication that Marriott has lost the plot – and almost all control of the owners using its brand for a fee. Whether it’s hotels tacking on undisclosed fees for the lightbulbs in your room or franchisees charging extra to accept Marriott’s own credit cards hotels are getting away with abusing guests and flaunting the chain and it’s only when these properties are shamed online that the company seems to do anything about it.
Sure, Marriott nods to environmental consciousness in denying daily housekeeping and using cheap wall-mounted toiletries that often lack tamper protection. That’s why this April Fool’s post was so believable to many. But at least with these measures there’s a story that they use as cover for why it’s supposed to be better for the environment that they’re cutting costs.
These Marriott hotels, in contrast, take the Human Fund approach – just give them more money, call it a donation to the hotel if you will, and don’t ask any questions.
What’s worse is that these hotels are doing it even as Marriott just settled a claim with Pennsylvania promising to be more transparent in its pricing. They’ve got a lot of work to do to get hotels in line, but if consistent delivery of Bonvoy elite benefits are any indication there’s either lack of will or ability to do so. I even discovered Marriott properties selling rooms out from under the chain on Airbnb.