The Renaissance La Concha Resort in Puerto Rico charges a resort fee that’s a percentage (18%) of the room rate. For award guests, then, the resort fee should be zero – since 18% of zero is zero.
Not wanting to lose out on hidden fee revenue from points guests, they charge Marriott Bonvoy members redeeming points a $30 resort fee for each night of their stay.
18pct resort fee added to room rate incl casino coupon and more. Guests using Bonvoy points will be billed US30 per day.
Marriott allows hotels to charge points guests a resort fee, whereas both Hilton and Hyatt include this in their award stays since points are supposed to cover the cost of a room. (Hyatt waives resort fees entirely for top tier elites, even on paid stays.) But here the hotel is charging award guests a $30 fee that doesn’t exist on paid stays.
What’s more the hotel is charging each guest a different resort fee. Marriott maintains the fiction that resort fees paid for a specific bundle of amenities. So the Renaissance La Concha is charging each guest a different price for the same on-property amenities – the price for in-room internet and towels and chairs at the beach varies depending on your room rate. It’s reminiscent of an affirmative action bake sale. Here ‘the rich’ paying higher room rates spend more for internet.
Credit: Renaissance La Concha Resort
Nevermind of course that Marriott Bonvoy terms require a hotel including internet in their resort fee to offer an alternative amenity to elites that are entitled to free internet, but I’ve yet to hear of a hotel doing this.
I’ve reached out to Marriott to learn whether the practice of charging different resort fees to different guests (percentage of room rate) is acceptable to them, and whether award guests can be charged a flat amount when the percentage of room rate resort fee set by the property would imply charging them zero?
This is another in a string of properties that seem to skirt the line of chain rules, like the JW Marriott Los Cabos charging ‘service fees’ to award guests and the Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort charging guests a 2% add-on to pay by credit card.
It seems to me, though, the all of these complications are a function of Marriott increasingly allowing properties to run amok rather than enforcing the consistency that they’ve built a decades-long reputation on.