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What Is Bonvoy Smoking? A 10% Resort Fee…Even On Award Stays?!?

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Marriott's Resort Fees

Marriott’s Resort Fees Are Getting Out of Hand At Some Properties

Bonvoy is at it again. Everything they touch turns into ash, I swear it.  I really can not stand their program and they continue to make it a complete dumpster fire.  Reader Patrick send me a screen shot of their latest and greatest (yes the same reader with the Vegas buffet tips, I owe him some beers at our next meetup 😉).  They are charging a 10% resort fee at a property in Northern Michigan.  And Marriott does NOT waive resort fees on award stays either!  If they are doing it at one place then you know they are doing it at other places too…Marriott’s resort fees are getting out of control.


Patrick was thinking about booking a quick getaway at the Inn at Bay Harbor which is an autograph collection hotel.  It looks like a beautiful property and it can be as high as $600-$700 a night during peak season. That is why points can be so valuable here, when you can find award space, because it is only 35,000 points a night.  For the time being at least.

When you go to book the room Marriott alerts you to the fact that you will have to pay a 10% resort fee.  You read that right 10%!

Marriott's Resort Fees
Prices for a weekend in September 2019

That 10% fee gets taxed as well which just piles on top.  When the rooms are going for $500+ a night you are looking at adding $50+ a night to the booking.  Marriott, unlike Hyatt, Hilton or even Wyndham (when you fight for it at least), charges their members resort fees on award stays.  What a rewarding program!

Marriott's Resort Fees

We are no stranger to large resort fees, just look at Vegas.  But I can not think of another program that ties the resort fee to a percentage of the room rate.  On a holiday weekend I could see this getting up to $100 a night in fees.

Final Thoughts

Marriott and the Bonvoy program do not care about building loyalty.  They care about the bottom line and that is it.  That may work for business travelers with an expense account but for the leisure traveler they will be looking elsewhere.  I imagine resort fees like this will be hitting more Marriott properties in the future.

Are Marriott’s resort fees on the rise? If you have already run into something similar then let us know where in the comments.

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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I have a free night certificate that will expire in the beginning of December. Since I don’t have plans to travel where I can use it I was going to use it for a stay cation. But because of parking fees and destination/resort fees it will cost ~$55 just to do a one night staycation in Hawaii using a Marriott free night certificate. I’ve decided to let it expire.

    • If you are on any travel boards etc. I would see if anyone wants to purchase it from you or give it away to a family member etc.

  2. I have been successful in getting my resort fees waived at several properties, when using award points. I am a titanium member so I’m sure that helps.

    • I think well run hotels will remove them if you complain because they don’t want to ruin the experience/relationship. And I am sure Titanium helps too 🙂

  3. Just looked up reservations for Ritz-Carlton Lake Oconee for a football weekend. I got the same warnings about daily resort fees. Sounds like Hilton is what everyone recommends, and I’m just getting started with hotel loyalty. I’ll make the swap before I get in too deep.

  4. In past decades I would have nothing but praise for Marriott. At this point it is the exact opposite and I am bitter that they have totally disregarded my loyalty over many years. It really was a major disappointment to me. Now I refuse to use any of their products. What I did to get even, is basically sign up for every Marriott card I could over a years time either in my name or my wife’s. We took all the points and went on a very nice vacation with the hotel and airfare on Marriott’s dime. The cards were then cancelled at renewal time. It effected my credit rating very little as I didn’t close any long standing accounts. Ha Ha on Marriott!

  5. Marriott’s brazen resort fees remind me of an imposing, black-clad Star Wars character… “I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further.”

  6. I wish I had so much business that I could screw over my best customers with impunity. Actually, no I don’t. I’d have problems living with myself being that big a weasel. Fortunately or not, Arne has no such concerns.

  7. For those who were talking about Hilton as an alternative, I was just looking at the Conrad Bora Bora and there is a 5% resort fee. It shows under the points option as well.

    I do agree that these fees on award bookings are terrible.

    • I think that is an error though – I am pretty sure Hilton’s terms state that award bookings should not have a resort fee.

  8. I use Hyatt + IHG, seems to work for me. I rarely stay at Marriott, your article provides me another reason not to!

  9. Don’t forget you do not earn Marriott points on the resort fees either. You still get bonus catagory points if you use a Marriott Bonvoy card on the resort fees. I don’t think bloggers bring this up enough. So on say a $30 resort fee for a 5 night stay, that $150 is taxed, and you get zero Marriott points instead of the 1500-2625 points (depending on status) you would normally get.

  10. Could you use a prepay Visa when you check-in then spend/move the funds and just leave when it’s time to check out? How would they charge you?

  11. They are now brazenly admitting that the resort fee scam has nothing to do with covering costs of resort amenities, because that is in no way tied to how much you paid for the room. It’s deceptive pricing and nothing more.

    • I think they started to get money that the expedia’s of the world couldn’t get their hands on but now it is just a profit making machine.

  12. Further compounded by the extra person charge. Just looked at the dolphin for WDW. The 150 rate quickly became 300 a night with resort fee, parking, extra person charge and taxes.

  13. This is ridiculous! I have a reservation at the Bay Harbor hotel. I never thought they’d charge a resort fee on a free night certificate. I’m calling them tomorrow. I’m not paying an extra $60 per night when I’m redeeming my free night certificates.

  14. So what did they say they’d charge on a 70k point booking with 10% fee? Not 7k points presumably. I’m wondering if just an IT issue that they can’t hide that banner from the points redemption options, or whether you are right and they charge you cash money for the 10% fee.

    • They charge resort fees on all award bookings across the board so it isn’t an IT issue. I would guess they would base it off of the rack rate for the night but I am not sure on that.

  15. I booked my 7 free night travel package from Marriott at Kauai next year for 4 adults. My email reservation did include the destination fee of $20 per night, which is fine. I get an email from Award Wallet for the reservation and it now includes a charge of $50 per night for 2 additional persons!! I log on to my Marriott account, and now it shows the extra charge. Bonvoyed?? Can I show the original email when I check in/out and get out of the extra person charges?

    • I would at least attempt it but with their customer service I put it at 50/50 at best. I would start with their twitter team.

    • I believe that’s illegal. They cannot legally change the price after they’ve made the reservation. Keep the evidence, and if they don’t go with the original amount, complain to the credit card company.

    • Thanks Greg – glad to hear they don’t follow through on it. I know many Marriott properties will charge the resort fee on award bookings – do you think this one doesn’t because it is harder to justify/calculate with it being percentage based? Or have you noticed that certain properties just don’t follow through with it on award bookings? I know you stay at a lot more Marriott properties than I do 🙂

  16. Is this really news? We’ve all known for a long time that Marriott is to be avoided, anyone still staying there (those who have a choice) deserve what they’re being charged.


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