Why I like Marriott resort fees as a percent of room rate

I really like the Inn at Bay Harbor, in northern Michigan.  The standard award price for this hotel is 35K points, which makes it a perfect place to spend those 35K free night certificates that come annually with a number of Marriott credit cards (at least until Peak pricing ruins everything).

In general, I hate resort fees.  With all else equal, I’d prefer to book awards with Hyatt or Hilton, neither of which charges resort fees on award stays.  There is a little known situation though where Marriott hotels with resort fees don’t charge any fees on award stays…

As you can see above, the Inn at Bay Harbor charges a resort fee of 10 percent of the room rate.  You’d be forgiven if you thought this meant that you’d be charged 10% of the standard room rate.  I certainly worried about that possibility the first time I saw this.  And I know that others have made this same assumption (hello Mark).  But I’ve stayed on points quite a few times since they introduced this resort fee, most recently just 10 days ago, and I’ve never been charged a cent.  I believe that they calculate 10% of your room rate.  When paying with points (or a free night certificate), your room rate is zero.  And we all know that 10% of zero is still zero.

I don’t know if any other hotels calculate the resort fee as a percent of the room rate.  And I can’t promise that they won’t find a way to charge you on an award stay.  But I can safely say that the Inn at Bay Harbor doesn’t charge resort fees on award stays.  For once, we have not been Bonvoyed.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Teresa Henning
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Teresa Henning

IHG does have room rates on rewards nights. That is how the hotels get reimbursed.

T. Jones
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T. Jones

Nice observation! Thanks for sharing!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Good thing you didn’t get an expensive suite.

Grant
Guest
Grant

Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman charges a $75 resort fee and a service charge equal to 10% of the room rate. So on a points booking we can at least avoid one of them.

encin
Guest
encin

It’s actually $85 now, was there at the end of May.

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[…] Many have shared their thoughts on resort fees before. Gary Leff of VTW wrote It Gets Worse: Hotels Now Stacking “Venue Fees” on Top of Resort Fees. Richard Kerr at TPG shared The 10 Most Outrageous Resort Fees. Greg Davis-Kean at Frequent Miler had an entirely different (somewhat comical) perspective yesterday: Why I like Marriott resort fees as a percent of room rate. […]

Michael Tarlow
Guest
Michael Tarlow

Last year I stayed at the Westin Grand Cayman using points. We paid a $50/nt resort fee for the 10 nights we were there. The resort was fully booked so we didn’t get an upgrade. But some of their rooms were well over $1000/nt If they charged 10% of the price of a “free” upgrade, the value of my titanium status would be significantly less. Fifty dollars per night was a lot for what we got. One hundred would be ridiculous..

mark
Guest
mark

For some reason, many Puerto Rico properties (regardless of brand) charge resort fee as a percentage of the room rate.

Grant
Guest
Grant

There’s a new Hyatt affiliated resort that’s opened there. Resort fee is 18% of room rate. So if you’re paying $500, that’s $90 resort fee. That’s crazy.

DaveS
Guest
DaveS

Don’t pay resort fees. They are a scam to deceive people about the real price of the room. In the case of a property where the price is zero on points, you aren’t paying resort fees, so staying at such a hotel on points is acceptable.

wise2u
Guest
wise2u

another way to get “bonvoyed” instead of set rate sky high unwanted resort fees, you can pay a % that can and will exceed them…I have 31 days worth of certs for bonvoy after that they can suck it along with Amex….vote with your wallet , stay elsewhere and complain about unwanted fees and surcharges.

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[…] a sort of response to that post my friend Greg the Frequent Miler wrote a post titled, “Why I like Marriott resort fees as a percent of room rate”. In his post Greg […]

John Palmieri
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John Palmieri

Consumer Reports is pursuing legislation to ensure that all fees and additional charges are included in the listed price. I will change my reservation rather than stay a hotel that hides their costs.

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[…] 4:18 – Resort Fees – what is the ideal way we want to see these handled? Does Marriott’s new “resort fee as a percentage of stay cost” help or hurt miles and points users? Did Shawn start a Twitter fight? (Frequent Miler post on percentage resort fees working out for him) […]