At least one Marriott property will charge you a fee to use your points, which is outrageous.
Resort fees are bad enough …
Many hotels have “resort fees,” which is one of the most frustrating practices in the hotel industry. There are two main motives that hotels need for this practice:
- It limits how much commission they have to pay for travel agents (since travel agents don’t get commission on resort fees)
- This makes the price appear lower and more competitive than it actually is, especially since many websites display hotel prices before all taxes and fees
The practice at resorts is bad enough, although we’ve seen this spread to city hotels in recent years as well, which is obscene. Hotels usually call these “target fees” and it’s nothing more than a money robbery.
When you redeem points, you will typically still have to pay these resort and destination fees. Even elite members are usually not exempt from:
- That’s one thing I love about World of Hyatt because senior globalist members are always exempt from these fees, regardless of whether they have a paid stay or an award stay
- All World of Hyatt and Hilton Honors members are exempt from these fees when redeeming points
… But the fees for redeeming awards are worse
That brings me to a hotel that has a ridiculous fee exclusively for award stays. The JW Marriott Los Cabos has no resort fee. When paying cash, you are only subject to the typically high Mexico hotel fees, which include 19% state taxes and fees and a 10% service charge. This corresponds to a total of 29% of the regular tariff.
As you’d expect, you don’t have to pay this on an Award Stay as the 29% would add up to a rate of zero. I think to make amends JW Marriott Los Cabos charges a service fee of $ 30 per night for all Award Stays.
It’s one thing to charge something for an Award Stay that is charged for an Income Stay, but adding fees for Award Stays that don’t exist on Paid Stays is just ridiculous.
The kicker here is that MilesTalk wrote about it today while I wrote about it back in 2018, so this policy has been in place for at least three years. I thought Marriott Corporate got the hotel to roll it back after this was first published, but it didn’t. So I’ll be reaching out to the Marriott contacts to ask if this is a practice they approve of.
Suffice it to say this is completely outrageous – the whole point of redeeming points is that you don’t have to pay cash for your room. So if the hotel just adds an imaginary fee, what is it about? Why quit at $ 30 fee? Why not add a service charge of $ 289 while you’re at it and only charge the normal cash rate on top of the points?
JW Marriott Los Cabos will continue to charge Bonvoy members $ 30 a night when they redeem points. This is known as the “service charge”. The hotel does not have a resort fee and this does not apply to paid stays.
This is such a terrible precedent that I’ll reach out to Marriott and I’m curious about the company’s perspective on this.
Has anyone stayed at the JW Marriott Los Cabos and faced the hotel with it?