Marriott Bonvoy Member Redeems 2.6 Million Points… Now Hotel Wants $17K

Marriott Bonvoy Member Redeems 2.6 Million Points… Now Hotel Wants $17K

52

Yesterday I wrote about how the JW Marriott Los Cabos charges a $30 per night redemption fee for Bonvoy members. Well, here’s something on a whole different level — how would you feel about redeeming 2,596,000 Bonvoy points for a single stay, only to be asked to pay an extra $16,940 after confirming your reservation?

North Island Seychelles, Marriott’s most expensive hotel

A bit over a year ago, North Island Seychelles joined Marriott as a Luxury Collection property, and it’s even possible to redeem Bonvoy points at this resort.

Frankly I find the hotel’s participation in Marriott Bonvoy to be strange (given that paid rates are many thousands of dollars per night), though it sure is a unique opportunity for Bonvoy members. In addition to being able to earn points for stays here, you can also redeem Bonvoy points here, =at the rate of just under 400,000 Bonvoy points per night.

That doesn’t include the cost of a helicopter transfer, meals, or many activities, all of which are extra.

North Island Seychelles

A reader’s experience redeeming Bonvoy points

Over in the “Ask Lucky” forum, reader EyeOnThePoints shares his/her experience redeeming points at North Island, and it’s not pretty.

EyeOnThePoints went to Marriott’s website to book an award stay here, and locked in a one week stay in a two bedroom villa for 2,596,000 points (the below are just random dates that I pulled up on Marriott’s website to illustrate this).

As you can see below, this booked into a two bedroom villa, and even with four guests that was the price.

Well, at some point after booking, EyeOnThePoints got an email from the hotel, stating that an extra $16,940 would be due for the third and fourth guest in the villa. Apparently the hotel has decided that a redemption in a two bedroom villa should only be for two people, and the hotel wants an extra $1,210 per additional guest per night for the privilege of breathing the North Island’s fresh air.

Keep in mind that the hotel isn’t all inclusive, and the hotel will be making money on the additional guests, for food, transfers, activities, and more.

Despite that, Marriott continues to show the award cost to be the same whether you’re staying with two or four guests in the two bedroom villa.

In fairness, on paid rates there is indeed an extra charge for the two additional guests, but that’s only disclosed on the final page, rather than the initial search page. However, at least it’s disclosed, which clearly isn’t the case on an award stay.

For what it’s worth, there are lots of hotels that charge extra for additional guests when paying cash but not when redeeming points.

Upon reaching out to Marriott, the Bonvoy member was essentially told that the hotel has the right to do that, despite the fact that this wasn’t in any way disclosed during the booking process or in the email confirmation. After pushing back a case has been opened, but there has been no resolution yet.


North Island Seychelles

Marriott Bonvoy terms are explicit in this regard

I didn’t notice this at first, but View from the Wing left the following comment, which points out to an even greater extent how absurd this is:

I agree with you that any charges ought to be disclosed to the member up front. But let’s take a look at the Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions, because surely a member can rely on *those*.

Extra person charges *are included* on Bonvoy redemptions. It’s right there in 3.2.e.

“3.2.e. When redeeming Points for an Award Redemption Stay, the Award Redemption Stay includes the cost of a single or double standard room at a Participating Property, room tax/service charge, and extra-person charges, if any.”

Now, 3.2.e has exceptions. 3.2.e.iii specifies FIVE hotels at which extra person charges are not included on redemption stays – that only the cost of two people are included, and charges “for the third, fourth, or more guests in the room is an additional fee and is not included in the Award Redemption as form of payment.”

Those five hotels are Al Maha, Westin Reserva Conchai, and 3 Sardinia properties (Cala di Volpe, Pitrizza, and Romazzino) when they are all-inclusive over the summer. North Island is not listed as a carveout.

This doesn’t even appear to be an oversight on Marriott’s part (which shouldn’t be the member’s problem) as North Island *does have* a carveout in the terms, where it is specifically listed as not having to honor ‘no blackouts’ on award redemptions.

To the extent that the terms govern the relationship between member and the program, this seems pretty clear. And that there’s even pushback here is emblematic of Marriott’s confused customer service problems, where their agents do not know the rules of the problem.

Bottom line

A Marriott Bonvoy member redeemed nearly 2.6 million Bonvoy points for a week-long stay on North Island, the world’s most expensive Bonvoy property. After confirming the reservation, the Bonvoy member was informed that there would be an extra charge of $16,940 for the third and fourth guest, in spite of the fact that this wasn’t at all disclosed during the booking process.

What poor form for both the hotel and Marriott to attempt to not honor this. It’s not like we’re talking about a $10 mistake rate here, we’re talking someone someone who confirmed a reservation that cost an exorbitant number of points, and now the hotel wants to charge even more.

#Bonvoyed

Conversations (52)
Newest comments are displayed first.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Quo Vadis?

    I burned all my Marriott points and bailed on Bonvoy in 2019. It was quite evident Marriott was on the highway to meh even then, and nearly everything I've read re Marriott benefits and customer service since then has only reinforced my decision.

  2. BRR

    Of the hotels brands, the worst. Yet, you still keep promoting them through your articles. You must be well compensated.
    Do you really expect Marriott to deliver on points your are entitled to when you decide to cash in. No.... they will find a way to screw you.
    Say Bonvoy-age... and thanks for your loyalty!

  3. Lucy

    A similar thing happened to me when I booked St Regis Maldives before they were open. The reservation let me book for 3 people and didn't state any extra person fees. (There weren't any mention of extra person fees anywhere on the website.) About a month before the stay, I got an email from the hotel asking for arrival times, etc. and also mentioned $350 per night for the 3rd person. I believe it was...

    A similar thing happened to me when I booked St Regis Maldives before they were open. The reservation let me book for 3 people and didn't state any extra person fees. (There weren't any mention of extra person fees anywhere on the website.) About a month before the stay, I got an email from the hotel asking for arrival times, etc. and also mentioned $350 per night for the 3rd person. I believe it was before the merger, so it was Starwood. I escalated with SPG customer service, they also noted that there were no extra person fees in the confirmation and would talk to the hotel. The hotel pushed back. SPG customer relations said they couldn't really do anything about it even though they thought this was wrong of the hotel. Fortunately, the hotel ultimately decided not to charge the extra fee "upon exception."

  4. RC

    I got bonvoy’d at the Marriott in Mexico City last year. Clearly booked a discount special rate with my Marriott card. When I checked in I used my CSP reserve for damages. When I checked out I made the mistake of not getting a paper copy of the bill. Of course I didn’t get one sent to me and after several requests they sent me something like $150 more than what I “paid”. Long story...

    I got bonvoy’d at the Marriott in Mexico City last year. Clearly booked a discount special rate with my Marriott card. When I checked in I used my CSP reserve for damages. When I checked out I made the mistake of not getting a paper copy of the bill. Of course I didn’t get one sent to me and after several requests they sent me something like $150 more than what I “paid”. Long story short they said I didn’t pay for the hotel with my Marriott card and didn’t have it booked. (Well how did they know who I was when I showed up?!). I told them bill was wrong and didn’t even apply to me. I had left higher tips for staff than they had. All messed up. Marriott customer service was completely useless. They ended up refunding me only like $80 of the $150 and the hotels claim was i was refunded using the hotels “exchange rate”... when I booked I booked and paid and reserved in USD. Very shady and disappointing

  5. khatl

    Recommend that the person quote Marriott's terms directly to them. I've had issues at a couple of hotels in the past where the hotel tried to say that they didn't have to do one thing, when Marriott's terms stated something different.

    One was not being recognized as a Platinum and thereby not being offered points, or as I wanted at the time, breakfast, and the hotel basically saying there was no compensation due, and...

    Recommend that the person quote Marriott's terms directly to them. I've had issues at a couple of hotels in the past where the hotel tried to say that they didn't have to do one thing, when Marriott's terms stated something different.

    One was not being recognized as a Platinum and thereby not being offered points, or as I wanted at the time, breakfast, and the hotel basically saying there was no compensation due, and the other being at Al Maha where they changed the free activities after I booked to exclude the 4*4 dune bashing, and wanted to charge me for it. After providing them both the T&C's from the website (which have gotten a lot longer in the past few years, and which you need a MBA to remember given all the carve outs), both hotels came around to my thinking. #firstworldproblems.

    Since Marriott took over, hotels and Marriott have felt free to nickel and dime customers at every opportunity. While I'm still a Lifetime Titanium, I took all my business to Hyatt and I'm now just gradually burning thru my Marriott points (other than when there isn't a Hyatt in the same town).

  6. Azamaraal

    @Gary Leff

    Your original post was spot on and identifies a real problem in the hospitality (and other) industries that seems to have become exponentially worse in the last year.

    It appears all customer service has been "outsourced" to somewhere and the responders are paid on a quota basis. None of the first responders even actually read the complaint - they scan for buzz words and choose answer a) b) or c) and thank us...

    @Gary Leff

    Your original post was spot on and identifies a real problem in the hospitality (and other) industries that seems to have become exponentially worse in the last year.

    It appears all customer service has been "outsourced" to somewhere and the responders are paid on a quota basis. None of the first responders even actually read the complaint - they scan for buzz words and choose answer a) b) or c) and thank us for our letter. Their rate of response appears to control their terms of contact, not their rate of problem solution.

    It is not only the purview of BonVoy - unfortunately I am experiencing this problem at the Diamond Desk (now relabeled as "Hilton Honors").

    I don't see how BonVoy can wriggle out of this one and hope that we hear of the resolution one way or another.

  7. Ralph4878

    @Gary Leff: I understand your point...and the two bedroom villa the customer booked is their, shall we say, "lowest tiered room" available (if I am reading their website correctly). But again, I can see Marriott arguing the meaning of the word "standard" here, to the point where it won't be worth it to the customer - in terms of time, energy, and money - to argue with them. And, considering the recent "no reasonable person...

    @Gary Leff: I understand your point...and the two bedroom villa the customer booked is their, shall we say, "lowest tiered room" available (if I am reading their website correctly). But again, I can see Marriott arguing the meaning of the word "standard" here, to the point where it won't be worth it to the customer - in terms of time, energy, and money - to argue with them. And, considering the recent "no reasonable person would assume..." defenses we are seeing in highly visible court cases, again, it wouldn't surprise me if they tried to argue this. I'm not saying I am agreeing with it!

  8. DeePeeGeumps

    Disgusting. As soon as Asia reopens I’m going to burn all my Marriott points on a club floor and drink and eat the place bare.
    The person clearly saved that number of points for a once-in-a-lifetime trip only to have a chain which touts their hospitality crap all over them.

  9. Jay

    From a hotel employee.
    Marriott doesn’t charge guests $30 for their redemption. The hotel charges Marriott a certain amount to be reimbursed for the hotels participation in the program (not like there is a choice). The amount is typically pretty low unless an occupancy threshold is met (typically 90-96%). Once this is achieved, the amount that the hotel is reimbursed is raised. This is because the hotel could have sold those rooms at a...

    From a hotel employee.
    Marriott doesn’t charge guests $30 for their redemption. The hotel charges Marriott a certain amount to be reimbursed for the hotels participation in the program (not like there is a choice). The amount is typically pretty low unless an occupancy threshold is met (typically 90-96%). Once this is achieved, the amount that the hotel is reimbursed is raised. This is because the hotel could have sold those rooms at a higher rate, but couldn’t actually “sell” them because someone used points.
    Different hotels have different thresholds, and get reimbursed differently. This story sounds like the hotel trying to get reimbursed by Marriott, not the guest.

  10. Tommy Trash

    Attacking you most loyal customers has never been a viable model for any business.

  11. Blaz

    Geez, $17K for cleaning one extra bedroom and ensuite and making the bed each day for a week. That's over $2,000 a day. I hope they leave a chocolate on the pillow.

  12. Gary Leff

    @Ralph4878 - as a general matter Bonvoy redemptions are standard rooms with additional points for upgrade, suggesting that service charges or extra room charges aren't included when redeeming for anything other than just a standard room belies the experience of every other redemption at every other property.

    The interpretation would suggest you spend more points for fewer inclusions? In any case the terms do not say 'when redeeming for something other than a standard...

    @Ralph4878 - as a general matter Bonvoy redemptions are standard rooms with additional points for upgrade, suggesting that service charges or extra room charges aren't included when redeeming for anything other than just a standard room belies the experience of every other redemption at every other property.

    The interpretation would suggest you spend more points for fewer inclusions? In any case the terms do not say 'when redeeming for something other than a standard room, extra person charges aren't included' nor does North Island have a carveout for this when it has a carveout elsewhere in the terms.

    Points price notwithstanding, since this isn't a distinction made in the terms, if the room characteristics matter here then Al Maha's rooms aren't standard (standalone villas with private pools) yet it specifically requires a carveout from the extra person charges rule.

    And what do the carveouts all have in common? They're inclusive or at least providing meals with the room which North Island does not.

  13. Island Miler

    This doesn't surprise me at all. When I was denied guaranteed late check-out at The Laylow Waikiki (not a resort) and brought it up with Bonvoy, they said "oh well, nothing we can do." They did give me a "one-time" 2,000 points "apology" for my troubles.

  14. Hoc

    I notice that, in your article, you substituted the word "problem" for program. Was that intentional, Freudian, or just a mistake? ;-)

  15. Martin Taxson

    One of the lessons of life is that bigger is not always better. Under the personal guidance of Bill Marriott, l watched Marriott International grow from 24 properties to a highly respected, international hospitality company that took care of its customers and staff.

    Then, under new management, it morphed into the unwieldy behemoth it is today. The personal values that Mr. Marriott brought to the industry are gone and "hospitality" is no longer the...

    One of the lessons of life is that bigger is not always better. Under the personal guidance of Bill Marriott, l watched Marriott International grow from 24 properties to a highly respected, international hospitality company that took care of its customers and staff.

    Then, under new management, it morphed into the unwieldy behemoth it is today. The personal values that Mr. Marriott brought to the industry are gone and "hospitality" is no longer the goal. How many ways can we suck our customers money out of them is the new mantra.

    Bill Marriott used to say that when a hotel had his name on it, the quality standards and his personal standards were never to be compromised.

    That is no longer true. How sad.

  16. beachfan

    Right now, the home page of Marriott has a banner on Covid-19 precautions and Covid-19 cancellation policy - except when you click through, there is nothing on the cacnellation policy.

    And on an award reservation, it says they will charge a penalty if you violate the cancellation terms but doesn't say how much. How do I kn ow it won't be $2k a n ight at a mid-Marriott in Hawaii?

  17. Karim

    Marriott customer service is absolutely the worst. I tried to extend two 60,000 point certificates that I had and the agent said no problem, put me on hold for about 15 minutes and came back to me and said that she couldn’t do it and would have to escalate. Meanwhile my certificates have been taken out of my account before they expired and I was never able to use them and they never compensated me...

    Marriott customer service is absolutely the worst. I tried to extend two 60,000 point certificates that I had and the agent said no problem, put me on hold for about 15 minutes and came back to me and said that she couldn’t do it and would have to escalate. Meanwhile my certificates have been taken out of my account before they expired and I was never able to use them and they never compensated me for this. I have been a Marriott customer for almost 30 years and I’m one year away from platinum for life. I have been titanium elite since they came out with that tier.

  18. Christian

    What surprises me is that people expect Marriott to suddenly reverse course and become a customer-friendly company with integrity. If the company felt that way, Arne would have been removed years ago and his successor would have been someone who understands loyalty. Since that's not the case, let's just announce that the emperor has no clothes by stating that Marriott runs a massively crappy loyalty program and simply doesn't care about the customer. It wouldn't...

    What surprises me is that people expect Marriott to suddenly reverse course and become a customer-friendly company with integrity. If the company felt that way, Arne would have been removed years ago and his successor would have been someone who understands loyalty. Since that's not the case, let's just announce that the emperor has no clothes by stating that Marriott runs a massively crappy loyalty program and simply doesn't care about the customer. It wouldn't be cheering but would have the benefit of being honest.

  19. RK

    @pinar Del Rio
    "Pay the hotel and stop trying to pack a crowd into a room! Simple. Pay to stay!"

    I don't understand people like you. Do you go on the internet, find a discussion and then think; "what is the most annoying and illogical thing I can say in this conversation, ignoring all the facts"?

    When someone gets shot on the street by a criminal, I bet you say something like "well it's...

    @pinar Del Rio
    "Pay the hotel and stop trying to pack a crowd into a room! Simple. Pay to stay!"

    I don't understand people like you. Do you go on the internet, find a discussion and then think; "what is the most annoying and illogical thing I can say in this conversation, ignoring all the facts"?

    When someone gets shot on the street by a criminal, I bet you say something like "well it's your fault for walking outside at night".

    You must be a delight to know in person.

  20. JW

    Is Arne Sorenson soul still breathing at Marriott? He never seemed to have left.

    #Bonvoyed

  21. Kevin

    As someone who’s been there, I can tell you service is top notch, the best ever really. Blows any Aman, Cheval Blanc, and Eden Rock, out of water as each villa gets its own butler who will come and do laundry, cook breakfast, bring your fav drinks to any beach on the island with snacks, etc. etc. There are so few villas and so few other guests that makes any Aman feel crowded! That’s why...

    As someone who’s been there, I can tell you service is top notch, the best ever really. Blows any Aman, Cheval Blanc, and Eden Rock, out of water as each villa gets its own butler who will come and do laundry, cook breakfast, bring your fav drinks to any beach on the island with snacks, etc. etc. There are so few villas and so few other guests that makes any Aman feel crowded! That’s why William and Kate, George and Amal make this their honeymoon destination. With that said, if you are looking to snorkel by the beach, you can only do that few months a year. If you want to go swim in the ocean, depending on the current, you may have to be a very strong swimmer! But if you want to swim in an elevated swimming pool, boy, is it the most gorgeous free form swimming pool in the world or what! The point is if you are looking for privacy/ best service, this is it. On top of that, if you are looking to brag on insta, then there are many insta friendly environments on the island. However, if you are looking for the best activities available, I’m not so sure this place checks the box.

  22. Lukas

    @Randy, why bother responding to an article that you clearly didn't read carefully?

  23. Jackson Waterson

    I really don’t feel bad for the redeemer. The hotel contacted him and notified him of the error a short time after booking. I’m sure Marriott will refund the points if he decides to cancel. No one was harmed. No one was hurt. No one was bait and switched or defrauded. The hotel likely has a policy or this type of redemption never came up before. Most hotels are not owned by the chains. Just...

    I really don’t feel bad for the redeemer. The hotel contacted him and notified him of the error a short time after booking. I’m sure Marriott will refund the points if he decides to cancel. No one was harmed. No one was hurt. No one was bait and switched or defrauded. The hotel likely has a policy or this type of redemption never came up before. Most hotels are not owned by the chains. Just like we have problems with Bonvoy, hotels have problems with bonvoy and the chain. This is a very different situation than if someone flew to the hotel and was charged.

    Now that this situation came up, the hotel will probably make sure the Marriott booking system doesn’t allow redemptions if a 3rd or 4th guest is selected. There are plenty of ways to redeem points elsewhere.

  24. Bill

    As we’ve been considering North Island and wondered whether or not we could bring two friends to enjoy the 2 bedroom award villa (but who still would have to pay the nearly $4K in helicopter transfer fees round trip regardless), I can’t say I’m too surprised. Yes, the T&C call for additional persons to be allowed on standard award rooms, but this award clearly is anything but standard. Yes, the T&C carve out exceptions specifically...

    As we’ve been considering North Island and wondered whether or not we could bring two friends to enjoy the 2 bedroom award villa (but who still would have to pay the nearly $4K in helicopter transfer fees round trip regardless), I can’t say I’m too surprised. Yes, the T&C call for additional persons to be allowed on standard award rooms, but this award clearly is anything but standard. Yes, the T&C carve out exceptions specifically for those 5 all-inclusive properties, but North Island isn’t all-inclusive for its awards. The fact that cash paid stays also have additional person fees make it all the more obvious that the award would too.

    I don’t blame the couple for trying, since it does seem a bit gray and perhaps possible — since it’s not all-inclusive as previously mentioned. But the couple is also obviously looking the North Island award gift horse in the mouth in trying to get for 4 persons what obviously is intended for 2 persons. Handling an extra couple on such an exclusive Island shows cost more — the service and person hours responsible in placating their stay would be expected to be quite considerable in such an environment.

    For those crying about how badly Marriott is treating anyone, I have to laugh and call B.S. The fact that North Island is actually part of Bonvoy Luxury Collection and offers redemption awards is staggering — there isn’t another loyalty program in the world with an award redemption as insane and exclusive as this one. It isn’t even close. Marriott making a few concessions to get and keep North Island in the portfolio seems a very good deal be wise move to me. Purists can whine until the cows come home while a few lucky Marriott loyalists enjoy such an incredible award stay.

    Somehow, going to North Island as “only” the two of us will somehow be something I can swallow. I’m sure the couple will feel similarly.

  25. Randy

    When you book a reservation online - it asks you -- number of rooms and number of guests. Thus the person booking should have specified 1 room with 4 guests. Did they do that? or just leave it at one (the default) or two guests?

    Maybe they did - but just a thought.

  26. Franz Christian

    Stop calling it the largest hotel chain. Marriott is not a hotel company, at least outside of the minority of properties Marriott manages. Marriott is a marketing company. They sell a product, the guests, to a customer, the hotel owners and third-party managements. In exchange, Marriott gets a commission. Again, there are some exceptions for the minority of properties that Marriott still manages but by and large Marriott is not a hotel chain or a...

    Stop calling it the largest hotel chain. Marriott is not a hotel company, at least outside of the minority of properties Marriott manages. Marriott is a marketing company. They sell a product, the guests, to a customer, the hotel owners and third-party managements. In exchange, Marriott gets a commission. Again, there are some exceptions for the minority of properties that Marriott still manages but by and large Marriott is not a hotel chain or a hotel company anymore.

  27. dale

    I can’t even muster the patience to read something this ridiculous carefully enough to fully understand it.

  28. Michael

    Lost a great opportunity for a pun somewhere in the family of "who sells Seychelles by the seashore"

  29. DenB®

    @Ben @Gary Leff the final phrase in @Gary Leff's post, above, sums it up. I beg you not to "correct" it.

  30. Dirk Disco

    Meh. It's the largest hotel chain in the world, it's going to have hiccups.

  31. The Original Donna

    The Marriott merger really worked out well, said no one ever. So glad I’m only holding 80,000 Bonvoy points.

  32. Ralph4878

    @Gary Leff and @Ben - the verbiage in the Bonvoy T&Cs specifically mentions "standard" rooms...I imagine the villa the guest booked doesn't fall into that category. I agree with everyone that this is a crappy, crappy situation, and think that Marriott should really intervene, given the lack of transparency on its website, and cover the "extra" for the guest...but I am sure someone from their legal department will be quick to swoop in and make the case...

  33. Kamaaina

    I wonder if the execs over at Marriott are aware that since the merger, "bonvoy" is now a verb, in the worst sense. Surely the Marriott lurkers have seen people complain online about getting "bonvoyed."

  34. Pk

    You know what’s going to change this? Bloggers deciding Marriott points are a scam and no longer a reliable source of value and refusing to push “OMG WOW 100K SIGN UP BONUS” offers for 100k worthless points. As long as Marriott sees new card sign up bonuses up they have zero incentive to stop crap like this

  35. Stan P

    I would never stay in a Marriott property. I actually hate them , another example of being bonvoyed - last year I booked AC hotel in New Orleans with free cancellation and cancelled after a week because of a canceled flight. Guess what - they didn’t refund the money I paid for 6 weeks, because they stated “ never charged my card” , so I had to do a dispute . Never seen anyone doing so miserable business in my life...

  36. Anthony Thomas

    My interpretation of the terms, only reading the quote, is that a redemption covers "cost of a single or double standard room" and extra person charges for a room of that type.

    So, I imagine they'll say extra person charges are not supported for this room type (2 bedroom).

  37. Ryan

    People still do business with Marriott? Lucky...maybe its time to give Marriott no more positive press, keep their credit card sign ups low as well.

  38. David

    Wow Gary’s comment is basically a checkmate. Glad that I’m done with Marriott. Terrible chain whose sole advantage is its footprint.

  39. Pinar Del Rio - Cuba

    Pay the hotel and stop trying to pack a crowd into a room! Simple. Pay to stay!

  40. Azamaraal

    Fair to say that's why I'm an HH fan.

    #Bonvoy me once - shame on you

    #Bonvoy me twice - shame on me

  41. dn10

    Still seems like one of the most overrated resorts. Crazy that it's 4x the price of the STR and the rooms don't look that nice. Cool that it's secluded but there are other private island Seychelles resorts that are nicer (just can't use bonvoy points).

  42. Gene

    For the hundredth time, I am so glad I do not do business with Marriott.

  43. FNT Delta Diamond

    Depending on the legal jurisdiction of the customer, this could presumably result in criminal or civil litigation for deceptive pricing practices and, perhaps, fraud. Marriott's website sucks. I can't believe there hasn't been a class-action lawsuit over non-disclosed resort fees or properties that charge resort fees for internet access that is supposed to be complimentary and don't provide the required replacement for internet.

  44. Chase

    Bonvoyed indeed...

    As Asarious alludes to, unfortunately even if the member [rightly] has this resolved in his or her favor, management and staff at this resort will make the member pay for this situation one way or another.

    I would just cancel it outright and blast the resort and Marriott on social media. After all, the resort agreed to join the Bonvoy program, be bound by its rules, and it even received an EXPLICIT...

    Bonvoyed indeed...

    As Asarious alludes to, unfortunately even if the member [rightly] has this resolved in his or her favor, management and staff at this resort will make the member pay for this situation one way or another.

    I would just cancel it outright and blast the resort and Marriott on social media. After all, the resort agreed to join the Bonvoy program, be bound by its rules, and it even received an EXPLICIT carve out for blackouts. So this wasn't just a simple oversight.

  45. UA-NYC

    Yet somehow they will clean up at the Freddie’s or FTAs or whatever they are called these days. Because Marriott people are sheep.

  46. Asarious

    This would leave a bad taste in my mouth even if everything worked out in my favor.

    Properties like this are so intimate that there's no way management or staff wouldn't immediately flag your name in a mental rolodex as "that person who's taking advantage of us." Even if it's against program terms or totally subconscious, I feel like service would be impacted upon arrival.

  47. Gary Leff

    I agree with you that any charges ought to be disclosed to the member up front. But let's take a look at the Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions, because surely a member can rely on *those*.

    Extra person charges *are included* on Bonvoy redemptions. It's right there in 3.2.e.

    "3.2.e. When redeeming Points for an Award Redemption Stay, the Award Redemption Stay includes the cost of a single or double standard room at a Participating...

    I agree with you that any charges ought to be disclosed to the member up front. But let's take a look at the Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions, because surely a member can rely on *those*.

    Extra person charges *are included* on Bonvoy redemptions. It's right there in 3.2.e.

    "3.2.e. When redeeming Points for an Award Redemption Stay, the Award Redemption Stay includes the cost of a single or double standard room at a Participating Property, room tax/service charge, and extra-person charges, if any."

    Now, 3.2.e has exceptions. 3.2.e.iii specifies FIVE hotels at which extra person charges are not included on redemption stays - that only the cost of two people are included, and charges "for the third, fourth, or more guests in the room is an additional fee and is not included in the Award Redemption as form of payment."

    Those five hotels are Al Maha, Westin Reserva Conchai, and 3 Sardinia properties (Cala di Volpe, Pitrizza, and Romazzino) when they are all-inclusive over the summer. North Island is not listed as a carveout.

    This doesn't even appear to be an oversight on Marriott's part (which shouldn't be the member's problem) as North Island *does have* a carveout in the terms, where it is specifically listed as not having to honor 'no blackouts' on award redemptions.

    To the extent that the terms govern the relationship between member and the program, this seems pretty clear. And that there's even pushback here is emblematic of Marriott's confused customer service problems, where their agents do not know the rules of the problem.

    1. Ben

      @ Gary Leff -- Great catch, totally missed that. Updated the post to quote you directly, because you're spot on. Oh Marriott...

  48. Steve

    Wow, if someone wants to burn that many Marriott points on a once in a lifetime redemption, more power to them, and asking them for 17k is absolutely ridiculous. Marriott should fix this.

    Another person getting Bonvoy'd.

  49. Shawn McPhie

    I am shocked (or maybe I shouldn’t be) to hear all that Marriott would say is well the hotel has a right to do that. This is a slip up on Marriott’s side and their website interface and should do something about it.

  50. Andrew

    See? Lucky writes about Marriott, Hyatt haters.

Featured Comments Load all 52 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Quo Vadis?

I burned all my Marriott points and bailed on Bonvoy in 2019. It was quite evident Marriott was on the highway to meh even then, and nearly everything I've read re Marriott benefits and customer service since then has only reinforced my decision.

BRR

Of the hotels brands, the worst. Yet, you still keep promoting them through your articles. You must be well compensated. Do you really expect Marriott to deliver on points your are entitled to when you decide to cash in. No.... they will find a way to screw you. Say Bonvoy-age... and thanks for your loyalty!

Lucy

A similar thing happened to me when I booked St Regis Maldives before they were open. The reservation let me book for 3 people and didn't state any extra person fees. (There weren't any mention of extra person fees anywhere on the website.) About a month before the stay, I got an email from the hotel asking for arrival times, etc. and also mentioned $350 per night for the 3rd person. I believe it was before the merger, so it was Starwood. I escalated with SPG customer service, they also noted that there were no extra person fees in the confirmation and would talk to the hotel. The hotel pushed back. SPG customer relations said they couldn't really do anything about it even though they thought this was wrong of the hotel. Fortunately, the hotel ultimately decided not to charge the extra fee "upon exception."

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT