Many hotels charge “resort fees,” which is one of the most frustrating practices in the hotel industry. The two primary motivations for hotels to engage in this practice is to limit how much commission they have to pay travel agents (since they don’t get a commission on resort fees), and also to make their rate appear lower than it actually is, since many websites display hotel rates before all taxes and fees.
The practice is bad enough at resorts, though unfortunately lately we’ve also seen this spread to city hotels, which is obscene. Hotels typically call these “destination fees,” and it’s nothing more than a money grab.
Typically when you redeem points you still have to pay these resort and destination fees. Even elite members typically aren’t exempt from these. That’s one thing I love about World of Hyatt, because top tier Globalist members are always exempt from these fees, regardless of whether they’re on a paid or award stay.
That brings me to one hotel that has a ridiculous fee exclusively for award stays. The JW Marriott Los Cabos doesn’t have a resort fee. If you’re paying cash, you’re just subjected to Mexico’s usually high hotel fees, which include 19% government taxes and fees, plus a 10% service charge, for a total of 29% on top of the regular rate.
As you’d expect, you don’t have to pay that on an award stay, since the 29% would be added to a rate of zero. So I guess to make up for that, the JW Marriott Los Cabos charges a service charge of 30USD per night for all award stays.
It’s one thing to charge something on an award stay that’s also charged on a revenue stay, but to add fees to award stays that don’t exist on paid stays is just plain ridiculous.
For the record, I called the hotel to clarify that paid stays don’t have any resort fees, which they confirmed was the case. So this is most definitely something that just applies on award stays.
(Tip of the hat to @Kalbozey)