Marriott Bonvoy Member Resort Fee Wi-Fi Replacement Benefit

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

Resort fees and destination fees are without a doubt the most annoying “junk” fees you’ll find in the hotel industry. Lots of Marriott-family properties have these, and there are no easy ways to avoid them (in the sense that redeeming points and/or having elite status doesn’t get these waived). However, there is a trick to at least get a little bit extra out of your fee…

Marriott resort fee Wi-Fi replacement perk

I can’t believe I didn’t know this until now, but the Marriott Bonvoy terms state the following:

Participating Properties that have mandatory resort charges, which include internet access, will provide a replacement benefit, to be determined at each Participating Property’s discretion.

That sure is interesting:

  • All Marriott Bonvoy members (and not just elite members) get Wi-Fi when staying at Marriott properties
  • Therefore hotels that state internet is a benefit of the resort fee or destination fee have to provide a replacement perk for members

What are Marriott hotels offering as Wi-Fi replacements?

Don’t get too excited about the potential replacement for Bonvoy members:

  • On the one hand, something is better than nothing, and on principle it’s nice to put some pressure on hotels with these junk fees
  • On the other hands, there are lots of reports of properties being baffled when confronted about this, and claiming the hotel doesn’t participate, so this objectively might not be worth your time

What kind of Wi-Fi replacements are Marriott properties offering? Here are just a few examples, according to a FlyerTalk thread on the topic:

  • A discount on the resort fee, with the amount varying
  • Some minimal number of Bonvoy bonus points
  • A small gift like a tote bag

Or you can just avoid Marriotts with these fees

Instead of fighting with Marriott front desk agents over resort fees, another option is to just avoid these kinds of properties:

  • Some brands don’t charge resort and destination fees as a point of differentiation; for example, Four Seasons Hawaii properties don’t charge resort fees (obviously they’re pricey, but I think the practice is admirable)
  • World of Hyatt waives resort fees for all members on award stays, and for Globalist members on both paid and award stays
  • Hilton Honors waives resort fees for all members on award stays

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy members staying at a hotel that has a resort fee that includes Wi-Fi are entitled to an extra perk, given that this is a standard benefit for Bonvoy members. Don’t get too excited, because the benefit may be minimal, and for that matter hotel front desk agents may not even be aware of this.

But it is there in the Marriott Bonvoy terms…

Have you ever requested a Wi-Fi replacement for a resort fee as a Marriott Bonvoy member?

(Tip of the hat to Dennis)

Comments
  1. Sometimes I’ll have a night or two of resort fee waived from this. I think I had a six night stay recently and half the resort fee was waived.

  2. As if resort fees weren’t annoying enough to begin with, most hotels have removed the “amenities” in the name of COVID but continue to charge the full resort fees. How this continues to be legal really baffles me.

  3. I agree that these are annoying fees. I have no idea why they are an add-on rather than just part of the tariff (other than it’s a hidden gouge, and they can). I was walking around in Las Vegas (I know, shock horror, walking!) and saw a basic cheap motel that had a ‘no resort fee’ sign out the front. Had to laugh.

    I haven’t stayed in many properties that have one, but I do remember one where I ‘avoided’ it. It was a Kimpton hotel is DC (resort? Give me a break!) and when I booked there was a resort fee on the reservation page, but when I checked out it wasn’t there. The only reason I can think of is that I booked it as a Qantas hotel deal, and Australian consumer law says that the price on the ad has to be the full price, and it was being sold in Australia. Perhaps the quoted resort fee had been included in the quoted price.

  4. I was recently about to book the Washington DC Sofitel for $99, which is a pretty great price.

    At checkout I saw there was a 30 a night destination fee.

    Noped right out of there. Out of principal, i would rather book a hotel advertising 130 up front. And that’s what I did (122 actually)

  5. I can roll by eyes but swallow $20-$40 a night resort fees. But Ritz Carlton St Thomas has an exorbitant $80/night resort fee. Is this is most anyone has seen, or can someone top this? I did almost book at one hotel two years ago in the Yucatán that charged % surplus of your room rate as a resort fee, which is fine when booking a $200 room, but altogether different when booking a $2,000 suite.

  6. It is supposed to be the same thing for “destination fees” (e.g. NYC), or at least it was when I confirmed the policy in mid-2018. The Sheraton Times Square used to give a $5 Starbucks card, but the last time I stayed there in late 2019 they had switched to some useless gift (I can’t remember what it was).

  7. Resort fees are also waived for timeshare owners staying at Marriott, Westin, Hyatt, Hilton, Four Seasons and maybe other residence clubs. You can buy a brand timeshare on a resale market for $1 in many cases. Some of those ownerships are a great value when you compare maintenance fees to paid rates.

  8. Ben, you should catch up on your View From The Wing 😀

    For instance,

    https://viewfromthewing.com/marriotts-ceo-defends-resort-fees-says-theyre-good-for-you

    “Resort fees often include free internet at hotels that would otherwise offer free internet to anyone who is a member of the loyalty program that books direct. The Marriott Bonvoy terms require a hotel including internet in their resort fee to offer an alternative amenity to elites that are entitled to free internet, but I’ve yet to hear of a hotel doing this.”

    https://viewfromthewing.com/resort-fees-are-a-huge-lie-and-washington-dc-is-suing-marriott-for-a-refund/

    “Marriott’s terms say that if a hotel includes internet access in their resort fee then they must offer program members a different benefit. That almost never happens, and members should complain every time it doesn’t.”

    In contrast by the way Hilton says that if a resort fee includes an elite benefit, then it isn’t a benefit at that hotel…

  9. Another thing what Marriott does is not counting resort fee as hotel spending to award points. I was almost never successful when asking about alternative amenity. My last “success” was getting $5/day credit for internet against resort fee charged by Westin Hapuna in addition to parking ($65/total).

  10. Or they (hotel brands) could just do away with these aggravating, murky, and otherwise useless fees altogether…what a concept!

  11. I used this perk in August at the Marriott on Coronado island in San Diego. Guy had no clue but said he’d just waive the resort fee altogether. Took me 3 months to get the credit since they still charged me for it but got 15k goodwill points for the troubles. In the future I would have requested to keep the charge but give me drink vouchers to save the potential hassle

  12. Vote with your wallet. Refuse to stay at hotels with resort/destination fees (it IS possible–I do so as a matter of course for my ~100 nights per year). Sometimes I will call ahead [before booking] and speak to the GM of a hotel. I am frank with him/her: “I would love to book my stay at your property, but I will not pay a resort fee under any circumstances. If you want my business, the ball is in your court.” Unsurprisingly, this often results in a magical waiving of the proverbial wand: POOF, no resort fees for my stay.

    Hotels are damn desperate for guests these days. Now is the time to apply max pressure as customers. Make your demands. Be unapologetic about it. We have myriad options–they don’t.

    A year ago, it was unthinkable that airlines would make customer-friendly changes (a la eliminating change fees). Never say never.

  13. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a class-action lawsuit over this since hundreds of thousands of Marriott customers have been shafted by properties not applying this guaranteed benefit.

  14. Pre-August 2018 merger of Starwood SPG, Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards, the Westin Moana Surfrider used to give a nightly credit. I forget exactly what it was. It was either points or a deduction. I don’t know what they’re doing now but there were reports pre-pandemic that they were refusing eligible elites a choice of a restaurant breakfast. Previously, elites could choose breakfast vouchers, which worked on anything from the ala carte menu. This was on top of club lounge access.

    I stayed at the Westin Hapuna Beach just after the August 2018 merger. They gave me $10 a day in credits.

    The Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, Autograph Collection gave me a $15 drink voucher in December 2020.

    JW Marriott Essex House in New York City waived the destination fee in December 2018.

    The AC Hotel by Marriott in San Juan, Puerto Rico gave me breakfast vouchers in May 2019.

    My overall impression was that most hotels had no uniform replacement benefit. They either claimed they didn’t know, didn’t have to comply or simply made it up as they went along because other people I know who stayed at the same property didn’t get the same replacement benefit. I suspect an ambassador elite customer may get a better replacement benefit than a guest with nothing but the basic Marriott non-elite status.

  15. @FNT Delta Diamond: no class action lawsuit I know of, but several Attorney Generals have sued hotel chains over these fees (for example, Marriott was sued in DC, I believe).

  16. People should avoid spending any F&B or any $ at the hotel that charges “resort fees”.

    And let the hotel management know how much they are losing in lost business.

    Let it hurt them!!

  17. @echino Bingo. Also no parking fees, either(at least at MVC resorts, not sure if that ports over). Great perk for the Pulse hotels and parking poor destinations like Tahoe.

  18. In SPG times this was a nice perk. Varied but no issues with it.

    Under Marriott times it has all gone to sh!t of course. No ethics.

  19. @Anastasia: That’s correct. There were or are (not sure if they were ever resolved or settled) lawsuits over resort fees but, to the best of my knowledge, they revolved around unclear or misleading pricing — not hotels refusing to comply with corporate policies and provide a replacement benefit for something that is supposed to be free. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that this is a stronger claim, especially if it could be documented that corporate Marriott knows that this is not being done and has done nothing to force compliance.

    @Colin Z: If a property gave me 100 points, I’d tell them to go f-ck themselves and cancel my reservation. 100 points is an insult.

  20. “Or you can just avoid Marriotts with these fees” – interesting that all of the hotels you mention under this category are not Marriott brands. Even though you are not a fan of Marriott some of us do get good value from Marriott brands.

    1. Many more properties around the world (especially outside the US)
    2. More convenient locations
    3. Redemption compared to other brands isn’t as bad and benefits for members are better
    4. Generally speaking, Platinum from other brands equals Gold Marriott
    5. Many more promotions
    6. When you redeem points that means you don’t have to pay. Some other brands like IHG and Hyatt you still have to pay taxes, service and other fees for the room even if you redeem.

  21. #Hyatt New York hotels now have “Destination” charges too….. not just Marriott.
    ($269 per night, DESTINATION FEE: 28.69/ %).
    No explanation of what’s covered in D. Fee. (Internet?)

  22. I make good use of the toggle on Marriott’s search page that includes these fees into the price comparison. Many Marriotts in sun locations can be close to double in price after tax, “fees” and parking. The next “fun” thing to do is figure out what these fees actually cover. A few Marriotts evidently don’t include anything for this resort fee or bury the information in a pdf multiple menus deep.

  23. Orlando World Center Marriott gave us back $20 credit per day towards food and drink. Didn’t really go that far with a pricey menu but was still basically light breakfasts or a drink for two each day without spending more out of pocket (since we didn’t have Platinum or higher status).

  24. Andaz Maui is still charging a full resort fee but has shamelessly cut many of the benefits at that property.

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