Ridiculous: Marriott Hotel Adds “Sustainability Fee”

Ridiculous: Marriott Hotel Adds “Sustainability Fee”

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We’ve seen hotel “resort fees” and “destination fees” become incredibly common, and we’ve even seen some hotels try to charge “energy fees.” However, this fee is arguably even more ridiculous.

Hotel Saint Louis’ nightly “sustainability fee”

A FlyerTalk user noticed that Hotel Saint Louis, a Marriott Autograph Collection property, has added a new fee for hotel stays. Specifically, the hotel is charging a $4.99 nightly “sustainability fee.” This fee isn’t referenced when rates are initially displayed, but rather it’s just added at the end of the booking process, as part of the all-in price.

There’s nothing on the hotel’s website referencing what this fee is used towards. Is this fee going towards environmental sustainability? Towards business sustainability? Towards employment sustainability? Towards the investment firm that owns the hotel continuing to be able to sustain a private jet?

I decided to phone up the front desk of the hotel to confirm that this fee is legitimate, and to ask what it goes towards. The front desk agent was super nice, but I could sense he didn’t really know what to say:

Me: “Hi, I’m looking at rates on the hotel’s website, and see that there’s a ‘sustainability fee’ listed. I’ve never seen that before. Do you know what that’s for?”
Agent: “It’s… okay… ummm… its kind of… ummm… like… taxes…”

He was literally nervously laughing and obviously uncomfortable, presumably because he realizes it’s BS, and probably because staff haven’t been given proper guidance as to what to actually say when asked about this.

Why this hotel fee is outrageously ridiculous

Historically hotels have tried to charge add-on fees like destination and resort fees for two reasons:

  • It allows them to display a lower price initially, and increase the price during the booking process
  • They only have to pay online travel agencies a commission on the base rate, and not the fees

Destination and resort fees have been incredibly frustrating over the years to many consumers, since they’re junk fees that are essentially intended to mislead consumers into thinking rates are lower than they are. Marriott was even sued over these fees, and in a settlement agreed to start more prominently displaying fees.

It seems highly unethical to add a “sustainability fee” without actually having serious sustainability initiatives, and being transparent to consumers about what those are. Most major hotels are owned by large investment firms, and I don’t think padding their pockets really does much to help sustainability.

Here’s the thing — a sustainability fee, if done correctly, wouldn’t be the worst fee on earth. Now, ideally a hotel would use its profits for that, but worst case scenario, at least tell us what’s being done. For example, Skt. Petri Copenhagen is an independent hotel that charges a sustainability fee of ~$2.30 per guest per stay. And the website makes it clear what this goes towards:

As a hotel we are co-responsible for ensuring that the environmental footprint of our activities is reduced to a minimum. By charging a specific sustainability fee we make our green efforts more visible to our guests and help them discover all the things we do at Skt. Petri to achieve a green transition.

The proceeds of the fee will be used primarily for investments in new sustainability initiatives in supplement of the green efforts financed by our daily operations. Among the new initiatives planned for 2020 and 2021 are the testing and development of a new plant that in the long term will reduce our Co2 footprint and make us almost self-sufficient in electricity from a local, sustainable source.

Hotel Skt. Petri publishes an annual report with a detailed account of its sustainability efforts and achievements. This enables all our guests to follow the way in which the sustainability fee paid by them contributes to a green transition at our hotel.

Would I prefer the hotel just raise rates by a couple of dollars and undertake initiatives with those proceeds? Sure. But I see where the hotel is coming from, and I appreciate the transparency.

Meanwhile Hotel Saint Louis is adding a roughly $5 nightly fee, clearly in hopes of people not noticing it, with no explanation of what it’s for.

Bottom line

Hotel Saint Louis, a Marriott Autograph Collection property, has added a new nightly “sustainability fee,” with no explanation of what it’s for. A front desk agent compared it to taxes, but it’s not clear what exactly this fee goes towards.

Has anyone been charged a hotel sustainability fee before? Where do you think this ranks on the list of ridiculous hotel fees?

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  1. Sandy Guest

    Just stayed at a Fairfield Inn in Olathe, KS and the room was free with miles from Alaska Airlines. I even asked the front desk when we left if we owed anything and the clerk said no. Got home and 2 days later got a $3.47 charge to our credit card that they made us give them for incidentals. Called the motel about the charge. It’s a “development fee”. This just doesn’t seem right.

  2. Kristie Hall Guest

    Much of this is to confuse and trick the consumer into committing to a seemingly more attractive rate, but also is a way to undercut the commission rates of intermediary parties who make their living off of the small commission that they get for searching for venues for their client's meetings & events. Nickle & diming in every direction!

  3. Kafka Guest

    In the developing world it's not uncommon to see use-based fees (e.g. you consumed X amount of hot water or ran the AC for Y minutes). So long as that's stated up front and done honestly, I don't see it as a problem, and it nudges people towards consuming less.
    I was hoping this was something similar, but instead it appears to be part of a city-wide trash reduction effort (see strategy 5D of...

    In the developing world it's not uncommon to see use-based fees (e.g. you consumed X amount of hot water or ran the AC for Y minutes). So long as that's stated up front and done honestly, I don't see it as a problem, and it nudges people towards consuming less.
    I was hoping this was something similar, but instead it appears to be part of a city-wide trash reduction effort (see strategy 5D of the St. Louis sustainability plan, "Use waste diversion as a source of revenues"). Why that becomes a separate fee while normal garbage/recycling bill remains part of the base cost seems skeezy on the part of the hotel.

  4. stogieguy7 Diamond

    A brazen ripoff disguised as a socially acceptable thing to do. In reality, it should be called a "profit padding" fee. Because that's all it is. I wouldn't recommend rewarding these crooks by staying at any hotel that would pull this kind of crap.

  5. TProphet Guest

    I get so irritated by this garbage that when I see it, I just abandon the booking and click away. It makes shopping for hotels really hard though.

    Why is pricing in the US such a scam? It isn't just the travel industry that does this (rental car companies are the worst). Phone companies add on all sorts of junk fees. TicketMaster adds on scam pricing. Even Sirius satellite radio is charging me a...

    I get so irritated by this garbage that when I see it, I just abandon the booking and click away. It makes shopping for hotels really hard though.

    Why is pricing in the US such a scam? It isn't just the travel industry that does this (rental car companies are the worst). Phone companies add on all sorts of junk fees. TicketMaster adds on scam pricing. Even Sirius satellite radio is charging me a fee disguised to look like a tax, and they claimed it was "taxes" when I called to complain.

    It makes me wonder how much anger at government for high taxes is really driven by companies being allowed to charge scam fees which they blame the government for collecting.

  6. mitch Guest

    worse than the sustainability fee are the five or six type of fees added on by Priceline at the bottom line of their nightly Hotel charge...with no explanation as well!

  7. Herbert Siegel Guest

    Same in Marriot, Santiago, Chile.

  8. John Guest

    Got a bunch of points saved up ! Gonna use them as quickly as I can and. Cv ancelnghe card Other cards are of way more value

  9. Samo Guest

    I don't mind these ridiculous fees as long as the final price is shown from the step 1. As I've been travelling exclusively within Europe, I honestly don't care what kinds of silly charges appear somewhere on the receipt. I search for the price and what I see is what I pay, done. I don't care what part of it is rate (or air fare) and what part are fees/taxes.

    US seriously needs better consumer...

    I don't mind these ridiculous fees as long as the final price is shown from the step 1. As I've been travelling exclusively within Europe, I honestly don't care what kinds of silly charges appear somewhere on the receipt. I search for the price and what I see is what I pay, done. I don't care what part of it is rate (or air fare) and what part are fees/taxes.

    US seriously needs better consumer protection when it comes to advertising. If you can't avoid a fee, it's simply part of the price and should be included in the price.

  10. Damian E Guest

    Tim compared hotel sustainability fees to funding drives to cure cancer or world hunger, but the comparison is fallacious. It's one thing to be against a sustainability fee or even sustainable practices in general, but it is disingenuous to suggest that one's ecological footprint can be greatly reduced on one's own individual initiative!

    There is a huge opportunity for the hotel industry to be a leader in sustainability as opposed to the status quo right...

    Tim compared hotel sustainability fees to funding drives to cure cancer or world hunger, but the comparison is fallacious. It's one thing to be against a sustainability fee or even sustainable practices in general, but it is disingenuous to suggest that one's ecological footprint can be greatly reduced on one's own individual initiative!

    There is a huge opportunity for the hotel industry to be a leader in sustainability as opposed to the status quo right now. Most hotels have a massive ecological footprint from foodwaste at breakfast buffets to poorly insulated buildings to improperly disposed waste. And most of such ecological impact is not costed to the consumer or the business due to poor environmental regulation.

    Tim, it is impossible for customers to reduce their ecological footprint by their own choice, as you suggested is the best approach unless service providers provide sustainable options and are transparent about the ecological footprint of their service offerings. Customers cannot filter by building materials, energy source, or R-value when booking a hotel so what you are suggesting is downright impossible!

    Three years ago, I went on a road trip, stopping at over a dozen hotels throughout the South. Most of them had the AC on full blast upon entry, were poorly insulated requiring unnecessarily high HVAC usage, and did not have any kind of recycling or filtered water. The only sustainable thing I was able to achieve was stashing away recycling until I could find a proper recycling dumpster. Three weeks later, my car was filled with several trash bags of recycling.

    After over a thousand miles, I finally found a recycling bin at New Orleans Airport to deposit the accumulated recycling before flying home. Who knows if it made its way into bona fide recycling processing plant, but to Ben's point, it starts with transparency. If service providers such as hotels, train stations, airports, etc. do not provide sustainable options, our individual sustainability practices might just about be effectively ZERO regardless of our individual willpower and mindfulness.

    Most customers do not want to learn the complex path to sustainability so it seems hugely advantageous for a business to figure it out for the customer. Moreover, businesses are best equipped to implement sustainability best practices at scale. This includes choices that require a level of expertise that are beyond most customers: selection of building materials, design of HVAC and ductwork, kitchen waste practices, or power sources.

    So I have to completely disagree with Tim that it is possible to exercise sustainability on one's own without the participation of the hotels we patronize. It's impossible!

  11. Lloydwwill New Member

    Let's be prefectly clear about two things;
    1.) This charge has nothing to do with Marriott's interest in the "sustainability" of its hotels. Instead, it is simply a revenue grab. How do we know? Because if we were to "follow the money" we'd find the revenue would crash to the bottom line and hidden in the Marriott accounting maze to contribute to the top line and profitability of the asset via the most profitable...

    Let's be prefectly clear about two things;
    1.) This charge has nothing to do with Marriott's interest in the "sustainability" of its hotels. Instead, it is simply a revenue grab. How do we know? Because if we were to "follow the money" we'd find the revenue would crash to the bottom line and hidden in the Marriott accounting maze to contribute to the top line and profitability of the asset via the most profitable area of the hotel, the Rooms Department. We could feel better if it were earmarked (and able to be tracked) specifically for "sustainability" projects at the local level.
    2nd. Like many other contributors I'm (obviously) not a Marriott fan but know enough about the company to realize that, based on the number of brands and sheer number of hotels under the Marriott umbrella, the "sustainability" fee will become commonplace in the not too disant future. Just like the "Resort Fee" or other convenience charges other companies are watching the reaction to the charge and are likely preparing their version. That said, I'm avoiding Marriott (preferring independent (non-branded hotels) and know many other readers will do the same.

  12. Paul jackmauh Guest

    Marriott mgmt trains it's front desk employees to upsell rooms at a higher rate to increase profits and pay front desk employees extra bonus in their pay checks!

  13. hotintx Guest

    I guess to play devil's advocate and to get an understanding of everyone here, it seems like everyone would be okay to just have that $5 cooked into the nightly rate instead of added on as a fee? Can I ask, what difference would it make to you? In the end if the rate is $200 and fee $5, room cost $205. Same cost if it was just added in behind the scenes to give...

    I guess to play devil's advocate and to get an understanding of everyone here, it seems like everyone would be okay to just have that $5 cooked into the nightly rate instead of added on as a fee? Can I ask, what difference would it make to you? In the end if the rate is $200 and fee $5, room cost $205. Same cost if it was just added in behind the scenes to give you a room rate of $205. I completely agree that the fees are ridiculous, so no argument whatsoever there, just curious as to whether there is some faux outrage here just because Marriott is the name behind it?

    1. Samo Guest

      Because a lot of websites outside Europe only show the rate (excluding fees) before you get to the final stage of the booking. This makes price comparison much harder.

  14. Patrick Guest

    Just recently used points to stay in the Courtyard by Marriott San Jose South/Morgan Hill, 20 miles south of San Jose, CA in a distinctly non-urban area. They added an undisclosed $10 parking fee that was not disclosed to me, and that I would have never agreed to. (I would've just parked on the street or in a nearby stripmall lot.) I called Marriott after the undisclosed fee showed up on my credit card, and...

    Just recently used points to stay in the Courtyard by Marriott San Jose South/Morgan Hill, 20 miles south of San Jose, CA in a distinctly non-urban area. They added an undisclosed $10 parking fee that was not disclosed to me, and that I would have never agreed to. (I would've just parked on the street or in a nearby stripmall lot.) I called Marriott after the undisclosed fee showed up on my credit card, and they said they'd review the situation. However, 6 weeks later, they've never issued a credit. I'm pretty sure that I'll never give them a dime of future revenue.

    1. PAuli Guest

      The parking fee is disclosed on the hotels website and it's $12 now.

      You are right that it was probably not disclosed in the rate, but it's always on the hotel's website.
      Staying with Marriott for 40 years and you always need to look for the parking fee, at any hotel.

  15. Justin Guest

    The worst thing about any of these fees, is that you don’t earn points on them. It’s a way for the hotels to generate revenue outside of Bonvoy, by charging the fees if you use points, and not having to give points based on the fees. It’s just a way to skirt around the system.

  16. Steve Diamond

    Is this really a big deal who actually stays at Marriott's anyways?

  17. ANDRE CARR Guest

    This is totally unacceptable. I am an titanium elite member with Marriott and I will be leaving them to find another hotel group.

  18. Brian Guest

    First and last time I ever stayed in a Marriott (Houston 2014), my @$250/night room charged $12-17 extra (depending on the speed I preferred) for in-room Internet service. I add emphasis on "last time I stayed".

  19. Dennis Mallory Guest

    Its just ANOTHER example of CORPORATE GREED! It's a function of the CAPITALISM that Americans are so proud of and defend to the death.
    Get over it!

  20. iamhere Guest

    It's not about the hotel room fees. It's about the extra fees which are mostly for what you would get included anyway that people complain about. Internet fees which you get included for being a member, deck chairs which should be a right as a guest or other aspects for a resort fee. I would have brought this up to the management or Marriott if I stayed in this hotel. However, this article is clickbate...

    It's not about the hotel room fees. It's about the extra fees which are mostly for what you would get included anyway that people complain about. Internet fees which you get included for being a member, deck chairs which should be a right as a guest or other aspects for a resort fee. I would have brought this up to the management or Marriott if I stayed in this hotel. However, this article is clickbate in a way too. ONE hotel is doing it but your title makes it sound like many are. If they raised the price $10 then nobody would really notice, but people notice when they are being nickel and dimed. Agree with the point that they want to charge the same but not pay the comission.

    1. Twyla Guest

      Actually this is done at a lot of hotels, not just the Marriot, and it is problematic. I booked a hotel in Vegas only for them to charge a $35 dollar maintenance fee PER NIGHT! I was outraged, but the hotel was so cheap that I would have paid much more to leave and find another one. Either way, it’s frustrating and not cool.

  21. Clayton Guest

    Use your VPN if you have one and locate yourself in the UK. That would make the charge illegal as all fees have to be included in the headline price so irrelevant of the fact your American when you turn up you can reject the fee on that basis and suggest that as court appearance would cost decidedly more that they get rid of it.

  22. Robert J Fahr Guest

    1) What Tim said. 2) The industry is hard up now due to the ongoing pandemic. For me, it makes me look harder at airBnB's and the like for leisure travel. At some point, hotels will just drop off my radar.

  23. Christina Guest

    Marriott is so dishonest and unprofessional... Have had way too many "run ins" with this company... Always stay somewhere else!!!

  24. Nick Summy Guest

    I had completely forgotten about it until I read this article but the Current Hotel in Davenport, IA charged me this in November. Someone else also commented the blackhawk hotel (2 blocks from each other) charges this too. Both are autograph collection hotels. I was also charged for upgraded internet despite my status. Disputing this stuff is such a PIA that it's not even worth bothering. The race to the bottom continues

  25. Chris Guest

    I was interested to check out this hotel in Google Maps Street View which is one block away from my first job post-college 30 years ago. What a disappointment downtown STL has become. It's a graveyard of empty business around this hotel. I can't imagine choosing this location over something in Clayton or other neighborhoods.

  26. Kimberly Ables Guest

    Marriott also charges an internet/Wi-Fi fee even though the website I booked through said it was free! My phone internet could not be used during my stay. They did remove the fee at the end when I complained that I couldn't connect to their Wifi and shouldn't be charged!

  27. Corrinne Guest

    More fees. Less service like housekeeping due
    to covid!

  28. InLA Guest

    Just wait 6 months. They will add a “Sustainability Fee Access Fee” of an additional $1.99. That’s the fee they will charge for their systems software upgrade needed to charge the Sustainability Fee.

  29. Ryan Guest

    The Blackhawk in Davenport, IA charges this fee too. BS

  30. Steve Guest

    Ridiculous yes, and I wouldn’t stay at a place with that kind of charge, but after trying to book it on the Bonvoy app I do notice that you can see the charge before you actually book.

    At the same time, however, I question calling the front desk to ask about it - I can’t imagine any front desk clerk being able to to say or do anything about such a charge. It would be more helpful to the rest of us to contact a manager and find out a reason.

    1. Kit Cat Guest

      You're absolutely right! The front desk clerk is given little to no info on these fees but they are the one's who receive the ire of the guests! Talk to the manager, not that clerk who more than likely agree that it's BS!

  31. CRobbins Guest

    I recently canceled a marriott reservation in downtown Chicago because of their sustainability fee. I am done with being nickled and dimed to death at every turn. They don't even clean the rooms anymore during your stay. WTH? Anyway, I had a nice stay at a boutique hotel in the gold coast area with no hidden fees.

  32. Morris Guest

    I just got back from the states and I will never ever stay in Marriott. They start charging fee up to 40 dollars to park your own car in the guest parking. Pathetic

    1. Kit Cat Guest

      Not to defend them, but more than likely the parking lot or garage is privately owned

  33. Larry Guest

    Marriott is the worst!!
    If you book through a travel agent, they do not give you points on the stay, they claim it is a web site like Expedia!!!
    I am done with them!

  34. David Diamond

    Waiting for someone to mock these fees and have a hotel that charges $0.00 per night, with a bunch of fees like employee retention fee, service fee, building maintenance fee, destination fee, resort fee, sustainability fee, waste processing fee, energy and water fee, shareholder value fee etc.

    1. Jan Guest

      So the Spirit Airlines equivalent? Lord have mercy!

    2. David Diamond

      No no, those are the add-ons, like having a bed = $20. TV? $10. Toilet flushes are $0.50 per flush.

  35. steve Guest

    From Master of the House, Les Miserables:
    Charge 'em for the lice, extra for the mice
    Two percent for looking in the mirror twice (Hand it over!)
    Here a little slice, there a little cut
    Three percent for sleeping with the window shut
    When it comes to fixing prices
    There are a lot of tricks I knows
    How it all increases, all them bits and pieces
    Jesus! It's amazing how it grows!

  36. Stephen Guest

    NYC restaurants get to charge a C19 recovery fee. This is with more take out and bigger dining rooms as they now have e 100% indoor capacity and all their outdoor capacity.

  37. Melissa Guest

    Throughout the first half of 2020 I stayed at a TownePlace that added a $5/night "COVID-19 Mitigation" fee while the hand sanitizers were never filled and the staff rarely wore masks. They did remove it upon request but I think I probably would've been okay with it if they just told the truth and said it was an attempt to recoup profits instead of the stupid sign in the front saying it was for PPE.

  38. Reno Joe Guest

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

    If you regularly read any of the blogs and you are still playing the hotel loyalty game, you deserve to pay anything the property owners charge you. Just move on.

  39. Wish I was travelling more Guest

    JW Marriott Essex House in NYC charges a $35/night “destination fee”, a “rose” by any other name still stinks.

  40. bonvoy_me_harder_daddy Member

    Up next: "COVID-19 mitigation fee" to cover the costs of not providing breakfast or housekeeping

    1. Melissa Guest

      Hahahaha!!! I didn't even see this before I commented.

    2. Tom Guest

      Don’t give them any ideas.

  41. Wyatt Guest

    I stayed there in October and just checked, the sustainability fee was there, but it was $2.95 per night at the time! They give you complimentary water bottles with the room, which I didn't touch, but if that's being covered by the fee they should say so.

  42. Max Guest

    Good! Make them environmentalists and Greta-fans pay for their stupidity!

    1. Robert J Fahr Guest

      Um everyone pays irrespective of stupidity.

    2. Max Guest

      I'm not paying this bs tax. General Manager will be instructed - in a very assertive, convincing way - to remove this charge from my bill.

  43. David Guest

    Lifetime Hilton Diamond here--->
    I first encountered the "resort fee" at a Marriott in Orlando back in the 1990s. I challenged the fee when checking out and they took it off my bill. However an Asian guy with limited English was checking out next to me and the desk clerk told him it was "like a tax." He paid.

    After several other sketchy financial things at other Marriott hotels (all "errors" all which benefited...

    Lifetime Hilton Diamond here--->
    I first encountered the "resort fee" at a Marriott in Orlando back in the 1990s. I challenged the fee when checking out and they took it off my bill. However an Asian guy with limited English was checking out next to me and the desk clerk told him it was "like a tax." He paid.

    After several other sketchy financial things at other Marriott hotels (all "errors" all which benefited the hotel), I shunned the Marriott chain and stuck with Hilton.

    Bottom line---based on my heavy travel experience over the last 45 years, I am not surprised that this bogus fee was invented by a Marriott franchisee. It is a classic bait and switch fraud.

  44. Sandy Needham Guest

    It is like a "convenience" fee added by theatres. They charge $100 for a ticket and then add a $7.50 convenience fee. I asked if you could please have an inconvenient ticket without the addl charge and they say no.
    If they are to do this, I asked, why not charge $7.50 for the ticket and then $100 convenience fee and so on, Once you start lying, there is no stopping. If a ticket is $100 it should be $100, not some other number.

    1. Santos Guest

      The worst is my COBRA administrator as I switched jobs last month and my new insurance doesn't kick in until Feb 1st. $900 to keep my insurance for a month and a $20 "Convenience Fee" for paying electronically online with my bank information. Criminal.

    2. Mark Guest

      Don't pay for COBRA if you have less than 60 days between jobs. COBRA is retroactive up to 60 days, back to the day your coverage ended. If you have a health emergency and need the insurance, sign up then. If you can plan you doctor's visits and avoid an emergency, you're ok gapping that coverage and starting back up with your new job.

    3. Andre W Guest

      In fairness (since this is something I deal with), theaters etc get charged a per ticket fee by the third party ticketing processors (Ticketmaster etc), so that is generally what those service fees are covering. That money doesn’t go to the theater etc, so it gets split out so that you see ticket price vs other costs beyond the actual ticket. It’s not extra profit for the theater.

    4. X-CCCP Member

      Yes, in accounting and finance it's called COS - cost of sale....Perhaps business should shift all their COS/COGS and expenses to a customer?

  45. Bobby J Guest

    This was my go-to hotel for frequent business trips to Saint Louis. I noticed this charge during a stay last year. Haven’t been back since.

  46. Beachfan Guest

    These is only a little bit to be sneaky and just as much about evading taxes on junk fees.

    Speak to management, and Report them to their states tax bureau..

  47. tim Guest

    Ben - I love your blog, but I disagree with your suggestion that it would be OK for a hotel to charge this fee if it were used for true sustainability purposes. I am capable of contributing to sustainability issues on my own - when I pay for a hotel room that's all I expect to get- a clean room and be treated nicely. Likewise, if the ownership company wants to support sustainability work, they...

    Ben - I love your blog, but I disagree with your suggestion that it would be OK for a hotel to charge this fee if it were used for true sustainability purposes. I am capable of contributing to sustainability issues on my own - when I pay for a hotel room that's all I expect to get- a clean room and be treated nicely. Likewise, if the ownership company wants to support sustainability work, they can pay for it on their own.

    If it's OK for a hotel to charge a sustainability fee if it's really used for sustainability, then they can also charge us multiple $4.99 fees to cure cancer, fix world hunger, reduce climate change, and so much more

  48. Stvr Guest

    I noticed that this is not added onto award bookings. So that’s nice.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Shh!!!!!
      You'll be destroying the environment.

      They will give you plastic straws, plastic bottle, one time use amenities, individual shampoo bottles, wash your sheets everyday, fresh towels 3 times per day, always on A/C, lots of in-room bright lights, powerful shower, bath tub, jet tub, extravagant buffet lines, etc.

      Wait, ain't all those the good stuff?
      And, we're paying to get rid of those?
      But, we're getting it back on award stays right?

  49. mike Guest

    Better worded than the ridiculous restaurants in San Francisco that lists 3-6% “Cost of doing business in San Francisco surcharge” or “employee welfare fund”. All scamming fees nevertheless.

    1. Drake Guest

      This is likely what the fee is really about. New City or local requirements for sustainability, that the operator is passing on to the guests. Fight city hall, not Marriott.

    2. tim Guest

      That's not the point here. If they need an additional 4.99, then add it to the room rate.

  50. Droopy Dog Guest

    Do much for this:

    https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/ag-shapiros-action-requires-marriott-to-disclose-resort-fees/

  51. Jeffrey Erlbaum Guest

    @Mike-the airlines haven't ended the low fare high fee charade. The lowest fare from New York to London on most of the major carriers is $1 for midweek travel. The total price with fees and taxes is $502.47. It's a testament to the airlines powerful lobbying ability that they can continue to do this.

  52. Mr. Sustainability Guest

    http://serve360.marriott.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Marriott-CDP_Climate_2021.pdf

  53. Ron Guest

    Personally, I have serious doubts about climate change being a man made phenomenon or one even highly influenced by human activity. After all, climate change (ie. Ice Age and eventual warming) far preceeded the Industrial Revolution. But, that's my view and I'll agree to disagree with anyone who has a different view.

    For those who don't share my view, though, I don't think one should criticize a "sustainability fee" so long as the proceeds go...

    Personally, I have serious doubts about climate change being a man made phenomenon or one even highly influenced by human activity. After all, climate change (ie. Ice Age and eventual warming) far preceeded the Industrial Revolution. But, that's my view and I'll agree to disagree with anyone who has a different view.

    For those who don't share my view, though, I don't think one should criticize a "sustainability fee" so long as the proceeds go toward environmental efforts and that the fee is transparently and honestly explained.

    Consumers can ultimately vote with their feet. This hotel is adding a charge to the reservation and, to their credit, are not hiding it during the booking process and surprising guests with an add on fee at check in or check out. As with other BS fees, they would disappear if people opted to stay elsewhere where such fees are not assessed.

    1. UA-NYC Diamond

      Barely worthy of a comment for the Flat Earthers out there - but here's one "fun" stat for the climate deniers:

      It has been estimated that humans are releasing CO2 ten times faster than the largest geologic carbon cycle perturbation of the past 60 million years

      https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2019/09/19/natural-climate-change-causes/

    2. Eskimo Guest

      It's funny that you use stats and how you poke fun flat earthers like that. It's like you know the earth isn't flat but still the center of the universe. Don't be mean.

      Here's one "fun" stat for you too.
      Just because dinosaurs never revolutionized industry doesn't mean they don't live with CO2. Their CO2 levels are estimated to be 4-5 times of today.
      So? or you'd expect dinosaurs to roam earth till...

      It's funny that you use stats and how you poke fun flat earthers like that. It's like you know the earth isn't flat but still the center of the universe. Don't be mean.

      Here's one "fun" stat for you too.
      Just because dinosaurs never revolutionized industry doesn't mean they don't live with CO2. Their CO2 levels are estimated to be 4-5 times of today.
      So? or you'd expect dinosaurs to roam earth till today.

      Climate Change is real, I'm not going to deny that. But that doesn't mean blaming humans will solve it. Stop trying to think for living beings 1000s of years from now. They will find their way of survival as we did ours burning dino juice. If Covid teaches you one thing, humans can become extinct a lot sooner and easier than you think.

  54. UA-NYC Guest

    Marriott has no control over its properties, and I think it now takes pride in that...great leadership by Capuano

  55. Baron Guest

    Greed strikes again! Why not say the sustainability fee goes to a non-profit that does something like planting a tree for every stay or buys one of those bracelets made from recycled ocean plastics? There are so many non-profit organizations that do that kind of stuff so it's not hard for a hotel to align themselves with one of them. Instead they seem to be charging a sustainability fee and pocketing it themselves. Someone should...

    Greed strikes again! Why not say the sustainability fee goes to a non-profit that does something like planting a tree for every stay or buys one of those bracelets made from recycled ocean plastics? There are so many non-profit organizations that do that kind of stuff so it's not hard for a hotel to align themselves with one of them. Instead they seem to be charging a sustainability fee and pocketing it themselves. Someone should complain to the FTC over their deceptive fees (and Liz Warren over their greed, she'll go after them lol).

  56. Stanley Guest

    Charge 'em for the lice, extra for the mice
    Two percent for looking in the mirror twice.
    Here a little slice, there a little cut
    Three percent for sleeping with the window shut
    When it comes to fixing prices
    There are a lot of tricks he knows
    How it all increases, all them bits and pieces
    Jesus! It's amazing how it grows!
    -Master of the House, Les Miserables

  57. Lauren Marsh Guest

    By the way, the number for the hotel is 314-241-4300 if anyone else wants to call and let them explain their sustainability nonsense fee.

  58. Lauren Marsh Guest

    Thank you very much for telling us about the hotel and this practice. I think it actually helps your readers when you name the hotel and the problem. I always get annoyed when people write articles but then don't want to name the hotel for some ridiculous reason.

    Out of a matter of principle, I just called the hotel too to ask them to explain the fee. Basically, got the same idiotic non response...

    Thank you very much for telling us about the hotel and this practice. I think it actually helps your readers when you name the hotel and the problem. I always get annoyed when people write articles but then don't want to name the hotel for some ridiculous reason.

    Out of a matter of principle, I just called the hotel too to ask them to explain the fee. Basically, got the same idiotic non response that Lucky got. I will likely kill five minutes this afternoon calling as well to see if the afternoon staff can justify it any better. At the very least, the fee will help to sustain paying a person to answer why they are charging junk fees.

    1. Funny Guest

      Might as well reach out to ownership directly as opposed to front desk staff since they can’t do anything. Ownership has their email and phone numbers on their website. They also claim to be a minority owned business but that seems to be questionable also
      https://www.innkeeperhs.com/team

    2. OPR Member

      Why questionable? Amrit Gill doesn't exactly look white and Dun & Bradstreet lists him as the key principal of IHS, LLC.

  59. Mike Guest

    It's all a racket. Remember when airlines used to be able to say $4.99 fare to Europe and then in the fine print there was $500 in taxes. Thankfully they banned that but they need to start doing that for hotels / airbnb and showing the final price in search results including taxes & fees.

  60. Zack Guest

    The Current Iowa and Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport, IA also charge the same fees and are under the same ownership as the Hotel St. Louis.

    1. aboutthatjourney New Member

      Perhaps Innkeeper Hospitality Service (IHS) is well intentioned and maybe this fee even goes to planting trees or helping disadvantaged people retrofit their homes with solar or other sustainable materials, but until we know for sure what this fee goes towards I appreciate Lucky calling attention to this hotel company. At the very least they need to learn about branding and/or website disclosures. And if this is a pure money grab, hopefully this post will...

      Perhaps Innkeeper Hospitality Service (IHS) is well intentioned and maybe this fee even goes to planting trees or helping disadvantaged people retrofit their homes with solar or other sustainable materials, but until we know for sure what this fee goes towards I appreciate Lucky calling attention to this hotel company. At the very least they need to learn about branding and/or website disclosures. And if this is a pure money grab, hopefully this post will turn up the heat for them.

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tim Guest

Ben - I love your blog, but I disagree with your suggestion that it would be OK for a hotel to charge this fee if it were used for true sustainability purposes. I am capable of contributing to sustainability issues on my own - when I pay for a hotel room that's all I expect to get- a clean room and be treated nicely. Likewise, if the ownership company wants to support sustainability work, they can pay for it on their own. If it's OK for a hotel to charge a sustainability fee if it's really used for sustainability, then they can also charge us multiple $4.99 fees to cure cancer, fix world hunger, reduce climate change, and so much more

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UA-NYC Diamond

Barely worthy of a comment for the Flat Earthers out there - but here's one "fun" stat for the climate deniers: It has been estimated that humans are releasing CO2 ten times faster than the largest geologic carbon cycle perturbation of the past 60 million years https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2019/09/19/natural-climate-change-causes/

5
bonvoy_me_harder_daddy Member

Up next: "COVID-19 mitigation fee" to cover the costs of not providing breakfast or housekeeping

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