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Hotel Elites – Beware Of This Sneaky Charge On Your Bill

by joeheg

We’re ending our first year of having Platinum Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy. It’s been nice since we were able to use our suite night upgrades in London and also received some nice upgrades to better rooms on other stays.

Not many of the hotels we stayed at had lounges. We don’t miss that as when we’re on vacation, we’re hardly in the hotel. We’d rather head out to grab a coffee than sit in a hotel lounge anyway.

However, for our last trip, we were going to be spending much of the day at the hotel in a meeting room. Being able to wake up and go to the lounge for breakfast was a nice perk.

To save some cash, we split a room with a friend of ours who was there for the same event. We made sure to note on our reservation that there would be three adults in the room to avoid any unnecessary problems.

Before our stay, we received an email from the Director of Guest Relations spelling out our Platinum benefits for our visit.

We noted this paragraph about lounge access.

As a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite member, you and a guest have access to our exclusive Club Lounge 24 hours per day. Additional Guests are $25 per adult and $15 for children under 12. Breakfast is served from 7:00AM – 10:30AM with evening hors d’ouevres served from 5:30PM – 7:30PM daily.

Free breakfast in the lounge is great, but paying $25 for eggs, bacon, potatoes, coffee, and pastries seems a bit steep.

When we checked in to the hotel, the front desk associate did ask if we were aware of the $25 charge for a third person to enter the lounge. We said that we were advised of it in the email we received.

Here are the details of our four-night stay:

  • Day 1 – We slept in past 10:30 AM and none of us entered the lounge
  • Day 2 – Sharon and I went to the lounge while our friend stayed in the room and ate his leftover sandwich from Junior’s
  • Day 3 – All three of us went to the lounge for breakfast
  • Day 4 – We had an early flight, so none of us went to the lounge

This isn’t to mention that for our entire stay, our keys never worked to get us access to the lounge. We were told we needed to exchange keys at the front desk, but we never bothered as during breakfast hours, there was a steady stream of people entering and exiting.

To enter the lounge, you need to check-in at a desk, so it’s easy for them to tell how many people are entering and exiting. We were asked our room number as we entered on the days we used the lounge.

I tell you this fact because when we checked out of the hotel, for every day of our stay there was a $25 charge on our bill for “Additional Guest In Club Lounge,” plus $3.69 in taxes on that charge.

I can see charging for access to the lounge if you actually use that benefit. But just because you have three people in the room doesn’t automatically mean that all three people will use the lounge every day.

We were willing to pay the $25 for one day because it was worthwhile for the three of us to eat in the hotel because of the day’s schedule. Having to pay $100 in lounge access fees for a third person when access is complimentary due to elite status is crazy. If you’re going to charge for additional guests, it should only be if an additional guest actually visits the club.

I wonder if parties of two adults and two kids are automatically charged $30 extra every day ($15 per child).

Final Thoughts

I could just chalk this up to being #Bonvoyed, but I think this is a problem with this particular property and not with Marriott. The number of additional charges and fees this hotel adds to your bill is unbelievable. I get the feeling that their motto is “Charge For Everything and Remove If Asked.” I guess I should be thankful that they didn’t try to charge me for anything from the mini-bar.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

5 comments

Lisa Rasmussen March 4, 2020 - 3:37 pm

I think it is crazy that they would even charge at all. The incremental lounge cost would cost them hardly anything for the third person… it just basically serves to piss people off being nickel and dimed. Is there any reason that you didn’t mention the name of the hotel in this write up. It seems like it would be doing a service to your readers to let them know which exact hotel this was instead of letting them have to deal with the hotel’s crap too.

Reply
Christian March 4, 2020 - 3:42 pm

Which hotel?

Reply
Brutus March 4, 2020 - 4:59 pm

Why doesn’t your headline specify Marriott?

Reply
ktx March 4, 2020 - 11:41 pm

why not mentioning the hotel?

Reply
joeheg March 5, 2020 - 12:51 am

For everyone who asked, there are several reasons I didn’t directly blast the hotel.
1) I didn’t check the bill when checking out to resolve it ASAP.
2) I didn’t reach out to the hotel before writing the post.
3) We stay at the hotel regularly as part of an event we don’t have any part in running, so I didn’t want to create any ill will between the event and the management.

It was meant to be more of a cautionary tale that even elite members have to check their hotel bill for unnecessary charges.

Reply

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