The reasons behind why hotels charge resort fees is similar to why they charge for parking (and you can see some ways to try to get around both, via those respective links). Of course, there’s a website that can tell you what the resort fee will be for a couple of thousand hotels. But that still means consumers have to do extra legwork to find out what your total, final price will be.
Fortunately, knowing how much Marriott hotels are charging for resort fees will soon no longer be an issue.
Marriott International has agreed to include its mandatory resort fees in the room rates it advertises in the U.S. This will occur as per an agreement with the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office, after an investigation that led the AG to believe the company was in violation of consumer protection law.
Marriott had been accused of deceptive pricing tactics and violating consumer-protection laws because the hotel giant wasn’t disclosing resort fees upfront or advertise them in room rates. They were only revealed during the booking process.
Marriott has made $220 million in resort fees since 2012.
“Hotels shouldn’t be able to slap hidden fees on top of your bill at the last minute, and thanks to this settlement we’re putting the hotel industry on notice to put an end to this deceptive practice,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a Wednesday statement, as reported by USA Today.
“With costs going up and more seniors and families traveling for the holidays, consumers should beware of these surprise fees when booking. Marriott has stepped up to commit itself to fix this practice and we expect more hotel chains to follow suit,” he continued.
Shapiro also said he expected other hotel chains and third-party vendors to follow suit (fingers crossed!).
Thanks to the settlement, Marriott will have more transparency in disclosing its mandatory fees, including resort fees, as part of the total price of a hotel stay. Furthermore, they will be required to display all of these fees on the first page of its booking website as part of the total room rate.
Marriott has not admitted to any violations of law and has denied intentionally misleading customers.
“Marriott International has long been committed to making sure that any resort/destination fees charged by hotels in the U.S. are separately and clearly stated,” the hotel company said in a statement.
“Our agreement with the State of Pennsylvania further enhances the way resort/destination fees are fully disclosed on our U.S. channels, and we will be working over the next several months to update the room rate display in accordance with that agreement.”
Marriott has nine months to implement the agreed-upon changes, which will be effective throughout the United States.
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