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Believe it not, it was my first time staying with Marriott at one of their resort in Maui – the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. I used my 2 free night certificates that were earned from the Ritz-Carlton credit card that has been discontinued. Long story short, upon checking out of the resort. I was presented with the bill that contains a Resort Fee of $35 per night. I was perplexed about it because I have redeemed so many award stays with Hilton and never got hit with a resort fee when using points to book.
I paid that resort fee; however, I took some time to look into this to ensure that I wasn’t charged for something that I shouldn’t be paying for.
|Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Pools
Resort Fees on Marriott Free Night Award Booking
I did a little experiment by doing a dummy booking on Marriott’s website for the same Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Maui. On the search result page, it does mention that:
“Please note – A daily resort fee of USD 35 plus tax will be added to the room rate. Fee includes local calls, resort shuttle and more.”
I recall seeing that before; however, I did not realize that applies to an award booking as well. As I continued on to reserve the room, I kept looking for that resort fee fine print, but no where to be found. Turns out, there’s a section that says “Summary of Charges” that shows the amount of points needed to book the room.
Once that section is clicked, it expands and shows the total points redemption and the resort fee plus the tax on it.
There you have it. Marriott does NOT waive resort fees on free night award. I hope Marriott considers waiving these fees on award booking for members in the near future, just like Hilton and Hyatt hotel’s programs do. Regardless, $35 for a night stay at a Ritz-Carlton or any nice resorts, it’s still worth it. This is why traveling on points is not completely free, but it does save significant amount of money to elevate travel experiences.