I really like the Inn at Bay Harbor, in northern Michigan. The standard award price for this hotel is 35K points, which makes it a perfect place to spend those 35K free night certificates that come annually with a number of Marriott credit cards (at least until Peak pricing ruins everything).
In general, I hate resort fees. With all else equal, I’d prefer to book awards with Hyatt or Hilton, neither of which charges resort fees on award stays. There is a little known situation though where Marriott hotels with resort fees don’t charge any fees on award stays…
As you can see above, the Inn at Bay Harbor charges a resort fee of 10 percent of the room rate. You’d be forgiven if you thought this meant that you’d be charged 10% of the standard room rate. I certainly worried about that possibility the first time I saw this. And I know that others have made this same assumption (hello Mark). But I’ve stayed on points quite a few times since they introduced this resort fee, most recently just 10 days ago, and I’ve never been charged a cent. I believe that they calculate 10% of your room rate. When paying with points (or a free night certificate), your room rate is zero. And we all know that 10% of zero is still zero.
I don’t know if any other hotels calculate the resort fee as a percent of the room rate. And I can’t promise that they won’t find a way to charge you on an award stay. But I can safely say that the Inn at Bay Harbor doesn’t charge resort fees on award stays. For once, we have not been Bonvoyed.