Why I like Marriott resort fees as a percent of room rate


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.

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