Marriott Finally Displays Resort Fees in Compliance With Court Order Marriott Finally Displays Resort Fees in Compliance With Court Order

Marriott Finally Displays Resort Fees in Compliance With Court Order

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There's finally some good news when it comes to Marriott and resort fees. But unfortunately it's not an end to these pesky fees that no one likes paying.

In November 2021, Marriott agreed to a settlement with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office. This required Marriott to be more transparent in pricing, clearly indicating all fees in the price — upfront — when travelers search for a hotel. This was meant to provide clarity rather than a surprise price increase on the final page of the website just as you're ready to pay.

Marriott was originally required to implement this transparent pricing by August 2022 but received an extension from Pennsylvania AG's office — three times. In advance of its revised May 15, 2023 implementation date, it looks like Marriott is finally displaying resort fees on its website and app, as first reported by One Mile at a Time.

So while this is a win, it's not a big one. Resort fees aren't going away, hotels aren't becoming cheaper, and this doesn't affect every hotel you might visit. Here's what this story means for you, the consumer.

What are Resort Fees?

Resort fees are an “extra” that hotels add to the base price of your reservation. These involuntary fees are billed as a way to provide more amenities. However, resort fees actually serve two purposes for the hotel: reducing the initial price that you see for the stay and as a way for the hotel to keep more of the money you’re paying for your stay.

If you book through a website like or Priceline, that website gets a commission from the hotel — but only on the room rate. To keep more of your money, hotels add “resort fees,” since the booking website doesn’t get a commission on that part of the final price.

Thus, hotels have invented resort fees for all sorts of things — even nonsense. I once paid a resort fee in New York City that included “access to booking discounted tickets for local attractions.” These resort fees pad the hotel’s profits and mask the true cost of your stay. Plus, you pay the fee whether or not you use the “perks” the fee covers.

For example, Marriott's own terms state that Wi-Fi is free for Bonvoy members. Since numerous hotels list Wi-Fi as part of what the resort fee covers, this turns into a situation where Bonvoy members are paying for something that's already promised to them as free.

The Battle Over Resort Fees on Marriott Bookings


Marriott has faced several lawsuits over its resort fees, such as this one from the Attorney General in Washington, D.C. [caution: PDF link]. The claim is that adding resort fees at the end of your booking (or when you show up at the hotel) masks the true price of your hotel booking. What looks like a $100 hotel booking could turn out to cost $150, and the argument is that this isn't fair to consumers.

By adding the resort fee at the end of the reservation process, the lawsuits claim that hotels lump the “resort fee” in with “taxes and fees” to make it look like this is a mandatory fee — not something optional the hotel chose to add.

In fact, it was only in April 2020 that Marriott added an optional feature to see the “total” price earlier in the booking process. This would add in everything — taxes, fees, and also the resort fee — but it wasn't and still isn't a default setting. Now the legal settlement Marriott reached will require automatically showing these resort fees.

Marriott booking page with optional "Show rates with taxes and all fees" turned on to see resort fees.
Marriott booking page with optional “Show rates with taxes and all fees” turned on.

Marriott's Legal Settlement in Pennsylvania

In mid-November 2021, Marriott settled with the state of Pennsylvania. In this settlement, Marriott agreed to prominently list its resort fees on the first page of the booking process. Thus, would-be hotel guests should see the entire reservation price — rather than a surprise when fees are added on the last page.

Per Marriott's statement about the settlement, Marriott agrees to “enhance the way resort/destination fees are fully disclosed,” as stated:

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.

The legal settlement itself [caution: PDF link] gave Marriott nine months to put these changes into effect. However, as we've reported throughout this ordeal, Marriott successfully got this deadline extended several times.

In an April 2022 filing, Marriott received an extension to implement resort fee disclosures until January 23, 2023. Then, Marriott got until February 15, 2023 to disclose all-in pricing. When Marriott missed that deadline, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office finally put some teeth into its compliance, fining the hotel conglomerate $225,000. Marriott was given until May 15, 2023 to finally comply.

Marriott Now Showing Resort Fees via App and Website

You'll now see all-in pricing or indications of resort fees when searching on Marriott's website and mobile app. This comes a few days before the extended May 15, 2023 deadline. However, this only applies to properties in the U.S. and bookings made with Marriott (such as its website and phone app).

Notice that doesn't include properties elsewhere and doesn't include other websites, such as Expedia or Hopper. Those websites are not required to clearly display Marriott resort fees earlier in the booking process. There's no word if online travel agencies will also disclose these fees, but they likely won't. Not displaying the fees up front can make it look like their price is lower than Marriott's price.

Additionally, this doesn't mean that resort fees will be waived or go away. This agreement also doesn't impact other hotel chains, which have their own legal battles regarding resort fees.

Marriott website search results indicates Destination Amenity Fee next to nightly price. This is a resort fee.

When searching for hotels in Waikiki (notorious for resort fees and destination fees), look at the price for the Courtyard Waikiki Beach. It says “Includes 35 USD Destination Amenity Fee.” If you click on the “i” link, it takes you to information about the fee and what it covers.

details of what Marriott resort fee covers at Courtyard Waikiki

One Mile at a Time has an interesting write-up about benefits that Marriott hotels should give you as a replacement. Numerous hotels seem unaware of this requirement to provide a replacement, but not this hotel. There's a note that Bonvoy members will get a $5 daily coupon for the market as a trade-off.

However, all-in pricing still isn't the default setting for website search results. If you want to see everything in one price, you still need to select the option “Show rates with taxes and all fees.”

Marriott website search results with indication to see all-in pricing

In the app, it's a bit confusing. You'll see the all-in pricing but no indication about resort fees, how much they are, or what they include.

Marriott app showing hotel pricing without options to see all-in vs resort fees separately
The mobile app only shows the all-in pricing.

How to Avoid Resort Fees

If you want to avoid resort fees, there are a few things you can do. The most obvious solution is that you can simply not book a hotel that's charging you resort fees.

Additionally, the following hotel brands state in their terms that they will waive resort fees on award stays:

  • Hilton
  • Hyatt
  • Wyndham

Moreover, Hyatt waives resort fees for Globalists on all stays, no matter how you're paying.

Radisson's policy is basically: “It's up the hotel.” Some hotels will waive resort fees on award stays; others won't. You won't know until you attempt to make an award booking and then see if the fee is there or not.

Related: Here's When You Will and Won't Pay Resort Fees on Award Stays

Our Take

I'm a fan of transparent pricing. Travelers should know up front what it will cost to stay at a hotel and should know when the hotel is adding extra fees for benefits they won't use. Marriott has now implemented its requirement to display resort fees on its website and app for bookings in the U.S.

What effect will this have on resort fees? It's hard to know. Will hotels stop using them since customers can more easily spot bad actors? Will third-party booking sites like soon face the same legal challenges over transparent pricing? Time will tell.

This is a small win, but it's a win. You'll have a clearer picture of how much your next reservation will cost when booking a Marriott property in the U.S.

What do you think of these requirements? Do resort fees influence where you stay?

4.8 / 5 - (6 votes)
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  • Excellent. All business should be forced to show upfront pricing. At least this will set precedent in the hospitality industry.

  • All sites need to show the total amount for your stay. It would make it much easier to know what we are booking. I try to avoid staying at hotels that charge the usually useless resort fee and the ridiculous parking fees that some hotels charge.

  • I wish that the complete total would be there when looking at a price with hotels and car rentals. If I choose a hotel or car, I am looking at that price and what if I cannot afford or it doesn’t fit into my budget for the extras? Annoying.

  • I think this rule/policy should apply to all outlets, including Expedia and other third party booking sites. Tacking in these resort fees is a shady practice as is but as of now, its within the rights of the properties to add these. In that case, just make it visible on the onset.

  • Really they all need to get the picture and just show the full price. I think people would be happier to know exactly how much they are paying. I wonder how fewer complaints they would get if everyone knew exactly what they would be paying every time? People will complain about something else, I am sure, but cost upfront is crucial for a lot of people.

  • Isn’t it federal law that sales taxes are not charged on Internet access? So if sales taxes are charged on resort fees, and those fees include Internet access, isn’t that a violation of federal law?

    • Seth – I wasn’t aware of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (in full effect as of July 1, 2020) until your comment. Thanks for sharing that. Technically, I agree with you (I’m not a lawyer). I’m sure Marriott’s lawyers have some fancy explanation of this being just part of the benefits, the tax applies to the other stuff, etc. It would be interesting to see them explain this, though.

  • Thanks for the good information. You state that Radisson doesn’t charge resort fees on awards bookings, but when I look at booking Treasure Island, Las Vegas through the Radisson site, there is an additional $39.00 additional fee. Should I be able to dispute that charge?

    • Ejay – just had a very interesting phone call with Radisson to find out about this. Called their reservations number and asked about a few properties. Turns out the hotels set their own policies on whether they will waive it or not. The few I had checked previously waived them, so my random selection didn’t cover enough I guess. Thanks for letting me know about this. In sum: “up to the hotel to waive it or not”.

  • Lillian Dikovitsky says:

    Great information. I wish they wouldn’t find ways to sneak in more fees.

  • This seems to be a step in the right direction; however, it still leaves a lot to be desired. It’s really hard to get the hotel industry to give up fees.I am pretty certain that they will find other ways to have add ons that most hotel guests do not want or need.