When a base rate is advertised by hotel and resort properties, it usually does not include any taxes or mandatory fees, which can quickly add up to empty your wallet or purse — so watch out for optional fees added to your room rate when booking your lodging reservations.
Watch Out For Optional Fees Added To Your Room Rate
Four examples for two different charitable causes are illustrated in this article — all of which are from hotel and resort properties in Asia that are included in the portfolio of Marriott International, Incorporated.
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund Check Out For Children
Check Out for Children has raised funds to support the work of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund — which is more popularly known as UNICEF, which does not endorse any brand, company, product, or service — for greater than 20 years to help children survive and thrive. Greater than 4.5 million children in 40 countries have benefited from this initiative since 1995.
The program was relaunched in 2023 in partnership with Marriott International, Incorporated — which does not profit from this initiative — to accelerate progress for children and their families. Guests at participating hotel and resort properties across the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region are invited to add one extra dollar per night to the total price of their stays. Funds are dedicated to the core resources of UNICEF, which allows donations to be allocated where there is the greatest need for children. Guests who wish to increase their donation or opt out of the program may do so at any time during their stay by speaking with an associate at the front desk.
The optional fee in the two examples shown below are worth the equivalent of approximately $0.94 in United States dollars per night.
The Fairfield by Marriott Hokkaido Minamifurano hotel property in Japan adds an optional fee to the folio of 130 Japanese yen for one night.
The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa in Malaysia adds an optional fee to the folio of 4.24 Malaysian ringgit per night for five nights, totaling 21.20 Malaysian ringgit.
TakeCare Relief Fund
The TakeCare Relief Fund is a charitable fund that makes need-based financial grants available to associates at managed locations of Marriott International, Incorporated who are facing financial hardship caused by a natural disaster or certain other personal hardship events.
TakeCare Relief Fund is managed by E4E Relief, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Foundation For The Carolinas, which is a 501(c)(3) public charity. With greater than a decade of experience serving clients, E4E Relief is the leading provider of employee disaster and hardship funds in the United States.
The optional fee in the two examples shown below are worth the equivalent of approximately $2.89 in United States dollars per night.
The Four Points by Sheraton Linkou hotel property in Taiwan adds an optional fee to the folio of 89.04 Taiwan new dollars for one night.
The Aloft Seoul Myeongdong hotel property in South Korea adds an optional fee to the folio of 3,851 South Korean won per night for four nights, totaling 15,404 South Korean won.
Final Boarding Call
Marriott International, Incorporated is not doing anything wrong. The charitable causes are indeed legitimate. Increasing awareness of them to guests is certainly not a bad thing — especially when helping those people who they are intended to help…
…but with literally thousands of other charitable organizations vying for your dollars, you might rather want to donate to a cause of your choice about which you may be more strongly adamant. Let someone at the front desk of the hotel or resort property at which you are staying know to remove the optional fee from your bill if indeed you do not wish to pay for it. Some guests would argue that they should not have to go through the trouble of doing so in the first place, which is a legitimate complaint.
Also, when a fee is on the folio of the guest checking out — even when it is clearly marked optional — that guest may still not be aware of paying a little extra overall for his or her stay.
All I am saying is carefully look at your final bill after a stay. Watch out for optional fees added to your room rate. You never know when you will find some optional fee or junk fee sneaking in to the total — like I found on my folio after completing a stay back in December of 2019 when I was charged $1.50 for Safe w/ltd Warranty.
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.