Marriott sued for ‘deceptive’ resort fees

It is the bugbear of many a hotel guest to find undisclosed fees tacked onto their final bill under the euphemism “resort” or “destination fees”.

Now the District of Columbia in the US is taking a stand by suing hospitality chain Marriott International, alleging that mandatory resort fees added onto hotel bills are misleading and illegal.

Resulting from an ongoing investigation into the hotel industry in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the lawsuit alleges that the hotel chain falsely advertises one rate before adding on additional fees to the final room price.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine’s office also said Marriott often lists resort fees under the heading “Taxes and Fees,” misleading consumers into thinking the additional charges are government-imposed.

At least 189 Marriott properties around the world charge resort fees, with the lawsuit claiming the hotel company has reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue as a result.

The District of Columbia is seeking a court order forcing Marriott to advertise true prices of hotel rooms, to pay restitution to D.C. customers and to pay civil penalties.