Skip to content

Marriott tosses on yet another fee to rooms at select Los Angeles hotels

Nov. 07, 2022
5 min read
Seattle Bellevue Marriott Exterior
Marriott tosses on yet another fee to rooms at select Los Angeles hotels
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Here we go again.

Just when you thought drip pricing might legally have to dissipate, a few Marriott hotels in Southern California are out with yet another fee to tack onto a nightly rate.

On the one hand, the fee appears limited to just a couple of hotels near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). But this latest move could be a sign of things to come for many hotels within Los Angeles city limits. After all, resort fees started small before scaling up to more hotels nationally.

Both the Los Angeles Airport Marriott and the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel are now charging a daily “Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance Costs Surcharge” on top of nightly rates. The fees range from $8.70 at the Renaissance to $10.72 at the Marriott, according to an initial report from One Mile at a Time and later verified by TPG.

The fee is believed to be in response to an ordinance Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law last summer that mandated hotel owners provide employees with personal panic button devices as a safety precaution while at work. The city law also stipulated hotels must pay workers a premium wage for “heavy workloads” (a workday limit related to square footage cleaned) in hotels with more than 45 rooms.

One could take this as a warning sign of what might eventually show up on your hotel bill in response to increased labor regulations across various markets. Unite Here, one of the largest hotel labor unions in the U.S. and Canada, was a major supporter of the new law and is active in many major North American cities.

It was not immediately clear if Marriott International was encouraging hotel owners to charge the new fee in response to the ordinance or if any guidelines came from the California Hotel & Lodging Association, the hotel industry’s leading lobbyist group in the state.

The CHLA — which worked with groups like the Hotel Association of Los Angeles and the American Hotel & Lodging Association to lobby against the passage of the ordinance this summer — declined to comment and directed any request for comment back to Marriott.

“While this new law will only apply to City of Los Angeles hotels, the law may set precedent and pave the way for similar laws in other cities,” the Hotel Association of Los Angeles said in a release this summer about the new hotel labor ordinance prior to its passage.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Marriott did not respond to TPG’s request for comment in time for publication.

Small-scale surcharge (for now)

TPG did not see any other nearby LAX hotels operating under various Marriott branding levying the surcharge. High-profile hotels in the Los Angeles area, like The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live and the West Hollywood Edition hotels, weren’t charging the new fee, but those hotels were levying daily destination fees — another term for resort fees typically charged by hotels in major cities.

The worker surcharge is the latest in industry trends during the pandemic of passing on various costs to hotel guests.

Marriott just last week reported daily rates in the U.S. and Canada were 15% above 2019 levels, and profit margins at the property level for managed hotels were 2% higher than before the pandemic “despite meaningful wage and benefit inflation,” according to Leeny Oberg, Marriott’s chief financial officer.

“At the hotel level, we remain focused on containing operating costs for our owners and franchisees while also delivering superior service to our guests,” she added on a company investor call.

It might seem like a bit of a head-scratcher that Marriott would let hotel owners lean further into the chided practice of “drip pricing,” where a listed room rate gets higher by the time a guest actually books after factoring in various service charges. After all, Marriott only settled with the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office late last year about resort fees.

But settling didn’t mean doing away with the practice. Instead, the company agreed to prominently place the fees on the first page of a booking site.

Similar to how the company now displays resort fees in a blue box over the reservations page, the two LAX hotels were noting the worker protection surcharges in the same vein.

Bottom line

Transparency is the accommodation sector buzzword this month, as Airbnb late last week announced it would similarly incorporate all fees associated with a booking on the initial search page and listing rather than wait and provide the grand total at the time of booking.

“I think the north star for us on this matter is transparency,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said on an investor call.

In the case of the Marriott hotels near LAX, guests can either accept the new fee or — for now — stay at just about any other Marriott-affiliated hotel in the region and avoid yet another daily charge on their final bill.

Featured image by VDB Photos/Shutterstock.com
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023