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Considering using Marriott for first time

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  • Chancer

    I’ve stayed hundreds of nights with Hilton in the last few years, but I’m getting increasingly frustrated at how I find no options in some countries I want to visit (eg: Mauritius, whose one Hilton is gone from the spring of 2023 shortly before my intended dates) or only options I don’t like the look of in other countries or regions. I’m therefore contemplating taking out the US Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, cancelling a booked Dominican Republic Hilton stay, and going to Le Meridien in Mauritius instead.

    However, I’ve noted a few things already that seem quite different. All of the room options at that place seem to come with breakfast included in the room price…is that common? Well on this occasion it seems clear cut there’d be no breakfast charges at all, but in future if I were to book a room at a Marriott Group resort that doesn’t come with breakfast included, would platinum status get it free for all of us (2 adults, 2 small children) the way it does with Hilton Diamond, or are they more picky/functionary within this group, perhaps saying fine for the adults but pay for the children?

    I also wasn’t seeing any cash booking options with cancellation rights for a ten night stay in April/everything was pre-pay and can only be cancelled with 24 hours of booking – is that normal with them?

    Finally, I’ve heard about the notorious resort fees often charged by Marriott Group. The booking option I’m looking at says “319 USD Avg./night Taxes and all fees included” – is that completely truthful? (This is through the .co.uk address, so perhaps they’re bound by UK law on there not to have hidden fees?) I seem to remember some US states’ consumer watchdogs were suing Marriott to stop hiding fees…

    Many Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

    FlyingPtarmigan

    Breakfast included is not usual and usually limited to resorts.

    The Marriott web site presents pre-pay, flexible and packages on separate “tabs”. Pre-pay only is unusual. Many hotels seem to have a members only pre-pay with 7 day (or similar) cancellation.

    Platinum is usually member + 1 only. Properties will sometimes extend to other guests/rooms at their discretion.

    AFAIK resort fees are included in UK prices. Do check your rate as the resort fee often includes goodies. My recent trip included $37 F&B credit per night plus free museum/tour tickets for the $25 fee. Another trip offered 2 free cocktails every evening.

    NorthernLass

    Off topic but I didn’t realise the Mauritius Hilton was going! I’d hoped to use points for a 10 night stay at some point. Guess it’s a good job I found out now before I did any more planning, thanks!

    I don’t use Marriott much these days but some of their resort fees are indeed outrageous – the highest I’ve seen was $95 pn at the RC Grand Cayman, though that might have gone up again post-pandemic!

    davefl

    Breakfast included is not usual and usually limited to resorts.

    Not true. Marriott has several brands where breakfast is included, just like Hilton and IHG

    NorthernLass

    Apparently there’s a HGI opening in Mauritius in 2026. No idea what the location is like.

    https://stories.hilton.com/emea/releases/first-hilton-garden-inn-mauritius-signing

    Chancer

    Ey up that Northern Lass. It’s not been confirmed officially that that thar Hilton resort in Flic en Flac is closing. I want to clarify the situation, so as not to potentially mislead you if it transpires my presumption is incorrect.

    I have presumed it is either closing down entirely, or that it is leaving the Hilton brand. Reason being, when looking at possible dates and checking the box to show flexible dates, no availability for a ten night stay is coming up after spring for the remainder of 2023. I suppose it is possible that there is another explanation, perhaps a long refurb is planned (believable) or maybe they really are genuinely fully booked for the remainder of the year (less believable).

    Thanks to everybody who has replied, I appreciate your kind assistance.

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