What Is Marriott’s Pet Policy & Why Is It So Confusing?

Welcome to the world of Marriott’s pet policies, where furry friends are welcomed with open arms (and sometimes big open wallets).

From playful pups to cuddly cats, this article aims to shed light on the confusion of Marriott’s pet policies.

I can’t promise to give you answers, but I can give you a heads up of what to expect when bringing your beloved companion along on your next Marriott hotel adventure.

What is Marriott’s pet policy?

Marriott, the international hotel chain, gives each of its properties the freedom to set their own rules and fees when it comes to our furry companions. As a result, the cost of your pet’s stay might be as unpredictable as their mischievous antics.

Now, Marriott does make an attempt to shed some light on their pet policies on their corporate website. But their well-intentioned efforts only seem to add to the befuddlement.

So allow me to demystify the situation for you as best I can.

Why is it so confusing?

The Marriott pet policy is confusing because when you view the pet policy of a given property on the main Marriott website it displays the screenshot below:

Notice how it displays different rates based on nights versus stays.

Marriott pet policy

Now, this display isn’t exactly crystal clear, and as a result, different properties across the land have interpreted it to mean different things.

Deposit plus a nightly rate

The first interpretation suggests that you’ll be required to fork over an initial deposit for your stay, followed by a nightly fee.

So according to the image above, you’d shell out a $75 “deposit” and then an additional $25 for each night. I’m not a fan of this interpretation for a few reasons.

If you were planning an extended stay, your wallet might feel the sting of pet fees. For a month-long stay you could be shelling out $800! For a non-punitive pet fee that seems flat out ridiculous.

Plus, it just doesn’t add up. Why split the pet fee into a nonrefundable deposit and a nightly rate? That’s just creating unnecessary confusion.

Are we now charging dogs in the same way we charge humans? Should my corgi now get a part-time job?

Nightly rate + cap

The second interpretation is more logical, indicating that you’d pay a flat rate of $25 per night, capped at a total of $75 for your entire stay.

This makes sense since the pet fees shouldn’t skyrocket just because you’re staying longer. I mean, after a certain point, even the rowdiest of furballs can only wreak so much havoc for the cleaning crew. (Remember, the hotel could recover property damage separately.)

The flat stay fee

Then, there’s the third interpretation, which just ignores the stated nightly fee and only slaps you with the stay fee.

This would be the ideal situation (a flat stay fee) but it still is confusing because they still display a nightly rate that seemingly means nothing (which is a problem because you never know if that could actually end up being enforced).

What should you do?

With these conflicting interpretations, it’s hard to figure out how you’ll be charged when bringing a pet to a Marriott hotel.

The best solution to escape this uncertainty is to pick up the phone and call the property directly.

Typically, you can get a clear answer.

But there’s always the chance you’ll be speaking to an agent who’s as clueless about the fees as a penguin in the Sahara. So, brace yourself for potentially unsatisfying answer that leaves you with your questions unanswered.

What to make of the confusion

I’ve stayed in a lot of hotel chains and I have seen a lot of different variations of pet fees. Typically, it’s a flat fee of somewhere between $50 and $100 or it’s a nightly fee that caps out after a few nights.

There are some properties out there that charge you per night regardless of how many nights that you stay and I consider those to be some of the least pet friendly hotels.

For the record, I don’t have an issue with hotels setting their own pet fee policies even if I think they are out of line with reality.

But at the very least, hotel chains should strive to provide guests with clarity and consistency with how terms of their website are interpreted by their own properties.

That’s because people on longer stays could easily get hit with a bill that is hundreds of dollars more than what they expected, or at the very least show up at a hotel expecting the fee to be a lot lower.

Even in the latter scenario, that’s still potentially a major problem because pet friendly hotels can be limited and you can find yourself in a situation where you don’t have any real lodging alternative even if you were okay with changing your travel plans last minute.

Related: Pet Friendly Hotels vs “Accepts Pets” – What Are the Differences?

Final word

Marriott should improve the clarity when it comes to pet fees.

I would never expect a huge international chain to have the same type of pet fees and policies across all brands and locations.

But if they are presenting information in a consistent way then it should be interpreted in a consistent way. Until then, guests like me will continue to be left scratching our heads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *