Here is what you need to know before buying a day pass to a luxury hotel or resort pool

HOUSTON – Houstonians have even more options to vacation in our own city by purchasing day passes at resort hotels. But with our unpredictable weather, you need to know what could happen if the day you planned some fun in the sun is a washout. You’ve probably seen the ads on social media for ResortPass. The service lets you pay to spend the day and use the amenities at luxury hotels for as little as $30 a day. But one family found canceling a convoluted and confusing process.

You’ve seen the Texas-shaped lazy river at Houston’s downtown Marriott Marquis. Christina Navarro thought spending the day floating and soaking up the sun with her family of four would be the perfect start to summer.

“We were just trying to stay local and have a little bit of fun before my daughter has her wisdom teeth out tomorrow,” Christina explains.

She paid $239 total for her family of four to spend the day at the pool but started to worry the night before when she saw the wet forecast.

Hotel raincheck policy supercedes ResortPass policy

First, she called Marriott to ask what happens if it rains. Could she use the pass another day?

“And she said, ‘Well, we don’t have a raincheck policy,’” Christina said.

But then by email, a ResortPass representative gave her a different answer.

“And she had said at ResortPass that they do have rain checks,” said Christina.

Christina was stuck in a back and forth. Then ResortPass told her it had to honor the hotel policy, so that would mean no raincheck. She wanted to wait as long as possible to cancel because she and her husband had taken the day off work. She was hoping the skies would clear. But, she couldn’t seem to get a straight answer about the policy.

“We were surprised by the constant back and forth,” said Christina. “We were on the phone and on email for about two hours and never really got a good resolution.”

Refunds versus credits when you cancel

Worried she would lose her money Christina finally canceled online. But she only received a credit, not a refund. We tried getting answers too.

ResortPass founder and CEO Amanda Szabo explained the confusion by email:

“95% of our hotels follow our standard cancellation policy. While we strive to create a consistent experience on our website across all hotels, there are a few hotels such as the Marriott Marquis Houston that request a stricter cancellation policy.”

What you need to know if you want to cancel

  • Right now if you want to cancel online, you have to do it by 11:59 p.m. the night before the day of your ResortPass. And you will only get a credit that way.
  • If you want a refund, you have to call or email ResortPass by 10 a.m. the day of your booking.

Changes are coming for the company. In about two weeks (from the date this story was published on July 1st), ResortPass says customers will be able to choose a refund or request when canceling online. In the end, Christina did get that credit switched to a refund. But after all of the runaround, she’s now ready for a day at the spa.

“I just think consumers need to ask the questions of the hotel that they are selecting. What is your policy? What do I need to know?” said Christina.

So the policy may vary, depending on which hotel you pick. If you book a cabana through ResortPass, there is a different cancellation window. You have to cancel a full 24 hours in advance in order to get a credit or refund. You can’t cancel same-day. But again, you’ll want to check with the individual hotel policy on cabanas just to be on the safe side.


About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.