Marriott Bonvoy’s Complicated Elite Breakfast Benefit Explained

Marriott Bonvoy’s Complicated Elite Breakfast Benefit Explained

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Breakfast is one of the perks of hotel elite status that people value most, though the policies differ significantly among the major hotel groups. Marriott is the largest hotel group in the world, though arguably the Marriott Bonvoy program’s elite breakfast benefit is the most complicated one out there. In this post I wanted to explain Marriott Bonvoy’s breakfast benefit as simply as possible, because there’s a lot to understand.

Why Marriott Bonvoy’s breakfast benefit is complicated

Marriott Bonvoy arguably has the least consistent elite breakfast benefit of any major hotel group. While Marriott has around 30 different hotel brands, the group has over 50 different breakfast policies. That’s because sometimes policies differ depending on whether a property is in the United States or abroad, whether a property is categorized as a hotel or resort, whether a property has a club lounge or not, etc.

I don’t know why this has to be so complicated, but I suspect it’s a combination of the merger between Marriott and Starwood, plus corporate generally trying to please hotel owners. It seems like there are some harmonization opportunities, though…

Understanding the Marriott Bonvoy breakfast benefit isn’t easy

What Marriott brands offer free elite breakfast?

To make this as simple as possible, I’ll put Marriott’s brands into one of four categories:

  • Some hotel brands offer all guests complimentary breakfast, regardless of status
  • Some hotel brands don’t offer any guests complimentary breakfast on account of status
  • Some hotel brands offer complimentary breakfast as an elite status welcome amenity choice
  • Some hotel brands offer a food & beverage credit as an elite status welcome amenity choice, which can be applied toward breakfast, or another drink or meal

Before we get into this, a few more things to note:

  • The elite breakfast benefits are specific to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members and above; Silver and Gold members don’t receive these perks, and conversely, Titanium and Ambassador members don’t get any incremental breakfast perks
  • Aside from the brands offering all guests free breakfast, there’s always an opportunity cost to getting breakfast, since you have to choose that as your welcome amenity in lieu of something else, like Bonvoy points
  • I’m intentionally trying to simplify this as much as possible, so am leaving out some fairly minor details that I think will only complicate things (trust me, I’m doing you a favor here)

With that out of the way, let’s get into it.

Marriott brands that offer all guests free breakfast

The following Marriott brands offer all guests complimentary breakfast:

  • Element
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites
  • Residence Inn
  • SpringHill Suites
  • TownePlace Suites

As you can see, there are no incremental breakfast perks at these properties for elite members, since everyone gets breakfast. Platinum members and above can still select a welcome amenity (typically points), but that’s unrelated to breakfast.

All guests get free breakfast at SpringHill Suites

Marriott brands that don’t offer free elite breakfast

The following Marriott brands don’t offer elite members complimentary breakfast:

  • Design Hotels
  • EDITION
  • Marriott Grand Residence Club
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Ritz-Carlton

It’s really a shame that some of Marriott’s highest-end brands choose not to offer elite members breakfast. If you do want to receive complimentary breakfast at EDITION or Ritz-Carlton, your best bet is to book through the Marriott STARS program, where that’s a perk.

Ritz-Carlton doesn’t offer complimentary elite breakfast

Marriott brands that offer free elite breakfast

The following Marriott brands allow elite members to select complimentary breakfast as their welcome amenity:

  • Aloft
  • Autograph Collection (resorts only)
  • Delta (resorts only)
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • JW Marriott (resorts only)
  • Le Meridien
  • Luxury Collection
  • Marriott (resorts only)
  • Protea
  • Renaissance (resorts only)
  • Sheraton
  • St. Regis
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Westin
  • W
Get free breakfast at St. Regis as an elite member

Marriott brands that offer elite food & beverage credit

The following Marriott brands allow elite members to select a food & beverage credit as their welcome amenity, which could be applied to breakfast (or something else):

  • AC Hotels
  • Autograph Collection (hotels only)
  • Courtyard
  • Delta (hotels only)
  • Gaylord
  • JW Marriott (hotels only)
  • Marriott (hotels only)
  • Moxy
  • Renaissance (hotels only)
Get a food & beverage credit at Autograph Collection hotels

How executive lounge access fits into this

What complicates this even further is that Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members and above receive complimentary lounge access at a vast majority of Marriott brands, assuming there’s a lounge. The only widespread exclusion is Ritz-Carlton club lounges, as you have to buy access to those.

If you’re staying at a property like a Marriott or Sheraton, you’ll automatically receive executive lounge access, and you don’t need to select that as your welcome amenity. With executive lounge access, you’ll also get complimentary continental breakfast in the lounge.

However, as you can see, you can still select restaurant breakfast as your welcome amenity, if you’re in a situation where you’d prefer to dine in the restaurant rather than in the lounge (since the selection is sometimes superior). However, some hotels will automatically offer lounge guests to also enjoy restaurant breakfast, so you might not even need to select that as your welcome amenity to dine in the restaurant.

Marriott Platinum members get complimentary lounge access

Marriott Bonvoy elite breakfast FAQs

While the above covers the very basics, let me answer some of the most common questions about Marriott Bonvoy’s Platinum breakfast benefit.

Do Marriott Silver & Gold members get free breakfast?

No, aside from hotels that offer all guests free breakfast, there are no incremental elite breakfast perks for Silver and Gold members. Only Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador members get a breakfast benefit.

For how many people does Marriott’s breakfast benefit apply?

Generally speaking Marriott’s breakfast benefit applies for the elite member plus one additional guest. In some cases if you’re staying in a room with more people (like children) hotels may offer them free breakfast too, but that’s a courtesy rather than a policy.

Enjoy breakfast for two with Marriott’s elite benefit

Is tip included with Marriott’s breakfast benefit?

There’s nothing in the Marriott Bonvoy terms indicating whether gratuity is included with elite breakfast perks. I’ve found that some hotels do include gratuity for elite breakfast, while others don’t. Generally this is a non-issue outside the United States, while in the United States I always try to bring some cash to breakfast, in the event that it’s not.

How do you redeem your Marriott breakfast benefit?

The first step is to make sure you select breakfast as your elite welcome amenity when you check-in. Once that’s selected, the front desk associate should explain the process for actually using the breakfast benefit. At some hotels you just charge the full amount of breakfast to your room, and it’s taken off at check-out. At other hotels you have to present a voucher when you’re seated.

Is Marriott breakfast continental or full?

It depends who you ask. If you ask me, Marriott’s elite benefit is for continental breakfast. Looking at the Marriott Bonvoy terms & conditions:

  • The welcome amenity is generally for “breakfast in restaurant,” without mentioning what kind of breakfast
  • When you select breakfast as a welcome amenity in lieu of lounge access, the terms specifically state you’re entitled to continental breakfast

Some take that to mean that you get a full, hot breakfast at hotels with a club lounge. Personally that’s not my interpretation, and for that matter a vast majority of hotels I’ve stayed at would be in violation of the rules if that were the case. With Marriott I just expect a continental breakfast, and if I get more than that I consider myself to be lucky.

Should you select breakfast as your Marriott welcome amenity?

In almost all cases, selecting breakfast as your welcome amenity is the better value. Let me give an example of why. I recently stayed at the St. Regis Aspen for five nights, and as a Titanium member I could select either a $52 daily breakfast credit, or a welcome amenity of 1,000 points.

Over the course of my five night stay, that $52 credit adds up to $260. Meanwhile the 1,000 point welcome amenity is offered once per stay. I value Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so to me 1,000 points are worth $7. It wasn’t too tough to decide between $260 worth of breakfast or $7 worth of points.

I usually select breakfast as my welcome amenity

How consistent is Marriott’s elite breakfast benefit?

Not at all. As you might expect, there’s huge variability in terms of the execution of the complimentary breakfast benefit, and it perhaps reflects general recognition of elite status around the globe.

Outside the United States the breakfast benefit is often incredible, with access to a full buffet at no extra cost. In the United States it’s a different story, and more often than not I find one of the following to be the case:

  • The breakfast benefit is explicitly for something you may not necessarily want and that’s very limited, like a bowl of cereal, a banana, and some coffee
  • The breakfast benefit is a certain dollar amount that covers some very basic items, but can be applied toward something else

I obviously prefer the latter method. It often means my breakfast won’t be free, but at least I’ll get what I actually want at a reasonable cost.

I actually can’t remember the last time I stayed at a Marriott property in the United States and could order what I wanted for breakfast without it costing me anything out of pocket.

Breakfast is generally better outside the US

How does Marriott’s breakfast benefit compare to competitors?

How does the Marriott Bonvoy breakfast benefit compare to what competitors offer? Here’s my general take:

Hilton Honors Diamond breakfast at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Bottom line

Complimentary breakfast is one of the most valuable benefits of hotel elite status. However, the execution is different with every loyalty program, and for that matter you’ll even find quite a bit of variance within a particular loyalty program.

Marriott Bonvoy has the most complicated elite breakfast benefit. Long story short, you should get lounge access, complimentary breakfast, or a food & beverage credit at all but five brands. The execution of that is highly variable, though, with some hotels offering access to an amazing breakfast buffet without paying a dime, while other hotels offer a cup of coffee and a muffin.

What has your experience been with Marriott’s elite breakfast benefit?

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  1. Taylor Guest

    Ben said: "I actually can’t remember the last time I stayed at a Marriott property in the United States and could order what I wanted for breakfast without it costing me anything out of pocket."

    In a reflection of the incredible variation of the Marriott breakfast benefit, I have had a different experience, with some really positive breakfast experiences in the US in 2021 and 2022:
    - Marriott St Louis: offers a full breakfast...

    Ben said: "I actually can’t remember the last time I stayed at a Marriott property in the United States and could order what I wanted for breakfast without it costing me anything out of pocket."

    In a reflection of the incredible variation of the Marriott breakfast benefit, I have had a different experience, with some really positive breakfast experiences in the US in 2021 and 2022:
    - Marriott St Louis: offers a full breakfast buffet (which is what I would have ordered) with made to order eggs and many different options
    - Hotel St Louis, Autograph Collection: Anything you wanted from the menu
    - JW Marriott Miami: Anything you wanted from the very extensive menu, provided in lieu of closed Club Lounge (plus 2 drinks and 2 appetizers in the evening)
    - Marriott Tysons Corner: Anything you wanted from the menu

    More than anything, this just shows that Marriott elite breakfast benefits can be extremely different varying not only based on the brand and the region but also based on the individual properties

  2. Sue Sandoval Guest

    Best breakfast benefit we ever received was at Westin Hapuna Beach. Full breakfast, ordering anything off of the menu. The food was delicious.

  3. Anonymous Guest

    Also, if you use the app...it tells you if breakfast is included... same thing with resort fee and parking. Maybe you should read the information for booking before you click on the confirmation button and then writing articles about how terrible your experience was.

  4. Anonymous Guest

    Sounds like you are booking through your company site and adding your number later.

  5. Anonymous Guest

    Read the fine lines of your membership. Franchise and corporate hotel may vary as well.

  6. Jeff Koss Guest

    I can't remember the last time I had to pay for a breakfast at a Marriott. We got an amazing buffet using points last Sept at the Le Meridien Maldives - even unlimited mimosas! We got free breakfast at Sheraton Full Moon Maldives last Sept too. In Asia a few years ago we got free breakfast at all the Marriott properties.

    1. Anonymous Guest

      Free champagne at Le Meridian after 5pm. Probably brand standard.

  7. Marissa Guest

    We just stayed at the Westin Hapuna Beach and are Platinum. We got the "Continental Breakfast" which consisted of a bread/fruit plate, oatmeal and a parfait. We were disappointed it didn't include the breakfast buffet. We could upgrade to the buffet for $25/each. We felt ripped off but that's probably because we went in thinking the buffet was included. I also hate how Marriott charges resort fees and parking on point redemption nights. We have...

    We just stayed at the Westin Hapuna Beach and are Platinum. We got the "Continental Breakfast" which consisted of a bread/fruit plate, oatmeal and a parfait. We were disappointed it didn't include the breakfast buffet. We could upgrade to the buffet for $25/each. We felt ripped off but that's probably because we went in thinking the buffet was included. I also hate how Marriott charges resort fees and parking on point redemption nights. We have definitely moved over to Hyatt at this point because of the cheap shots that Marriott keeps taking.

    1. I.K. Guest

      Similar experience recently at Westin Fort Lauderdale - booked a night with points and got charged almost $100 for resort fee + parking. When we gave our waiter the breakfast voucher we got as platinum members, he said it covers a fruit bowl and croissant. We ordered eggs too. On the check, it appeared as two $20 charges + eggs order. At their printed menu, there was "fruit bowl + croissant" item listed for $8....

      Similar experience recently at Westin Fort Lauderdale - booked a night with points and got charged almost $100 for resort fee + parking. When we gave our waiter the breakfast voucher we got as platinum members, he said it covers a fruit bowl and croissant. We ordered eggs too. On the check, it appeared as two $20 charges + eggs order. At their printed menu, there was "fruit bowl + croissant" item listed for $8. So, they give people $8 menu item and put $20 on the check, with taxes and tips calculated for the full amount. The whole experience feels like Marriott doesn't really care to provide good service and award the loyalty of the elite members.

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      This particular Westin used to charge guests a fee if they paid with a Marriott-branded credit card.

      The Westin Fort Lauderdale is owned by DiamondRock Hospitality Co. They are notorious. I would avoid all of their properties: https://drhc.com/portfolio-properties.php

    3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      The Westin Hapuna Beach used to include the full buffet for eligible elites.

  8. Roger Poulton Guest

    Generally I find the breakfasts available in Europe to be of an excellent standard, wide selection and high quality. In particular the Marriotts in Moscow, Vienna and Budapest served a top notch breakfast

  9. Jason Brandt Lewis Guest

    (Part of) this assumes that the Executive Lounge is OPEN in the first place...at many hotels (including the JW Marriott in Mexico City), they remain closed.

  10. STEFFL New Member

    Covers the MOST important things to know about the Bonvoy / Marriott amily Hotels.
    Escept that the amount for the F&B credit in the US is so complicated, that it was a good idea to NOT mention the amount.

    I absolutely LIKE, that you still use your and MY most favorite Hotel in Turkey from Marriott, EDITON Bodrum . . . . W O W, that property and there staff (85% Male!) are amazing,...

    Covers the MOST important things to know about the Bonvoy / Marriott amily Hotels.
    Escept that the amount for the F&B credit in the US is so complicated, that it was a good idea to NOT mention the amount.

    I absolutely LIKE, that you still use your and MY most favorite Hotel in Turkey from Marriott, EDITON Bodrum . . . . W O W, that property and there staff (85% Male!) are amazing, spectacular and make your stay a memorable one, THAT'S A FACT, that's why i still like to read your review on that property, i was there a couple weeks after you Guys and your words could just be used 1 on 1 in a review i would write!
    That Breakfast and the head to toe tattooed Guy at the Breakfast restaurant (that was included in the rate at the EDITION Bodrum!) was meant to be one of the absolute most attentive people there, who would have thought that!
    EDITION Bodrum . . . anytime again, even without Breakfast Benefits! ;-)

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      The problem with the $10 credit at some properties is two fold:
      (1) the credit is in US dollars or US dollars equivalent, which is useless in countries like Britain or European countries with the euro.
      (2) the $10 amount hasn't kept up with inflation. Even in the US at say a Courtyard, you really can't get anything besides maybe a Diet Pepsi and a candy car for $10.

      So, you basically have...

      The problem with the $10 credit at some properties is two fold:
      (1) the credit is in US dollars or US dollars equivalent, which is useless in countries like Britain or European countries with the euro.
      (2) the $10 amount hasn't kept up with inflation. Even in the US at say a Courtyard, you really can't get anything besides maybe a Diet Pepsi and a candy car for $10.

      So, you basically have to lie if you're a solo traveler and claim there's two people ion your room to get $20. With $20, you can generally get a breakfast and coffee at Courtyard.

  11. Mrsperez0619 Guest

    Residence inn also offers free breakfast for all. Also if a property does not offer breakfast due to covid they are supposed to give out 500 points or more depending on status. Also lounges are still closed in areas where covid transmission is high, its for guest and employee safety. Remember these things before you get upset on your next stay. You may feel like it should be open but for the employees that have...

    Residence inn also offers free breakfast for all. Also if a property does not offer breakfast due to covid they are supposed to give out 500 points or more depending on status. Also lounges are still closed in areas where covid transmission is high, its for guest and employee safety. Remember these things before you get upset on your next stay. You may feel like it should be open but for the employees that have to work at said property its not safe for them. I wish elites would realize this fact before they get upset and make a report for something out of the facility's control.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Lounges aren't closed because transmission is high. That's just B.S. Lounges are closed because property owners or management companies are too cheap to bring back the lounge. They'd rather pay 750 points per day than open a lounge. If a hotel can have its bar and restaurant open, it can have its lounge open.

    2. Anonymous Guest

      They can't hire and retain staff. Not that they're cheap.

      Business perspective- travel 8s no where near what it was. The cost of staffing, preparing and purchasing is too much overhead for most hotels. If you want to have staff checking you in/out and housekeepers to clean rooms after checkout, what wages more valuable - a lounge not producing revenue or staff to keep doors open??

    3. Lisa Guest

      Thank your for for considering the health and well-being of employees!

  12. iamhere Guest

    You are being very opinionated. It is not complicated at all. It is just some of the lower brands include it. Others depend on location and status. Others do not include it. Because there are so many brands within Marriott that is why if feels more complicated, but it is no different than other groups. Holiday Inn Express includes breakfast for everyone. That is similar to a Fairfield, for example.

    1. Khatl Gold

      Either trolling, a Marriott employee, or simply never actually experienced the cluster that is Marriott's breakfast policy. Sure, HI Express and Fairfield are similar, and it's easy if you only stay at a couple of brands. But for those who stay across brands, even die hard loyalists have to refer to the T&C's to know if an Marriott includes breakfast or not, and is that different if I'm at a Resort or not, or if...

      Either trolling, a Marriott employee, or simply never actually experienced the cluster that is Marriott's breakfast policy. Sure, HI Express and Fairfield are similar, and it's easy if you only stay at a couple of brands. But for those who stay across brands, even die hard loyalists have to refer to the T&C's to know if an Marriott includes breakfast or not, and is that different if I'm at a Resort or not, or if I'm in the US or not, or if there is an exec lounge or not. The current policy is nuts and totally consistent with Marriott loving their customers (the franchisees) not the consumers (us).

  13. Shonanroger Guest

    Free breakfast at Fairfield in USA and Canada only. Many Fairfields in Asia don’t serve breakfast at all at their premises.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      The Fairfield properties in Asia that I've seen have full-service restaurants. Kind of like Courtyard and Four Points in Asia. It's disappointing that Marriott doesn't have consistent brand identity and concept.

      There are some very nice Fairfield, Courtyard and Four Points in Cambodia and Indonesia and elsewhere that Marriott, Sheraton and Renaissance properties in North America.

  14. DCS Diamond

    LOL. I just saw this:

    @ FNT Delta Diamond -- Regarding your first point, I think we're saying the same thing? Regarding your other point, your argument seems a bit DSC-esque to me.

    If 'DSC-esque' was meant as 'DCS-esque', then @FNT Delta Diamond should take that as a compliment because 'DCS-esque' arguments are invariably factual. Really.

    For instance, I stated below that @Lucky was trying too hard to pass the ordinary seem like extraordinary....

    LOL. I just saw this:

    @ FNT Delta Diamond -- Regarding your first point, I think we're saying the same thing? Regarding your other point, your argument seems a bit DSC-esque to me.

    If 'DSC-esque' was meant as 'DCS-esque', then @FNT Delta Diamond should take that as a compliment because 'DCS-esque' arguments are invariably factual. Really.

    For instance, I stated below that @Lucky was trying too hard to pass the ordinary seem like extraordinary. I said that because the constant drum-beating about how the World of Hyatt breakfast benefit is "best" is utterly silly to someone like me who travels preferentially overseas and gets free full breakfast as a HH Diamond that is second to none. How good? It is usually nothing short of a "royal feast", and to prove it I provide links below to actual photos depicting a very small sampling of the kind of free breakfast that I get around the world, so that when you see a claim about how Hyatt's breakfast is "best", the most generous interpretation should be that Hyatt's breakfast is not as shitty as Hilton's in the US. Besides, with a footprint that's about 1/6th of Hilton's, Hyatt should be able to do even better because offering free breakfast must cost them comparatively less, especially since only their very top elites enjoy the benefit !

    Here are the links that I hope will show clearly why I should be forgiven for finding silly any claim about how Hyatt Globalists' free full breakfast is "best".

    Conrad Manila: https://bit.ly/3g8ag6P

    WA Shanghai on the Bund: https://bit.ly/3Hfdgdr

    WA Maldives Ithaafushi: https://bit.ly/3udgDOp

    Photos at the preceding three links speak for themselves. I would just like to say that the link below shows what I have said about Hilton's free breakfast for HH Diamond members: it can be had optionally either in the exec lounge or in the restaurant (and I am sure that @Lucky knows this from his stays at Hilton properties overseas - Eastern Europe, I believe?

    Hilton Paris Opera: https: https://bit.ly/35DeXUf

    G'day!

    1. Jerry Diamond

      If we're in Paris, then I'd say the Park Hyatt delivering a full breakfast to my room for free as my Globalist benefit makes that Hilton buffet look fairly underwhelming.

    2. DCS Diamond

      If we're in Paris, then I'd say the Park Hyatt delivering a full breakfast to my room for free as my Globalist benefit makes that Hilton buffet look fairly underwhelming.

      Yet another one trying too hard to prove Hyatt's nonexistent free breakfast supremacy!

      First, it is silly to compare PH Paris Vendôme to Hilton Paris Opéra. They are simply not at the same level, so I would hope that you would get...

      If we're in Paris, then I'd say the Park Hyatt delivering a full breakfast to my room for free as my Globalist benefit makes that Hilton buffet look fairly underwhelming.

      Yet another one trying too hard to prove Hyatt's nonexistent free breakfast supremacy!

      First, it is silly to compare PH Paris Vendôme to Hilton Paris Opéra. They are simply not at the same level, so I would hope that you would get more for your money or points at PH Paris Vendôme than I would at Paris Opéra! Second, if you do get free breakfast delivered to your room at the PH Vendôme, that has nothing to do with World of Hyatt. It is simply the hotel going out of its way to justify the huge bill that it will give you when you check out. It happens all the time. The photos of free breakfast at WA Shanghai I linked to were taken in 2013. That was before free breakfast was even an official perk at the brand and self-anointed "travel gurus" were pointing to the lack of it as yet more evidence of HH as an inferior program. Also, during my last stay at WA Maldives, I was assigned a "concierge" who went out his wait to please me, including offering to bring me breakfast from the restaurant when I decided to sleep late. He was so great, left him a huge tip at the end of the stay.

      Lastly, this throws your silly assertion out of the park because it is straight out of the WoH T&C on free breakfast:

      Breakfast benefit (where provided) is not valid for in-room dining.

      Know you program inside and out, and you'll be wiser and better off for it...

      G'day.

    3. Mihsanl Guest

      I have to remind front desk people of Marriott policies regarding free breakfast as a Platinum member. Many still don't believe me until I show them the policies or benefits on the Bonvoy site, very sad that I do this frequently upon check in.

    4. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      To be fair, it's not the front desk's fault. It's the GM or owner, depending on the ownership and management situation.

      You had the CEO of a company that owns Marriott properties complaining on an earnings call about having to provide breakfast to elites. He's the guy who sets the policy that the $15 an hour front desk clerk has to follow, regardless of what Bonvoy's terms may say.

      https://viewfromthewing.com/big-marriott-hotel-owner-complains-about-free-breakfast-at-resorts/

      Thankfully, Diamondrock Hospitality has...

      To be fair, it's not the front desk's fault. It's the GM or owner, depending on the ownership and management situation.

      You had the CEO of a company that owns Marriott properties complaining on an earnings call about having to provide breakfast to elites. He's the guy who sets the policy that the $15 an hour front desk clerk has to follow, regardless of what Bonvoy's terms may say.

      https://viewfromthewing.com/big-marriott-hotel-owner-complains-about-free-breakfast-at-resorts/

      Thankfully, Diamondrock Hospitality has sold some or all its Marriott properties since the CEO's comments. But Aimbridge, which acquired the management, is notorious for also being cheap. I've yet to stay at a nice Aimbridge-managed property.

      As a Marriott International property GM told me, there's a reason why a franchise owner hires an Aimbridge to operate the property over Marriott. Marriott's management costs are very high. The third-party operators cut corners and cut costs. Over 70% of properties are now managed by someone other than Marriott.

    5. Mike Guest

      @DCS: "If 'DSC-esque' was meant as 'DCS-esque', then @FNT Delta Diamond should take that as a compliment because 'DCS-esque' arguments are invariably factual. Really."

      You're funny.

  15. Dan Guest

    Unless the breakfast is free, I’d rather spend my money at a locally owned restaurant that probably tastes better. Obviously, hotels are in business to make money and take care of shareholders…which is fine, but let’s be honest, they’re not in it for the hospitality. Local businesses are usually run by people that want to share their passion, which is when I’ll go before I pay for food at the hotel. Just my 2c.

  16. Diane Heshizer Guest

    I thought Marriott is was going to be the better brand but now I have my doubts. I need to rethink this very carefully.

    1. Reno Joe Guest

      They don't even try to hide what they're doing.

      They will tell you straight to your face that they will not be using KY.

  17. Bob Guest

    I honestly don't know why it has to be so complicated not just Marriott but Hilton as well. There are more fine prints than a lawsuit against a mega corporation.

    Personally, I don't even bother with breakfast beyond hot beverage and maybe some fruit. Considering breakfast is the least healthy meal of the day I would rather skip it. The whole notion of most important meal is a marketing scam anyway by cereal makers. Even...

    I honestly don't know why it has to be so complicated not just Marriott but Hilton as well. There are more fine prints than a lawsuit against a mega corporation.

    Personally, I don't even bother with breakfast beyond hot beverage and maybe some fruit. Considering breakfast is the least healthy meal of the day I would rather skip it. The whole notion of most important meal is a marketing scam anyway by cereal makers. Even yogurt is no longer healthy. You can find ice cream with less sugar than many yogurt brands.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I love your comment. Reminds me that earth is still flat somewhere.

      Breakfast is the least healthy....
      Isn't any meal as healthy as what you eat?

      You can find ice cream with less sugar than many yogurt brands.....
      And you can find hot beverage and maybe some "fresh" fruit with more sugar than many yogurt brands.

      Yep fill up as much bacon as you want. Meat and grease have no sugar, much healthier...

      I love your comment. Reminds me that earth is still flat somewhere.

      Breakfast is the least healthy....
      Isn't any meal as healthy as what you eat?

      You can find ice cream with less sugar than many yogurt brands.....
      And you can find hot beverage and maybe some "fresh" fruit with more sugar than many yogurt brands.

      Yep fill up as much bacon as you want. Meat and grease have no sugar, much healthier than many yogurt brands.
      Sadly, continental breakfast have no bacon. Bonvoyed !!!!!!!!

  18. Explore Guest

    At multiple US properties in 2021 (Courtyard, Le Meridien for example) I was denied breakfast as a Titanium member, even though the hotels were serving it! Instead I was told that the hotel was only offering a few points. I fought those decisions up to the GM or front desk manager level, citing Marriott’s Terms and Conditions. Ultimately I ended up with 20K points in one case, and $100 (the official compensation) in the other....

    At multiple US properties in 2021 (Courtyard, Le Meridien for example) I was denied breakfast as a Titanium member, even though the hotels were serving it! Instead I was told that the hotel was only offering a few points. I fought those decisions up to the GM or front desk manager level, citing Marriott’s Terms and Conditions. Ultimately I ended up with 20K points in one case, and $100 (the official compensation) in the other. But this required a good deal of work. Problem is that the T&C don’t explicitly say that the choice of breakfast or points is up to the guest — therefore properties can claim that management can make that call. As Ben states, the points option is essentially worthless.

  19. Chris Guest

    What should be the simplest most straight forward benefit is the most complicated. This fact alone tells you all you need to know in regards to whom Marriott corporate cares for

  20. Don P. Guest

    We have an upcoming trip to a Westin where the Club Lounge is closed dispute to COVID but the restaurant breakfast is available. As Titanium members should we be offered this breakfast at no charge?

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      No. At legacy Starwood brands like Westin, a closed club lounge doesn't get you a breakfast in the restaurant. You don't even get 750 points for the closed lounge, as you would at a legacy Marriott brand like Marriott or Renaissance.

      If you want breakfast, you will have to choose it at check-in. At a Westin, you are entitled to a choice of 1,000 points, breakfast in the restaurant, or an amenity. Failing to...

      No. At legacy Starwood brands like Westin, a closed club lounge doesn't get you a breakfast in the restaurant. You don't even get 750 points for the closed lounge, as you would at a legacy Marriott brand like Marriott or Renaissance.

      If you want breakfast, you will have to choose it at check-in. At a Westin, you are entitled to a choice of 1,000 points, breakfast in the restaurant, or an amenity. Failing to offer all three is $100 cash compensation.

      See section 4.3.c.iii of the Bonvoy terms and conditions: https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/terms/default.mi#elite

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Not sure where my original reply went. But ... I'll write it again.

      Westin is a legacy Starwood brand. As such, there is no compensation if there is no lounge or the lounge is closed. By contrast, you would get a choice of 750 points or "continental breakfast" (quoting Marriott's Bonvoy terms and conditions) at a legacy Marriott property with a closed lounge or no lounge.

      However, as a Westin you'll get a choice of...

      Not sure where my original reply went. But ... I'll write it again.

      Westin is a legacy Starwood brand. As such, there is no compensation if there is no lounge or the lounge is closed. By contrast, you would get a choice of 750 points or "continental breakfast" (quoting Marriott's Bonvoy terms and conditions) at a legacy Marriott property with a closed lounge or no lounge.

      However, as a Westin you'll get a choice of 1,000 points, an amenity, or "breakfast in restaurant" (quoting Marriott's Bonvoy terms and conditions) at check-in. If they don't offer you a choice of all three options, you can claim $100 in cash compensation.

  21. AC Guest

    Ben,

    As a Titanium member you get both the breakfast and the points! Please make sure you report this correctly. Platinum members have to choose but not Titanium

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      What is your factual basis for this opinion?

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @AC

      I guess my Titanium for years was just a typo and my 75+ nights only gets me Platinum.
      Because I NEVER got both breakfast and points.
      However, last year at some properties with restaurant still closed. I got NEITHER breakfast nor points.

      So from experience, you can't have it both ways but the hotels can.

  22. Don P. Guest

    We have an upcoming trip to a Westin where the Club Lounge is closed dispute to COVID but the restaurant breakfast is available. As Titanium members should we be offered this breakfast at no charge? Sinc3 the Club Lounge, when open, also offer snacks and wine or beer should we not get some kind of s8milar offer?

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      See my answer above in regards to breakfast.

      With respect to non-breakfast food and beverage that would be served in an open lounge, some properties are giving guests free non-alcoholic drinks from the lobby pantry. But it is not required. I wouldn't hesitate to ask for something since there's really no excuse for a closed club lounge three years into the pandemic.

      If the restaurant and bar can be open, so can the club lounge.

    2. Mrsperez0619 Guest

      Club lounges are closed in areas where covid transmission is high... It is a safety precaution more for the employees that have to work in a confined area and for the patrons that stay in the hotel. Yes we are 3 years into the pandemic but people are still dying en-mass and its everyone's responsibility to take precautions to slow the spread. It is down right selfish to ignore precautions and demand lounges to be...

      Club lounges are closed in areas where covid transmission is high... It is a safety precaution more for the employees that have to work in a confined area and for the patrons that stay in the hotel. Yes we are 3 years into the pandemic but people are still dying en-mass and its everyone's responsibility to take precautions to slow the spread. It is down right selfish to ignore precautions and demand lounges to be open just because your being an entitled karen.. You travel all over before staying at a property, employees do not. You are far more likely to be a carrier of covid and get the staff sick in an industry where help is already on a skeleton crew.. Which is also a common complaint from Elites. Its common sense why these things are closed, remember that before you start the complaining next time..

  23. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    The Westin Moana Surfrider on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu used to give eligible Bonvoy elites a choice of a full restaurant breakfast at check-in. The restaurant breakfast included ala carte, not just a buffet. This was separate from access to the lounge, where a lighter but still sufficient continental breakfast was served.

    At some point before the pandemic, they stopped offering eligible elites a choice at check-in of breakfast in the restaurant, according to FlyerTalk....

    The Westin Moana Surfrider on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu used to give eligible Bonvoy elites a choice of a full restaurant breakfast at check-in. The restaurant breakfast included ala carte, not just a buffet. This was separate from access to the lounge, where a lighter but still sufficient continental breakfast was served.

    At some point before the pandemic, they stopped offering eligible elites a choice at check-in of breakfast in the restaurant, according to FlyerTalk. Unsure if anyone has been successful with compensation claims but I believe this property is managed by Marriott.

    Meanwhile, The Laylow, Autograph Collection, also in Honolulu, was claiming doughnuts and muffins with coffee from a communal pantry was a compliant breakfast. They eventually provided vouchers but the amount on the voucher wasn't sufficient to cover the cost of anything on the breakfast menu by the time you ordered juice or coffee.

  24. DrewT Member

    I know this isn't really about lounge access, but - I'm still sad that the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho (Luxury Collection) no longer gives elites lounge access, and no longer participates in SNA's. One of my favorite hotels, and the lounge staff were all exceptional.

  25. DCS Diamond

    World of Hyatt is the best, as Globalist members receive complimentary full breakfast at a vast majority of properties globally.

    A typical @Lucky "embellishment" to try to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. The World of Hyatt T&C on the Globalist free breakfast benefit are more, shall we say, down to earth:

    d) When staying at a participating hotel or resort that has a Club lounge, Globalists will receive access to the Club lounge....

    World of Hyatt is the best, as Globalist members receive complimentary full breakfast at a vast majority of properties globally.

    A typical @Lucky "embellishment" to try to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. The World of Hyatt T&C on the Globalist free breakfast benefit are more, shall we say, down to earth:

    d) When staying at a participating hotel or resort that has a Club lounge, Globalists will receive access to the Club lounge. When staying at a participating hotel or resort that does not have a Club lounge (or if Club lounge is closed), Globalists will receive daily complimentary full breakfast (which includes one entrée or standard breakfast buffet, juice, and coffee, as well as tax, gratuity and service charges) for each registered guest in the room, up to a maximum of two (2) adults and two (2) children.

    I just noticed that as if to make sure that the benefit is not misinterpreted, the WoH T&C on free breakfast are both bolded and underlined, the only ones that are. Just for a good measure, the program offers a clear and concise interpretation of the benefit in its overview of it:

    Club Access or Breakfast
    Relax in the Club lounge with continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres daily. Or, enjoy complimentary full breakfast daily for each registered guest (up to 2 adults and 2 children) at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts without a Club lounge>/b>.

    A clear "either/or" situation where only the "or" is always presented as the entire benefit. While the Hilton Honors breakfast benefit has always been very weak in the US, the benefit elsewhere consists of free full restaurant breakfast even at properties that have an exec lounge.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Same can be said.

      While the '.....everyone except IHG.....' breakfast benefit has always been very weak in the US, the benefit elsewhere consists of free full restaurant breakfast even at properties that have an exec lounge.

    2. DCS Diamond

      Whateva - see above or below, depending on your settings, my expansion on what I meant...

      G'day and good luck with IHG, which is currently trying to "enhance" its program so that it is just like Hilton Honors...

  26. Andy Morabe Guest

    The Marriott in Monterrey, CA offers a full breakfast. They have a great buffet plus a chef that cooks eggs to order. Probably one of best breakfasts I enjoyed at any hotel!

  27. Doug Guest

    As with so many other hotel realities, there is North America / Europe, and then there is the rest of the world. I frequently travel to Africa, India, and other parts of Asia where even mid-tier hotels typically offer extravagant breakfast buffets and treat elite members incredibly well. Pick an average property in the West, however, and you're unlikely to get much of anything.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Part of this is a reflection that almost all Marriott hotels in North America are managed by the franchisee or a third-party company like Aimbridge.

      Internationally, Marriott manages more of its hotels. Worldwide, however, Marriott manages less than 30%.

  28. Reno Joe Guest

    You forgot a category: hotels that closed their restaurants for breakfast so they wouldn't have to offer breakfast to elite members.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Yeah. There’s a loophole in Bonvoy terms. Marriott never envisioned a property closing both their lounge and their restaurant. While you get 750 points per day at some brands with a closed lounge, you don’t get anything if the restaurant is closed. This happened to me on more than a few occasions in 2021. I did eventually get $100 cash compensation through the lounge access guarantee at some legacy Marriott brands.

    2. Reno Joe Guest

      In the end, one realizes -- whether it's breakfast or something else -- the major hotel loyalty programs are simply too much work for too much disappointment. For some reason, Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" keeps playing in my head.

      In comments to other posts, I've mentioned that I'm fortunate enough to be a "regular" at a few (non-chain) hotels and I've negotiated my one-on-one loyalty benefits with each hotel's sales director . . . which...

      In the end, one realizes -- whether it's breakfast or something else -- the major hotel loyalty programs are simply too much work for too much disappointment. For some reason, Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" keeps playing in my head.

      In comments to other posts, I've mentioned that I'm fortunate enough to be a "regular" at a few (non-chain) hotels and I've negotiated my one-on-one loyalty benefits with each hotel's sales director . . . which are far and away superior to any of the chains' benefits. Among the benefits, breakfast is "anything on the menu" and included. Period. To those who are similarly situated, I recommend you do the same.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      And now @Reno Joe just made "Poker Face" playing in my head whenever I try to ask for breakfast, suites, and late checkout.

  29. mdande7 Gold

    It's crazy that you have to write a book to cover how this benefit works. Maybe some simplification is in order, LOL!

  30. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    The problem is Marriott themselves don’t understand that the breakfast is two separate provisions. Even Ben is somewhat confused.

    At Westin or Sheraton properties with a lounge, breakfast is also a welcome choice. You do not choose between lounge access with a continental breakfast in the lounge and a restaurant breakfast as this article somewhat inferred is the choice (“If you’re staying at a property like a Marriott or Sheraton, you’ll automatically receive executive...

    The problem is Marriott themselves don’t understand that the breakfast is two separate provisions. Even Ben is somewhat confused.

    At Westin or Sheraton properties with a lounge, breakfast is also a welcome choice. You do not choose between lounge access with a continental breakfast in the lounge and a restaurant breakfast as this article somewhat inferred is the choice (“If you’re staying at a property like a Marriott or Sheraton, you’ll automatically receive executive lounge access, and you don’t need to select that as your welcome amenity.”) You can get both as lounge access is guaranteed no matter your choice of a welcome amenity.

    Marriott only provides properties with one voucher for all brands. The voucher, by the way, explicitly states that tax and tip are included.

    But regardless, your interpretation of a continental breakfast vs. a restaurant breakfast relies upon a tortured reading of the Bonvoy terms and a conflation of the lounge access benefit at predominately non-resort legacy Marriott branded properties with the breakfast benefit at predominantly legacy Starwood and legacy Marriott resort properties. Marriott intentionally avoids the term “continental breakfast” in these provisions of the Bonvoy terms.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ FNT Delta Diamond -- Regarding your first point, I think we're saying the same thing? Regarding your other point, your argument seems a bit DCS-esque to me.

      I don't remember the last Marriott I stayed at in the United States where elite restaurant breakfast wasn't continental, and/or included tip. So while I see that you're saying that's how it should be, the reality is that this isn't how it is. I'd rather give advice...

      @ FNT Delta Diamond -- Regarding your first point, I think we're saying the same thing? Regarding your other point, your argument seems a bit DCS-esque to me.

      I don't remember the last Marriott I stayed at in the United States where elite restaurant breakfast wasn't continental, and/or included tip. So while I see that you're saying that's how it should be, the reality is that this isn't how it is. I'd rather give advice based on what I'd consider to be reality, rather than somehow reading between the lines of what the policy maybe was supposed to be at some point. But that's just me.

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      I was pointing out that your wording inferred you have to chose between lounge access with a breakfast and a restaurant breakfast at some brands like a Sheraton. You could have worded that part of the article better, I think.

      Regarding continental vs. breakfast, again these are two separate provisions. I have had plenty of properties within North America comply, though some have only done so after a pushback. There are others, sadly, that won’t...

      I was pointing out that your wording inferred you have to chose between lounge access with a breakfast and a restaurant breakfast at some brands like a Sheraton. You could have worded that part of the article better, I think.

      Regarding continental vs. breakfast, again these are two separate provisions. I have had plenty of properties within North America comply, though some have only done so after a pushback. There are others, sadly, that won’t even provide a continental breakfast that includes coffee or juice because, unlike Hyatt’s terms, the applicable Marriott terms don’t say they have to include coffee and juice in a breakfast. It’s certainly implied.

      As for the tip, if the property uses the business card-sizer orange, white and black Bonvoy vouchers supplied by corporate then it will explicitly says tip and tax are included. The problem is these vouchers are actually only for non-resort legacy Marriott properties, not legacy Starwood properties or legacy Marriott properties with a resort designation.

      What’s disappointing in all this is David Flueck clearly implied all Marriott brands would provide a complimentary breakfast to eligible elites in April 2018 when the combined Marriott—SPG—Ritz-Carlton replacement program was unveiled.

    3. Beachfan Guest

      Did you ask why they don’t give a beakfast instead of a credit at the st Regis?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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FNT Delta Diamond Guest

Part of this is a reflection that almost all Marriott hotels in North America are managed by the franchisee or a third-party company like Aimbridge. Internationally, Marriott manages more of its hotels. Worldwide, however, Marriott manages less than 30%.

2
mdande7 Gold

It's crazy that you have to write a book to cover how this benefit works. Maybe some simplification is in order, LOL!

2
Mihsanl Guest

I have to remind front desk people of Marriott policies regarding free breakfast as a Platinum member. Many still don't believe me until I show them the policies or benefits on the Bonvoy site, very sad that I do this frequently upon check in.

1
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