The Worst Hotel “Continental Breakfast” I’ve Had In Years

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

I’ve spent the past few days in NYC, and last night decided to check out The New York EDITION. Given Marriott’s takeover of Starwood, I’m doing what I can to review more Marriott brands, so us Starwood loyalists can get a better sense of what we can expect.

EDITION is one of Marriott’s highest end brands, and right now they have a fairly limited footprint, with locations in Abu Dhabi, Bodrum, London, Miami Beach, New York, and Sanya. Overall I liked the hotel’s aesthetic, and could see this being a brand I grow to like.

I’ll have a detailed review soon, but in this post just wanted to touch on one major frustration I have with this property, which I see at hotels occasionally.

EDITION is one of Marriott’s brands where Platinum members don’t receive free breakfast. That’s a general frustration I have with Marriott Rewards and why I’m worried as an SPG member, given that I get complimentary breakfast at all SPG properties.

I wanted to experience the breakfast at this hotel, though, so booked through Virtuoso, which came with a $100 food & beverage credit plus free continental breakfast.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve booked a hotel through Virtuoso that didn’t come with a full breakfast, even when it stated only a continental breakfast was included. I think of it as under promising and over delivering.

At check-in the associate confirmed I would receive complimentary continental breakfast either in the lobby lounge or room service (the hotel has a restaurant that serves breakfast, but the benefit doesn’t apply there, and neither does the food & beverage credit, which seems awfully cheap). I figured this would be explained in the room service menu, but I didn’t see any continental breakfast option.

So in the morning I phoned up room service to ask what the benefit was, and was told that continental breakfast included coffee, juice, and one pastry or croissant per person. Personally I didn’t want a 500 calorie pastry for breakfast (though I ordered one for the picture), so that left me with coffee and orange juice…

…and the hotel offers complimentary coffee in the lobby, so that leaves us with just orange juice.

Most amusing of all is that I was asked to sign a $67 check for the above, though it was taken off at check-out. Oh, New York City prices.

The last time I had this happen was in 2012, staying at the Le Meridien San Francisco.

So, what’s the point of this post? I recognize that this is technically a continental breakfast. Technically. So it’s the hotel’s right to be super cheap with this benefit. At the same time, it’s my right to avoid this property in the future and to warn others.

What frustrates me isn’t that they’re choosing to not offer a full breakfast, but rather the lack of options. If there’s one thing that road warriors need more than just about anyone, it’s healthy food. Fine, don’t offer a full breakfast, but at least make yogurt or fresh fruit an option in place of a pastry.

To me this benefit screams “hey, we technically have to offer free breakfast, but want to make it as unappealing as possible.”

Fortunately hotels like this are few and far between. However, it’s very sad that a luxury hotel considers this an acceptable breakfast.

What do you think — is the above a reasonable continental breakfast, or would you be frustrated as well?

  1. @lucky, do you just have an insane memory, or do you have some system for recalling and linking to historical posts. Pretty impressive that you recall your earlier post from 5 years ago.

  2. How annoying! It’s probably cheaper for them to give you scrambled eggs than those little jars of jam.

  3. Hahaha this is ridiculous. Any hotel calling that a continental breakfast has no business in hospitality.

    Marriott needs to step up their breakfast benefit game.

  4. Just one simple croissant with some butter?? I don’t even consider a pastry as breakfast. So if I get this right, this so called ‘breakfast’ would cost 67$… that croissant is made out of gold or what.

  5. There’s about a dozen Hampton Inns in Manhattan and they all include a hot and cold breakfast. Not fresh cooked, but not $67 either!

  6. The worst part was they were re-imbursed $67 for this. Disgusting. By the way, was there not a coffee pot in the room? That’s my pet peeve. When I wake up sometimes I need a cup of coffee so I can go get a cup of coffee 🙂

  7. @ JJJ — Where’s the fruit? I would have been a bit less disappointed if there were at least some fruit. And the reason I’d expect anything else is because after hundreds and hundreds of hotel stays, this isn’t how other hotels do it.

  8. Try the Algonquin Autograph hotel by Marriott in NYC, they do the same thing. As a Platinum they give you a breakfast voucher for continental breakfast in the restaurant and you only get either a muffin or small bowl of oatmeal with juice and coffee for breakfast. Or ten dollars towards another menu item that start at 25 for eggs. I quit trying out those boutique wannabe chain hotels in NYC as they are a ripoff. Small rooms, no lounges, bad work out areas, hate giving upgrades.

  9. I don’t stay at fancy schmancy hotels but I always knew continental breakfast was always a pastry and would never bother with it. However, I could probably buy 8 boxes of baked muffins and croissants at the local grocer for $67.

  10. My personal experience is that free continental breakfast almost always turn up to be full breakfast anywhere outside the US, however free continental breakfast within the US is getting poorer every year.

  11. $67 for that isn’t even a rip off – it’s a con.

    Thanks for the warning – as an NYC resident I am always on the lookout for hotels to recommend. This one just made my blacklist.

  12. Looks like what some of the US W Hotels offer to Platinum guests so this really does not surprise me.

  13. More and more I’m getting worried about Marriott / spg. This is ridiculous .. thank you for the post and heads up , I too will choose not to stay at this place (I’m trying not to stay at any Marriotts )

  14. When we stayed there in 2015 they did not have complimentary coffee, but charged $20 for a tiny mug. There was a steady stream of guests to the nearby Starbucks every morning.

  15. $67! And I was just commenting to the mrs about how expensive your breakfast at the Shangra-La in Paris would have been. Sheesh

  16. That muffin looks anemic … shame on them!

    New Edition hotel will be opening at the iconic MahaNakhon skyscraper in Bangkok and I am sure the breakfast will be good.

  17. Lol. $67 I’m sure price included 15%-20% service fee for delivering to the room so technically the order cost $55-57? but yes, that’s still crazy pricing for a pot of coffee, a cup of juice, a croissant and a muffin. That’s why using virtuoso or Amex plat is the way to book into hotels as you avoid those pesky insane charges for breakfast.

  18. My biggest pet peeve is “First world problem”. It is really intellectually lazy. Of course it is a first world problem as is virtually everything we do each day. Third worlders don’t spend any of their time on computers reading aviation/frequent flyer blogs, they spend their time seeking enough food and shelter to remain alive. I assure you, nothing you read on this blog or indeed on the vast majority of the internet will pertain to the personal experiences and problems of the 3rd world.

  19. “My personal experience is that free continental breakfast almost always turn up to be full breakfast anywhere outside the US, however free continental breakfast within the US is getting poorer every year.”

    Precisely right. And hello from the Marriott here in Kigali, with its exquisite and lavish breakfast buffet in one of Marriott’s most stunning dining areas.

  20. As third world countries tend to have a huge wealth gap, the five percenters in 3rd world countries, will have and think about these kind of problems… Rich peoples in third world countries go to those hotels and complain about those kind of things to their friends while they come back to their country and live in compounds, avoiding the areas of extreme poverty.

  21. @Kevinh

    “That’s why using virtuoso or Amex plat is the way to book into hotels as you avoid those pesky insane charges for breakfast.”

    He booked this through Virtuoso, and that was the breakfast “amenity” he received.

  22. Cipta Starbucks is a delicious breakfast. Well in the us. Sucks in the UK.

    Lucky that is just pathetic. I’ve stayed in Super 8s with much better than that crap.

  23. Better looking muffins at a Walmart bakery.

    They need some protein there like eggs or thin sliced meats. Europe gives you eggs, yogurt, or meat/cheese slices at breakfast. Speaking of Europe…makes my $60 burrito at a London Hilton seem like a fair deal.

  24. I actually love this hotel – but there is nothing about it that is a good value. I just plan to eat out around the hotel, there are like 5 coffee shops right by it with great healthy options – heck, you can even hit up Eataly!

    I also believe their restaurant isn’t owned by the hotel and I highly doubt that credit is being paid straight out, its discounted at most down to the cost of goods sold so it makes sense they want to keep it to owned amenities.

  25. I’m thinking about the amazing breakfasts available in that neighborhood for $25.

  26. I made money on a hotel in NYC recently. Checked the price and rebooked a few times. Cheaper than staying in any city on a Thursday night. The breakfast was expensive, but it was comp -ed (sp) Then a decent amount of points earned. This won’t be possible with Marriotts going forward so I may not be staying in them.

  27. Lucky,

    Edition Hotels are great hotels, including this one. The Clocktower restaurant is awesome in this property. However, elite and freeby benefits at Edition properties are not good – but you should have known that before you even made a reservation. If you want those types of perks, book at the Marriott Marquis and visit the lounge. It’s that simple.

  28. Also, you didn’t experience the “breakfast” at the property – you ordered a continental breakfast. If you wanted breakfast, you should have simply paid for an omelette.

  29. One word. Awful.

    I can’t complain about the complimentary breakfast for what it is, but what I don’t get is they normally charge US$67 for a piece of bread and a choice of beverage. This is insane! That is almost as much as the afternoon tea at the Plaza and you get way more food there!

  30. I have very low expectations for hotel breakfast offerings in the US so anything free is rarely disappointing. Agree that this is pretty stingy. And it’s shameless that it came with a $67 price – who would pay that? Seriously, insane.

  31. Lucky you should have also posted a copy of the invoice you were asked to sign Since you already took a picture of the breakfast. Now it makes me wonder before you, how many people stayed there and paid $67 for that breakfast?

  32. LOL! I staid at the Yotel NYC. Room rate was 120 $ a night and included all you can eat Muffins and Coffee/ Tee for breakfast.
    Now talk about a rip off …67$ for garbage.
    I het the juice is not even freshly squeezed!

  33. For people remaking on the cost of breakfast, I’ve paid $50/$60+ for oatmeal and coffee for room service breakfast out of pockets in a number of markets, including San Francisco and London.

    The reason these meals cost so much is that you have high priced entrees, often union room service departments with onerous scheduling rules, along with service charges added on. Often times, the only people paying cash for room service are those with a corporate per diem, so hotels jack the price up as much as possible to make up for the high overhead. Still, room service loses money in almost all full service, city hotels, so more and more of them are getting rid of it and going to the “grab and go” concept.

  34. Now you understand why I tend to ignore hotel breakfast benefits and pick up yogurt and juice from whatever convenience store is close by. I can’t possibly imagine who actually pays $67 for this. I mean, even business travelers have a per diem that limits these things. (As a fed, I can tell you my per diem is MUCH less than that — for the entire day)

  35. @James.K and equally thank you for yours.

    It’s not the most important post in the world granted – but it is fair enough for a reviewer to comment on how a supposed “benefit” in reality is not terribly worthwhile. And let’s face it, points people love their free breakfasts. I think what they offer is properly called a Continental breakfast but as Ben says – it’s a poor one,

  36. @Corey Sacken– Hear hear, that’s not even hyperbole. I stayed at a generally awful Super 8 last weekend. But you know what? I left with a full tummy from raisin bran and fruit.

    NYC hotels have figured out how to not compete on elite perks, but this is definitely a new low.

  37. Maybe I’m mistaken…..but the $67 is for two people, right? Because the continental breakfast incudes one pastry or croissant but both appear in the pic. So, $33.50 is still outrageous, but seems like most folks here are assuming it was $67 for one person.

  38. I’m with @Robert D. There are 2 pastries in the photo so it’s got to be $67 for 2 people (or, $33.50 per person). After you account for taxes, tip & delivery charge, it’s probably closer to $20-$24 per person. That’s actually not terrible for a cup of coffee, juice & pastry at room service prices…especially in NYC.

    Don’t get me wrong though, that breakfast looks terrible and I’d much rather head to Starbucks for something more filling, nutritious & inexpensive.

  39. The EDITION New York straight up sucks. It’s a Renaissance with overpriced food and three dozen doormen.

  40. Bizarre elevators, too. I didn’t like being inside a box that could only be controlled from the outside.

  41. @Lucky. Please don’t view the entire Marriott chain negatively as a result of one breakfast. I’m guessing there are at least a few Marriott loyalists on this blog (myself included–Platinum for a few years and Gold before that) who have done very well through the years receiving full breakfasts for free at Marriotts, even at brands that weren’t required to provide them. I’ve had plenty of under promising and over-delivering at Marriotts, and I pay my own way since I am retired. So by all means, please provide more Marriott reviews–they would be greatly appreciated. As for the pricing, New York City is just a different animal (I used to work there).

  42. Totally ridiculous!!
    That is not continental breakfast – that is garbage.
    Lucky, thank you so much for this post, I will do everything I can to tell my friends & family to stay away from this hotel.

  43. There’s a hotel at London Heathrow in the 1980’s (it’s the round one) where they used to serve a ‘inclusive’ continental breakfast for early flyers which was a paper plate with a shrink wrapped croissant and jam and some other stuff that they’d throw (literally) at the door from a cart like an inedible breakfast frisbee of horror. At least it was also a wake up call. 🙂
    But really $67….?

  44. @JJJ et al

    A “Cotinental Breakfast” is named such because it is what is served ‘on the continent’, not North America. Like France and the rest of Europe.

    What passes for a CB in North America is a complete joke and would never be tolerated in Europe. This was one of the poorest examples but not the poorest. Had a similar experience at a Hilton near Disneyland (Anaheim). When it did not include yoghurt and fruit I talked to the restaurant management and then the concierge explaining what a continental breakfast should contain. They grudgingly upgraded the breakfast to a decent standard.

    Anyone facing the rip off above should immediately contact the restaurant manager or the general manager and fill them in on the poor quality of their offering. Only by squeaking loudly and often with the service improve.

    I would never pay $67USD for any breakfast – unless it included unlimited Dom.

  45. I’m gonna agree with all the other reviews that this is atrocious. You could get a ROOM in NYC for $67 (granted, probably a shitty room with a shared bedroom somewhere around wall street, but still).

    I also looked up the reviews of this hotel on TripAdvisor, and very few mention being disappointed with the breakfast. I’m guessing not many people order it, which is why they can get away with it being this bad. Hoping someone tweets this at the hotel or generally makes it known to them.

    I agree, though, that hopefully you don’t judge the entire Marriott chain by this one hotel. This is a higher-end, boutique-type NYC hotel and it’s doubtful that it’s indicative of what the breakfast benefits are like at most properties (though this is a guess, since I don’t eat breakfast myself).

  46. The brand-new Laylow, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, in Honolulu is even worse. There’s whole threads on FlyerTalk.

  47. Ben, I echo RS’s question, how do you remember the links to previous article so easily? I’ve always wondered that but never thought to ask.

  48. Okay, wait a minute.

    Honestly, I think this is where all the emphasis on complimentary and luxury and elite and boutique and indulgent, iconic and first class, as well as presentation, has gotten us.

    Folks are impressed with a lot of nonsense. Instead of a nicety or an extra, hotels must provide X or Y. And it has to be special, special, special. So, they have four little jam bottles for one pathetic croissant. It is all so sadly synthetic.

    Second, I absolutely know (!) — you can’t talk me out of it — that some percentage of people will be impressed and think themselves impressive because there was a $67. bill for a single muffin and coffee.

    Third, probably an equal percentage of customers won’t even notice the $67. tab and the price/cost share will just eventually be added on to the corporate product or service that paid that scam.

    And for another way of saying much the same: I stayed recently at a Best Western that was their usual tacky, tasteless, but clean. I had a welcome “goody bag” (I kid you not) on the bed with my name mangled, but containing a can of Coke, a bag of pretzels and two extra shampoos. They served powdered eggs with television for breakfast.

  49. My wife and I recently stayed at the Marriott Marquis in NYC. As a Platinum we had access to their Lounge. The free breakfast buffet was first class, nice in every way. Why pay more (this hotel is expensive enough as is) for a cheap continental breakfast when you can stay at a “lower” status Marriott hotel and get the full lounge treatment. Crazy in my opinion.

  50. Ben, you should try Marriott properties like Spring Hill Suites and Residence Inn, they have really good breakfast buffet with hot and cold options, and its included. No need to just visit the uptight, “luxury” properties.

  51. As a health issue, let me point out that putting that simple sugar dump into your empty stomach can mess you up. That would force me to order something else and make the breakfast benefit useless to me, even if it’s technically honored.

    I’m a Hilton guy; my experience with them has been good. At the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, PR, for example, my Gold status only entitled me to continental breakfast. What they did was give me a ~$10 discount (per person) on the full breakfast I wanted.

  52. Why not just pair up with a delivery service. Way better food at Starbucks, 2 lattes, juices, muffins would be under $25 with tip.

    If they really aren’t making money on charging nearly twice as much for crap food and coffee I don’t see the point.

  53. This is very frustrating for someone with Celiac disease too. This is not “food”, this is “food like substance” with little to no nutritional value. I would much rather have a piece of fruit and coffee. When people comment about going elsewhere for coffee etc., when you are paying top $$$ I want quality real food. If I don’t get this then why do I have to pay with real money, one should be able to pay with “money like” paper. 🙂

  54. Being British I don’t understand why anyone would choose to have a continental breakfast. anywhere!

  55. Sorry but the edition hotels are massively over-rated. I do like the design, but I found the NYC Edition to be lacking in nearly every other way (like service) and very poor value. That breakfast is appalling and not “normal” NYC prices at 67 bucks – I have been served a far better room service breakfast at that price point at the Pierre, which is a substantially better hotel.

    I do wonder where Marriott is going with these Edition properties. They all have great restaurants and bars and seem almost set up to be fashionable F&B destinations for the local crowd rather than really great hotels…

  56. Wonder if it’s worth complaining to Virtuoso? A subpar amenity could diminishes (ever so slightly) the overall value of their network.

  57. Shame. How about ORGANIC OJ, a green smoothie, and a muffin- with coffee or tea? Or, why don’t they just let you use your voucher in the restaurant? That “breakfast” is just mean.

  58. Id like to see the unfiltered bill for this. $67 seems like a lot even for ny. I had a full hot breakfast at the Hilton times square for $50, free with gold.

  59. This doesn’t really surprise me. I’ve been visiting the U.S. fairly frequently since the 1980’s and have noticed the steady decline, in general, of Hotel services. I used to admire U.S. properties but not anymore, overall (some exceptions of course) the 4/5 star Hotels are now far superior in Europe and the East.

  60. That breakfast is “67” dollars because that way they can write off $67 off their taxes for “complimentary guest services”. No-one pays those prices.

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