Hyatt Place’s Complicated Breakfast Changes

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt

Hyatt Place is Hyatt’s limited service brand that’s known for offering complimentary breakfast. Well, the group is making some changes to its breakfast offerings, and they sure are complicated.

“Free” hotel breakfast is tough right now

There are all kinds of limited service hotel brands out there that offer complimentary breakfast. I think it’s worth acknowledging that this has become significantly more complicated during the pandemic. I’d guess that it will be at least a couple of years until we see breakfast buffets brought back on a consistent basis, and even that might be optimistic (personally I’d be happy to never see another buffet, but I realize I’m in the minority).

Many hotels have greatly modified their approach to breakfast

This puts hotels in a tough spot. It seems like the most common solution we’ve seen from hotels has been the introduction of breakfast bags that you can take to-go. The problem is that their contents aren’t exactly great, and the whole thing is kind of wasteful, since a lot of people won’t eat everything in there.

Breakfast bag from a SpringHill Suites stay

I totally get that these are just largely temporary solutions and that we’ll see things evolve over time. So I also don’t blame hotel groups for taking this time to rethink their approach to breakfast.

Hyatt Place breakfast changes

Back in early 2018, some Hyatt Place properties participated in a test where they stopped offering free breakfast. Then later that year there was a new requirement that you had to be a World of Hyatt member to enjoy free breakfast. I didn’t mind that too much, since joining a free loyalty program isn’t a huge barrier. Furthermore, I’ve found enforcement of that to be virtually non-existent anyway.

Well, now more changes are coming to Hyatt Place breakfast, and I can’t help but feel like they’re unnecessarily complicated, to the point that it almost reminds me of Marriott Bonvoy in terms of complexity.

As Hyatt describes these changes:

  • The company is taking a “test and learn approach,” embracing the Hyatt Place “brand spirit of experimentation”
  • The company is “responding in innovative ways to incorporate guest and member feedback, as well as evolving global market considerations”

The changes differ by region, so let’s go through them.

By the way, I should give the tip of the hat to The Points Guy here, as they note they have an “exclusive” on this information. I’m not sure if that info was given to them as part of their paid content with Hyatt lately, or it’s just a coincidence. For the record, I have no problem with their paid reviews of the “Work from Hyatt” experience, except:

  • Don’t they have a policy of paying for their own travel and not doing sponsored travel reviews, or did that change? Or is this a case of “well technically we were paid for content, and then we used some of the money towards our hotel stay?” I would ask in a comment over on their site, but…
  • If you’re gong to review the Work from Hyatt experience, and if the primary benefit of booking that rate is a private workspace outside of your room, it would be nice if the person writing the review actually shared details about the private workspace, rather than just saying s/he worked from the desk in the room; you know, minor details

Anyway, I digress…

Hyatt Place breakfast in the US

Effective immediately, whether or not you’re a World of Hyatt member will no longer impact eligibility for complimentary breakfast. However, other changes are coming, which will start with a pilot program:

  • This will apply to 20 Hyatt Place properties
  • All guests staying at these properties will be offered a complimentary continental breakfast, which could include an avocado toast kit, oatmeal, yogurt, and fresh fruit
  • Those who want a hot breakfast can purchase food that’s for sale, including items like sandwiches, pastries, frittata egg bites, and more
  • World of Hyatt Globalist members will receive one free hot paid food item per registered guest at these properties
  • Feedback will be analyzed, and changes will be made at all properties in 2021

My take? During these times the above might not actually be that bad of a change, since the options are otherwise so limited. Many will no doubt consider this to be a downgrade over the pre-coronavirus breakfast, though.

Hyatt Place breakfast in Africa, India, and the Middle East

As of November 16, 2020, all Hyatt Place properties will offer a “regionally inspired breakfast” for free to all guests. There’s no need to be a World of Hyatt member.

My take? That’s an all around positive change, since everyone gets free breakfast, and you don’t have to be a World of Hyatt member.

Hyatt Place breakfast in Asia-Pacific

As of November 1, 2020, not everyone gets free breakfast at Hyatt Place:

  • If you booked direct with Hyatt and you’re a World of Hyatt member, you get free breakfast for two people
  • If you are a non-World of Hyatt member and/or booked an eligible rate, you get free breakfast for one person

My take? Why is this policy being made so complicated? Free breakfast for one person vs. two people? This seems like a pain to explain to guests, and I feel like it will just cause confusion.

Hyatt Place breakfast in Europe

As of November 16, 2020, there will be room-only rates at some Hyatt Place properties, which won’t include breakfast. These room-only rates will include Hyatt Place properties in Amsterdam, Frankfurt Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, and West London.

World of Hyatt Globalist members will continue to receive free breakfast even if booking a member-only rate.

My take? It’s cute that TPG suggests that “these cheaper rates could be appealing if you don’t need breakfast.” That sounds like the claim airlines made when basic economy fares were introduced. If we’re being honest, the goal here isn’t to lower the cheapest rate, it’s to upcharge for breakfast (and that’s totally fair from the hotel’s perspective). It shouldn’t be that hard to see through that.

Bottom line

Changes are coming to breakfast at Hyatt Place properties, and I’d say they’re a mixed bag. I actually don’t have particularly strong feelings about them one way or another (short of free breakfast no longer being standard in Europe), but my main takeaway is just how frustratingly complicated these policies are.

One of the things that I love about Hyatt is how consistent the brand is, which isn’t true at Marriott. I basically have to travel with a mini-Marriott bible to remember what benefits I get at what brands, depending on the region, whether it’s a weekend or not, whether it’s a resort, and whether there’s a full moon (okay, that last part isn’t true).

If you want guests to be brand loyal, you should offer consistency globally. With this new policy, at some Hyatt Places everyone gets a free hot breakfast, at others everyone gets a free continental breakfast, at others just one person gets breakfast, and at others no one gets free breakfast (when booking the base rate).

What do you make of these Hyatt Place breakfast changes?

Comments
  1. The US and Asia-Pacific policies will be a pain in the ass to explain to guests. EU policy is simple enough and Africa, ME and India have a nice positive change. Lets see if this stick or they move back as hotel will start complaining about time waste and angry guests when they have to tell them that they only have breakfast for 1 not 2.

  2. so basically someone in Hyatt Corp was worried about their job and came up with this convoluted pilot program in an attempt to create work and protect their role

  3. If they are going to supply a bagged breakfast, they should have guests fill out a breakfast form upon check in or the night before with what they would like in the bag and the time they want to eat so it is tailored to the guest.

  4. Losing free breakfast to all is apparently killing part of the brand differentiation hotel chains try to pursue, so hopefully these measures are indeed temporary.

  5. TPG has effectively turned into a large piece of garbage in recent years. Many of their writers have no clue what they’re talking about, and will write nice things for just about anyone that pays. This is coming from someone who’s been reading points blogs for a decade

  6. i can swallow this if it is a temporary change. If it is considered permanent, my evaluation of Hyatt Place will push me to find other options.

  7. Just here to say thank you for holding sites like TPG to task when they blur ethical lines. They have some first-rate writers whose work I’ve long respected, so it’s sad to me that business decisions are diluting the trustworthiness of the larger brand.

    Sadly, there are lots of even shadier copycats — and some of them do even better than TPG in SEO. The worst in the genre is the “review” of something the writer clearly didn’t actually experience firsthand but instead wrote off of brand promotional materials.

  8. Getting rid of TPG comments section really did it for me… I like the articles at OMAAT better, but the clarification through the comments really puts it over the top due to so many engaged readers. Not sure if that’s enough shade for your @Reaper.

  9. I try to stay at Hyatt House where they are co-located because I like having their omelet for breakfast. Otherwise as a Diamond, I mean Globalist, it seems like little change.

  10. @ Ben — I don’t read TPG, not because I have any issue with anything they’ve written or done, but because BoardingArea provides all the travel information that I need. Your blog is undoubtedly the most thorough and accurate points and miles travel blog. I wouldn’t ever have known about whatever it is your are ranting about if you hadn’t mentioned it in this post. This extraneous content should just be deleted. If I were you, I would just ignore TPG. Why on earth do you care about what they do?

  11. Really nice article and appreciate highlighting the ethical shenanigans of other sites. Only a matter of time until loyalty is devalued that people all just pick the best price.

  12. I ditched TPG ever since they posted, then removed and the author left after the removal of their best ever article. Which one was it?

    It was the Arne Sorenson article where Arne was touting the success of the SPG-Marriott merger for all their loyal members, and the article’s response was that he was “out to lunch”. The article was spot on for anyone who was a long standing SPG member and who was having to put in a ridiculous amount of effort to manage their loyalty, ensure all points were credited etc.

    I was SPG ambassador at the time and was definitely v. frustrated. It took a year before there was a reach out to ambassadors to apologize. Arne still never apologized.

    Marriott lost my loyalty. TPG sold out. I went to Hyatt and OMAAT instead 🙂

  13. Hyatt Place breakfast in the US is inedible 99% of time, just like that Spinghill Suites breakfast you have in the picture. This change doesn’t sound like an improvement.

  14. Call me old fashioned, but if you say there is a a pilot program at 20 hotels, shouldn’t you also list those 20 hotels? Unless Hyatt is planning to run the program at 20 hotels randomly chosen every night.

  15. @Jonathan
    ….. i couldn’t agree more!

    Jonathan says:
    TPG has effectively turned into a large piece of garbage in recent years. Many of their writers have no clue what they’re talking about, and will write nice things for just about anyone that pays. This is coming from someone who’s been reading points blogs for a decade

  16. Does this mean there are no changes to free breakfast for Hyatt Place properties in Canada, Mexico, and South America?

  17. I agree with Gene, why give them any reference at all. I haven’t visited TPG for at least a year. Just ignore them. Or would, given the title, that be ignore him.

  18. So Asia Pacific has basically gone back to normal, except it’s slightly improved (Breakfast for one, instead of breakfast for none, if not WoH. Otherwise, breakfast for two remains unchanged for all WoH members)

  19. Hyatt Place has been my favorite economy hotel chain with its consistent and contemporary styling and free breakfast. The free breakfast is a huge part of the Hyatt Place value proposition, so tinkering like this can only serve to lessen my loyalty.

  20. Another plug for OMAAT. I dumped them a few years ago when I found this and never looked back. Thanks for all you guys do to deliver real content!

    As for Hyatt Place in the US… one free hot seems so stingy for Globalists. Feels like one free hot per adult or per guest would be fine. On the rare cases I can bring the wife, that means I’m stuck with the cold bag.

  21. Another plug for OMAAT. I dumped them (TPG) a few years ago when I found this and never looked back. Thanks for all you guys do to deliver real content!

    As for Hyatt Place in the US… one free hot seems so stingy for Globalists. Feels like one free hot per adult or per guest would be fine. On the rare cases I can bring the wife, that means I’m stuck with the cold bag.

  22. Love the TPG shade. WTF is going on over there? Removing the comments just totally ruined something that frankly wasn’t all that great in the first place.

  23. One more comment. In the movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, the spaceship’s AI computer was named HAL, a play on the name IBM, with each letter adjusted one letter back in the alphabet. If we do the same for TPG, we get SOF, for Solder of Fortune, i.e. mercenary. Seems apropos for a travel site that has become a sellout to the industry.

    Lucky doesn’t normally throw shade at others, so kudos to Lucky for calling them out.

  24. While OMAAT was always superior to TPG, I occasionally read them, but after the comments fiasco I have never visited the site since. What a worthless site full of uneducated ill-informed writers.

    OMAAT FTW!

  25. Can someone explain the comments fiasco at TPG? I haven’t been following them in years but after the shade Ben threw at them, I am now curious. Can someone enlighten us please?

  26. Yeah I too would like to know wtf happened to the tpg comments. Omaat is superior but enjoyed having tpg there (despite their unnecessarily longer articles) too but it’s much worse without the comments.

  27. With the exception of two (Alberto and Clint), I find the writers at TPG to be ill-informed, pretentious and just plain bad at writing. The only reason I continue to read them is that they occasionally review economy class products, which Lucky rarely does.

  28. The two Hyatt Place properties near LHR have always had room only rates so no change then. I have stayed at both regularly as they are great for a MR.

  29. I wonder if TPG is still using his fancy Centurion Business Card, you know, the one he was frequently bragging about. TPG lost me when he sold his company to that VC firm. I doubt he really cares about the current decline in clicks and referrals of his “blog”.

  30. TPG was the place to go when you wanted to know about Travel related news and Information.
    Not any more, it is mostly the Lieberman’s and Rosenberg’s enjoying Free stays at Fancy Hotels and Boasting about How they scored FREE Suites and Flew First Class because they worked for TPG. It is Garbage in Garbage Out now. They posted their Christmas Party Picture last year, except for one person, they All looked related. I guess the reason they do not have “comments section” because they did not want anyone to read the criticism.
    Maybe Ben can teach them a thing or two!

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