The Marriott Elite Weekend Fast is Over! Gold and Platinum Breakfast Benefit Being Extended

A year ago I broke down the deficiencies in the Marriott Rewards elite program. Some of those have since been corrected, at least a little bit.

Marriott Gold status comes after 50 nights, which is average for top tier status with other chains. Platinum takes a whopping 75 nights. One would expect superior or at least industry average benefits at that level.

And yet late checkout is on request only, day of departure (rather than guaranteed). Resorts are excluded — but since it isn’t guaranteed, why exclude resorts? Other chains exclude resorts from their guarantee, but will generally oblige subject to availability which is all Marriott is offering anyway.

Marriott’s breakfast benefit has also been weaker than the competition’s — free breakfast in the US and Canada has been guaranteed Monday – Friday only, with resorts excluded (although some properties extend it as a courtesy on the weekends anyway).


    Marriott Boca Raton goes above and beyond, offering restaurant buffet breakfast when their club lounge is closed

Now the great weekend fast appears to be ending. Nancy Trejos reports in USA Today,

Starting June 22, Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members plus a guest will get free continental breakfast seven days a week in the lounge or restaurant of participating hotels in the U.S. and Canada, the company will announce Tuesday.

If you’d rather not claim your muffin in the morning, you can opt for an additional 750 rewards points, instead.

Presumably the resort exclusion will continue to apply. And Marriott Courtyard properties apparently will not begin offering breakfast to elites, either.

The piece does make it sound as though Marriott is doing something industry-leading, mentioning only Starwood’s offering of free breakfast as a choice to Platinums. Starwood Platinums choose between their check-in points amenity and breakfast, while Marriott Rewards is offering points in lieu of breakfast but not as a substitute for the check-in amenity.

Unmentioned is that Hilton offers breakfast as a benefit to Gold and Diamond members, and Hyatt offers full breakfast (not just continental breakfast) to Diamonds when there’s no club lounge available.

Last month I surveyed which chains offer the most generous elite breakfast benefits. And while the option to take points instead of breakfast when there’s no lounge available on the weekends will be nice, Marriott will still lag Hyatt, Starwood, and Hilton due to the (presumably continued) resort exclusion.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Yes, I’ve been either Platinum or Gold for the last 10 years, and NEVER was given breakfast at a Courtyard because of my status.

  2. This is great news! The only part that worries me is where it says “participating hotels”. I wonder how many will participate and how will we know ahead of time?

  3. Courtyard might just as well be Super 8 to me in hotel selection. I would book any other Marriott chain first because of the whole breakfast deal. Why they can’t do a HIX experience at Courtyard is beyond reason.

  4. Well, Marriott is in the process of convincing/forcing all CY owners to spend a fair amount of capital to convert to the Bistro concept in their lobbies… it probably would have been a double whammy if they now told them, “Guess what? Now that you’ve spent all this money on a concept that we claimed would get you more F&B revenue, you are going to have to feed elites for free!”

  5. I wonder if the phasing in of continental breakfast may eventually involve the phasing out of the CL access? Or would Marriott just prefer to satisfy the continental breakfast “entitlement” by providing it in the CL.

    Equally, if Gold and Plats are entitled to a continental breakfast, might that induce properties to open the CL’s on the weekends on the theory that they have a continental breakfast obligation to some number of guests?

  6. Hilton Garden Inns are about the same as Courtyards. But HH give a full (eggs cooked to order) breakfast with a hot buffet supplement while Courtyards don’t even have free coffee urns. I think Marriott, over time, will see many fewer guests where both are in the same area. And, in my opinion, the Marriott Lounges have a sub par breakfast offering. (And I am Marriott Platinum and HH Gold)

  7. Add Courtyard *or* Resorts and it would be a big improvement in my book. Add both and I’d deem them top of the ladder.

  8. Actually Marriott offering complimentary breakfast to the elites both in business and resorts in Asia all the time..and even courtyard here has club lounge which you can access 7 days a week. The happy hour of Marriott is the best in Asia among all major chains.

  9. @Mooper – why would that make them top of the ladder rather than just competitive with Hilton? Hyatt offers their 50 night guests FULL breakfast, not just Continental, when there’s no lounge available..

  10. Marriott Insiders confirmed that the 750 points option is PER DAY if the lounge is closed or there is no lounge at a property, not per stay. That’s a pro, especially for those who aren’t breakfast people.

  11. The Marriott in Greenbelt, MD offered my wife and me free breakfasts in their restaurant (a terrific buffet, by the way) two weekends ago. My wife is Platinum and because the Concierge Lounge was closed, we still enjoyed a delicious couple of breakfasts!

  12. I have a question about the marriott platinum challenge. Do you have to be platinum when you book it or platinum during the stay or both? Thanks.

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