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.