Is Hyatt Place Breakfast Really Restricted to Members Booking Direct? Not So Fast!

Effective November 1 Hyatt Place hotels were supposed to stop providing all guests with free breakfast and limit breakfast only to members of World of Hyatt who book through Hyatt channels (or corporate booking tools, since that’s good business). I broke news about the original test months earlier.

  • If you book through an online travel agency like Expedia, no breakfast for you
  • But if you’re not already a World of Hyatt you get an exemption if you sign up for the program
  • That means non-members can get breakfast if they book through Expedia — top tier elites cannot

Hyatt promised to add regional items that provide a sense of place, such as “in the southern U.S. [Hyatt Place breakfast] may feature biscuits and gravy or Hyatt Place hotels in the west/Pacific Northwest may feature avocado toast.” I haven’t noticed this at all at the Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse where I’ve stayed three times since the cutover. Hyatt Place breakfasts aren’t nearly as good as they used to be just a couple of years ago.

Hyatt framed their changes as breakfast being a new benefit of their program but really it’s taking away a benefit from the Hyatt Place brand. At least if it’s actually enforced.

However I haven’t noticed the change in my three Hyatt Place stays since November 1. Breakfast has been open exactly as it used to be. I asked on Twitter what others’ experiences have been.

Some folks have had the same experience that I have had — business just as before, hotels ignoring the edict. After all enforcement is costly. You need to pay a staff member to do the task and are you really going to generate enough extra revenue to make it worthwhile? Meanwhile it’s the worst job in the place, the person scolding people for trying to have breakfast.

Hyatt Places weren’t necessarily designed with cordoning off breakfast in mind. I used to think that if I were ever in dire straits I didn’t need to be staying at a hotel I could just swing by for breakfast…

At the opposite end of the spectrum some hotels do enforce the new approach to breakfast, each in their own way.

I’m not even sure what it would look like to have an employee walking around to people already having breakfast checking on their eligibility. What if they are already Hyatt members but booked through an online travel agency, are they going to be told about charges for food they’re already eating?

Other folks have had mixed experiences, or seen hotels chart a middle ground or half-hearted approach to enforcement.

In practice the Hyatt Place “mornings are for members” slogan isn’t as cut and dried as corporate’s rules appear.

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. Oh yes, the HP “breakfast”, lol. It doesn’t need guarding, it guards itself pretty well against any predators, lol…They should be paying us to eat that sht…

  2. Had a bunch of Hyatt Place/House nights to get over the top to Globalist late last year. Mostly in Chicagoland.

    No one even came close to checking if I had booked through Hyatt channels.

  3. I stayed at the Hyatt Place in downtown Chicago on Franklin Street in early January and there was this lady parked right next to the breakfast buffet essentially (but in the least awkward and confrontational way possible) which room number they were staying in and she would type something into her iPad. Since I read this blog daily I took that to mean that this was a way of checking to see if this person who was eating breakfast was **allowed** to be eating breakfast or whether they should be charged?

    I am pretty observant and I noticed she never cut into anybody’s conversation to get this information and definitely never physically moved in order to force the question. Many guests never even got asked because the moment to ask never really arose.

  4. I have been to a Hyatt Place where they let me have the free breakfast for being a member even though I booked through Hotels.com.

    I recommend not complaining about the program being more generous–I don’t see how this hurts anyone, and my concern is that blogging about this could cause them to crack down.

  5. The breakfast is terrible
    I wouldn’t eat it in any case
    In years past I saw hungry cheap Marriott Hilton etc customers and some homeless
    who stopped by to eat the Hyatt slop for free and avoid paying for breakfast
    Not sure how often that happens
    They can have my breakfast because realistically I don’t stay at them at all anymore except as a last resort

  6. Hyatt Place Bayamon, Puerto Rico puts up temporary wooden barriers at breakfast time and makes everyone check in with a host.

    I didn’t see any breakfast guards at the LAS Hyatt Place.

    So I guess it depends. Personally, I wouldn’t book a Hyatt Place these days from a third party. Without free breakfast, it’s better staying elsewhere.

    On a positive note, they have improved the breakfast now. Other than the eggs (they seem to be “cage free instant” the food is ALMOST restaurant quality. Significantly better than HIX or Hampton.

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