Update: while a guest reports being told the same thing the menu suggests – that coffee would be charged – I’ve also been told by two guests that they were not in fact charged for the coffee. Go figure.
Summer Hull of The Points Guy reviewed The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort in Vail. The photos are excellent and the piece highly detailed – worth a read if you’re considering staying at this hotel – but one sentence about two-thirds down the page deserves to be highlighted. It captures everything that’s wrong with Marriott Bonvoy, in my opinion.
Should you decide to upgrade to the full buffet with juice and coffee, which normally costs $42 per person for a non-elite member, you’ll pay an $18 upcharge as a guest with Platinum Elite status.
Your ‘free breakfast’ as a Marriott Platinum, Titanium, or Ambassador member comes off of a special limited menu. But it does not even include juice or coffee. Here’s the actual elite breakfast menu, which confirms this:
And here’s the important context. Hotels can get away with virtually anything at Marriott, and hotels in this particular ownership group usually try.
This property is owned by DiamondRock Hospitality whose CEO has complained about having to give elites breakfast.
So on the Bonvoy and rewards program, they’ve made some changes and like you would expect when they were on new programs, for some of their hotels, it’s been really good and some we need to make adjustments with the new program.
So, I would say, our rewards cost in Bonvoy are down across our system, which has been good. Some of the contributions in some hotels are up and frankly some are down. And so, we’re working with them and they are agreeable to make adjustments where it’s fair to make adjustments. I’d say the one that we’re — we have been a little bit focused on is they — what — on your Bonvoy, they’ve given the leads who are their premium folks, free breakfast at resorts and they compensate us I think $7 a breakfast. But that’s one that in some markets make sense and in some markets probably is it’s too expensive. So that would be one that under the Bonvoy program we’re working with them on solutions to be equitable.
The hotel investor CEO complains about breakfast, which he sees being worth $7. So he’s only going to give $7 worth of breakfast even though his total costs for the program are lower since the launch of Bonvoy and even as he noted that he was promised additional cuts.
It’s important not to leave benefit language ambiguous in program terms the way that Marriott does. Hyatt’s approach is to actually define what breakfast means so there can be no arguments (emphasis mine),
Globalists will receive daily complimentary full breakfast (which includes one entrée or standard breakfast buffet, juice, and coffee, as well as tax, gratuity and service charges) for each registered guest in the room, up to a maximum of two (2) adults and two (2) children. T
When The Points Guy defended a U.S. Hilton charging extra fees to pay by credit card – which Hilton confirmed to me was against their brand standards – that was, incidentally, a DiamondRock-owned hotel as well.
The infamous Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort which tried getting away with the credit card fee trick is also a DiamondRock property, and it too squeezes elies on breakfast.