The Sheraton Charlotte airport has a club lounge normally, and that’s where Marriott Platinum members (and higher) would receive breakfast. The lounge is closed. But a reader reports that the hotel explains they aren’t obligated to provide a breakfast choice benefit because they have a club lounge.
The J.W. Marriott in Grand Rapids also has a club lounge that’s closed. They’ve been offering eligible elites a credit that doesn’t cover the least expensive breakfast on the menu.
At the W in Los Angeles they aren’t offering complimentary restaurant breakfast as a choice of benefit. However they will sell this breakfast to Platinums, Titaniums and Ambassador members for $11 plus tax and service charge.
Here’s a couple of interesting data points about Marriott hotel elite breakfast recently posted online,
- Ambassador member at the Royal Hawaiian reports that breakfast is currently limited for elites… but not for people booking a rate that includes breakfast.
Elites have access to a separate continental breakfast line that is clearly for elites only, where you can get coffee, assorted fruit, yoplait yogurt, and some pastries. No proteins other than a mini premade egg thing.
Luckily I was worried about the breakfast situation and booked a virtuoso rate that includes 4th night free and full breakfast. We received coupons that were good for any entree on the menu (with the top price being a ~38 short rib benedict. Note that this is limit 1 entree per person and does not include any side orders.
- Titanium member at the Laylow, Autograph Collection Waikiki sells breakfast but won’t offer a breakfast benefit, and the value of the points is only around $5 per night. (Compare that to breakfast for two people.)
While they are serving breakfast and coffee in the coffeeshop (nothing extravagant, but things like egg sandwiches), they will not give Plat / Titanium / AMB any credit towards breakfast. Instead of the previous $15 pp credit, you now just get 1,000 points plus 750 points per night.
I asked why, if they can *serve breakfast*, they can’t give the credit and the answer was that “It’s a management decision.”
According to a Marriott spokesperson,
Over the past year, hotel occupancy dropped to historic lows and properties had to adapt their operations accordingly such as closing restaurants or concierge lounges, as well as manage local guidance. In these situations, hotels were given the flexibility to offer food and beverage alternatives to members with elite status including a complimentary grab-and-go breakfast, F&B credit, or something comparable based on the brand. We will continue to monitor systemwide performance as occupancy improves in many markets but still remains low in others in determining how long to grant flexibility.
Supposedly “There is a policy in place for now regarding the breakfast benefit based on hotel occupancy” but hotels don’t seem to follow it, and Marriott doesn’t seem to enforce it.
Hotels have struggled in many cases (though are struggling a lot less in domestic leisure markets). The worst way to address those struggles is stick it to a chain’s best customers who are the way out of this mess.
Where local regulations prohibited indoor dining (or outdoor!) hotels have to comply of course. If restaurants are occupancy-restricted a replacement breakfast is reasonable – provide vouchers, but those should cover the cost of paying for breakfast, set up an alternative breakfast pickup at least. 1000 Marriott points are worth less than $7.
If you care about your elite benefits part of selecting a hotel now must include finding out what benefits are actually being honored at a property. And if you have to work so hard to get your benefits, the benefits probably aren’t worth it to begin with, and you shouldn’t be choosing a hotel based on loyalty to a chain.