Marriott Tells Hotels To Start Honoring Elite Breakfast Again July 1

Marriott hotels were allowed to close down their club lounges and restaurants during the pandemic. Even where they re-opened restaurants they might not honor elite breakfast, claiming that they weren’t fully staffed or hadn’t fully re-opened.

Bonvoy properties in the U.S. were “given the flexibility to offer food and beverage alternatives” in the words of one Marriott executive, and that meant “grab-and-go breakfast” (perhaps a brown sack with an apple and some granola) or a food and beverage credit that could be spent towards a breakfast in the restaurant – an odd flex, considering the reason for allowing the credit in the first place is that closure of restaurants.

It was common to see food and beverage credit that didn’t actually cover breakfast, working like a discount coupon that might get a member to pay for breakfast rathe rather than honoring the spirit of the program. Properties took full advantage of the flexibility and then some.

W Los Angeles Was Selling This To Platinum Members For $11++ (No Credit Offered)

However things are supposed to return to normal at U.S. properties by July 1. A Marriott spokesperson tells me that “the flexibility granted hotels for opening of food and beverage outlets based on occupancy will end July 1.”

Hotels without club lounges, or whose lounges are closed, generally have to provide an amenity choice benefit for breakfast although what that means varies by brand and in a few cases does mean credits to buy breakfast. The breakfast experience varied tremendously even before the pandemic.

Marriott Boca Raton

We can expect then that hotels will have been told to stop playing games with breakfast benefits July 1. What that looks like on the ground may vary by hotel, and we’ll have to wait until next month to see. But since hotels are expected to honor their in-restaurant breakfast benefit for Platinums and above, where that benefit applies, if you don’t get it you should complain – and expect compensation.

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, 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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  1. Just calling out a substantial difference in elite member treatment, where Hyatt continues to earn my loyalty.
    Stayed two nights at the Chicago Athletic Association (Hyatt property) last month. As with Marriott properties (for all hotel brands), we’re talking about recent re-opening with/after COVID shutdowns situation…

    The main restaurant where breakfast is normally served was still closed. That was a bummer, but expected. They were offering breakfast, via room service, from the normal menu.

    Full breakfast for two (entrees (like pancakes), 2x coffees, and 2x bottles of water) were pretty outrageously priced and with fees, charges, etc came to $100 each day. But charges for both mornings were removed as it was covered by my Globalist status. No problem, no fighting for it, no attempts to sneak charges in there. Yay for Hyatt, not #bonvoyed

  2. Ending “the flexibility granted hotels for opening of food and beverage outlets,” does not mean properties will resume honoring elite benefits. Recent experience has taught me that far too many Marriott properties have used COVID as an excuse to devalue or deny platinum benefits. This goes beyond breakfast. “Can’t use your suite nights here because COVID. Can’t give you a late checkout because COVID. No housekeeping because COVID.” I’ve been told all three of these things in the last month.

    Without late checkouts, suite awards, or lounges, Marriott platinum and above is no different from Hilton Gold or below. And in the lower tier brands, Hiltons actually offer a better experience. If there’s been one upside to the devaluation of Marriott upper tier status, it’s that it has encouraged me to try other options.

  3. So what is Marriott going to do when Morrison House, Autograph Collection in Alexandria, Virginia, or the JW Marriott Los Cabos either provides vouchers that don’t cover the cost of breakfast or insist that a muffin and coffee is breakfast? Why can’t Marriott simply define breakfast as on hot entree from the menu, coffee, juice, water, tip and tax?

  4. I’m looking forward to Marriott once again strictly holding their properties to fulfilling the elite benefits that they promised in exchange for loyalty like they did…. back…. before… oh wait, they never did that.

  5. @Doug: I am cracking up… I fixed it for you:
    “… to fulfilling the elite benefits that they promised in exchange for loyalty like they did…. back…. before… … Marriott ate SPG and utterly ruined a fantastic program”

  6. Gonna be fun to watch the s-storm when July 1 rolls around and many of the hotels in the chain weasel their way out of it.

  7. Sigh, I have a stay on June 30th and checking out July 1st for a stay that doesn’t really honor elite-status breakfast according to DPs. We’ll see what happens comes breakfast time on July 1st!

  8. I am Hilton Diamond, accustomed to getting maybe a bagel, juice and a banana (if I’m lucky) at Doubletree.

    Hilton has fewer lounges than Marriott and the continental breakfasts are worse at Hilton.

    Pre-Covid I enjoyed Marriott lounges and full breakfasts. I am Platinum.

    During Covid, my Marriott experience has been worse than my Hilton experience because Marriott had better breakfasts beforehand. Now, they’re both pitiful.

  9. I think the most outrageous aspect of this is that Marriott NEVER told customers that certain elite status benefits and guarantees were suspended.

  10. Marriott better get their act together soon before they find themselves left behind! I know I am getting tired of of! (Titanium level)

  11. I can pre-write all the butthurt posts coming the first week of July when rogue properties still aren’t offering Plat+ breakfast (and are ignoring 4pm check-out to boot)

  12. Finally hit gold elite Marriott status this year… first stay and there were no benefits. No early check in… no brekkie… no late check out. Just nothing at all :-*(

  13. @Anna TRUONG Free breakfast is not a benefit of Marriott Gold — just platinum and above.

  14. I stayed at the JW Marriott in Chicago. Upon checking in I was told no breakfast at Chicago area Marriotts due to pandemic. Upon pressing further they said no breakfast in the restaurant because Marriott doesn’t own the restaurant. Upon elevating to Bonvoy Customer Service I received a response back from the hotel stating the following:
    “At this time, we are not offering breakfast on the weekends due to temporary standards set forth by Marriott in response to the pandemic regarding Executive Lounge hours.”

    Which makes no sense because most lounges are closed on the weekends and they give you breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

    Can someone please get Marriott Corporate to clarify because I’m not exactly sure how “lounge hours” prevents them from providing a meal voucher to eat in the hotel.

  15. Staying at the Four Points Sheraton in Scotts Valley. They have a restaurant open, but aren’t giving elite breakfast benefit or even free bottled water. Apparently, there is no brand standard for Marriot anymore. It’s the wild west still.

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