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Marriott's new "breakfast offering" explained

Marriott's new "breakfast offering" explained

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Old Jul 24, 19, 8:21 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: Horace
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Huge thanks to Horace for this list (which is much simpler to understand than Marriott's T&Cs!)

Daily Breakfast for Platinum Elite (and higher)

Six categories:

1. Breakfast for member + 1 in the lounge. If the hotel does not have a lounge or the lounge is closed, member can choose 750 points OR breakfast for member + 1 in the restaurant. A limited number of hotels provide 1,000 points each day the lounge is closed instead of a choice. Any of these benefits are in addition to the Platinum Elite welcome gift.

— Autograph Collection (excluding resorts)
— Courtyard (properties with a lounge only; Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America, the Middle East, and Africa only)
— Delta* (excluding resorts)
— JW Marriott (excluding resorts)
— Marriott (excluding resorts)
— Renaissance (excluding resorts)
* many Delta properties provide breakfast from an Elite Pantry as an alternative to a Signature Lounge, in which case the hotel does not need to provide breakfast for member + 1 the restaurant.

2. Breakfast in the hotel restaurant for member + 1 as a Platinum Elite welcome gift option (not in addition to it).

— Aloft
— Autograph Collection (resorts only)
— Delta (resorts only)
— Four Points
— The Luxury Collection
— JW Marriott (resorts only)
— Le Méridien
— Marriott (resorts only)
— Protea
— Renaissance (resorts only)
— St. Regis
— Sheraton
— Tribute Portfolio
— W Hotels
— Westin

3. Breakfast in lounge for member + 1, if the hotel has a lounge. This is in addition to the Platinum Elite welcome gift, which could be breakfast for member + 1 in the restaurant. No alternative benefit if the lounge is closed.

— Le Méridien (only at locations with a lounge)
— Sheraton (only at locations with a lounge)
— Westin (only at locations with a lounge)

4. Daily U.S. $10 F&B credit for member + 1 as a Platinum Elite welcome gift option (not in addition to it). Can be applied toward breakfast or toward other F&B purchase in the hotel restaurant or bar. Does not accrue over multiple-night stay.

— AC Hotels
— Courtyard (locations without a lounge only, which means most locations)
— MOXY

5. Breakfast for all guests included in room rate, regardless of status or membership

— Element **
— Fairfield (except Fairfield Asia Pacific hotels) **
— Residence Inn
— SpringHill Suites
— TownePlace Suites
** very few exceptions; check official hotel website

6. No complimentary daily breakfast, even for Platinum Elite

— Design Hotels
— Edition
— Fairfield Asia Pacific hotels
— Gaylord Hotels
— Marriott Executive Apartments / ExecuStay
— Marriott Vacation Club / MVC Pulse / Grand Residences by Marriott
— The Ritz-Carlton / Ritz-Carlton Reserve / Ritz-Carlton Residence Club
— Vistana / Sheraton Vacation Club / Westin Vacation Club
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Old May 21, 19, 12:20 pm
  #676  
 
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Originally Posted by yyzflyer View Post
And you were on a points stay as well? The FD manager was very clear that there would have been no question had I been paying.
No, it was a paid stay. Ridiculous that they thought the benefit was contingent on payment method.
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Old May 21, 19, 1:45 pm
  #677  
 
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Originally Posted by wcj1 View Post
No, it was a paid stay. Ridiculous that they thought the benefit was contingent on payment method.
I agree, but as I mentioned not really worth the fight. I was just offering recent anecdotal support for the subject. As also mentioned previously, I wasn't even aware the $10 was supposed to be USD equivalent in Canada until I caught up on this thread. I'm not as much of a Flyertalk geek as I used to be... no offense intended to anyone.
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Old May 21, 19, 2:37 pm
  #678  
 
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
Well, for starters your assertion that only one brand allows exec lounge access outside of the US is wrong.
Except I didn't assert that. I said "Exactly one brand offers lounge access only outside the US." Which remains true, as far as I can tell; of the brands that guarantee, all but Courtyard offer it worldwide.
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Old May 21, 19, 3:18 pm
  #679  
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It's not that Courtyard disallows U. S. lounge access, but that there are none, and presumably won't be anytime soon.
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Old May 22, 19, 6:15 am
  #680  
 
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
It's not that Courtyard disallows U. S. lounge access, but that there are none, and presumably won't be anytime soon.
Are you certain there are no Courtyards with lounges in the US or Canada? They already distinguish between Courtyards with lounges and Courtyards without lounges outside the US, so it isn't really clear why they'd bother carving out the US if they weren't trying to limit access to something.
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Old May 22, 19, 2:39 pm
  #681  
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
Are you certain there are no Courtyards with lounges in the US or Canada? They already distinguish between Courtyards with lounges and Courtyards without lounges outside the US, so it isn't really clear why they'd bother carving out the US if they weren't trying to limit access to something.
CY started in the US in 1983 & does not have exec lounges. Asia is the only region that has CYs with exec lounges & not all Asia CYs have them. Rest of world CYs do not have exec lounges.

Cheers..
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Old May 22, 19, 3:41 pm
  #682  
 
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Courtyard breakfast, employees visibly not knowing the rules

I have been through the exact same experience than reported by multiple other users. Checking in with titanium status, and having to argue with 4 different employees (while checking and the morning after) to prove that the rule at courtyard In usa is for $10 breakfast voucher per person (member + 1). The sad thing is that they all told me with lot of confidence they knew for sure, and had lots of platinum before and never gave them two vouchers. It is only when one of the manager wanted to prove its point and shown me the chart she used following her ‘self training’ that I was able to mention the fact there is a ** and small prints at the bottom that clearly say member+1. It is weird that I have to argue with ‘people that know better and have done the training’ each time as it really defeat the purpose having status should make you feel appreciated. The experience always gives me the awkward feeling that Marriott is trying its luck playing tricks on me, and honestly it mak me feel bad that I have to ask each time as if this was a big favor to be given the privileges that comes with the status gained. Let alone the fact I ended up with the worst room although the hotel parking was mostly empty and all room types were available on the web. But for an upfgrade I would have had to ask and start arguing again while spending 10 minutes for a $10 breakfast had already consumed too much of my energy and patience. I must admit that with other loyalty programs, such problems were the exception. With The new bonvoy it is getting the norm; many Marriott employees are often confused (many think titanium is bellow platinium therefore no upgrade for you man) and I have encountered some who were plainly lying to avoid giving an upgrade (no better room available for you sir... then ask another agent 5 minutes and they confirm there are plenty of such available rooms for you).
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Old May 22, 19, 6:38 pm
  #683  
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Thanks for sharing your experience. It's your option, but it would help to read the above if you did some paragraph breaks.

All MAR employees had to go through video training re: the new program. Having said that, odds are most of the franchise companies probably didn't make their employees do the video training & just put up the new (large as hockeyinsider mentioned) sheet that describes everything in the back office. My guess is most of the FDC didn't bother spending much time on that.

I regard this more as a franchise issue than a MAR issue, as MAR provided the training tools that franchise folk could/should take advantage of & didn't (and that's true beyond breakfast).

Speaking for myself, I've printed out the T&Cs on everything & will have no problem pointing out the correct T&Cs to non-complying properties.

Cheers.
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Old May 22, 19, 6:48 pm
  #684  
 
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This is a MAR issue - 100%!! How can this all be franchise issues? This comes from the top down just like any other business...……..MAR has district or regional managers and this should be their primary focus right now in getting some face time with all these properties and clearly explaining what the benefits are etc.,

If MAR is not putting focus on this and driving this properly then why would the franchisees? Sending an email or some literature and cut outs is not training - definitely not training for an organization this size.

I myself cannot stand trying to persuade somebody you should be getting some kind of benefit. I shouldn't have to and quite frankly at times it can be embarrassing at the front desk in disagreement - It comes down to the principle of what the benefits are and why on earth is it the customers responsibility to carry around the T&C's. Seriously, there is NO OTHER business I deal with that I would have to do that. ( and unfortunately I have once with Marriott )
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Old May 22, 19, 7:08 pm
  #685  
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And what makes you think MAR isn't doing what you suggest? I actually do put more of this on the franchisees & not as much on MAR.

I've got a friend who works for a franchisee. He has done the video training (and indulges me every time I ask him questions that come up on FT, as long as it doesn't violate company private info). His fellow FDCs haven't done the same. They're paid $10/hour. They know the basic titles of elites, but they've not delved into all the details. Odds are at $10/hour they don't really care that much. And its not like they're getting dinged by the franchise company for not doing it. My guess is the managers would get dinged by MAR if they didn't do the training (which means no excuse for them), but FDC - that could go either way.

FWIW - I'm Lifetime Titanium & even I don't care that much on some of the bennies. Some of my fellow FTers are way more anal on the bennies/care more than I do & that's fine. But to me it's not the be all/end all. At the end of the day it's literally just a hotel program & my life will not be ruined if not all bennies are provided. OVMV.

Cheers.

Last edited by SkiAdcock; May 22, 19 at 7:16 pm
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Old May 22, 19, 7:22 pm
  #686  
 
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Originally Posted by Bravada04 View Post
This is a MAR issue - 100%!! How can this all be franchise issues? This comes from the top down just like any other business...……..MAR has district or regional managers and this should be their primary focus right now in getting some face time with all these properties and clearly explaining what the benefits are etc.,

If MAR is not putting focus on this and driving this properly then why would the franchisees? Sending an email or some literature and cut outs is not training - definitely not training for an organization this size.

I myself cannot stand trying to persuade somebody you should be getting some kind of benefit. I shouldn't have to and quite frankly at times it can be embarrassing at the front desk in disagreement - It comes down to the principle of what the benefits are and why on earth is it the customers responsibility to carry around the T&C's. Seriously, there is NO OTHER business I deal with that I would have to do that. ( and unfortunately I have once with Marriott )
If it pains you this much why are you still staying with Marriott? Why not take your money to Hilton or IHg?
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Old May 22, 19, 7:44 pm
  #687  
 
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I hope Marriott is doing more than just assuming the availability of a video training (or iPad) is enough. Because obviously I was not alone getting in situation being confronted to employees or franchisees that have been ‘trained’ and still not getting it.

To use the analogy of Boeing training MAX pilots with an hour iPad session, it didn’t make them experts on the MCAS if there was no clear mention of the existence of this component nor clear information on how to handle the various specifics situations that can happen.

Therefore In my opinion it is the responsibility of Marriott not only to provide training, but also to have quality controls that confirms the training works, that people can acquire the right level of knowledge, and if employees or franchisees not proven to be at the level of knowledge they should then to have a process to address the gaps and keep improving. I hope they do, if not Then Marriott is really playing with its brand image on the long run.

To the Boeing MAX analogy, many might prefer avoiding flying that plane in the future when possible. I see lots of brand damage possible for Marriott if the ‘training’ doesn’t produce any quality outcomes (people doing the training but still being confused) or lack of quality controls (people following the training but deciding not to apply the learnings) for whatever reasons).

I would hope Marriott to be aware of the noise in the social media and hopeful they’ll take actions to fix what need to be fixed. Poor quality or Arrogance never pays off in the long run. Marriott is still my preferred hotel brand and I love staying there when everything is done right, but lately there as been a number of times I opted staying elsewhere for things as stupid as not even being able to make a reservation on their web site (our servers are down). So I am not as loyal to the Marriott brand I used to. Similarly to the fact some airlines might gets more airbus planes in their fleets while the timing is not right acquiring more MAX.

Dont get me wrong. I am not .....ing Marriott. At the end of the day they run a business and they are free to make all the strategic directions they want. As a customer I too have the freedom to spend my dollars where I want too and maybe it is not that always the best staying loyal to only one brand. Try different ones one in a while to assess how much better or worst the others are doing.. you can always ask for a status challenge so you can compare apples with Apple (or the quality of the peeks at a similar level) I would encourage you doing so.

This said.. as a stockholder of few Marriott stocks I have passed a sell order. The stock has been doing well but I am not too confident with all these never ending IT problems, and people whining on bonvoyed these can go without long term impacts. I was stunned seeing a lady crying last week in New York because nobody could find her reservation in the system...
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Old May 22, 19, 10:53 pm
  #688  
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Seriously - you're comparing a front desk clerk to a Boeing MAX pilot? SMH.

FWIW - for every FTer who kvetches about MAR there are more elites who have no clue & don't care. In the millions would be my guess. I was standing next to one last week at check-in who barely knew that MAR had acquired SPG & couldn't understand why, when he provided his SPG # to the FDC the system wouldn't take it (too many #s ). It's not like MAR hadn't sent out notices. He even acknowledged 'getting something, but I didn't pay attention to it'.

That's no excuse for FDC not knowing bennies, but let's fact it - there are a lot of MAR Bonvoy members who aren't aware as well.

Now back to the breakfast discussion - but Horace has done a good job at the beginning of this thread explaining the permutations.

Cheers.
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Old May 23, 19, 1:14 am
  #689  
 
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
  • I count 37 potential permutations just of the breakfast-as-amenity policy. (Potential because I don't know if all the brands exist in all the possible regions.)
I don't understand where the number 37 comes from. The very nature of permutations is to multiply several different variables together to achieve a very large number. In this way, it would be possible to come up with a much larger number than 37 — but it would be a meaningless number.

The Wiki at the top of this thread identifies 6 major ways in which Marriott provides breakfast, partial breakfast, or no breakfast to Platinum Elite (and higher) guests. Yes, there are exemptions and variations, so the real number is larger than 6.

Ideally there would be only three categories (and lounge access would be completely separate, at it was in the SPG program for Le Méridien, Sheraton, and Westin):

1 — Breakfast in the hotel restaurant for Platinum Elite (and higher) as a Welcome gift choice, with the breakfast commensurate to the brand (for example, luxury breakfast at luxury brands and more basic breakfast at select service brands, but never just a muffin and coffee at any brand).

2 — Breakfast for all guests regardless of membership or tier, consistently, where such a breakfast is a standard for the brand (no exceptions).

3 — No complimentary breakfast for any status tier.

Unfortunately, it's much more complicated. As I wrote earlier in this thread, apparently, Marriott was unable to force hotel owners to accept an entirely new benefit structure. SPG legacy brands tend to offer similar breakfast benefits to the old SPG program, while Rewards legacy brands tend to offer similar breakfast benefits to the old Rewards program. Things are better than before at five brands of resorts and four select service brands.

Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
  • 7 brands guarantee lounge access everywhere
    • of those, 5 offer different alternative amenities in the US vs Europe.
    • There are 20 named properties that don't follow any of those rules.
    • Exactly one brand offers lounge access only outside the US.
Actually, 9 brands offer "Guaranteed Lounge Access" in the T&Cs, but it does not mean the same thing for every brand.

I disagree with the statement, "There are 20 named properties that don't follow any of those rules." There are 20 U.S. properties that provide lounge access during the week and a paltry 1,000 points on weekends. That's the rule they follow. It's best for Platinum Elite (and higher) guests to avoid these hotels because there are usually better Marriott Bonvoy choices.

Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
  • There are 7 more brands where you get nothing, with no particular logic to them except for them all being legacy Marriott brands. That said, the lack of breakfast benefit at premium brands is particularly galling.
The logic is that the franchise agreements for some brands do not incude Platinum Elite (and higher) breakfast. It makes sense for timeshare brands because of the nature of timeshares. For other brands, it seems odd, but Marriott and its guests are stuck with how it is.

The brands without Platinum Elite (and higher) breakfast (or breakfast for everyone as a standard of the brand) are:
— Design Hotels
— Edition
— Fairfield Asia Pacific hotels
— Gaylord Hotels
— Marriott Executive Apartments / ExecuStay
— Marriott Vacation Club / MVC Pulse / Grand Residences by Marriott
— The Ritz-Carlton
— Vistana / Sheraton Vacation Club / Westin Vacation Club

Design Hotels was a SPG brand, not a Marriott Rewards brand.

Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
  • There are 5 brands where everyone gets breakfast, so there's no additional elite benefit.
Actually, there are other Elite benefits that non-Elite guests do not receive. There just isn't an additional breakfast benefit.

Last edited by Horace; May 23, 19 at 1:39 am
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Old May 23, 19, 1:37 am
  #690  
 
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Originally Posted by Horace View Post

Actually, there are other Elite benefits that non-Elite guests do not receive. There just isn't an additional breakfast benefit.
Case in point is the Springhill Suites in Bellingham Washington. Breakfast is available to all guests. As an Elite, they always include a $10.00 voucher to use in the Lobby Bar restaurant and if available give me their largest room when I stay.

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