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Marriott isn’t just the largest hotel company in terms of the total number of properties it operates; it also has a whopping 29 different brands participating in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. Ranging from classic luxury to affordable, extended stays, there are many differences between these brands, especially when it comes to elite status benefits.

There’s one in particular that can be a valuable perk but has caused some confusion since the integration: free breakfast. To make matters even worse, some properties have been caught playing games with this benefit and not delivering what they’re supposed to deliver. Of course, you can only hold them accountable if you know what your elite status entitles you to, so today we’ll take a look at what each Marriott brand offers elites in terms of free breakfast.

In This Post

Despite the unification of Marriott and SPG, in many ways you’ll see elite benefits split on old party lines, with legacy SPG brands often offering more to elites. You’ll also see a huge variation in how each brand handles the breakfast benefit. For example, free breakfast at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island meant a massive buffet spread in the hotel’s main restaurant, while at the St. Regis New York, it meant a $150 daily credit for room service (and you can bet I used up every penny). On the other hand, your $10 food & beverage credit at many Courtyard properties might only get you a coffee and a pastry.

Before getting into the details, let’s start with a quick summary table for all of the 29 brands that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program:

Brand Benefit for Platinum/Titanium Elites
AC Hotels Food & beverage credit as welcome amenity choice
Aloft Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
Autograph Collection Depends
Courtyard Depends
Delta Hotels Depends
Design Hotels None
Edition None
Element Included for all guests
Fairfield Included for all guests
Four Points Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
Gaylord None
JW Marriott Depends
Le Meridien Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
Luxury Collection Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
Marriott Depends
Marriott Vacation Club None
Marriott Grand Residence Club None
Moxy Food & beverage credit as welcome amenity choice
Protea Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
Renaissance Depends
Residence Inn Included for all
Ritz-Carlton None
Sheraton Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
SpringHill Included for all
St. Regis Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
TownePlace Suites Included for all
Tribute Collection Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
W Hotels Breakfast as welcome amenity choice
Westin Breakfast as welcome amenity choice

As you can see, this is quite complex, and there are several brands where the exact benefit depends on things like the individual property’s location and whether it has a lounge, among other factors. You’ll almost certainly still be able to get some type of breakfast at those hotels, but there are some exceptions.

Let’s dig in to all of the nuances so you know exactly what to expect for your next stay.

Free Breakfast as a Welcome Amenity

Marriott Platinum and Titanium Elites are given a welcome amenity upon check-in at most participating hotels. The chart below details which brands include breakfast in the options (bolded for easy reference) as well as the compensation to which you’re entitled if the hotel doesn’t provide this benefit. I’ve also included details on brands that provide a daily food & beverage credit that could be used towards free breakfast.

(NOTE: The “Other Regions” designation includes Asia Pacific, Middle East and Central/Latin America.)

Brand Choice of welcome gift Compensation
JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels US/Canada/Europe (non-resorts):
1,000 points per stay or $10 Food & Beverage credit per stayUS/Canada/Europe (resorts):
1,000 points per stay or breakfast for two in restaurant per dayOther Regions (non-resorts):
1,000 points per stay or Food & Beverage amenity per stayOther Regions (resorts):
1,000 points per stay or Food & Beverage amenity per stay or breakfast for two in restaurant per day
$100
St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio 1,000 points per stay or amenity per stay or breakfast for two in restaurant per day (including resorts) $100
Courtyard US/Canada/Europe:
500 points per stay or $10 Food & Beverage credit per day for member + 1 guestOther Regions:
Hotels without lounge – 500 points per stay or Food & Beverage amenity or $10 Food & Beverage credit per day for member + 1 guestHotels with lounge – 500 points per stay and breakfast in lounge (if lounge is closed, breakfast for two in restaurant per day)
$50
AC Hotels, Moxy US/Canada/Europe:
500 points per stay or $10 Food & Beverage credit per day for member + 1 guestOther Regions:
500 points per stay or Food & Beverage amenity per stay or $10 Food & Beverage credit per day for member + 1 guest
$50 (AC Hotels)
$25 (Moxy)
Four Points, Aloft 500 points per stay or amenity or breakfast for two in restaurant per day $50 (Four Points)
$25 (Aloft)
 Protea Hotels 500 points per stay or breakfast for two in restaurant per day  $50

While these hotels require you to select breakfast as your welcome amenity (instead of points), I’ve gotten lucky at a few St. Regis and W hotels recently and been offered welcome points in addition to free breakfast. For every hotel trying to skimp on benefits, it’s nice to remember that there are some going above and beyond to treat elite members well.

In addition, it’s worth noting that for properties offering a $10 daily food & beverage credit (many Courtyards plus AC Hotels and Moxy), this is $10 for the member and another $10 for one additional guest staying in the same guestroom. As a result, traveling as a couple to these locations would get your $20 per day towards breakfast (or another meal if you so choose).

Guaranteed Lounge Access

You
You’re guaranteed club lounge access at many properties as a Platinum or Titanium member. (Photo courtesy of the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel)

The other way to receive free breakfast as a Platinum or Titanium elite member is through access to a hotel’s lounge. Take note of which brands (and properties) have lounges you can access — if you’re already getting free breakfast this way, you wouldn’t need to select it as your welcome amenity and could pick points or a food and beverage credit instead.

The following brands guarantee lounge access to Platinum and Titanium Elites:

  • JW Marriott
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Delta Hotels
  • Le Méridien
  • Westin
  • Autograph Collection
  • Renaissance
  • Courtyard (only outside the US/Canada)

However, certain properties have lounges that aren’t open seven days a week, and there are a handful of exceptions in certain regions and at individual properties, so here’s a chart with those details (as well as compensation if the perk isn’t offered):

Brand Lounge offer Compensation
JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels (excluding resorts)

*Exceptions noted below

US/Canada:
If lounge is closed or hotel does not have a lounge/approved alternative, member will receive daily breakfast in restaurant for two or 750 points/dayEurope:
If hotel does not have a lounge/approved alternative, member will receive daily breakfast in restaurant for two or 750 points/day
$100 If no breakfast or breakfast alternative offered to member (all continents)
Courtyard (outside US/Canada, excluding resorts) If lounge is closed, member will receive breakfast in restaurant N/A
Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin (including resorts) No alternative offered when lounge is closed  N/A

This list is much shorter because many brands don’t have lounges or don’t have them consistently at all properties. It’s worth noting that the compensation requirements are much weaker here, but Sheraton, Westin and Le Méridien are all required to offer breakfast in the restaurant as a welcome amenity, so you’re covered even if the lounge isn’t open during your stay.

*As noted in the above chart, there’s a list of specific properties in the US that do not provide breakfast if the lounge is closed, instead offering 1,000 points. You can find this information in Section 4.3.c.iv.A. in the Marriott Bonvoy terms & conditions, but here’s the current list:

  • The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection
  • Boston Marriott Copley Place
  • Boston Marriott Long Wharf
  • Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
  • JW Marriott Essex House New York City
  • JW Marriott New Orleans
  • JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square
  • JW Marriott Washington, DC
  • The Lexington Hotel, Autograph Collection
  • Monterey Marriott
  • New York Marriott Marquis®
  • Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
  • Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel
  • Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel
  • Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel
  • Renaissance New York Hotel 57
  • Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel
  • Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel
  • Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
  • Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Given that most of these are in larger cities, this may not be the biggest drawback, as there are likely better (local) options nearby. However, it is worth noting if you are visiting one of these properties and are expecting complimentary breakfast.

Brands With No Breakfast Benefit

(Photo courtesy of Ritz Carolton)
If you’re planning a trip to a Ritz-Carlton property, like this one in Cancun, be prepared to make other breakfast arrangements. (Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton)

Unfortunately a number of Marriott’s most iconic brands are missing entirely from this list. The following brands don’t offer any form of free, daily breakfast (though I’ve included the welcome amenity choices):

  • The Ritz-Carlton (1,000 points per stay)
  • EDITION (1,000 points per stay)
  • Marriott Vacation Club (1,000 points per stay)
  • Marriott Grand Residence Club (1,000 points per stay)
  • Design Hotels (1,000 points per stay)
  • Gaylord Hotels (1,000 points or $10 Food & Beverage credit per stay)

Brands With Breakfast for All

Finally, there are several brands that offer complimentary breakfast for all travelers, regardless of elite status. These properties include:

  • SpringHill Suites
  • Fairfield by Marriott
  • Residence Inn
  • TownePlace Suites
  • Element

Flow Chart for Your Next Stay

Enjoy free breakfast with Marriott Platinum
Is this free breakfast awaiting you on your next stay? Find out below.

Confused? You’re not alone, as there are many layers of complexity to a seemingly simple benefit. To help, here’s a simple set of questions to help you figure out what to expect with breakfast on your next stay:

Are you staying at a SpringHill, Fairfield, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites or Element?

  • YES: Stop here; every guest at these properties has breakfast included.
  • NO: Continue reading.

Are you staying at a Ritz-Carlton, Edition, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Design or Gaylord property?

  • YES: Stop here; there’s no breakfast benefit available to you at these properties.
  • NO: Continue reading.

Do you have no status, Silver status or Gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy program?

  • YES: Stop here; you don’t have any formal breakfast benefit at any of the remaining brands.
  • NO: Continue reading.

Are you staying at a Four Points, Aloft, Protea, AC or Moxy property?

  • YES: You’ll be able to select complimentary breakfast or a daily food & beverage credit as your welcome amenity.
  • NO: Continue reading.

Are you staying at a St. Regis, Luxury Collection, W, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin or Tribute Portfolio property?

  • YES: You’ll be able to select complimentary breakfast as your welcome amenity.
  • NO: It’s time to refer back to the charts above, as the remaining brands have various restrictions and exclusions.

My Thoughts

Don’t miss out on fantastic properties like the Mira Moon in Hong Kong just because they don’t offer complimentary breakfast.

What does all of this mean, in practice? Well, as a Marriott Titanium Elite, I have a huge preference for St. Regis hotels over Ritz-Carlton, which has very little to do with the properties themselves. Let’s say that a Platinum or Titanium member was planning a trip to Shanghai and trying to decide between the Portman Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis Jingan, two Category 5 hotels barely a kilometer apart. Both are decent properties (though by no means exceptional), but I would have to recommend the St. Regis. While I (personally) had a subpar experience at this specific Ritz-Carlton, the St. Regis will always have the upper hand in my book due to their superior elite benefits and recognition. It’s not limited to breakfast either — I like being able to use my Suite Night Awards at St. Regis hotels (you can’t use them at Ritz-Carlton), and Platinum elites aren’t eligible for suite upgrades at Ritz Carlton hotels either (only Titanium members are).

This same logic works in other cases as well. I absolutely loved my stay at the Mira Moon in Hong Kong despite it providing no breakfast benefit to elite members as a Design Hotel. I think Hong Kong is one of the few cities where I don’t mind passing up on free hotel breakfast (I’d much rather enjoy some dim sum), but if that matters to you, you might strongly consider staying at the Renaissance Hong Kong instead. I can promise you that property doesn’t have the same eclectic and beautiful design as the Mira Moon, but if you value your elite benefits heavily, you may want to avoid staying at certain brands that don’t provide this as a perk.

However, I’d strongly encourage you to consider how much this truly matters. There are many properties in the Marriott Bonvoy program that may not offer free breakfast but still provide a phenomenal experience. And of course, you could always leverage a program like Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts to score free breakfast if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express in your wallet.

Bottom Line

The lack of consistency in Marriott’s elite breakfast offerings undoubtedly leads to confusion, and I’ll admit that I’ve checked in to a few different hotels with a copy of Marriott’s elite benefit guide up on my phone so I can double check that the hotel is offering me everything they’re supposed to offer. You could also print the following one-pagers as handy reference tools (warning: PDF links):

While breakfast is only one of many factors that goes into a good hotel experience, I certainly find myself gravitating towards brands like St. Regis that go above-and-beyond in their recognition of Platinum and Titanium elites.

What have you experienced with Marriott’s breakfast benefit for Platinum and Titanium members?

Featured photo courtesy of Marriott

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