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Your complete guide to Marriott elite breakfast benefits

Jan. 22, 2022
17 min read
Breakfast at Le Meridien Maldives
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Editor's Note

We've updated this post with current examples and information.

Marriott isn't just the largest hotel company in terms of the total number of properties it operates; it also has over 30 different brands across its portfolio, ranging from classic luxury to affordable, extended stay properties. There are many differences between these Marriott Bonvoy brands, especially when it comes to elite status benefits.

One benefit in particular has caused some confusion since the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program's launch: complimentary breakfast. Members have even caught some properties playing games with this benefit and not delivering what they're supposed to provide. Of course, you can only hold them accountable if you know what your elite status entitles you to receive. To help you with this, we'll take a look at what each Marriott brand offers elites in terms of complimentary breakfast.

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Despite Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest's unification occurring years ago, you'll see legacy SPG brands often offering more perks to elites. You'll also see a wide variation in how each Marriott brand handles the breakfast benefit.

For example, in my experience, complimentary breakfast at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island meant a massive buffet spread in the hotel's main restaurant. In comparison, 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 and beverage credit at many Courtyard properties might only get you a coffee and a pastry.

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

BrandBenefit for Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members
AC HotelsFood and beverage credit as welcome amenity choice.
AloftBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
Autograph CollectionDepends.
CourtyardDepends.
Delta HotelsDepends.
Design HotelsNone.
EditionNone.
ElementIncluded for all guests.
FairfieldIncluded for all guests.
Four PointsBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
GaylordFood and beverage credit as welcome amenity choice.
JW MarriottDepends.
Le MeridienBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
Luxury CollectionBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
MarriottDepends.
Marriott Vacation ClubNone.
Marriott Grand Residence ClubNone.
MoxyFood and beverage credit as welcome amenity choice.
ProteaBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
RenaissanceDepends.
Residence InnIncluded for all.
Ritz-CarltonNone.
SheratonBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
SpringHillIncluded for all.
St. RegisBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
TownePlace SuitesIncluded for all.
Tribute PortfolioBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
W HotelsBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.
WestinBreakfast as a welcome amenity choice.

As you can see, this is quite a range. 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.

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Additionally, note that Homes & Villas by Marriott International and Vistana properties do not offer breakfast options, except for non-owners in the case of Vistana.

Related: Your ultimate guide to Marriott hotel brands

Let's dig into all of the nuances, so you know what to expect for your next stay.

Complimentary breakfast as a welcome amenity

Marriott Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members can choose a welcome amenity upon check-in at most participating hotels. The chart below details which brands include breakfast in the options and 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 and beverage credit that you could use for breakfast.

Related: 5 ways to get your hotel breakfast for free

BrandChoice of welcome giftCompensation
JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance HotelsU.S./Canada/Europe (non-resorts):
1,000 points per stay or $10 food and beverage credit per stay.
U.S./Canada/Europe (resorts):
1,000 points per stay or restaurant breakfast per night of stay for member plus one guest.
Other Regions (non-resorts):
1,000 points per stay or food and beverage amenity per stay.
Other Regions (resorts):
1,000 points per stay or food and beverage amenity per stay or restaurant breakfast per night of stay for member plus one guest.
$100
Gaylord Hotels1,000 points per stay or $10 food and beverage credit per stay.$100
St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, Tribute Portfolio1,000 points per stay or amenity per stay or restaurant breakfast per night of stay for member plus one guest (includes resorts).$100
CourtyardU.S./Canada/Europe:
500 points per stay or $10 food and beverage credit per night for member plus one guest.
Other Regions:
Hotels without lounge – 500 points per stay or food and beverage amenity or $10 food and beverage credit per night for member plus one guest.
Hotels with lounge – 500 points per stay and breakfast in the lounge (if the lounge is closed, restaurant breakfast for two per night).
$50
AC Hotels, MoxyU.S./Canada/Europe:
500 points per stay or $10 food and beverage credit per night for member plus one guest.
Other Regions:
500 points per stay or food and beverage amenity per stay or $10 food and beverage credit per night for member plus one guest.
$50 (AC Hotels)
$25 (Moxy)
Four Points, Aloft500 points per stay, an amenity per stay or restaurant breakfast per night of stay for member plus one guest.$50 (Four Points)
$25 (Aloft)
 Protea Hotels500 points per stay or restaurant breakfast per night of stay for member plus one guest.$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 have been offered welcome points in addition to complimentary breakfast. For every hotel trying to skimp on breakfast benefits, it's nice to remember that some are going above and beyond to treat elite members well, like the St. Regis New York.

Related: Aloha to free: Where the Marriott Platinum Elite breakfast perk is done right

In addition, it's worth noting that for properties offering a $10 daily food and 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 room. As a result, traveling as a couple to these locations would get you $20 per day toward breakfast (or another meal if you so choose).

Guaranteed lounge access

The other way to receive complimentary breakfast as a Platinum Elite 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 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 Elite and Titanium Elite members:

  • JW Marriott.
  • Marriott Hotels.
  • Sheraton.
  • Delta Hotels.
  • Le Méridien.
  • Westin.
  • Autograph Collection.
  • Renaissance.
  • Courtyard (only outside the U.S./Canada).

However, Marriott doesn't guarantee lounge access at resort properties in the following brands: JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection and Renaissance Hotels.

Additionally, some 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. Here's a chart with those details (as well as compensation if the property doesn't offer this perk):

BrandLounge offerCompensation
JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels (excluding resorts)

*Exceptions noted below.

U.S./Canada:
If the lounge is closed or the hotel does not have a lounge/approved alternative, the member will receive daily continental breakfast in the restaurant for two or 750 points per night.
Europe:
If the hotel does not have a lounge/approved alternative, members will receive daily restaurant breakfast for two or 750 points per night.
$100 if no breakfast or breakfast alternative offered (all regions).
Courtyard (outside U.S./Canada)If the lounge is closed, members will receive breakfast in the restaurant.N/A
Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin (including resorts)No alternative when the 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. Still, Sheraton, Westin and Le Méridien properties offer breakfast in the restaurant as a welcome amenity, so you're covered even if the lounge isn't open during your stay.

Related: How to get some of the world's most expensive hotel buffet breakfasts for free

*As noted in the above chart, there's a list of specific properties in the U.S. 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 and 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, D.C.
  • 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 Midtown Hotel.
  • Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel.
  • Renaissance Washington, D.C. 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 visit one of these properties and had been expecting a complimentary breakfast.

Related: The 11 hotel breakfasts we'd order for every meal if we could

Brands with no breakfast benefit

Unfortunately, some 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 and beverage credit per stay).

Brands with breakfast for all

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

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

Related: Breakfast recently got better at 3,000 Marriott hotels in the US

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. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

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 or Design 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 a complimentary breakfast or a daily food and 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: Continue reading.

Are you staying at a Gaylord property?

  • YES: You'll be able to select a $10 food and beverage credit per stay as your welcome amenity, but there's no other breakfast benefit.
  • 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. (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

What does all of this mean in practice? Well, as a Marriott Titanium Elite, I have a preference for St. Regis hotels over Ritz-Carlton, which has very little to do with the properties themselves. Let's say that a Platinum Elite or Titanium Elite 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 the brand's 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 Elite members aren't eligible for suite upgrades at Ritz-Carlton hotels either (only Titanium Elite members are).

Related: Ritz-Carlton: The Marriott hotel brand where elite benefits don't really apply

This same logic works in other cases, as well. I loved my stay at the Mira Moon in Hong Kong, even though it didn't provide any breakfast benefits to elite members as a Design Hotel. 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. However, if a breakfast benefit matters to you, you might 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 focus on certain brands.

That said, I'd strongly encourage you to consider how much breakfast truly matters. Many properties in the Marriott Bonvoy program may not offer complimentary 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.

Related: Get free breakfast, upgrades and more with the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program

Get closer to Marriott elite status

There aren't any cards that offer automatic Platinum Elite or Titanium Elite status. But the cards below can get you closer to the next level of status because each offers 15 elite night credits per year. If you have a personal and a small business credit card from Marriott, you can even stack this for a total of 30 elite night credits per year.

Here are some of the best Marriott credit cards to consider:

Related: Free nights and easy status: Here's why I have 4 Marriott Bonvoy credit cards

Bottom line

The lack of consistency in Marriott's elite breakfast offerings undoubtedly leads to confusion. I'll admit that I've checked in to a few different hotels with a copy of Marriott's elite benefit guide pulled up on my phone, so I can make sure that the hotel is offering me everything it is supposed to deliver.

While breakfast is only one of many factors that goes into a good hotel experience, I personally find myself gravitating toward brands like St. Regis that go above and beyond to recognize Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business card, click here.

Featured image by KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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