Hotel Cheat Sheet – Marriott’s Elite Breakfast Amenity

Lifetime Status

One of the most frustrating elements of Marriott Bonvoy is the complicated nature of its free breakfast amenity for members with Platinum, Titanium or Ambassador status. Because free breakfast is hidden within the “In Hotel Welcome Gift” elite benefit, it is difficult to even research your eligibility ahead of booking. Luckily, InsideFlyer has enough experience with this benefit to provide you with all of the relevant details…

Your eligibility for a complimentary breakfast depends mainly on the hotel brand. But with 30 brands to choose from, that can also become confusing.

No Breakfast

Platinum (and above) members are NOT going to receive a complimentary breakfast at these brands:

  • Design Hotels
  • Gaylord
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Marriott Vacation Club

No Breakfast… but a $10 credit per guest / day

Platinum (and above) members are NOT going to receive a complimentary breakfast. However, at these brands members are entitled to choose a $10 credit per day (also per guest, although some hotels attempt to avoid the second guest credit) that can be applied to the cost of breakfast:

  • Courtyard
  • AC Hotels
  • Moxy

Free Breakfast… but as Brand Standard

Some hotel chains such as Holiday Inn Express are renowned for their free breakfast. At Marriott, it’s not quite so clear. But all guests should receive complimentary breakfast at:

  • Element
  • Fairfield
  • Residence Inn
  • TownePlace Suites
  • Springhill Suites

As a result, Platinum (and above) members can choose points or another amenity as their “Welcome Gift”.

Free Breakfast… but it might be in the Lounge

At the remaining brands under the Bonvoy umbrella, members with Platinum (and above) elite status almost always receive complimentary breakfast, but it might be in the executive lounge instead of the hotel restaurant. (I am aware of at least one Delta hotel that doesn’t have a restaurant and, therefore, does not offer a breakfast amenity)

  • St. Regis
  • Luxury Collection
  • Westin
  • Sheraton
  • W
  • Le Meridien
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Four Points
  • Aloft
  • JW Marriott
  • Marriott
  • Delta
  • Autograph Collection
  • Renaissance

If the hotel points you in the direction of the lounge for breakfast, you will also receive the points as your amenity. If you are allowed the choice of lounge or restaurant breakfast, you may not receive the welcome gift points…

I am travelling with my family, who gets free breakfast?

As I have mentioned several times, the registered guest must have Platinum, Titanium or Ambassador status. The free breakfast amenity also applies to a second guest staying in the same room. In practice, few (if any) hotels deny a complimentary breakfast to any children staying in the same room as their elite status parent(s).

When the elite member books multiple rooms, however, the benefit is not as clear. Many hotels are generous and provide breakfast to all registered guests. Other hotels are stingy, limiting the “Welcome Gift” to the elite status member and one guest.

Bottom line

Although I certainly understand that the franchise system can make it difficult for hotel chains such as Marriott to impose costs on its franchisees (i.e. the cost of providing a free breakfast to certain guests), it does result in a needlessly complicated “benefit” of those with Platinum, Titanium or Ambassador status with Marriott Bonvoy.

If free breakfast is important to you, then you quickly learn to avoid almost 10 of Marriott Bonvoy’s brands. You also learn to be flexible about the location (lounge or restaurant) of the breakfast that is being provided to elite guests…


  1. Don Grinstead says

    The statement above is not true anymore: “In practice, few (if any) hotels deny a complimentary breakfast to any children staying in the same room as their elite status parent(s).” I just visited the world renowned NYC Mariott Marquis which should have been the gold standard of all Marriott hotels in the USA. They turned my two pre-teens away stating only the member and 1 guest (my wife) allowed. Marriott keeps hitting a new low evrytime I visit.

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