Marriott Platinum Elite Free Breakfast Simplified

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One of the benefits of earning Platinum Elite status with Marriott is free breakfast, but not at all brands.  Some brands, instead, give you only a $10 per day food & beverage credit.  And some brands are completely exempt from offering free breakfast.  That’s confusing enough on its own before considering that specific rules vary not just by brand, but also sometimes by country.  And sometimes specific hotels within participating brands have their own exemptions.  Whew.  The only thing more confusing than Marriott’s free breakfast benefit is their rules regarding qualifying for their credit cards.  For the latter, I did my best to simplify things in the post “Are you eligible for a new Marriott card?”  Regarding breakfast, use this post as your guide…

Marriott Platinum Elite Free Breakfast
Free Platinum Elite breakfast at the Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection

Brands for breakfast

At a high level, Platinum Elites (or higher) can figure out whether they’ll get free breakfast based on hotel brand, as follows:

No Breakfast for You Brands

These Marriott brands do not offer free breakfast for elite members:

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

$10 Breakfast for You Brands

These brands offer the Platinum Elite member and one guest, $10 per day food and beverage credit (e.g. total of $20 per day):

  • AC Hotels*
  • Courtyard (except those with a lounge)
  • Moxy Hotels*

* Outside of the U.S., Canada, and Europe, AC and Moxy Hotels offer a max of $10 per day instead of $20.

Free Breakfast Brands

The following brands usually offer free breakfast for the Platinum Elite member plus one guest either in the restaurant as a welcome gift choice (e.g. when checking in, you can select free breakfast, points, or sometimes another option as your welcome gift) or in the lounge as a Platinum Elite benefit.

  • Aloft
  • Autograph Collection *
  • Courtyard with lounge
  • Delta Hotels *
  • Four Points
  • JW Marriott *
  • Le Méridien
  • Marriott Hotels *
  • Protea Hotels
  • Renaissance Hotels *
  • Sheraton
  • St. Regis
  • The Luxury Collection
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • W Hotels
  • Westin

* At these brands, Marriott differentiates between those that are hotels and those that are resorts.  At resorts, the Platinum Elite member gets free restaurant breakfast for self + 1. At hotels, the Platinum Elite member gets lounge access.  When the lounge is closed (which is common on weekends and during pandemics), they’ll instead offer daily continental breakfast for 2… unless the hotel is one of the free breakfast exempt properties…

Free Breakfast Exemptions

As described above, at the following hotel brands (but not their resort equivalents), the Platinum Elite member gets free lounge access: JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, and Renaissance Hotels.  However, lounges are frequently closed on weekends and during pandemics and so you should get free continental breakfast for 2 when that happens.  However, here is a list of shameful properties that are allowed to give you nothing but a few points when their lounge is closed:

  • 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 Midtown Hotel
  • Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel
  • Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
  • Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Free For All Brands

These brands usually offer free breakfast to all guests regardless of status:

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

Breakfast Details

The following chart shows my current understanding of the specific breakfast benefit to expect at each brand:

Hotel Chain Daily Breakfast Benefit How to Qualify
Design Hotels, EDITION, Gaylord, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club None N/A
AC Hotels, Moxy Hotels outside of U.S., Canada, or Europe $10 Food & Beverage Credit Per Night Platinum Elite Welcome Gift choice
AC Hotels, Moxy Hotels within U.S., Canada, or Europe $10 Food & Beverage Credit Per Night for member + 1 guest (e.g. $20 total per night) Platinum Elite Welcome Gift choice
Courtyard $10 Food & Beverage Credit Per Night for member + 1 guest (e.g. $20 total per night) Platinum Elite Welcome Gift choice
Courtyard w/ lounge
Lounge Access (or daily breakfast for 2 if lounge is closed)
Platinum Elite benefit
JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Autograph Collection, and Renaissance Hotels Hotels (Not Resorts):
Lounge Access (or daily breakfast* for 2 if lounge is closed)
Lounge Access is a Platinum Elite benefit
Resorts:
Breakfast in restaurant per night of Stay for Member +1
Restaurant breakfast is a Platinum Elite Welcome Gift choice
St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Four Points, Aloft, Protea Hotels Breakfast in restaurant per night of Stay for Member +1 Platinum Elite Welcome Gift choice
Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin Lounge Access + Breakfast in restaurant per night of Stay for Member +1 Lounge Access is a Platinum Elite benefit.  Restaurant breakfast is a Platinum Elite Welcome Gift choice
Element, Fairfield, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites Breakfast Buffet Free for all guests

* In the U.S. and Canada, when the lounge is closed, you are entitled to continental breakfast for you plus one guest.  In Europe, there is no “continental” restriction.  It’s unclear what happens outside of the U.S., Canada, and Europe when the lounge is closed.  See also the list of properties that are allowed to offer points instead of free breakfast in the “Free Breakfast Exemptions” section above.

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Mark W

Platinum member staying at Koloa Landing in Poipu, Kawaii; which is an Autograph Collection resort, so should include breakfast for member + 1. Got a $15 per person per night dining credit as a welcome gift instead. I asked about free breakfast and was told this is the only food and beverage gift option.

Is Marriott’s policy regarding breakfast benefits at their different categories outlined in writing anywhere?

José Santiago

Recently visited Design Hotel, Das Triest Hotel, Vienna, Austria. Received free breakfast with Bonvoy Platinum Status. Nice surprise in my favor, for once.

wander

I think the best level of elite you can get purely from CC is gold with them. I suppose this means that if you don’t intend to just use them a lot or are a business traveler this really makes no difference.

Last edited 7 months ago by wander
Kathleen

Do you keep this resource up to date? I have it bookmarked because I found it useful when you first published it:
https://frequentmiler.com/which-marriott-elite-benefits-apply/

LSP

Never forget that this is simply insane.

Frequent Miler Superfan

I hope Hyatt doesn’t do this….

r2e

Sad that this is “simplified”. But thanks for the post!

Last edited 7 months ago by r2e
Brian

There’s also the free breakfast benefit carve-out for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Reno Joe

Other carve-outs are listed in the terms and conditions.

Henry

Went to Le Meridien denver earlier this year, and i was only given $10 breakfast credit pp.

BML

Super helpful!! Why aren’t Sheraton, Le Meridian and Westin added to your Free Breakfast Brands section? (They do appear in table but I think they should be mentioned in the above section for completeness)

FNT Delta Diamond

Because they require a choice. It is not the same breakfast benefit as legacy Marriotts.

Reno Joe

Oh, sorry, our restaurant is not open for breakfast. Here’s your X points.

Ghostrider5408

Another “nail in the coffin” for loyalty. After forty years of business/personal travel 4310 nights with Marriott, since inception the program is all but gutted. Most alarming to me is not so much the breakfast it’s self but the fact that we will be subject to paying those damn resort fees, there’s your breakfast for two !! The Sheraton Honolulu is a prime example.

Reno Joe

A few years ago, I had a reservation at a particular Ritz Carlton resort. The total of all mandatory taxes and fees was roughly 65 percent of that daily room rate. So, for every $1000 of room rate, the “real” room rate was $1650. To me, it was so outrageous that I canceled the reservation and vowed never to stay at a Ritz Carlton.

While not having as much rack time as you, I was a multi-year Ambassador. At a point in time, I saw the erosion of benefits at the program level and the outright (in one’s face) denial of benefits at the property level. I knew that it would be the same at the other chains and that I needed a plan B.

I no longer play the traditional hotel loyalty program game and I’m happier for it — with better benefits than those purportedly granted by the programs.

Vince

Here’s an example of Marriott ‘un-simplifying’ it: checked in to an Autograph resort in the app yesterday. In the app it indicated ‘choose either 1000 points or $10 food credit”. I knew that was off so I sent a chat message on the way to the hotel that I would like the restaurant breakfast as my elite benefit. They replied to pick up the vouchers which are good for breakfast in the restaurant, but continental (there is no lounge here…so by the charts it should just be ‘breakfast’).

To Reno Joe’s comment, I have changed to going into Marriott stays with low/no expectations so as to not add stress to my travels. Unless we are pleasantly surprised by this upcoming devaluation this lifetime plat member likely will have zero Marriott points/certs/and credit cards by years end. I still may use Marriotts of course due to footprint but future bookings at 10x via Chase (and hopefully Cap One for my P2 soon) and related options will be better at the end of the day

Reno Joe

In comments to other articles, I’ve mentioned that I’ve quit the hotel loyalty program game. My wife and I are fortunate enough to be “regulars” at hotels in certain cities. Once recognized as regulars, we were able to negotiate rates and benefits with each hotel’s sale director. Admittedly, these are special circumstances. But, to replace the value of points we would otherwise earn in a hotel loyalty program, our average discount on room rates is about 20 percent. At each property, we get a full breakfast included — absolutely anything on the menu — as these are luxury properties, this is worth about $75 per person (when tax and service charges are factored in). Upgrades . . . but of course. The occasional cabana at the pool . . . but of course. Getting into otherwise full restaurants in the area . . . but of course. Everyone knows us by name and treats us like royalty.

Oren

I recently stayed at Adero Scottsdale (Autograph Collection). Also classed as a resort. I opted for “free breakfast” rather than points as a welcome bonus.. they gave me two vouchers which clearly state “complimentary Continental breakfast” which was nowhere to be found. It only got me $10 towards breakfast.. and a basic breakfast/eggs/omelet was $20+ not even including a coffee..

They werr also not even upfront with the continental breakfast vs just $10 towards breakfast menu in restaurant

Reno Joe

Oren, next time this happens, take an image of the vouchers. Then, approach the manager — on video — make certain the manager understands she / he is being recorded — “do you have a problem if I record this conversation?” — and say you just want to ask clarifying questions. “Do you recognize this voucher? Ah, it’s what you give to guests. What is written on the voucher? Ah, complimentary continental breakfast. What does continental breakfast include?”

Depending on how the conversation unfolds, “If you intend the voucher to simply be a $10 food credit, why don’t you give guests a voucher that states $10 credit? It seems misleading for your hotel to represent that a guest is getting continental breakfast, the hotel gives a guest a voucher that states complimentary continental breakfast, but then you only grant a $10 meal credit. What do you have to say?”

Then, send the video file to that State’s attorney general, the US Attorney General’s office, US Department of Commence, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Pam

I just checked in online myself for an Autograph stay & also reminded (again) the choice is $10 food/beverage voucher or 1,000 points.

I recently had Hilton resort & Le Meridien stays begin their breakfast menus with (magically) $10 continental breakfast options you also posted. For both Hilton & Marriott, they covered the tax & tip, too, on the final bill. But I just had a Delta stay with no continental option & only $10 off full breakfast for 2.

Tide is definitely turning towards Hilton with Marriott elite full breakfast benefits & the front desk/mgr is not giving in to the published rules, instead stating Covid reasons (restaurant staffing shortages, scaled/back menus). One minor loophole I found to help with Marriott’s pullback is claim points online then change verbally at the very last after checked-in at the property. 10x now I’ve at least received both a voucher & 1,000 points…woot.

flybyFIRE

I’m currently staying at an Element in Asia and there is no option for free breakfast, even as an Ambassador. At check in I was told “Element does not offer completely breakfast benefit for Ambassadors”. I was offered a $3.5 one time f&b credit instead

Reno Joe

With that $3.50, you can buy a tube of K-Y, which will last you several stays. And, some say they don’t care.

Pam

Marriott has gone the Hilton route on breakfast. I am Titanium & have had 10 stays at the higher-end brands where restaurant breakfast used to be free. No more, though – either 1,000 points or $10 food & beverage vouchers across the board.

ptahcha

I guess it depends on the brand, and whether a) there was a lounge and b) whether the lounge or restaurant was open.

Pam

For 2 years now lounges have been more closed than open. And typically IF open it’s help yourself to the oatmeal/cereal in a box, rarely hot items served. My experiences have only been across the US, though, don’t know about international.

Pam

Hotel restaurants, too, have been very spotty with their hours & days they are closed. But when I’ve found one open for breakfast, they only credit the $10 – $12 voucher not the entire amount. Whether inside a hotel, or not, restaurants have been hurting so I have gone along but sure hoping for improvement soon.

FNT Delta Diamond

It’s important to remember the breakfast benefit at most brands is actually two distinct benefits of elite status.

At mostly legacy Marriott brands (like Marriott or JW Marriott) that don’t have a resort designation, the breakfast benefit is actually the lounge access benefit. If the lounge is closed or there’s no lounge, you get a choice of 750 points per day or a “continental breakfast.” However, many North America properties have used covid as an excuse to close both the lounge and restaurant. This creates a loophole as, technically, there is no additional benefit nor compensation if the restaurant is closed in addition to lounge.

At mostly legacy SPG brands (like Westin) as well as legacy Marriott brands with a resort designation, you’re supposed to get a choice at check-in of 1,000 points or “breakfast in restaurant.” In some cases, there is also a third choice of an amenity. This is a completely different benefit than the lounge access. It has a $100 compensation component to it if the property doesn’t offer you the choice or fails to deliver the choice you made. Guests in this situation need to start pushing back on properties that cheat them by claiming it’s a continental breakfast because that’s not what the terms state. Stop accepting a stale bagel with coffee.

Reno Joe

Stop accepting a stale bagel with coffee . . . and leave the hotel loyalty program game . . . accept it for what it is and move on. (As you already know the game, this is not directed to you FNT but the audience at home.)

Scott

What’s the deal with premium lounges? I don’t get how they not included? Griffin lounges at JW’s for example.

FNT Delta Diamond

It a byproduct of legacy Marriott Rewards. The legacy Marriott resorts with private lounges likely generate significant money off selling access. I think there are a half-dozen such resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico with lounges that are not included in elite status benefits.

Legacy SPG required lounge access if there was a lounge. This is still the case with Le Meridien, Westin and Sheraton. But there is no compensation if the lounge is closed.

Reno Joe

There’s a problem when there’s something this complex. And, properties will find a way to deny the benefit anyway. Someone who’s worried about breakfast is still playing THEIR game. After all that has been revealed about the chains and owners, those still playing THEIR game deserve what they get.

Frequent Miler Superfan

If you don’t play their game then what game do you play?

Reno Joe

My wife and I are “regulars” at a few hotels. Once we were recognized as regulars — the staff knows us by name — we negotiated with each hotel’s sales director. Our average discounted daily rate is about 20 percent — which offsets the value of foregone points. Included is a full breakfast — absolutely anything on the menu. We receive perks such as upgrades, cabanas at the pool, the concierge getting us into unbookable restaurants, etc. They treat us royally . . . and the sad world of hotel loyalty programs is a fading dot in the rear view mirror.

mbh

You DO get that you, as you keep saying, are in a “unique position,” right? MOST of us have no choice but to play some version of “the game” as we have zip relationships with individual properties and travel all over the world. You sound like a superior broken record. We got your message.

Reno Joe

While you’re likely a regular reader, many others might not be. And, there’s always a new reader coming to the community. You say, “We got your message.” You’re wrong. You’re not considering the non-regular readers or the new readers. You’re thinking about yourself.

While you have seen my prior comments, many others might not have . . . which seems to be the case with Superfan, who asked the question. So, I answered. Get past thinking about yourself.

My intent is to help people . . . to let them know that they do not have to be enslaved . . . to preach the Gospel . . . not brag. At first, Morpheus probably sounded like a broken record to Neo. My guess is that you’re a Millennial, so this analogy should make sense.

This was my particular plan B. My plan B is only one of many plan Bs. In other comments, I have encouraged others to find their own plan B. I encourage you to find your own plan B. In all sincerity, I believe each person has a way around the (fill in the blanks) that we call hotel loyalty programs and their respective property owners. But, I can’t invent their solutions.

Lose your chip and think about others for a change. Maybe do some charity work.

Brutus

Might want to get that Messiah Complex checked out

Reno Joe

We’re all on the same side.

Reno Joe

PS

Every single person — no special circumstances — can garner the following from stays:

  • 14.5 percent discount on most / all stays
  • 4.5 airline miles per dollar on most / all stays

That’s not one or the other — that’s BOTH. No elite benefits.

Would you like to know how? That’s what this online community is about. Want me to not encourage and share? Fine.

Then, go figure it out yourself. In the meantime, stay enslaved.

Reno Joe

PPS

Here’s another one . . .

Every single person — no special circumstances — can garner all of the following from stays:

  • average 15 to 20 percent discount
  • room upgrade with the same category (standard vs. suite)
  • full breakfast included (no coupons)

If you can’t figure this one out, you ain’t tryin’. Either put on your big boy pants or go home cryin’.

Go figure it out yourself.