Marriott’s Platinum breakfast benefit better than I thought, but more confusing than ever

Breakfast shown here is from the US Grant Luxury Collection (SPG) hotel where Platinum elites will continue to get free breakfast.

We were promised that Platinum Elites would get free breakfast when Marriott and SPG merge in August.  But, in my post “Marriott Platinum Elite Welcome Gift List Published,” I pointed out that you might not get free breakfast at a number of hotels when they don’t have a lounge, or when the lounge is closed.  Specifically, I wrote:

…there are several hotel brands where breakfast is not a guaranteed option when there is no lounge or when the lounge is closed:

  • JW Marriott Hotels do not offer a non-lounge breakfast option (but JW Marriott Resorts do).
  • Marriott Hotels do not offer a non-lounge breakfast option (but Marriott Resorts do).
  • Delta Hotels do not offer a non-lounge breakfast option (but Delta Resorts do).
  • Autograph Collection Hotels do not offer a non-lounge breakfast option (but Autograph Collection Resorts do).
  • Renaissance Hotels do not offer a non-lounge breakfast option (but Renaissance Resorts do).

In each of the above cases, as long as a lounge is open and available, this isn’t a problem, but it could be an issue on weekends when some lounges close.

Thankfully, it looks like I was wrong.  Loyalty Lobby has uncovered a document detailing lounge access rules for each Marriott / SPG brand, including details about what happens when the lounge is closed or non-existent:

As you can see above, if a lounge is closed or doesn’t exist at all, most brands will provide breakfast in the restaurant.  There’s still a lot of detail missing here, though.  For example, we now know that at most brands if the lounge is closed in the US or Canada, you’ll get free breakfast.  But what if the hotel doesn’t have a lounge at all?  That’s addressed only for European hotels.  And what happens in Europe when the lounge is closed?  We don’t know.  It isn’t addressed. My assumption is that we’ll get free breakfast whether or not there’s a lounge and whether or not it’s open during your stay.  But if that’s the case, it’s not well spelled out here.

A simplified Platinum playbook… eventually

It’s absurd how complicated this is.  My goal is to produce a much simpler chart to make it easy to know when to expect free breakfast.  As things stand now, you have to consult the chart above, the chart below, and an astrologer or palm reader to make sense of it.

Once I get more concrete info from Marriott I’ll put together a simple chart.

In the meantime, for your confusion pleasure, here again is the previously published breakfast chart:

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[…] Indeed. Thankfully, the above charts aren’t quite as complicated as Marriott’s free breakfast rules, but […]

[…] / SPG Platinum Elites would get free breakfast when Marriott and SPG merge in August.  But, as I reported previously, the rules describing who gets breakfast when and where are terribly confusing.  I’ve […]


My head hurts…


No kidding this is confusing. What a goat rodeo. I have a bunch of bookings coming up after August and a major Stay and Fly package coming up early next year in SEA. I’m Platinum but haven’t a clue about how my status will be treated for reservations already on the books. I’ll be calling each property just before my cancellation period expires and confirm what my benefits will be at each hotel. They will need to confirm via email otherwise I will cancel and be switching to Hilton, Hyatt or IHG properties.


what about the middle east and Asia??


It’s a mess. That’s the danger of managing 30 brands. Even the people who are managing them are confused. How could consumers not get confused? Perhaps a shakeup in the upper management is in the not-too-distant future.


Since the two charts need to be read together to get a full picturem, I merged and cleaned up some of the data. Marriott’s chart is a mess, causing people to think mainline brands are retracting breakfas and the two columns for the regional differences will make people think you pick between them when they’re actually mutually exclusive.

Also there are issues with the data in the charts (Despite Marriott’s corrections). It seems to indicate Courtyards will now offer lounge access (including resorts) which definitely seems like a mistake. Fairfield Inn now seems to offer breakfast accross the board to all guests but the chart does not reflect it. The Courtyard Europe lounge alternative for breakfast in restaurant is a case that can never materialise (so why is it there?). So Marriott definitely needs to clarify those bits.
I’ll email you the consolidated chart, perhaps it will help.


So, elite members were promised breakfast at all Courtyard hotels, but now Marriott says that for pretty much all USA hotels that’s just not true. How are customers supposed to believe anything from Marriott when they blatantly lie? This is the advertised best of both programs? Marriott has made so may missteps in this merger that it’s hard to understand how this could be an accident after all the prior screwups.


The rules are so complicated and also hidden I’d worry that locations might not get the memo.


Well, I get breakfast at Hilton just by having the Amex Platinum?
I’ll take that every time over having to look at an excel spreadsheet.
I was just in Europe and they give lounge access to HiltonGold members…full breakfast most places. Radisson Blu was doing the same , though I don’t know if its a benefit.

Combine this with paying $200 for IHG Ambassador and carrying their credit card—and a bunch of benefits for that and I have to wonder why anyone would actually have any brand loyalty.
I have Hyatt diamond just by having a bunch of Ziva stays. It’s worth almost zilch to me, Anyone who stays 60 nights per year at Hyatt is unlikely to use all their suite awards which are saved for family vacations.

Bottom line is status by credit card versus actually staying in hotel rooms is the way to go.


wait. how do you have hyatt globe with ziva stays? that makes no sense. ur talking about spending 20k at hyatt?


The only benefit that really matters is the Ritz Carlton which is painfully absent so I am gleefully absent at check in.


Marriott has 2 years to do this, are they so stupid? Man I can make a simpler chart over a weekend timeframe.


I feel like to really win over Hyatt elites, this is a huge thing they need to get right.
Right now, Hyatt nails it. If you pay an eligible rate, you get free breakfast.
– HH/HP gives it to (almost) everyone.
– if there’s a lounge, you get it there.
– Otherwise, you get it in the restaurant for 2 adults + 2 kids.