Guide to the Breakfast Benefit for Marriott Bonvoy Elite Members

marriott bonvoy breakfast benefits explained featured image

One of the primary reasons members of a hotel loyalty program strive for higher elite status is to enjoy the benefits that come with it. Among the many perks that come with Marriott Bonvoy elite status, the elite breakfast benefit will generally be the most desirable and valuable for its members. In my opinion, nothing beats a fantastic breakfast to look forward to each morning while on vacation, especially when it’s free. 

For whatever reason, the Marriott Bonvoy breakfast benefit is excessively complicated. The Marriott portfolio features over 30 brands, each with its own breakfast benefit policy in some form or another.

In this guide, we’ll break down all the policies, exemptions, regional restrictions, and caveats associated with the Marriott Bonvoy elite breakfast benefit.

About Free Breakfast Benefits for Marriott Bonvoy Elite Members

The Marriott Bonvoy elite breakfast benefit is available to Platinum Elite members and above. These members are entitled to an elite welcome gift amenity upon check-in, which can include a choice between points, a food and beverage credit, free breakfast, or another property-specific option.

Achieving Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status requires earning 50 elite night credits in a calendar year. Staying 50 nights each year at Marriott properties can be challenging for some; however, there are a few shortcuts available to make reaching 50 nights a little easier.

In Canada, American Express issues two co-branded Marriott Bonvoy credit cards. As a cardholder of either the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card or the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card you’ll receive 15 Elite Night credits per year as an ongoing benefit. As a result, you’ll only need to complete 35 nights in a calendar year at Marriott properties to reach Platinum Elite status.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy card earns Bonvoy points and offers cardholders benefits including an annual free night and 15 qualifying nights towards elite status.

Check out our American Express Marriott Bonvoy card review for more details.

BONUS
50,000 Marriott Bonvoy
MINSPEND
$1,500
NET VALUE
$330+
ANNUAL FEE
$120
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

For individuals who have access to US-issued credit cards, American Express (US) issues the co-branded American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card. Despite the $650 USD annual fee, one benefit of this card is that it provides automatic Platinum Elite status for as long as you hold the card.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card (US)

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card (US) offers cardholders complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, an annual $300 restaurant credit, an annual free night, 25 elite qualifying night credits annually, and Priority Pass Select membership.

Check out our American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card (US) review for more details.

BONUS
95,000 Marriott Bonvoy
MINSPEND
$6,000
NET VALUE
$205+
ANNUAL FEE
$650
FOREX FEES
No
EXPIRY

Several Marriott brands offer free breakfast to all guests, regardless of their status. In contrast, some brands do not provide free breakfast to any guest, even for Platinum Elite and above members.

Further complicating matters, some policies can vary based on factors such as the property’s location (US/Canada or abroad), its type (hotel or resort), and whether the property has a lounge, among others. 

Marriott also differentiates the type of breakfast an elite member will receive depending on the brand and its geographic location. In certain regions, such as Canada and the United States, members will receive a daily continental breakfast, which may only consist of some prepackaged items such as pastries, cereal, and yogurt. 

Elsewhere in the world, members will be entitled to a daily full breakfast in the hotel restaurant. This typically includes either a breakfast buffet or a menu item from the kitchen.

Generally, a property will fall into one of five categories in regard to the elite breakfast benefit:

  • Brands that provide free breakfast to all guests, regardless of status
  • Brands that provide free breakfast as an elite status welcome amenity
  • Brands that provide free breakfast through executive lounge access
  • Brands that provide a food & beverage credit as an elite status welcome amenity
  • Brands that do not provide free breakfast to any guests

With these categories in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into what brands fall into each category and what you can expect during your next stay.

Marriott Brands Which Offer Free Breakfast to All Guests

The following brands provide free breakfast to all guests, regardless of status:

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

Throughout this guide, you’ll notice a consistent theme: breakfast options outside of Canada and the United States tend to be notably more diverse. In Canada and the United States, hotels offering complimentary breakfast to all guests generally stick to basic offerings. These typically include cold cereal, yogurt, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, toast, and occasionally a self-serve waffle station.

I’ve consistently observed that at the brands listed above, the breakfast options typically consist of prepackaged and reheated frozen items. Overall, anything resembling fresh or healthy options is not to be expected in abundance at these extended-stay brands.

Marriott Brands Which Offer Free Breakfast to Elite Members (Platinum and Above)

The below brands provide free breakfast to Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite members as a welcome amenity:

  • Aloft
  • Autograph Collection (resorts)
  • City Express (City Centro sub-brand locations only)
  • Delta Hotels (resorts)
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Four Points Express
  • JW Marriott (resorts)
  • Le Méridien
  • Luxury Collection
  • Marriott Hotels (resorts)
  • Protea Hotels
  • Renaissance Hotels (resorts)
  • Sheraton
  • St. Regis
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Westin
  • W Hotels
marriott-bonvoy-breakfast-buffet-jw-marriott-emerald-bay
Daily buffet breakfast – JW Marriott Emerald Bay Resort, Phu Quoc

As you can see from the above list of brands, Marriott distinguishes the breakfast benefit between hotels and resorts, as many hotels within the above brands will have an executive lounge where elite members can enjoy their complimentary breakfast. In most circumstances, resort properties will rarely have an executive lounge.

Therefore, at resorts, Platinum Elite and above members are provided free breakfast for themselves and one guest in the restaurant. At hotels, Platinum Elite members are granted lounge access, where they and one guest may have breakfast. In the case of a lounge being closed or not available, the hotel must offer a daily breakfast for the elite member and one guest in the restaurant.

Marriott Brands Which Offer Free Breakfast Through Executive Lounge Access

Executive Lounge access is provided to all Platinum Elite members and above for the duration of their stay. Breakfast in an executive lounge will usually include a small buffet and a few hot items.

The following brands provide free breakfast in the executive lounge:

  • Autograph Collection (hotels)
  • Courtyard (at properties with a lounge)
  • Delta Hotels (hotels)
  • JW Marriott (hotels)
  • Le Méridien
  • Marriott Hotels (hotels)
  • Renaissance Hotels (hotels)
  • Sheraton (hotels)
  • Westin (hotels)
marriott-bonvoy-comp-breakfast-stradom-house-autograph
Complementary daily breakfast – Stradom House, Autograph Collection Krakow

In the event that one of the above property’s lounge is closed or the property does not have a lounge, you will receive a daily breakfast in the hotel restaurant. However, the quality of the breakfast will vary based on the hotel’s geographic location. 

In Canada and the United States, the property will, at a minimum, provide a daily continental breakfast for the member and one guest. Elsewhere, the member will receive a daily full breakfast for up to two guests in the hotel restaurant.

marriott-bonvoy-executive-lounge-breakfast-jw-marriott-dallas
Executive Lounge buffet breakfast – JW Marriott Dallas Arts District

You’ll also want to be aware of a handful of properties in the U.S. that have carved out an additional exclusion to the executive lounge and breakfast benefit. These properties do not have to provide a free continental breakfast in the event the executive lounge is closed. For instance, some properties only operate their executive lounge on weekdays. In such cases, 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy points are offered in lieu of breakfast. 

These properties are:

  • 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
  • Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
marriott-bonvoy-executive-lounge-buffet-jw-marriott-marquis-dubai
Executive Lounge buffet breakfast – JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Lastly, some properties may allow their elite members the choice of having breakfast in either the executive lounge or restaurant. For example, during check-in for our stay at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, we were informed that we had the option each morning of having breakfast in the lounge or the restaurant. This is definitely an exception rather than the norm, but it is worth keeping in mind when staying at a property with an executive lounge.

Marriott Brands Which Offer Elite Food & Beverage Credits Instead of Free Breakfast

Instead of a free breakfast benefit, some brands offer a food & beverage credit as an elite member welcome amenity. These brands will offer Platinum Elite members and above a $10 food & beverage credit per night of stay for the member and one guest, up to a total of $20 per day:

  • AC Hotels
  • Courtyard (properties without a lounge)
  • Moxy Hotels

At participating properties outside of the United States, the credit will be applied in local currency (e.g. in Europe you’ll receive €10).

The advantage of receiving a food & beverage credit over free breakfast is that the credit does provide some flexibility; you can use it for any meal throughout the day.

The disadvantage of a credit is that $10 likely won’t cover the entire cost of a meal, so you’ll be stuck paying out-of-pocket for the balance. 

Nevertheless, depending on where you are, a food & beverage credit can still go a long way in covering the cost of a meal. In cosmopolitan cities like New York, Paris, and Hong Kong, $10 isn’t going to get you very far. However, if you venture a little more off the beaten path during your travels, you might find the daily credit to be a lot more valuable. For example, during a recent stay, I had at AC Hotel Riga, the €10 daily credit helped put a nice dent in the €15 buffet breakfast at the hotel.

The hotel offered a superb breakfast buffet every morning, which I found to be incredibly good value at a net cost of just €5 per day.

marriott-bonvoy-daily-buffet-ac-hotel-riga
Daily buffet breakfast – AC Hotel Riga

A handful of properties also offer a $10 food & beverage credit per stay as a welcome amenity. This credit only applies to the following properties designated as hotels in Canada, United States, and Europe:

  • JW Marriott 
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Delta Hotels
  • Autograph Collection
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • Gaylord Hotels

With the exception of Gaylord Hotels, all the properties mentioned above guarantee lounge access to Platinum Elite members and higher. Therefore, breakfast is included in your stay regardless of which welcome amenity you select. This means you can choose the food & beverage credit option and still enjoy complimentary breakfast at these locations.

Keep in mind that all food & beverage credits are “use them or lose them”. The daily $10 food & beverage credit does not accumulate during your stay. For instance, if you don’t use the $10 credit on one day, it doesn’t roll over, so you won’t have $20 to use the next day.

Marriott Brands Which DO NOT Offer Free Breakfast to Any Guests

The list of brands that do not offer free breakfast to guests based on their elite status includes Marriott’s timeshare properties, vacation rentals, and several of the most premium brands under the Marriott umbrella.

Below are the brands that do not provide complimentary daily breakfast to its elite members:

  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • EDITION
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Marriott Grand Residence Club
  • Sheraton Vacation Club
  • Westin Vacation Club
  • Design Hotels
  • Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy
  • Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy
  • Bulgari Hotels & Resorts
ritz-carlton-toronto-in-room-dining-breakfast
Room service breakfast – The Ritz-Carlton Toronto

While none of the brands listed above have to provide complimentary breakfast as an elite status benefit based on the Marriott Bonvoy Terms & Conditions, a select few have chosen to independently offer free breakfast to all guests. There are a small number of Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and EDITION locations that do include breakfast for all guests.

Some notable exceptions that have been reported include: 

  • Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
  • The Ritz Carlton, Kyoto
  • The Ritz Carlton, Tokyo
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
  • The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place
  • The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan
  • Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Bodrum EDITION

Note the above list is not exhaustive, may be subject to change, and may even have different results from one stay to the next. If it’s very important to you, you can always consider calling the property or chatting with them on the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app before your stay.

Summary

Here’s a reference chart summarizing the breakfast benefits available at each brand (in alphabetical order):

BrandBreakfast Benefit for Platinum Elite and Above
AC Hotels$10 food & beverage credit per night of stay for up to two guests
All-Inclusive by Marriott BonvoyAll food & beverage included for all guests
AloftFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
Autograph CollectionUS, Canada, Europe: Free breakfast as a welcome amenity (resorts only) or lounge access or $10 food and beverage credit per stay

Free daily continental breakfast if the lounge is closed or absent

Elsewhere: Free breakfast with lounge access or in the restaurant if the lounge is closed or absent
Bulgari Hotels and ResortsNone
City ExpressProperties operating under the City Express sub-brand City Centro: Free breakfast as a welcome amenity

All other City Express locations: none
CourtyardUS, Canada, Europe: $10 food & beverage credit per night of stay for up to two guests

Elsewhere: Free breakfast with lounge access (when applicable) or $10 food & beverage credit per night of stay for up to two guests

If the lounge is closed or absent: Free breakfast in restaurant
Delta HotelsUS, Canada, Europe: Free breakfast as a welcome amenity (resorts only) or lounge access or $10 food and beverage credit per stay

Free daily continental breakfast if the lounge is closed or absent

Elsewhere: Free breakfast with lounge access or in the restaurant if the lounge is closed or absent
Design HotelsNone
EDITIONNone
ElementFree breakfast for all guests
Fairfield Inn & SuitesFree breakfast for all guests
Four Points by SheratonFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
Four Points ExpressFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
Gaylord Hotels$10 food & beverage credit per stay
JW MarriottUS, Canada, Europe: Free breakfast as a welcome amenity (resorts only) or lounge access or $10 food and beverage credit per stay

Free daily continental breakfast if the lounge is closed or absent

Elsewhere: Free breakfast with lounge access or in the restaurant if the lounge is closed or absent
Le MéridienFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
Luxury CollectionFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
Marriott HotelsUS, Canada, Europe: Free breakfast as a welcome amenity (resorts only) or lounge access or $10 food and beverage credit per stay

Free daily continental breakfast if the lounge is closed or absent

Elsewhere: Free breakfast with lounge access or in the restaurant if the lounge is closed or absent
Marriott Vacation ClubNone
Marriott Grand Residence ClubNone
Moxy Hotels$10 food & beverage credit per night of stay for up to two guests
Protea HotelsFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
Renaissance HotelsUS, Canada, Europe: Free breakfast as a welcome amenity (resorts only) or lounge access or $10 food and beverage credit per stay

Free daily continental breakfast if the lounge is closed or absent

Elsewhere: Free breakfast with lounge access or in the restaurant if the lounge is closed or absent
Residence InnFree breakfast for all guests
Ritz-Carlton ReserveNone
SheratonFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
Sheraton Vacation ClubNone
SpringHill SuitesFree breakfast for all guests
St. RegisFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
The Ritz-CarltonNone
TownePlace SuitesFree breakfast for all guests
Tribute PortfolioFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
W HotelsFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
WestinFree breakfast as a welcome amenity
Westin Vacation ClubNone

I have listed All-Inclusive by Marriott Bonvoy as a distinct brand, although it functions more as a collection of various Marriott brands offering all-inclusive experiences. These properties generally provide guests with a range of meal plans to choose from but typically include all meals and beverages, including alcoholic drinks.

marriott-bonvoy-a-la-carte-breakfast-al-maha-luxury-collection
À la carte breakfast – Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai

Further to this, a very select few properties outside of the All-Inclusive by Marriott sub-brand also operate on an all-inclusive basis. These properties offer a meal plan beyond the scope of what is required by them in the Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty Terms & Conditions. For example, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa provides an all-inclusive experience as part of the daily rate. This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, along with two daily activities.

Conclusion

The only thing consistent about the Marriott Bonvoy breakfast benefit is the complete and total lack of consistency. The issue isn’t just the variability of what you’ll be entitled to between brands, property types, and geographic locations. It’s also the disparity in the quality and quantity of what is served. In Europe and Asia, you often find incredible breakfasts, whereas in North America, you might be lucky to get a reheated breakfast sandwich or a prepackaged pastry.

While the prevailing wisdom is to gravitate towards brands where you know free breakfast is assured, many properties, especially those in Canada and the United States, like to play fast and loose with the breakfast benefit by putting their own spin on it, oftentimes to the detriment of elite members. This inconsistency leads to even more frustration and puts a spotlight on the confusing nature of the program. To make matters worse, there is typically little recourse with hotel management, and it appears that Marriott corporate lacks adequate oversight and enforcement in these situations.

Despite the wildly varied implementation, most members are willing to tolerate the complexities and technicalities associated with these benefits to earn at least Platinum status each year, as free breakfast and lounge access are widely regarded as the most valuable elite perks.

To sum it all up, outside of Marriott’s timeshare and some top-tier brands, elite members should receive some form of complementary breakfast or food & beverage credit at the vast majority of properties. Hopefully, this will prepare you for what to expect and what properties to seek out during your travels.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Marriott Bonvoy breakfast benefit is an exclusive perk for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite members, offering complimentary breakfast at participating properties.

The breakfast benefit is available at the majority of Marriott properties with the exception of its timeshare and some premium brands. However, this availability may vary by brand, property type, and location.

The breakfast benefit applies to the elite member plus one guest staying in the same room. You may ask for the benefit to be extended to a third guest, however, it is entirely at the discretion of the property to decline this request.

Yes, there are many brands and locations that have exclusions or different terms regarding the breakfast benefit. Consult the summary chart above or contact the hotel directly prior to your stay to determine how the property applies the breakfast benefit for elite members. 

In most cases, no. The terms and conditions of the breakfast benefit specify that it is exclusively for breakfast in the restaurant or lounge. However, this policy may vary by hotel. 

Hotels may also make exceptions under special circumstances, for example, if you are leaving in the early morning and don’t have time to eat at the restaurant.

During check-in, elite members will be asked to choose between bonus points or free breakfast at participating properties.

Jeff Jamieson

Jeff Jamieson

Contributor at Frugal Flyer
Jeff stepped into the ring of points and miles in 2018, this was during his first trip to Italy where he had only just dipped his toe into what was possible with loyalty programs. After eating pizza twice a day for two weeks straight and taking in all that Tuscany of Rome had to offer he knew he was hooked on “la dolce vita” of points and miles. Always fascinated with aviation, Jeff obtained his Private Pilot’s License in 2006. Now he fuels his affection for travel and aviation by seeking out new strategies while building upon existing opportunities along with the help of his close circle of fellow travel enthusiasts.

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