I had a great experience getting a Platinum upgrade at a Courtyard last week, but I as disappointed to learn that although they had no concierge lounge, I was not entitled to a complimentary breakfast as I would have been at a Renaissance or Marriott just because it was a Courtyard. This particular Courtyard is very expensive and there is no Renaissance or Marriott in the area. In those circumstances, I think the complementary breakfast privilege should apply for platinums. Thoughts?
There are many insiders here who would agree with you and this topic has been discussed many times. Courtyard is one of the Marriott brands that do not offer a free breakfast to Gold/Platinum members. Some of the other Marriott brands that do not offer free breakfast include Marriott Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club, and Gaylord properties. Hopefully one day Elite members can receive a free breakfast at Courtyards.
.......yes, this has been discussed many, many times and, of course, Insiders don't understand the logic behind Courtyards not participating in the free breakfast mantra....especially, as pilgrim37 points out above, when the Courtyard price points are so high (and in quite a few cases, higher than a Marriott full service property!)
But, as this item gets discussed more and more, it seems as though the 'free breakfast' participants become less and less. Has anyone noticed that the 'new' acquisitions have not bought into the program? For example, and as vaboy points out above...the Gaylords do not. In addition, anyone notice the posts that the Autograph properties (Cosmopolitan, et al) do not participate either?
Another trend I have observed is at properties that do offer 'free' breakfasts it's becoming more like 'breakfast included', meaning the rates of the Fairfield Inns and Springhills have increased significantly. In a few examples of comparing apples to apples, I booked a Springhill and a Fairfield Inn this time last year for the spring and summer at $89 Springhill and $144 Fairfield (beach property), this year the same properties for the same time period, with the same booking in advance lead time are $110 Springhill and $159 Fairfield, an aggressive increase even allowing for the forecasted increases. So, I'm sensing they're (successfully so) rolling in a portion of the breakfast cost. I've experienced other similar increases in Springhills, Fairfields, and Residence Inns from last year, so as foretold by Marriott on CNBC, 2013 is either going to be strong or tough, depending on what side of the equation you're on.
On a side note, with every little bit of savings counting now, please let us know when/if you get your gift card points bonus resolved - thanks
I think you raise excellent points. Pricing increases of that magnitude certainly raise the specter of the breakfast being included in the rate rather than provided 'complimentary' as their new marketing offering says.....in addition, and as you point out of the foretelling on CNBC earlier this year, Marriott has made good on their 'strong occupancy leading to better pricing' decree.
I also think that there is more at play, since many of the properties are 'franchise' properties. That CNBC message was being delivered to more than us 'customers'. It was also being delivered to their franchise owners in that their 'management fee' would be increasing due to the market conditions as 'they' saw them. I have seen this firsthand in the Vacation Club properties since expense costs for almost every line item in the P+L statements have been managed to 'control' the increases.......with the exception of the 'management fee' that has increased anywhere from 8 to 13% over the past few 'bad' years. No regard for the folks who are counting pennies, just 'here's our fee'...if you don't like it, opt out (which we can't do).......I just got a notice that although the 'Board' has worked hard to manage expenses at one of the properties I own they will have to raise 'dues' by 5.4% next year.....and that is in addition to the approx 28% increases (in the aggregate) I have experienced over the past few 'bad' years.....with that 'management fee' being.....by far.....the biggest line item increase in every year. My point......the properties have no choice but to pass on the fee increases and those are certainly part of the increase in rates.
I wonder when the customers will say.....enough........
I will let you know if I get an answer to the 'gift card' fiasco. It's unfortunate that it happened now because, with the express delivery, I could have gotten the cards before my trip to Miami, Palm Beach and Aruba beginning Saturday........
This is a frustrating aspect to Courtyard. For this reason, and the fact that Courtyards only give you 5 points per stay dollar, I tend to avoid them when there is any other Marriott property nearby. I often pick a nearby Residence Inn as an alternative (Courtyards and Residence Inns seem to often be located together), since although Residence Inns are only 5 points per stay dollar also, they do include a nice breakfast and very often a decent evening meal during the happy hour manager's special between 5:00 and 7:00. If you can find a Springhill Suites, then you're back at 10 points per stay dollar with breakfast back in play too.