Here at the Santa Clara Marriott they have chosen to extend the Concierge Breakfast to weekends, albeit with reduced fare, and no crowd controls. As you can see if you turn the image around, the sign says key access but in reality it is open to anyone with the strength to push a double door open, which many people did thinking it was Parcel 104, the restaurant next door (and I am sure they are losing revenue because of this). Two nice attendants looked slightly bewildered and chatted quietly with each other in the corner of the huge Sports Bar, Characters, where the food was set out.
The breakfast itself was truly uninspired and vaguely continental, all gluten, with cereals and breads, some fruits, two juices, coffees, and hot oatmeal. No bacon sadly. Here's a hidden camera shot (not really) of the breads etc. The place is a sports bar during other times and used for breakfast now seven days a week, but for five days there are at least two hot things to choose from. Now it is not much more than a grab and go place, televisions everywhere, and not that glamorous.
I will give them credit for rolling this out this way and know that first times are always harder, but this is sadly not a good thing.
The offer at check in of ten dollars off instead of 500 points would have made the full restaurant breakfast 34$ for two, plus tip and tax of course, since it is a lavish spread for $22 per person. I think next time I am here I'll got that route. I miss bacon, and really need it!!!!
I'm just sitting here thinking about the marvelous free brekkies I enjoyed at the F/S Marriotts in Freising, Prague and Vienna last month, which U.S. F/S properties couldn't even come close to hitting before, and apparently even more so now. What is the advantage now of staying at a F/S property on weekends, with the advent of the cold breakfast and the "new" welcome gift? Smoke and mirrors.
It is interesting that at most European Marriotts, the "Continental" Breakfast consists of fresh breads and rolls, fruit, yogurts, cheeses, some side meats (salami, ham, prosciutto,) sometimes with smoked fish, as well as cereals. It would be nice for US hotels to follow suit.
The only place I've stayed that seems to have, at least some of this, has been the Hilton Suites next to Chrysler Headquarters in Auburn Hills Michigan. It could be the influence of the large number of internationals that come to Chrysler (of course, even here, this is not served in the Executive Lounge, only in the main dining area - but the front desk allows Diamond elite to chose without extra cost)
Marriott has taken a step backward with the "free continental breakfast". In most cases I was given the complimentary breakfast on weekends with few exceptions and I was offered the entire breakfast. Now they only offer the continental breakfast which only consists of carbs. I am diabetic and cannot eat only carbs. Marriott is becoming less and less attractive to me. I have other choices as I am gold at Hilton and SPG. My most recent trips have included many nights spent at those alternative hotels.
Some properties are still offering the full breakfast on weekends. When people report on Flyertalk I update the exec lounge thread sticky in the Marriott forum to reflect whether the brekkie offered is cont'l or full, and if it's in the exec lounge or restaurant. I'll continue to update as FTers report.
PS - If you're diabetic I would let the property know & ask if they have any non-carb options.
I went to this Marriott after the free weekend continental breakfast announcement and also noticed that they were only doing the bare minimum continental breakfast on weekends (I noted this in my review on Marriott Insiders). During the week, I've had scrambled eggs, bacon and even a vegetarian egg scramble with mushrooms and peppers here. However, since this announcement, I've also been to the JW Marriott in Atlanta and their weekend breakfast was exactly the same as their weekday breakfast with scrambled eggs, sausages and bacon. I would imagine that many Marriotts, Renaissances and JW Marriotts are going above the bare minimum.
I will say this about the Santa Clara Marriott. The staff and the management there are very nice and seem to treat elites well to create loyalty. This hotel has many weekend benefits like one of the best rates for a Marriott in the Bay Area as well as free parking. Maybe because of this and the events they do, this hotel draws a lot of families (and families of elites) on weekends. I imagine offering a full breakfast might be costly as well as lead to a packed house especially since I doubt this hotel would want to enforce the only 1 guest rule...I think that could result in a lot of dissatisfied customers at this family heavy hotel.