I am a lifetime Platinum and recently stayed at the Detroit RenCen hotel. With the concierge lounge closed, I was provided a coupon for breakfast -- per Marriott policy for platinums and golds.
However, the certificate -- I was told -- only covered "bread products." Its stated value is $15. As soon as banana became part of my breakfast, I was charged an additional $4. Aside from the absurdity of two pastries, a small Dannon yogurt and a banana tipping the scales at nearly $20, it strikes me as odd that food that would normally be available in the concierge lounge results in an up charge in the breakfast restaurant.
When I questioned the policy via Marriott customer service, I received two emails from senior management at the hotel nicely -- but firmly -- stating that's the way it is.
Has anyone else experienced this sort of up charge? The $4 is no big deal, but it's the principle of saying "bread is free, fruit is not" to the platinums and golds who would normally enjoy a banana -- or even a strawberry -- with no additional fee.
-- Andrew In Florida
I agree Andrew, a bit of a nickel and dime approach, but I'm afraid we're going to see more and more of this type stuff as each property is allowed to interpret the policy as they see fit. I just stayed at the Renaissance DC Dupont Circle on a weekday (so technically I should have been entitled to their hot breakfast they provide in the CL normally) and was given a card for two breakfasts described as everything on the fruit bar non-meats (so better than yours, less than full breakfast), with an upcharge for eggs and meats (the lox, which was excellent, was not counted as a meat ). My next stay at the Gaithersburg Marriott (which btw, is one of the few remaining properties actually run by Marriott) provides the full buffet on weekends. So I bet we see more and more creative interpretations of elite benefit policy - thanks for sharing.
Same thing happened to me at the Santiago de Compostela, Spain Autograph Collection property. Only bread products were included, no fruit, cereal, yogurt, etc., per the coupon I was given. I was using points for the stay.
Someone else here had a different experience. Don't know if they used points for their stay there.
I have had properties try to charge me $4 for taking any of the hot entrees which is just plain petty! I am surprised that Marriott is letting them charge so much for their 'continental breakfast' offering. I have also watched the other confused customers at the buffet trying to figure out which items they can take and which ones they cannot, and overheard a substantial amount of arguments for those that took the wrong items and were billed for them.
The properties that are good at juggling customer demands with rules, have offered me the AAA Hot Deal which includes breakfast and we are all winners. I always 'clarify' at checkin, how my breakfast will be handled at each property for the day(s) of the week I am there
I get my hot buffet breakfast, and 750 points/day for not collecting the platinum breakfast coupon.
As always I prefer the properties with a concierge 24 X 7 - Forrestal Princeton, Foggy Bottom, etc.
and was even pleasantly surprised that the Detroit Airport concierge was open Christmas Eve and Christmas day as well.
but those extra points add up, so I don't mind that either