I have been a very loyal Marriott traveler but Marriott's decision to deny comp breakfast at Courtyard, at least for gold and platinum is terrible. Then to, the "Bistro" idea is even worst-don't try to substitute ANYTHING on the wimpy menu.
I am now staying at Hilton Garden Inn when evere possible.
I couldn't agree more! Unless there is no alternative or the benefits far outweigh the lack of breakfast (I need breakfast!) I won't stay at Courtyards because of this. I fail to understand why they can't at least provide similar service to Fairfield Inns, Residence Inns, etc.
This has baffled me for years. I have been platinum for 3 years and have NEVER been comped breakfast. I cannot stay out anymore nights. My husband, a Hilton member, gets HGI breakfasts even during some years when he didn't qualify. This act of kindness kept him at Hilton and is now Diamond again.
Courtyard's were never known for their gourmet offerings. But like everybody has said in the past, why do Fairfield's give breakfast but CY's don't?
Also, about two years ago Marriott sent out a survey. One of the questions was whether CY's should offer free breakfast to elites. Can we assume all respondent's replied "no"?
Having asked the Courtyard breakfast question myself numerous times, I happened quite by accident to find Brian K. (VP and Brand Manager of all Courtyards) one morning a few years ago in the newly-opened Bistro of the San Diego Mission Valley Courtyard. It was opening day at that Bistro and I would guess that Brian was there to make sure all went as planned.
I took the opportunity to express my concern about losing the breakfast buffet to the Bistro - he responded that all of the buffet items were still available in the Bistro, albeit on an a la carte pricing basis.
I also asked why Courtyards do not and never have comped breakfast to anyone, especially to elites. (Only exception is if you purchase a breakfast-ncluded rate, available at some hotels). Brian's response was that, from the beginning of Courtyards in the 1980s, included breakfasts were never part of the Courtyard business plan. Of course, that didn't address the real question, "Why not change the business plan???".
Courtyard is known as the 'business traveler' hotel. They advertise it as such also. Business travelers, to the Marriott way of thinking, have expense accounts that cover meals. Hence, why offer a free breakfast to elites when they can 'charge it back' to the company. My guess would be that Marriott has the attitude of 'why should we support other businesses employees' when they travel for the company? Result: No breakfast.
Because of the breakfast issue I also don't patronize CY, but, last April, when I had no choice but to book a stay at the South Boston Courtyard, they very graciously told me that they DO comp breakfast for Platinums and changed my reservation (that had been made to include breakfast) when I arrived to a LOWER rate saying that I shouldn't be paying the breakfast rate when it was free for me.
I reported this in an earlier post but thought their service to me was worth another mention and to point out that evidently some Courtyards do comp breakfast, although knowing the Courtyards that do is another matter. Maybe they should put it on their homepage when they do.
At least the buffet offered an opportunity to have a complete and healthy breakfast for an expense account acceptable rate. The new bistro menus have eliminated that opportunity. I really don't know how Courtyard management decided to go to this new concept, but all of the business travelers I know, including myself, have eliminated Courtyards with bistros from our consideration set.
My complete breakfast would now cost over $20 at the bistros, and the food isn't that good. For time purposes, I want to be able to eat breakfast in the hotel, so I will now stay in Springhill Suites or competitors if the FS hotels are above our corporate acceptable rates. It is a shame that the new Marriott marketing team is losing touch with its key customers.