This will probably sound like a dumb question, so please bear with me. (I am not very practiced at taking advantage of the elite member benefits.) I believe gold status affords guests free breakfast with each stay. If that is correct, then one does not need to book a reservation package that includes breakfast (and costs more), right? One can assume breakfast is already included?
Permit me to add something to this. As a gold member, I remember the breakfast (a delicious and 'hot' breakfast) at the CE in Paris was complimentary. When I called the Monterey Marriott just now, I was told that yes they served breakfast everyday, but the complimentary breakfast for gold members is a continental breakfast - no hot items. The person I spoke with, although very nice, didn't work onsite and did not exude assurance or confidence in his answer. He said if we weren't happy with that once we got there, we could always just buy breakfast. In that case, I would rather book the room with the breakfast package rate (a better deal than just walking into the restaurant and purchasing on the spot). Well, I'd RATHER have a hot full service breakfast comped as a 'Goldie.' The fine print on the MR website regarding elite benefits just states in generic terms, guaranteed breakfast (available at participating Marriotts). It's a bit confusing, and I would just prefer not to pay more as a result. Am I making this more difficult than it needs to be? Eh (shrug.)
Alrighty. Called the hotel Concierge. The do not serve complimentary breakfast or CL services to gold and above on weekends, so she advised to book the breakfast rate. So it varies from hotel to hotel apparently, and therefore is always advisable to engage in advanced and necessary recon. With such general terms to the program, not much can be assumed. Making assumptions opens the door for disappointment, which can be intensified by confusion. I'm glad I called the property.
As a general rule, they don't give complimentary breakfasts on the weekends anymore, except at FFI and RI locations. There are a few that members have gotten, but you shouldn't count on it in the states. Outside of the US is a different matter, and you will do much better at getting breakfast comped, to my understanding. If you search on surveys you will see that there is one about keeping the CL open on the weekends for elites. Take a look and vote which way you'd like.
Marriott might consider clarifying the language regarding benefits on their Elite Member Benefits webpage.
Whilst it would be far preferable if as Elite members we did get weekend CL access or free breakfast, a fallback option could be to do an advanced search for hotels and filter search for Amenities... Free Breakfast to see if Marriott has a hotel offering this where you want to stay.
Here's a link that goes to the breakfast explanation (and other benefits):
Scroll down to ADDITIONAL PLATINUM AND GOLD MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS
See item #4 as it explains the breakfast breakdown.
Hope this helps.
Haha, Tef. (I'm smiling because it's a lot of fine print. And probably doesn't mean much! ) Really though, glad to know where to find that info now. Thanks!
Bazzap, yesterday I needed a reservation in a specific location and there were two hotels to choose from, both similarly priced (RI and CY). The RI offered free breakfast, so yes, good idea. Thanks.