Which Elite Hotel Status Provide Free Breakfast?

Aug 8, 2019

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We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but odds are that on most days, breakfast at home is a pretty hasty affair. If we manage wheat toast, jam and a piece fruit, we’re doing great. But, when we’re on vacation, it’s normal to want to make the time for a real breakfast, either to simply enjoy or to fill up so you can devote the better part of the day to sightseeing. So, access to a good breakfast at the hotel is important to many — especially if there are little mouths that wake up hungry.

Hotels programs reward repeat guests with many perks, sometimes including free breakfast for elite guests when other folks have to pay-up for the eggs and bacon.

Hilton Honors Elite Breakfast Benefit

Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors elites can elect free breakfast for themselves and one additional guest on their reservation at the following brands that don’t normally include breakfast as part of the room rate. (If you don’t pick free breakfast as your amenity, you can opt instead for a set number of Hilton Honors points.) Top-tier Diamonds also get Executive Lounge access at any property that has a lounge (Golds get that when available).

  • Canopy by Hilton — free continental breakfast
  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts — free continental breakfast
  • Curio – A Collection by Hilton — free continental breakfast
  • DoubleTree by Hilton — free continental breakfast
  • Hilton Garden Inn — free hot cooked-to-order breakfast
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts — free continental breakfast
  • LXR Hotels & Resorts — free continental breakfast
  • Tapestry Collection by Hilton — free continental breakfast
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts — free continental breakfast

While the program materials state that you’ll receive continental breakfast, many properties — especially those outside the United States — offer elites a full, hot breakfast instead.

To achieve Gold status, you need to complete 20 stays, 40 nights or accrue 75,000 Hilton Honors Base Points in a calendar year. Diamond status takes 30 stays, 60 nights or 120,000 Hilton Honors Base Points in a calendar year. However, you can level-up to status immediately just by having the right credit card.

Breakfast at the Conrad in Tokyo (Photo by Samantha Rosen / The Points Guy)
Breakfast at the Conrad in Tokyo (Photo by Samantha Rosen / The Points Guy)

Free Breakfast for Marriott Bonvoy Elites

Marriott’s breakfast benefit for elites is complex, and it’s not that easy to figure out what your status should get you at the chain’s more than two dozen hotel brands. TPG contributor Ethan Steinberg has you covered with his complete guide to Marriott elite breakfast benefits. If you’re considering Marriott status, that article is required reading.

Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy.
Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy

In essence, depending on what hotel brand you’re staying at, Marriott Platinum and Titanium elites can pick free breakfast (or a food and beverage credit) as a welcome amenity. At properties such as Courtyard that offer a $10 (£8) food and beverage credit, that credit is for the elite member and one other person on the reservation, so you’ll actually get a total of $20 (£16) to spend on food and beverages.

At the following brands, Platinum and Titanium elites have guaranteed lounge access (though there’s not always a lounge), so you could enjoy free breakfast each day (meaning you can select points or something else as your welcome amenity):

  • Autograph Collection
  • Courtyard (outside the US and Canada only)
  • Delta Hotels
  • JW Marriott
  • Le Méridien
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Renaissance
  • Westin

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

But, it’s not quite that simple. Some of the lounges at specific properties in the brands above aren’t open seven days a week, so there’s a backup plan: At the above brands, minus Le Méridien, Sheraton and Westin, you’ll get breakfast in the hotel restaurant when the lounge is closed. There are also 20 specific properties in the US that don’t provide an alternate to breakfast when the lounge is closed.

Finally, the following brands do not offer any guaranteed breakfast benefit to elites:

  • Design Hotels
  • EDITION
  • Gaylord Hotels
  • Marriott Grand Residence Club
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • The Ritz-Carlton

The breakfast amenity, when available, is for the elite member and one guest on the same reservation. In practice, sometimes it extends to the whole family, but not always.

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Staying 50 eligible nights will get you Platinum Elite status and 75 nights will earn you Titanium Elite elite status. If you stay 100 nights and spend $20,000 (£16,000) per calendar year, you’ll gain Ambassador Elite status.

World of Hyatt Breakfast Perk for Elites

While Discoverist and Explorist elite tiers don’t get free breakfast by themselves, you can earn two Club lounge certificates starting with 20 annual Hyatt nights per year. You can apply the certificates to stays at Hyatt hotels with a Club lounge, where you can enjoy free breakfast (and more).

Hyatt Regency Club at Hyatt Coconut Point
Hyatt Regency Club at Hyatt Coconut Point (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Hyatt’s highest elite rank, Globalist, gets you Club lounge access on all stays and breakfast there to your heart’s content. If your hotel doesn’t have a Club lounge, Globalist receive free full breakfast daily at the on-site restaurant for up to two adults and two children. (Continental breakfast is served at SLH hotels.)

Hyatt’s breakfast benefit is given to Globalists on both paid or award stays.

The smoked salmon and berries were among the breakfast highlights.
Breakfast at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

Globalists status requires 60 qualifying nights or 100,000 Base Points in a calendar year.

A shortcut to Elite Hotel Status

If staying all those hotel nights just to earn enough status for that free breakfast sounds too much like hard work then remember that both The Platinum Card from American Express UK and The Business Platinum Card from American Express UK both come with the following elite hotel statuses:

  • Hilton Honors Elite Gold status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Melia Rewards Gold
  • Radisson Rewards Gold status
  • Shangri-La Golden Circle – Jade Membership

Featured image by Jarvis Marcos / The Points Guy 

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