Platinum complimentary breakfast - not quite complimentary!

Blog Post created by martinr on Sep 11, 2018

I just stayed at the Westin Denver International Airport (two stays, at the beginning & end of a trip). It’s a very nice property that I will review later.  I enjoyed everything about our two stays except for one thing ...


The Platinum complimentary breakfast didn’t turn out to actually be free.


Complimentary breakfast is advertised as a Platinum benefit in Marriott's literature & benefit charts. (Whether in the lounge or restaurant, or in the restaurant as a Platinum welcome gift, one way or another it’s a benefit at Westin properties).  There is no lounge at the Westin DIA, so we selected breakfast as our welcome gift.


It was also clearly stated in the Westin’s “Your breakfast, Our treat.” card presented to me during check in for both stays.



Note that the card clearly says “Be our guest for a complimentary breakfast in the restaurant … Valid for you and one guest … Gratuity included.”   It’s pretty clear, right?  No fine print, the only restriction being one-time use.


But when my wife and I were seated in the restaurant, the server asked us if the front desk had told us how the Platinum free breakfast works. We said no, at which point the server proceeded to tell us that it was limited to $25 per person. Needless to say this was a surprise.


More of a surprise, and a nasty one at that, is that given the uniformly high prices on the breakfast menu it’s almost impossible to keep the cost below $25 per person unless you just get a coffee & bagel.  Full breakfasts (eggs, omelets, waffles, pancakes, French toast, etc.) were all $16 or more; coffee was $4, OJ was $6. If you want a hot breakfast with coffee/tea and juice you are virtually guaranteed to exceed $25. And on top of that, the gratuity is not included. All this turned out to be was a $25 credit per person against the bill.


As you can see on the following bill, with me having a hot breakfast ($28) and my wife just having a yogurt parfait, bagel & coffee ($24 by itself !!), our breakfast came to $56.16 not including gratuity.   And after the $50 credit ($25 x 2 people) we were still left with a balance and gratuity to pay.



This is NOT a complimentary breakfast.


I don’t want to gripe about $6.16 plus what I left as a gratuity.   I’m just really disappointed that the supposedly Platinum complimentary breakfast wasn’t actually complimentary. That’s what it’s supposed to be, right? That’s what Marriott (and Westin) claimed it would be.  I had no reason to think the benefit would be limited to less than a full breakfast. 


There’s no excuse for this not to have actually been free for a Platinum member.