Travel Pet Peeve: Hotels Charging Elite Members An Upgrade Fee For Full, Hot Breakfast

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This week I encountered something I haven’t seen for many years now: A Westin hotel that’s charging their Bonvoy elite tier members and upgrade fee to order a Hot (American) vs Continental Breakfast.

This particular property, the Westin Bonaventure in Downtown Los Angeles, doesn’t have an Executive Lounge and even if it would probably be closed so guests can use the restaurant for a la carte dining.

Very positive: This property serves breakfast until 2pm so you can actually eat breakfast quite late even during lunch hours and beyond down at the Lakeview Bistro in the Lobby.

Nevertheless the fact that that a hotel charges Platinum/Titanium guests extra to order a hot breakfast (egg dish, bacon & hashbrowns) vs the standard Continental breakfast is sort of ridiculous. How desperately do they need the extra $6 ?

And the pricing doesn’t make sense either. The price difference on the menu is just $2 and not $6 as they charge their Bonvoy Elite guests.

  • Continental Breakfast $26
  • American Breakfast $28

Why is there a $4 difference in what the menu says and what Bonvoy Guests are charged extra? I do however love the “SPG Upcharge” moniker, reminiscent of the old days.

The service was good and the quality of the breakfast okay but definitely not outstanding, especially if you’re spoiled by hotel breakfasts in Asia.

I have seen this practice occasionally and most often it’s in North America. I believe the last time this happened to me was at an airport hotel somewhere in the mid west as well as in Vancouver, Canada.

Conclusion

I really hate the penny pinching some hotels engage in. We’re talking about properties here that charge $300 at times per night. Not only is the price the member gets dinged with in this case differ from the actual menu but do they really need the extra few bucks that much? Especially since we’re not talking about some glorious breakfast buffet or a la carte selection here as can be seen from the picture. You could order the entire stuff next door at Denny’s for $8.99.

I wish some properties would put a little bit more sense into their policies and bring actual hospitality back to the table.

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