If you’re not on an expense account, eating breakfast at a nice hotel can cost you a bundle. I had a voucher for a free breakfast at a hotel in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, but when I saw the bill totaling $94 for my family of four – two adults and two toddlers – I almost had to adjust my glasses.
This summer I wrote a column about how disappointing the breakfast experience can be at most American hotels these days – mediocre or outright bad food and don’t even get me started on how some people turn up in the breakfast room in bare feet and pajamas. My point was that free breakfast offerings are often of low quality and aren’t really free, because the cost is factored into your room rate. Pay breakfast options are usually overpriced, and I’d very much like to see hotels offer discounted room rates for guests that don’t want the “free” breakfast.
The piece generated 160 comments and most of you disagreed with me, some vehemently. I got the point, many of you like to get a free breakfast at your hotel and what’s on offer doesn’t matter to much so long as there’s something you like. So with that in mind, I contacted all of the largest American hotel chains to ascertain which brands are offering free breakfast these days. I also studied your comments about the breakfasts you like and checked out other sites like Hotel Chatter for other opinions on free hotel breakfast options.Gadling readers seem to think that Embassy Suites has the best free breakfast, but there were also kudos for Drury Hotels, Hampton Inn and Residence Inn. I’ve also heard good things from people I trust about Hyatt Place’s complimentary breakfast Skillet™ breakfast that includes hot breakfast sandwiches including low-carb options. Hotel Chatter gives props to Hilton Garden Inn and Courtyard but both of those brands charge for breakfast. Below you’ll find a list of hotels that offer free breakfast. In addition to these hotels, almost any independent bed & breakfast will provide you with a free breakfast, and many of these are of very high quality. Please let us know about other hotels that offer free breakfast in the comments section and be sure to tell us what you think about their breakfast offerings.
Best Western (most locations)
Fairfield Inn & Suites
Hampton Inn & Suites
Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Resort – free for kids – see Kids Stay and Eat Free Program.
Holiday Inn Express
Home2 Suites by Hilton
Homewood Suites by Hilton
Ramada (expect locations with an on-site restaurant)
Wingate by Wyndham
[Photo credit: See Ming Lee on Flickr]