Complimentary Hotel Breakfast
I’m a fan of quirky, niche, middle of the road, and what some may consider questionable hotel brands. And I agree many such properties deserve that last moniker. On the flip side, finding a single hidden gem can make the time-suck search a worthy endeavor. Even more endangered is a sufficient complimentary hotel breakfast at any of these locations. You know, that “free” thing which comes with the room rate – cash or points. I’d pretty much given up on those until recently. Here’s how it worked out.
Over the years, I’ve found several attractive properties which outperform in their weight class. Within their names, they often promise comfort, sleep, a garden, a country feel, or other vague notions of a respectable rest without spending much. Along the way, they deliver a hotel breakfast that is as complimentary as it is consistently lacking. Participating in said meal has primarily become a displeasure.
Indeed, we’ve mostly given up on this option on family trips. The fare isn’t anything particularly desirable, and entering a Mad Max reenactment in the breakfast area isn’t high on our list, either. But a newish property pulled me back in.
Comfort Suites Lake Buena Vista
Subsequent to our recent MtM Diamond meetup, I switched hotels for two more nights in Orlando. The Comfort Suites Lake Buena Vista opened earlier this year, and the 12k Choice points nightly redemption rate intrigued me even more. I promptly reserved one of the properties’ spacious, hopefully-not-beaten-to-hell-yet rooms.
The room unsurprisingly met my expectations, but the adequate complimentary hotel breakfast served by hard-working staff in a large dining area took the stay up a notch. Options at the breakfast bar are predictable – mini waffles, warm breakfast meats, limited fruit selection, marginal coffee, egg patties (no thanks to that last one). Of course, the breakfast wasn’t out of this world, but I found it just right during my solo stay with a busy outside schedule. The service area was tidy and well-staffed. Overall, I wanted a bit of fuel in a drama-free environment prior to heartier fare later in the day. Mission accomplished.
It’s About the People….and Lack Thereof
It’s not surprising that many brands across chains offer the same basic items at this level. In a cost-cutting world where these brands reside, a huge point of differentiation is hotel staffing and service at breakfast. In my experience, we’ve come to a point where competence has now become quaint. Breakfast workers who adequately do their jobs make the experience more enjoyable. And if they’re nice, or at least open to a kind word, that’s even better.
On the other end, it’s the lack of people that made my complimentary hotel breakfast more of a pleasure this time. I arrived a few minutes after the 6:30 breakfast opening, and the area hadn’t yet been overrun with hotel guests. Optimally timing such breakfasts is a wild card, I’ve found. Some properties are busier earlier, others later. But this time, I recognized a true complimentary hotel breakfast miracle – a guest in pajamas never arrived!
On a whole, I’ve found breakfast workers make the experience better, and guest hordes tend to degrade it. Positively engaging the former while avoiding unruly cases of the latter is generally my goal.
Complimentary Hotel Breakfast – Conclusion
I was looking for a complimentary breakfast win, and I got it. So many of our previous stays at this property level have been tainted by terrible breakfast experiences, and I’m confident we’ll pass on future ones. But my eyes are open to those opportunities for just a hint of complimentary breakfast satisfaction. How do you feel about the current state of complimentary hotel breakfast? What are your strategies for maximizing this amenity?
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.