Free Breakfast for the Masses – Hotels that Provide Everyone Complimentary Breakfast

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Complimentary Hotel Breakfast

Lodging Brands that Provide Complimentary Hotel Breakfast for Everyone

Points and miles enthusiasts a very passionate about a variety of travel aspects.  Hotel breakfast is just one example.  Hilton’s temporary breakfast benefit change for elites has most recently and clearly illustrated this.  Many let breakfast dictate which property they pick – I’m in this group, sometimes.  Some ignore breakfast.  Many others fluctuate in between those two extremes.  Regardless, we can all be correct for our own situations.  Let’s be friends here!  With that foundation, today I’m stepping through the “free for all” complimentary hotel breakfast options currently available with the big chains.   This exercise provided me with some great reminders – perhaps some of you will benefit, as well.  I’m presenting these options in no particular order, as is my general tendency.  After each brand, I’ll comment on my experiences, as well.

IHG

  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Avid

I enjoy the Holiday Inn Express breakfast on a similar level as Hampton Inn.  Express gets positive marks from me for their hot cinnamon rolls.  My breakfast experiences at Staybridge Suites have been positive overall, providing more variety and generosity than Holiday Inn Express offerings.  Not coincidentally, Staybridge Suites’ room rates (whether cash or points) are substantially higher than those of Holiday Inn Express most of the time.

Complimentary Hotel Breakfast

Marriott

  • Fairfield Inn
  • Residence Inn
  • SpringHill Suites
  • TownePlace Suites
  • Element

I’ve only had experience with Fairfield, SpringHill, and TownePlace here.  Fairfield, Marriott’s brand most synonymous with Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn, has a breakfast I find clearly below the standards of the other two.  We found the TownePlace Suites breakfast as an acceptable option for a long term stay.  Even at the low end, I consider the TownePlace breakfast a bonus, considering the rooms at these properties come with full kitchen.  In my view, the Fairfield and Spring Hill options are no better than TownePlace.

Hyatt

  • Hyatt Place/Hyatt House
  • SLH partner hotels
  • Hyatt Zilara/Hyatt Ziva/Miraval All-Inclusives

Keep in mind that you must be a World of Hyatt member booking directly through Hyatt to obtain complimentary hotel breakfast at Hyatt Place.  I previously found breakfast from Hyatt House and its predecessor – Hyatt Summerfield Suites – to be a step above Hyatt Place.  However, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve noticed Hyatt House breakfast is no better, and often worse, than Hyatt Place.  That said, I’ve found the Hyatt Place breakfast experience to be remarkably inconsistent across the brand.  Do your homework before booking!

Complimentary Hotel Breakfast

Hilton

  • Hampton Inn
  • Homewood Suites
  • Embassy Suites
  • Home2 Suites
  • Tru
  • Canopy

I’ve enjoyed Hampton Inn’s breakfast for its consistency across the brand.  It’s boring, but predictably so, and hits the spot every time.  Homewood Suites’ breakfast is the sleeper hit here, in my experience.  The rotating hot dishes seem to be higher quality than Hampton, and I catch myself actually enjoying my breakfast here most of the time.  Embassy Suites is the closest option to a “free for all” full breakfast with Hilton.  While travelers subsidize free breakfast with their nightly rate (cash or points) everywhere, I feel Embassy Suites’ rates are the most inflated out there due to breakfast/reception booze benefits.

Drury Hotels

Drury guests are offered free hot breakfast and Kickback reception at all properties.

Sonesta Hotels

Sonesta ES Suites is the only Sonesta brand currently offering free breakfast.  I’ve yet to stay at a property, so I can’t provide any useful take.  The breakfast offering Sonesta advertises is relatively basic, though – grab and go breakfast with a coffee station.

Complimentary Hotel Breakfast

Choice Hotels

  • Comfort Inns/Suites
  • Quality Inn
  • Sleep Inn
  • Econo Lodge
  • MainStay Suites

My experience here is primarily with Comfort Inns and Suites, with a dash of Econo Lodge.  I rate the breakfast variety from Comfort Inns and Suites on par with Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express, but a step below on quality.  In my experience, Econo Lodge was a solid coffee option, and anything else useful is a bonus.  FYI, Econo Lodge and Mainstay strictly offer continental breakfast.

Radisson – Disappointing Complimentary Breakfast Options

Radisson only offers complimentary breakfast at Country Inn and Suites.  While I’ve had satisfactory breakfast experiences at Country properties now and then, I’m mostly disappointed.  It rates below the Comfort hotels, in my opinion.  Often, I’ve caught myself in the middle of the meal asking myself, “Why am I eating this?”

Best Western – Underrated Complimentary Hotel Breakfast

The vast majority of Best Western, Plus, and Premier hotels offer free breakfast.  Perhaps this a matter of managing my expectations, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Best Western breakfasts more than any other chain out there.  No doubt, there are basic breakfasts at many locations, but Best Westerns have outperformed in most of our experiences.  Beyond breakfast, the standards upheld by Best Western are very unpredictable, so do your research and book carefully.  Big wins definitely exist, though!

Wyndham

  • La Quinta
  • Baymont
  • Super 8
  • Hawthorn Suites
  • Wingate Hotels
  • Days Inn
  • Howard Johnson
  • Microtel Inn and Suites
  • Travelodge

The standout brand here for breakfast is La Quinta, from my perspective.  I feel like the breakfast experience there has actually improved over time, but perhaps that’s based on the properties I’ve chosen.  I feel about Super 8 the way I feel about Econo Lodge – I’m happy with coffee and an edible packaged good.  Hawthorn Suites’ breakfast pleasantly surprised me.  Wingate wants to be like Hampton Inn’s breakfast, but it’s a step below, in my view.  Days Inn, HoJo, Microtel, and Travelodge are primarily continental breakfast options.  We’ve been satisfied with Days Inn breakfast on multiple occasions.

Complimentary Hotel Breakfast – Conclusion

I probably have zero credibility to critique food, but given my experience, complimentary hotel breakfast may be the one area I feel comfortable doing so.  Indeed, in my current life season, I’m staying more at these types of properties than resorts.  Overall, I enjoy the curiosity of a free hotel breakfast experience.  Trying out a new one, enjoying the low stakes, people watching, all of it.  Once in a while, that free breakfast is great.  The thrill of the hunt!

What’s your favorite “free for all” hotel breakfast out there?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA expense-free (or close to it). He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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18 COMMENTS

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18 COMMENTS

  1. I have found that Choice Hotels in Norway and Sweden have substantially better breakfast offerings than those in the states. It almost seems a matter of pride by the hotelier to have such a tremendous offering–almost banquet proportions. In addition, at least as of a few years ago, there are some Choice hotels in Norway that offer free dinner along with the free breakfast (limited selection of entrees, but delicious).

    • E C,

      I’m not surprised to hear there are better offerings at Choice breakfasts beyond the Sates. Free dinner – wow!

  2. was on the road for 2 years prior to COVID and had experience with Marriott and Hilton. Hands down, Hilton beat Marriott all the time. Embassy is the best with those amazing omelets. Homewoods has great option of breakfast and dinner food. Hilton brand offering is inconsistent depending on their location but still way better than Marriott. No I did not stop travel because of covid, I stopped thanks to trumptard’s job killing policy

  3. Not all Hyatt Place hotel give free breakfast, just checked into one in London, I asked about the members free breakfast and was told no.

  4. Marriott Comment. Their breakfast has been marginal since Covid hit. However, it has been getting better. Recently at the Fairfield Inn in Chattanooga (Lookout Mtn) TN it was way above all the rest. They key was the person in charge of their spread. She was on top of everything and yet took time to greet and spend a bit of time with each customer. Quality varies by location.

  5. Bonus points for mentioning Drury Inn, it’s often overlooked.
    IHG all inclusives offer breakfast also of course.
    Accor has some properties with free breakfast in my experience.

    • DaninMCI,

      Agreed! Drury Inn is overlooked on many fronts.

      Thanks for mentioning IHG all inclusives and Accor…

  6. Hyatt Place in Bethlehem, PA became our favorite when my wife commented about how awesome a hot item looked but since she didn’t eat eggs she would pass and a staff member overheard and had two of the item custom made without egg for her. We’ve been fans of Hyatt Place ever since.

  7. Great list, Benjy! I’m going to save this post for future reference.

    A data point for you – we stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn Times Square pre-pandemic and they offered a great breakfast buffet, in addition to a fully equipped in-suite kitchen.

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