There’s nothing better than waking up to an indulgent hotel breakfast after spending a blissful night in a suite upstairs. But breakfast isn’t always included, particularly if you’re more budget-conscious and going for the best value room rates.
Still, there are a few ways to get hotel breakfasts for free or bundled with a package with a significant discount compared to paying the usual walk-in rates. Here’s how.
1. Hold hotel elite status
If you’ve got elite status with a particular hotel chain, then complimentary breakfast might be thrown in for your stays. Traditionally, one earns hotel status by staying lots of nights with the chain, but there are also ways to get complimentary elite membership.
Most of the big hotel chains offer some form of breakfast for its elite members, with the notable exception of IHG Rewards Club.
Hilton Honors Gold, Diamond
Hilton Honors arguably offers the best range of perks for its elites. Gold and Diamond members are entitled to free breakfast at almost all Hilton properties.
Usually, it’s a continental breakfast for Golds and a full breakfast for Diamonds, but this varies depending on each hotel. Diamond members also get complimentary executive lounge access, which usually serves breakfast.
It’s also possible to get complimentary Hilton Honors status as well! Gold membership is gratis with the American Express Platinum Charge card, or as a one-time perk for Velocity Gold frequent flyers should you select Hilton Honors as your elite status hotel partner. Likewise, one-off Diamond membership is free for Velocity Platinum members, again if Hilton Honors is selected as your elite status hotel partner.
Hyatt’s top-tier status comes with Club lounge access at properties where offered, which usually has a continental breakfast. Alternatively, members can opt for a full breakfast daily for each registered guest in the room.
In Australia, there are no shortcuts to Hyatt Globalist status, so you’ll need to stay 60 nights or earn more than 100,000 base points over a year.
Accor Live Limitless Platinum, Diamond
It’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to Accor’s revamped loyalty program. Platinum members of ALL have access to Club Lounges worldwide, which offer breakfast. Additionally, many properties in Asia-Pacific offer breakfast as a separate perk when Club Lounges aren’t available.
In addition, Diamond members and registered room guests get free breakfasts on weekends, worldwide.
Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium Elite
Even more confusing is Marriott Bonvoy’s implementation of breakfast. Platinum Elites and higher can choose complimentary breakfast as a ‘Welcome Gift Choice’, but this varies by brand (e.g. Ritz Carlton does not offer it).
Participating hotel brands include Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, Moxy, St. Regis, W Hotels and Westin properties. If you’re planning a stay, contact the hotel to find out more about this perk.
2. Book through a premium hotel platform
Why book ordinary rooms through hotel aggregators when you can get all-inclusive premium packages instead? Many of these will offer rates similar to those publically available, but bundled with late check-out, hotel credit, room upgrades and of course, free breakfast.
Fine Hotels & Resorts
American Express has two premium hotel booking sites: Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) and The Hotel Collection (THC). FHR is more exclusive but offers perks such as noon check-in, room upgrade, daily breakfast and a unique property gift, such as an F&B credit.
Only American Express Centurion and Platinum Charge cardmembers are eligible to book through FHR.
An option that is more readily available to the general public is hotel bookings through Virtuoso-aligned travel agents. Like FHR, these are special room rates that often includes breakfast and dining credits, along with upgrades and late check-out.
Where possible, contact and support your local Virtuoso-accredited travel agent through this link. For online bookings, you can browse the USA-based site Classic Travel (where the above screenshot was taken from).
For something more mainstream, also browse Luxury Escapes. It’s filled with unbeatable package offers, many of which will include breakfast in the rate. You’ll also earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on packages.
Look for special package rates
As COVID-19 has severely impacted most hotels worldwide, many will also be offering their own home-grown packages that may include perks like breakfast, at a comparable price to the standard barebones room rate.
The best way to get started is to browse your favourite hotel’s website, and see if they have any special deals coming up. Be sure to check the terms and conditions for exclusions and weekend surcharges.
It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s even nicer when it’s just waiting for you downstairs.
Even when you’re booked in a room that doesn’t normally include breakfast, having elite hotel status will often unlock the restaurant or executive lounge doors for you and your guests.
And if you’re still in the booking stage, going through a premium hotel booking platform or searching for special packages could see you getting a lot more, while paying less.
Of course, nothing in life is truly free and it would be naïve to think that doesn’t apply to hotel breakfasts. More often than not, elite status would have required significant previous spend through the hotel chain and package deals probably include a subsidised breakfast component.
But if you’re not paying extra for it and the package rates are competitive against the standard room rates, then that’s a win in our book.