While having breakfast in a total is very convenient, it can easily become very expensive, too. Prices upwards of €20 per person for breakfast buffets aren’t a rarity. Yet there are hotel brands that include breakfast in all of their rates, all the time. And in most cases, these are budget, not luxury chains.
Table of contents
- Hotel Breakfast & Expectation Management
- Hotel Brands
- IHG: Holiday Inn Express, Avid, Staybridge
- Hilton: Hampton, Tru, Home2, Homewood, Embassy
- Radisson: Country Inn & Suites
- Choice Hotels: Sleep Inn, Clarion Pointe & More
- Nordic Choice Hotels: Clarion & Clarion Choice
- Marriott: Residence Inn, Fairfield, SpringHill, TownePlace, Element
- Wyndham: La Quinta, Howard Johnson, Wingate & More
- Hyatt: Hyatt House
- ALL Accor Live Limitless: Ibis Styles (With Exceptions)
Hotel Breakfast & Expectation Management
Of course, you can’t expect an à la carte menu out of the free breakfast offers. But in most cases, you will find a small buffet with fresh coffee, cold and hot dishes and a limited selection of fruits, bread and cereal. When it comes to included services, managing expectations is an important part of the equation.
Managing expectations is also relevant for the location of the hotel. In the United States, most free breakfasts contain lots (and lots) of plastic, packaged food and sugar-heavy juices out of a dispenser that may have been cleaned recently. On the other side of the pond, most UK hotels of the same brand serve a more wholesome English Breakfast with ham, eggs, sausages and baked beans.
The description of the offered the product is an important clue on what you may and shouldn’t expect out of your free morning snack:
- Continental Breakfast: Consists mostly of automated tea and coffee dispensers, bread or bagels and a limited selection of cheese, meat or jam. Most offerings are intended on a to-go basis, warm dishes are an exception, as are waiters. Very common in the USA.
- Breakfast Buffet: The most common form in Europe and Asia, you take a plate and serve yourself from a collection of hot and cold dishes. Service personnel is around to take care of used plates and cutlery and provide you with hot drinks.
- À la carte: You can pick items from a menu that will be served by a waiter, almost always in addition to a large buffet. This is standard in almost any luxury hotel. And almost certainly comes with an additional price.
Most large hotel companies currently run 30+ different brands to cater to a wide array of customers. Because of that, we listed the hotels according to their company affiliation: For example, Holiday Inn Express is listed under its parent company, IHG.
IHG: Holiday Inn Express, Avid, Staybridge
The InterContinental Hotel Group (=IHG) has a very prominent example of a brand that always includes breakfast: Holiday Inn Express. Be careful though, as Holiday Inn hotels – without the Express ending – don’t offer breakfast standardwise. There are more than 2,800 Holiday Inn Express worldwide, all of them including breakfast in their rates. Most of them offer buffets with a fairly large selection.
Hilton: Hampton, Tru, Home2, Homewood, Embassy
Hilton established its brand Hampton by Hilton with more than 1,900 Hotels in 15 countries as a go-to destination for free breakfast with hot and cold dishes on offer.
Radisson: Country Inn & Suites
You can find Country Inn & Suites hotels mostly in North America, where breakfast is free and features the brand’s signature pancake and waffle machines.
Choice Hotels: Sleep Inn, Clarion Pointe & More
While these rules don’t necessarily apply to Scandinavian subsidiary Nordic Choice Hotels, many of Choice Hotels’ brands like Sleep Inn, Clarion Pointe Hotels, Econo Lodge, Comfort Suites and MainStay Suites include free breakfast in their rates.
While the majority of Comfort and Quality Hotels offer free breakfast as well, there is a handful that charges extra.
Nordic Choice Hotels: Clarion & Clarion Choice
Almost all houses of the 200 Nordic Choice hotels (mainly located in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) offer free breakfast, as well.
Except for the Copenhagen Airport hotel, all Clarion Hotels include a warm breakfast option in the room rate. Clarion Collection Hotels go a step further and throw free afternoon tea and dinner into the mix.
Marriott: Residence Inn, Fairfield, SpringHill, TownePlace, Element
While Marriott runs over thirty hotel brands, only a few of them offer free breakfast as a standard amenity. Your best chance is to get it at a Fairfield by Marriott, as roughly 1,000 hotels run under that banner – still a far cry from the impressive numbers of the previously mentioned Hampton by Hilton or Holiday Inn Express.
Smaller brands like Residence Inn, Springhill Suites and Townplace Suites offer free breakfast, as well.
Wyndham: La Quinta, Howard Johnson, Wingate & More
Wyndham runs a wide array of budget brands, and most of them offer free breakfast. You can make that the previously mentioned Continental Breakfast, as most of these chains operate mostly (if not exclusively) in North America. The most widespread are Howard Johnson, La Quinta Inn & Suites and Wingate.
Further Wyndham brands that include breakfast in their rates are Baymont Inn, Hawthorn, Travelodge and Microtel. Especially when it comes to the latter, breakfast offerings are best described as basic.
Hyatt: Hyatt House
Hyatt Place Hotels do offer free breakfast in North America, but not on other continents. You will have a better chance of finding rates including breakfast when booking through their websites. Long term stay brand Hyatt House offers free breakfast across all continents, even with a free omelette bar.
ALL Accor Live Limitless: Ibis Styles (With Exceptions)
Out of the world’s best-known hotel brands, one is missing from our list, as Accor Live Limitless Hyatt doesn’t have a brand that consistently offers free breakfast. While the majority of ALL’s Ibis Styles hotels include breakfast in their room rates, some of these dropped the service.