When you’re on the road, breakfast at your hotel offers a nice convenience. Here are some ways you can get breakfast for free at major hotel chains.
1. Choose a hotel with free breakfast for all
Many hotels offer a complimentary breakfast buffet for all hotel guests. Throughout the Americas and Europe, these free buffets usually include eggs, bacon or sausage, cereal, bread and pastries, and fresh fruit (usually melon, apples, and oranges). They may also include potatoes and either porridge or oatmeal.
Complimentary hotel buffets in Latin countries usually include fried corn, and hotel buffets in and around the UK include baked beans. Sometimes hotels don’t have a buffet, so they might provide vouchers that can be used for breakfast at a nearby or attached restaurant. Because some of these hotels are franchised, the owner could choose to not offer breakfast. If you’re relying on it, confirm the free breakfast benefit with the specific hotel before you book.
Following are hotel brands that provide a daily free breakfast for all guests:
- Best Western – Best Western
- Best Western – Best Western Plus
- Best Western – Best Western Premier
- Choice – Comfort Inn
- Choice – Comfort Suites
- Choice – Econo Lodge
- Choice – MainStay Suites
- Choice – Quality Inn
- Choice – Sleep Inn
- Drury – Drury Inn
- Drury – Drury Suites
- Hilton – Canopy
- Hilton – Embassy Suites (includes omelette station!)
- Hilton – Hampton Inn
- Hilton – Home2 Suites
- Hilton – Homewood Suites
- Hyatt – Hyatt House
- Hyatt – Hyatt Place
- Hyatt – Zilara and Ziva
- IHG – Even
- IHG – Holiday Inn Express
- IHG – Staybridge Suites
- La Quinta Inn & Suites
- Marriott – Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Marriott – Residence Inn
- Marriott – SpringHill Suites
- Marriott – TownePlace Suites
- Radisson – Country Inn and Suites
- Starwood* – Element
- Wyndham – Baymont Inn & Suites
- Wyndham – Days Inn
- Wyndham – Hawthorn Suites
- Wyndham – Howard Johnson
- Wyndham – Knights Inn
- Wyndham – Microtel
- Wyndham – Super 8
- Wyndham – Travelodge
- Wyndham – Wingate
*Note: Starwood Hotels is now owned by Marriott, but their hotels and loyalty program remain separate until 2019.
2. Be a loyal taveller
If you frequently stay in the same hotel chain, you can earn benefits likes complimentary nights, upgrades, and breakfast. For example, if you spend 40 nights at Hilton properties within a year, you will have “Gold” Hilton Honors loyalty status for the remainder of that year, plus the following year. While you have Gold (or Diamond) status, you get free breakfast whenever you’re a guest at one of the Hilton hotel brands listed below.
At Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Starwood, the free breakfast benefit is for two people. Radisson Rewards elite status only provides free breakfast for one person.
The buffet and/or made-to-order breakfast usually has higher quality food than at the buffets that are free for everyone. There are also more options, such as pancakes, salad, yogurt, and berries, and you can often request cook-to-order items, such as omelettes and eggs Benedict.
Following are hotel brands that include a free breakfast for elite loyalty program members:
- Hilton – Doubletree
- Hilton – Garden Inn (always includes made-to-order options)
- Hilton – Hilton
- Hilton – Waldorf (just added the elite breakfast benefit in 2018!)
- Hilton – Curio
- Hyatt** – Andaz
- Hyatt** – Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt** – Hyatt
- Hyatt** – Park Hyatt
- Hyatt** – Hyatt Regency
- Marriott – Autograph Collection
- Marriott – Delta
- Marriott – JW Marriott
- Marriott – Marriott
- Marriott – Renaissance
- Radisson – Park Inn
- Radisson – Park Plaza
- Radisson – Radisson
- Radisson – Radisson Blu
- Starwood – Aloft
- Starwood – Four Points
- Starwood – Le Meridien
- Starwood – Sheraton
- Starwood – St. Regis
- Starwood – The Luxury Collection
- Starwood – Tribute Portfolio
- Starwood – Westin
- Starwood – W Hotels
** The breakfast benefit from the World of Hyatt (and sometimes from the other hotel chains) is provided via access to the club lounge, which serves breakfast. If there is no lounge, the hotel usually offer free breakfast in their restaurant instead.
3. Get a hotel credit card
The major hotel chains offer a credit card with benefits. If the fee is worth it (See Libby’s Travel Credit Card Tips), you get the elite loyalty benefits, including free breakfast.
For example, the Hilton Aspire card has a $450 annual fee, and upon approval, you get Hilton Diamond elite status. That means your breakfast is complimentary when you stay at Doubletree, Garden Inn, Hilton, and Waldorf hotels.
4. Book via a travel credit card service
Major credit card companies offer credit cards and travel services that often include a complimentary breakfast. Again, these cards have annual fees, so their other benefits would need to be worth it.
- Apply for an American Express Platinum credit card, then book your stay with it via the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program
- Apply for a Visa Signature credit card, such as the Alaska Airlines card, then book your stay with it via the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
- Apply for a World (or World Elite) Mastercard credit card, then book your stay with it via Mastercard Travel Services
5. Book with a government or corporate rate
Government and corporate employees can book a hotel using a special code. It usually offers reduced rates and can include free breakfast for at least one person. Just a bit of pleading with the front desk will usually turn 1 free breakfast into 2.
6. Choose a hotel with a club lounge
Some hotels, such as IHG’s Crowne Plaza and InterContinental, have a club lounge (a.k.a. Executive lounge) with free breakfast. The food options in lounges vary, but usually there are a couple of hot breakfast items, along with fruit, bread and pastries.
If you have elite loyalty status, you are almost guaranteed (“upon availability”) to be upgraded to an executive room, which includes club lounge access. Alternatively, you could pay to upgrade to a room with lounge access. Of course, paying for a room upgrade to get a “free” breakfast would defeat the purpose.
7. Be vocal if there is an issue
If something isn’t right with your stay, let the front desk manager on duty know. Breakfast is an easy thing for them to make complimentary while they attempt to address the issue.
I hope you found this information helpful. Do you questions or comments about getting free breakfast at hotels? I’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.