Kimberly Button normally skips breakfast. But on vacation, the hotel breakfast buffet is a highlight.
She’s drawn to the oatmeal bar, where she transforms bland grains with an array of toppings – chocolate chips, coconut flakes and berries. Sometimes she grabs fruit to take with her and nosh on throughout the day.
At Disney World in Florida, the United States, the star of breakfast is Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles. When dining at the cafe inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (which does not offer free breakfast), waffles cost US$15 (RM64) a pop. But for stays at non-Disney properties such as the Fairfield Inn & Suites, you can indulge in as many Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles as you want as part of its complimentary breakfast buffet.
“I’ve eaten at hotel breakfasts around the world, but the breakfasts in Orlando hotels are the busiest I’ve ever seen,” says Button, who runs the Wanderful World of Travel blog.
“When you can get a Mickey Mouse-shaped waffle for free, wouldn’t you?”
Complimentary breakfast is the most frequently used search filter on Hilton’s website, according to the Hilton 2023 Trends Report.
Free breakfast can be a money-saver, especially for families or larger groups. A US$100 (RM424) room that includes food for four can feel practically free if you’d otherwise pay US$25 (RM106) per person at brunch.
And then there’s the time savings and convenience. Gone is the anxiety of researching the perfect cafe, only to meet a waiting list after a pricey cab ride there. No debating which restaurant to patronise or which entree to order, as you can try it all at the buffet. And you won’t starve while waiting for your jet-lagged companions to wake up, as you can munch on your own schedule.
But at some hotels, free breakfast can be