The perfect way to wake up: Why hotel room service breakfasts are better than you think

Nov 16, 2021

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You might know you can receive complimentary breakfast with your hotel stay if you hold elite status in the hotel’s loyalty programme, or you book a rate inclusive of daily breakfast.

But did you know you might not even have to get out of bed to enjoy it?

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I’ve reviewed several hotels for TPG this year (someone has to do it!) and part of the review process is to investigate as many food and beverage options as possible.

For breakfast, this means checking what’s available from the hotel’s restaurant or buffet, and also what the options are for room service. In the interests of a comprehensive review, I often try out one breakfast in the restaurant and have the next morning’s breakfast delivered as room service to see the difference.

The Mondrian Shoreditch, Accor Live Limitless, London, United Kingdom (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

Previously, I’ve shied away from room service as the costs had been prohibitive: upwards of £12 for a coffee, anyone?

But as hotels have shifted the way they provide breakfast to guests during the pandemic — and as I’ve explored more deeply the world of elite hotel status breakfasts — I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easy, affordable and enjoyable it has been to enjoy breakfast wheeled directly to my room.

For example, World of Hyatt Globalist members receive complimentary breakfast for up to two adults and two children each morning, and you might be able to enjoy it by way of room service. Note that if you do wish to leave a tip, this will still be payable at checkout.

Related: How to get some of the world’s most expensive hotel buffet breakfasts for free

The Thompson Central Park, New York, United States (Photo by Ben Smithson / The Points Guy)

At other hotels where I don’t have elite status, I’ve found the delivery charges can be very reasonable — as low as £6 in total to have a spectacular breakfast wheeled into your room at a time of your choosing, with all the bells and whistles included, from proper cloth serviettes to condiments, such as miniature jars of hot sauce.

Crossbasket Castle, Hyatt’s Small Luxury Hotels, Scotland (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

The spectacular On The Rocks, Santorini, Greece provides breakfast with all room types and this can be delivered to your room at no extra cost.

Related: The 11 hotel breakfasts we’d order for every meal if we could

On The Rocks, Hyatt’s Small Luxury Hotels, Santorini, Greece (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

If you’re travelling with someone special, perhaps for a romantic weekend away, I’ve found it doesn’t get much more luxurious than a lazy Sunday morning in fluffy bathrobes enjoying a feast in your hotel room to start the day.

The theatre of having a white tablecloth-covered trolley wheeled into your room is great fun.

At the Maison Astor Paris, with my Hilton Honors Gold status (free with The Platinum Card from American Express U.K.) I was entitled to breakfast each morning at no charge.

The staff cheerily advised me I could enjoy this as room service by paying a single delivery charge of only 7 euros total which is less than £6. For what was delivered I thought this was extremely reasonable. Especially at smaller hotels, I’ve found the meals to be extremely good quality (piping hot coffee, toast that is still warm and crunchy).

Maison Astor, Curio Collection by Hilton, Paris, France (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the world’s best breakfasts for free. Some hotels offer free breakfasts for all guests, while others provide this for elite status members which you can obtain just by having the right credit card.

If you book through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, The Hotel Collection or Virtuoso, you’ll enjoy either complimentary breakfast, or a generous food and beverage credit that can be used for breakfast.

Related: 5 ways to get your hotel breakfast for free

Bottom line

As someone who previously avoided room service whenever I stayed in a hotel I now actively check the breakfast delivery options.

If your hotel is trying to limit physical interaction between guests and staff and is not keen on crowds and queues at breakfast buffets (who is!) they may offer breakfast delivered to your room either at no extra cost, or a very reasonable service charge for the opulent convenience.

Definitely don’t be shy if this kind of perk is important to you. Consider asking the property in advance if they’ll serve your inclusive breakfast as room service and be sure to call ahead and ask about the service fees, or if there are any exclusions (certain Marriott brands for example don’t do the comp breakfast perk).

Next time you see a menu or QR code in your room, check out the options and the cost – room service breakfasts have been the highlight of many of my hotel stays this year and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how affordable, easy and delicious they have been.

Featured image by Ben Smithson / The Points Guy

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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