Hotel breakfasts

Dec 16th, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Hotel breakfasts

The last post on the Westin v. Meridien Paris thread stated "don't eat breakfast at the hotel, it's very expensive", which led me to think, does anyone who is not on business ever eat breakfast in a hotel restaurant (excluding free breakfasts at Residence Inns, etc.)? I think I have eaten a hotel breakfast once in my life, and I WAS on business (and still thought it was the biggest ripoff on Earth). It's not only the price I object to... I love to go out and find a little cafe, or bakery, or even a local Starbucks -- any of those would be better than a hotel breakfast in my opinion.

sf7307 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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In europe many hotels provide a free continental breakfast - which we almost always take. That's the way we eat at home - not a huge cooked meal - and is fine for us to start the day as long as the coffee is good and strong.

Chains - esp US chains - tend to want to do the big breakfast thing and charge a fortune - that we don;t do. Not just the money - but that's not the way we eat.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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We only eat a hotel breakfast if it's free (ex. Marriott lounges) or is included in the room rate. Just way too expensive otherwise.

Same as you, we duck around the corner for the nearest cafe or patisserie.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 09:06 AM
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The last time I had a breakfast at a hotel "in" Paris was at the ariport Sofitel, which I was staying at on a layover. Got a steal of a deal on room rate, and breakfast was included. Breakfast was bountiful.

When in Paris, I like the idea of going to a local cafe, have a cafe creme, OJ and croissant, and plan my day. To really slow down, I also occasionally buy a local newspaper and browse. Some may find this all a bit of wasting time, but I was usually on my way to somewhere by 10AM.

For the price a hotel charges I can get similar or more for breakfast, while being a bit more part of the Parisian landscape.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 09:09 AM
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When I visit Paris I usually stay at the Hotel Muguet - I am always surprised to see how many guests do eat in their breakfast room. I think the charge is 8E - I would much rather go out to Rue Cler and eat in a sidewalk cafe. But 8E is not a bad value for what you get - out at the cafe it is 5E for croissant, OJ, coffee - with no refulls. I think the hotel offers more choice and more coffee!
suec1 is online now  
Dec 16th, 2008, 09:23 AM
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I would pay 8 euros--that sounds like good value particularly with coffee refills!
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 09:39 AM
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The only hotel breakfast I have had in recent memory was at the Moevenpick in Amsterdam in 2007. It was included in our room deal and it really was phenomenal... but at a price of 25 Euros if we'd have had to pay!

Their breakfast was served in a very nice bright and airy restaurant with floor to ceiling windows... what amazes me about many hotels is they serve breakfast in a dungeon like room in the basement! And for some reason they usually have a picture of said dungeon on their websites! I'll take the cafe around the corner anytime! ;^)

ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 09:44 AM
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We generally like the small hotel breakfasts in Germany. They often have excellent rolls (including multigrain), lunch meats, cheese, fruit, hard boiled eggs and coffee/tea. It is easy to satisfy your hunger at breakfast, snack (cafe) at lunch and then do supper justice.

Regards, Gary
Gary_Mc is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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I love to have good breakfast in my hotel while in Europe, some buffets are excellent and not that expensive if you find your way, like in the Sol Melia Boutique hotels if you are a member of Mas you get one breakfast free. In the Paradores breakfasts are excellent and also if you are using the Años Dorados plan you get 35%.
When it is cold or rainy out side what is better than to have breakfast in the cozy restaurant before venturing outside?
In two stars hotels sometimes there are good offers like the IBis offer a more modest but nevertheless a money wise buffet.
Of course I love cafes, bakeries, and during the day I also find the right moment to have a coffee or eat that forbidden pastry.
In Paris some places like Ladauree are superb for a wonderful special Parisian breakfast. i do not miss those either.
In my opinions hotels have gone a long way in the breakfast department some are really great, sometimes I have been be disappointed, comes to mind the Hotel Doña Maria a four star in Sevilla, their buffet was terrible. We ended up in the nearby cafes in Avenida de la Constitucion, in this case they were modest breakfasts but better and of course much cheaper.
Sometimes they are way to expensive and I pass and
go to cafes, for instance I recall a few years back in the hotel Raadisson in Rusland street in Amsterdam the breakfast was each over 30 euros and we passed.
I thought 64 euros daily on top was too much. We did regret it though because there weren't nice places close the hotel for breakfast.
Things change...
Graziella5b is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 10:19 AM
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Interesting responses. I realize that one of the reasons I consider hotel breakfasts so outlandishly expensive is because so often they are huge buffets, and I personally believe no one should eat enough at a buffet to make it cost-effective! (That goes for dinner buffets, too....I think most people overeat at buffets just because the food is there). I'm generally satisfied with a croissant and a cup of coffee, although if I do want a more substantial breakfast, it would just be an egg and some fresh fruit. I agree that eating in a cozy dining room at a small hotel can be just as pleasant as eating at the "cafe around the corner". I had in mind those huge breakfast rooms/cafes in large chain hotels when I wrote the original question.
sf7307 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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No, we like to eat at the hotel then go back to the room with coffee cup and finish getting our stuff ready. Our Paris hotel breakfast is comparable in price to the nearby cafes, only it is set up 'buffet style' so more is available as well as plenty of coffee and juice. The service staff are very sweet as well. Our Amsterdam hotel includes breakfast (as most do in the Netherlands), again set out on a table to fix as you please. The breakfast where we stayed in Rome was rather fantastic, and we loved the cappucino machine - again, included in the room rate.

So, in opposition of the above posts, I can't really remember the last time we had to go OUT for breakfast!
Travelnut is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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yes, of course I've eaten hotel breakfasts in lots of hotels. Some of them are really very good, actually. I've had great hotel breakfasts in hotels in the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and France. The memorable ones had great buffets, including hot scrambled eggs which are my favorite. I've even had good continental breakfasts, which to me means really good coffee (which you cannot get in a restaurant in Paris for breakfast, as far as I'm concerned, as I dislike anything but black coffee, and I don't mean espresso for breakfast). Some hotels with good continental breakfasts have very good fresh croissants, although I will admit I rarely eat breakfast in a hotel in Paris, but I know that city a lot better. Also, I really do not like to eat breakfast that much nor do I usually eat a lot for it.

I definitely have eaten in hotels for breakfast, even when not free, if it's not in a major central city area where decent cafes are practically right there. I really like having breakfast and then going back to my room for several reasons, before going out for the day.

I fail to see why a Starbucks is superior to a hotel breakfast. I actually don't like Starbucks that much, although it's okay for coffee. I would never go there to eat anything, their junk is very overpriced and isn't cooked, they are not a restaurant. Besides, other than an occasional drink stop during the day, the last thing I want to do when traveling is spend time in American chain establishments, which I can easily do at home (and I don't step foot in Starbucks at home, so why would I on vacation in Europe?).

I don't like eating in my room and don't ever do that, I want to get out, partly because I like getting the paper and reading it.
Christina is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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Only if it's included as part of a reasonable rate...and as a vegetarian, my choices are pretty limited.
Venezuela is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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Christina, I don't think Starbucks is good quality either, but I'd still rather go to a local Starbucks and be around local people (I don't care that its an American chain) than sit in a hotel restaurant with the other hotel guests. Different strokes, I guess, I never go back to my room after breakfast (I don't even go back upstairs at HOME once I'm dressed and downstairs, and I get showered and dressed as soon as I get up, even on weekends).
sf7307 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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FWIW, we did eat at the gigantic buffets that were included in the room rate at all our hotels in Egypt this past summer, but then there was nowhere we could walk to from most of our hotels, and the hotels are the only place to get an American or English-style breakfast.
sf7307 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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In the last 5 years we have taken 6 trips to Europe and just about all the time the breakfast was included with our hotel and for the most part pretty good.I would only eat at the hotel if it was included in the room rate.The hotel breakfast has ranged from a full cooked breakfast,eggs,cold cuts etc to just yogurt,cereal,bread and juice and coffee.I am to cheap to go out somewhere else if the hotel rate includes breakfast.That's me,ole cheapo!!!
letsgo39 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Strange answers...Hotel breakfasts in Poland are wonderful experiences. The salmon at the Marriott in Warszawa is great...the omlettes are the same. Why miss these treats to save a few pennies? The Europski in Krakow breakfast is another experience not to be missed. The Saski has another super one. I hope the renewed Polonia in Warszawa is still serving their super breakfasts in their great hall. Yes, I eat breakfast in my hotel.
GSteed is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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I agree with Gary. I love the German breakfasts and they are generally included. They make the best rolls! And each hotel is just a little different.
In France, we stay in apts. and make the acquaintance of the local baker. The last hotel breakfast we had in France was at Ecole (I'm blanking on the real name) in Paris. We ate there just for convenience. Carol
CarolJean is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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I do not stay at hotels (don't like them) so stay at rural pensions, sobes, B&Bs, agriturismos and so on.

The breakfasts are normally gigantic, grown on the owner's land or at least locally. I love them as you get a taste of that particular region's food.
travel2live2 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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When traveling with the family, we take advantage of hotel breakfasts when they are included with the room. This makes sense, since our boys can be big eaters. Otherwise, we don't usually eat at the hotel so we can experience more local charm.
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