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Top 10 free hotel breakfasts

Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM ET

Courtesy of Marriott International /
What's better than breakfast? Free breakfast.

There’s no question that mid-range hotels, including extended stay suites, are doing more to lure in family travelers, particularly on the weekends. Indoor pools, Wi-Fi access and in-room refrigerators are the norm. Most chain hotels offer free breakfast, too. But when it comes to getting the family off to a great start, which hotels offer the best free breakfasts?

“We put a lot of emphasis on breakfast. There’s just something special and fun about having a treat for breakfast that you don’t normally have at home,” says Diane Mayer, Residence Inn vice president and global brand manager. “Food plays a big role in your energy level, too. One of my favorite quotes comes from a leisure traveler who said ‘You’re only as happy as your crankiest kid.’ ”

“My kids are used to waking up and eating right away,” says Lissa Poirot, executive editor of Family Vacation Critic, an online family travel resource. “Having a breakfast buffet means I can slip downstairs and grab something to hold them over until we’re all ready to eat.” She also suggests looking for hotels with concierge levels, which offer complimentary snacks, drinks, hors d’oeuvres and sometimes meals.

Here are 10 hotels, including three independently owned properties, with the best free breakfast spreads sure to please everyone in your crew.

Hyatt Place

The new a.m. Kitchen Skillet includes breakfast sandwiches, waffles, French toast, pancakes and steel-cut oatmeal. You’ll also find more upscale options like cinnamon-glazed French toast, even a Santa Fe bagel sandwich with ham, eggs, spinach and chipotle mayo.

Embassy Suites

You’ll find free, cooked-to-order breakfast options, like omelets and scrambled eggs made on the spot. Menu items vary, but look for kid favorites like pancakes, bacon, muffins, juices and cereals.

Hampton Inn

The first mid-priced hotel brand to offer a free continental breakfast keeps families top of mind with waffles, oatmeal, eggs, sausage and fresh fruits. On the Run breakfast bags packed with fruit, a muffin, box of mints and a cereal bar are also available weekdays.

Homewood Suites

The Suite Start Hot Breakfast features favorites like scrambled eggs, bacon and sweet rolls. Look for fresh homemade salsa and guacamole along with sautéed vegetables and hash browns. Quiches and make-your-own-waffles are also kid favorites.

Residence Inn

Enjoy waffles, even flavored varieties like strawberry and chocolate waffles, with quite a topping bar. Breakfast burritos, sausage and egg biscuits and eggs Florentine rotate throughout the week.

Country Inns & Suites

You’ll find waffles, build-your-own breakfast burritos and omelets, as well as standard continental options. Got a family on the go? Head to the grab-and-go station for a drink, fruit and a granola bar as you head out the door.

Element Hotels

Starwood’s eco-wise brand offers a daily complimentary healthy RISE breakfast to help families start their days right. Look for hot wraps, smoothies, granola, fresh fruit, gourmet coffee and pastries.

Hotel Hershey – Hershey, Penn.

Select family packages come with free breakfast from the buffet or the menu. You’ll find omelets, Belgian waffles and pastries at the buffet. Or look to the menu for three egg frittatas with broccoli, chorizo and cheddar cheese, even chocolate-chip brioche French toast.  

Rochester Hotel – Durango, Colo.

Gourmet breakfast includes a daily hot entrée, like asparagus and Swiss scrambled eggs, as well as fresh fruit, homemade granola, yogurt and cereals. Homemade muffins, scones and coffeecakes round out the selections.

Inn on the Alameda – Santa Fe, N.M.

The signature Breakfast of Enchantment features baked goods from several local bakeries. Gluten-free and vegan travelers can enjoy organic farm-to-table gluten-free frittatas, gluten-free breads and vegan cookies, even non-dairy milks and yogurts. 

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