They say it’s the most important meal of the day. But with research suggesting that a hotel breakfast for two could cost the same as a decent meal out, is this one extra too far?
I’m sure when the experts warn us of the negative health implications of skipping breakfast they’re not necessarily referring to our beloved ‘Full English’.
Yet even those in the know would surely face a dilemma when confronted with the prospect of having to fork out up to £30 for a hotel breakfast – the kind of price that could well leave you choking on even the best locally-sourced sausage.
It’s no wonder then that Lastminute.com has revealed that ‘breakfasts charged at an extra rate’ is the number one guest gripe amongst over 2,000 adults who were surveyed – and that’s before we even consider what that actual rate is.
The report also revealed other popular guest gripes when it comes to hotel extras, including Mini-bar prices, single room supplements and the cost of Wi-Fi.
The average breakfast cost came in at £12.60, based on research from over 54 four-star and 10 London five-star hotels. Whilst you might expect the prices to be a little higher in these higher-rated hotels, in my experience even lower-graded hotels can charge a princely sum too.
Here at Which? Travel we’ve been doing our own investigative work for an upcoming article and have also been astonished by the high price some hotels charge for breakfast – can it ever really be so good?
The good and the bad
As a travel researcher I’ve had my fair share of good and bad cooked breakfasts. The good usually involves eating fresh, locally-sourced produce, brought to my table with outstanding service to match. The bad typically follows the pattern of queuing to be seated, queuing for food and finally trying to guess the pork content of your rather anaemic looking sausage.
Whether it’s laziness or lack of time, many of us don’t have any option than to eat breakfast in our hotels. Perhaps if they were all good, hotels could justify the price. But, in my experience, the cost doesn’t always bear relevance to the quality of the food – some of my most expensive breakfasts have also been the worst.
I recall one particular example in a large four-star hotel where, after queuing for over 20 minutes for a table then queuing for our food, we returned to our table only to find another couple being shown to our seats.
We gave up waiting for our requested knives to arrive, resorting to spreading jam onto our toast with a tea-spoon (admittedly this was a lot easier than you might think). Let’s just say I won’t be rushing back.