It’s fantastic when a hotel offers free breakfast, especially when traveling with kids or when it’s cumbersome to go outside for breakfast. I have reviewed the major hotel brands and summarized their free breakfast policy below. We only summarize based on the rules. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) cases always exist, but will not be focused on in this post.
All Accor hotels offer their platinum members a complimentary breakfast when they come with a lounge for maximum two guests per room.
All Best Western hotels (Best Western, Best Western Plus, and Best Western Premier) offer guests complimentary breakfast (Unlimited).
Note: Some BW hotels that do not comply with the brand rules may not provide free breakfast. Check every time when making a reservation.
Complimentary breakfast is offered at the following brands of Choice hotels:
- Comfort Inn & Suites
- MainStay Suites
- Quality Inn & Suites
- Sleep Inn
While the following brands will not give free breakfast:
- Rodeway Inn
- Cambria Hotels & Suites
- Ascend Hotel Collection
Note: For Rodeway Inn, it is the rule that coffee will be offered free, but tons of reports show that they will provide breakfast anyway.
Unlimited breakfast is offered at:
- Country Inns and Suites
Top tier Concierge members can enjoy the breakfast for up to two guests in the following brands:
- Park Inn by Radisson
- Park Plaza
- Radisson Blu
Note: Some hotels, especially those in China offer Gold members free breakfast, YMMV.
How to get premier membership:
- Gold: Holding the US Bank Club Carlson Premier Rewards Card
- Concierge: only from stays.
No complimentary breakfast is offered for any premier membership status.
Unlimited breakfast for free at:
- Canopy by Hilton
- Embassy Suites
- Hampton Inn
- Home2 Suites
- Homewood Suites
Hilton Gold or Diamond members get free breakfast for up to two guests at:
- Hilton Garden Inn (guests can choose free breakfast or welcome points)
Note: Waldorf-Astoria (WA) does not have to offer free breakfast based on hotel rules. However, they typically offer complimentary breakfast outside the continental US. For example, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, El Conquistador, and Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah offer free breakfast, while the Reach, Key West Resort from Waldorf Astoria does NOT.
How to achieve premier membership:
- Gold: Hold any of the following cards: Amex Hilton Surpass, Citi Hilton Reserve, Amex Platinum (Any version will work. The cardholder needs to activate this benefit). Otherwise, Amex Hilton or Citi Hilton cardholders can spend over $20k in a calendar year to achieve the status. Status match would work also.
- Diamond: Status match. Or cardholders of Amex Hilton Surpass or Citi Hilton Reserve can spend over $40k in a calendar year to obtain the status.
Unlimited complimentary breakfast at:
- Hyatt House
- Hyatt Place
- Hyatt Zilara
- Hyatt Ziva
Globalist, or Explorist member with club access award, can enjoy free breakfast for two adults plus one child per room.
- Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt Regency
- Park Hyatt
- Hyatt Centric
How to obtain elite status:
- Explorist: Match your M Life Gold status to Hyatt
- Globalist: Stay, stay, and stay…on rare occasions there have been leaks for a Globalist status challenge
Only Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites offer complimentary breakfast (unlimited), and other brands do not offer free breakfast regardless of IHG status.
Unlimited complimentary breakfast at:
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Residence Inn
- SpringHill Suites
- TownePlace Suites
*Marriott Gold or Platinum members can enjoy free breakfast with at most one more guest at:
- JW Marriott
- Autograph Collection
- Gaylord Hotels
- Renaissance Hotels
- Marriott Hotels
- Delta Hotels
- Protea Hotels
- AC Hotels
- Moxy Hotels
*: Based on the rules mentioned on this webpage, free breakfast for two guests per room is offered in executive lounges. If the lounge is closed, the hotel will offer 750-1000 points as compensation. This breakfast benefit for Marriott Gold and Platinum members is excluded in Marriott Resorts.
Ritz-Carlton does not offer any free breakfast as a Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Gold/Platinum benefit.
Courtyard is a little special too. It seems it does not have to offer free breakfast for Marriott Gold/Platinum members. However, based on my experience, the Courtyards in the US has nothing to offer for free breakfast, but those in China always have free breakfast for Gold/Platinum members.
The free benefit policy for Marriott Executive Apartments is unknown for now.
How to acquire elite status:
- Gold: If you have SPG Gold, you can match SPG Gold to Marriott Gold by linking your SPG and Marriott accounts. Or, If you are a Chase Ritz-Carlton cardholder, you can get Marriott Gold during the first year of account opening and in each subsequent year when spending over $10,000 on the card. Or, If you are United Gold members and above, you can receive Marriott Gold status. Or go Marriott Gold challenge.
- Platinum：Marriott Platinum Challenge. Or if you have SPG Platinum, you can match SPG Platinum to Marriott Platinum by linking your SPG and Marriott accounts. Or, If you are a Chase Ritz-Carlton cardholder, you can get Marriott Platinum in each subsequent year from your first year by spending over $75,000 on the card.
Free breakfast is offered in the following hotel regardless of membership status:
SPG Platinum members can get free breakfast for two in the following brands (most of time guests need to choose one of the three: welcome pts, complimentary breakfast, or welcome gifts)
- Four Points
- Le Meridien
- Sheraton (Platinum members can enjoy Lounge Access and do not need to give up welcome pts)
- St. Regis
- The Luxury Collection
- Tribute Portofolio
- W hotels
It is noteworthy that some SPG hotels offer free breakfast anyway. One example is the Sheraton Pentagon City where I stayed about three years ago and I did not have any SPG elite status at that time). For hotels offering Platinum members Lounge Access, breakfast can be enjoyed in the lounge and thus there is no need to give up welcome points.
Also keep in mind that the Amex SPG business card will give you club access regardless of status.
Methods to get SPG premier status:
- Gold: Spend over $30,000 on Amex SPG card. Or get Gold directly from an Amex Platinum Card (any version will work, but need activation). Or if you have Marriott Gold, you can matching Marriott Gold to SPG Gold by linking your SPG and Marriott accounts. Or go SPG Gold status challenge.
- Platinum: Go SPG Platinum status challenge. Or if you have Marriott Platinum, you can match Marriott Platinum to SPG Platinum by linking your SPG and Marriott accounts.
Complimentary breakfast is offered in the following brands regardless of the membership status:
- Baymont Inn & Suites
- Days Inn
- Hawthorn Suites
- Howard Johnson
- Knights Inn
- Microtel Inn & Suites
- Super 8
- Wingate by Wyndham
No free breakfast is offered regardless of status:
- Wyndham Grand
- Wyndham Garden
- TRYP Hotels
Although Bnb is short for bed and breakfast, AirBnb does not require the hosts to prepare/provide complimentary breakfast, so AirBnb lives up to its name! Based on my experience (though not much), I had free breakfast when I stayed at an AirBnb in Male, Maldives but still YMMV.
We have summarized the free breakfast policies for the main hotels with focus on the common rules and cases. Hope this article can give you some guidance if you want to take the breakfast feature into account when deciding hotel options.