What to Do When Breakfast Hours at Hotels Do Not Fit Your Travel Schedule
“I t seems a bit of a cruel joke when on holiday. You finally get away from the office with your loved one, enjoy a romantic evening, and then sleep in for the first time in months. Ensconced in a pile of cozy pillows you imagine starting your day together with pancakes and leisurely cups of coffee. You snake your arm out from underneath the duvet and inch the clock toward you. 10:23am. You groan, remembering that the hotel said breakfast ended at 10am.”
This is the opinion of Melinda Danielsen of Magic of Miles in this article she wrote pertaining to why breakfast hours at many hotel properties are not extended until 11:00 in the morning or later. “Oftentimes a lazy breakfast is just what you want when staying at a hotel for vacation, but the hotel doesn’t always agree on the time you’d like to keep it open until because hotels often cater to business travelers as well. At some properties where a buffet is available, it is not uncommon to see staff stop refilling the bowls and clearing items away more than half an hour before it closes.”
What to Do When Breakfast Hours at Hotels Do Not Fit Your Travel Schedule
One question which immediate came to mind is at the other end of the spectrum, so to speak: why breakfasts at hotel properties are typically not available before 6:00 in the morning. The same valid and plausible reasons which Melinda Danielsen offers in her article apply here, too — but that is of no use when there is a flight which departs at 6:00 in the morning or earlier and you have to be at the airport no later than 5:00 in the morning. There is nothing like being bleary-eyed and hungry with no options for food while it is still dark outside as you wish you were still sleeping back in that comfortable bed upstairs…
…and imagine doing that — skipping breakfast in the process — only to rush to the airport and find out that your flight had just been canceled until the next day. That is what happened to me, as the next flight was not scheduled to depart for another 24 hours — and I could have enjoyed a good breakfast that morning. Oh, well…
Some hotel properties offer a service where small bags of provisions are prepared in advance which you can grab and go with you, which is a nice gesture. Others may allow you to place an order the night before and have it ready at that ungodly hour. Unfortunately, you are more typically left to your own devices and have few options — such as purchasing some overpriced and unappetizing food at the airport…
Be Prepared for a “Famine”
…or you can do what I do and ensure that there are snacks in your bag which will be enough to sustain you until you are either served something aboard the airplane or until you arrive at your destination or stopover airport. That — combined with a serving of orange juice aboard the airplane — is enough for me to be good to go, as they say.
You should have at least a few snack options — which are not easily perishable, of course — to carry around with you as often as possible in order to alleviate your hunger during those times when you are not sure when you will be able to enjoy your next meal. Your flight could end at a time when concessions at the airport are already closed or have not opened yet; and you are preparing to drive two hours to your destination — which could be a hotel property with no restaurant on site or nearby, for example.
I personally carry sealed items such as pretzels, chocolate, and small boxes of cereal — which at least offer some nutrients — to name a few examples; but they must eventually be consumed and replaced, as they can become stale or melted over time.
In other words: be prepared for a “famine” — defined in this case as a long stretch of time where little to no food is available due to your travel schedule, which could potentially include irregular operations to exacerbate the “famine.”
Go to Sleep Earlier
If you really need your sleep, there is no need to miss breakfast in the morning. Simply retire to bed earlier to get a fresh start in the morning if you really need that much sleep.
I am basically a “night person” — it is not unusual for me to stay up as late as 6:00 in the morning — who is cursed with an appreciation for mornings. If I could, I would be both a night person and a morning person without requiring a nap during the day — but I do not believe that staying up for weeks at a time is good for my health. I have been known to do “all nighters” up to 50 hours without sleeping, though. Perhaps that is one reason why I can still function after being a passenger on an overnight flight and not need to be comfortably “ensconced in a pile of cozy pillows” — that statement is so Melinda Danielsen; and I hope she does not change — until later that evening.
It may even be one of the factors why I do not experience the phenomenon known as jet lag — but I digress as usual.
Despite my being a diehard night person, I have no issue with retiring to sleep as early as 9:00 in the evening if I want to enjoy breakfast the next morning — or if I need to catch a flight departing at 6:00 in the morning. Assuming that you do not wake up until 9:00 the next morning, that is 12 hours of sleep. I am not sure how much more sleeping in you would need after that…
Perform At Least Some of Your Personal Hygiene Routines Until After Breakfast
…and if you can hold off on your morning hygiene, you can even defer routines such as brushing your teeth and showering until after breakfast. This way, you have a full breakfast inside you to satisfy you; and when you return to your hotel room, you can put out the Do Not Disturb sign and securely lock the door of your hotel room before you leisurely shower, shave, brush your teeth — and engage in any other habits of personal hygiene which will get you ready for your now-abbreviated day.
If, however, your hair looks like you put your finger in an electrical outlet while your breath or armpits emit toxic gases capable of instantly exterminating any living being within ten miles of you, you might want to reconsider this suggestion — or, at least, ensure that vital personal hygienic habits are satisfied before indulging in breakfast and complete the not-so-vital ones after breakfast.
Take a Nap After Breakfast
If you really need to catch up on your sleep but want to partake in breakfast offered at the hotel, consider taking a nap after breakfast. Yes, it will cut into your day in terms of time; and no, this suggestion is not for everyone. Once I am awake, I am awake and I usually do not need to go back to sleep — but this is an option to consider, just the same.
Breakfast is the meal which I favor the least, as I much prefer lunch or dinner. Still, there is nothing like a satisfying leisurely breakfast to start the day; and if one is available to me — especially if it is complimentary for me — I will ensure that I will be awake in time to partake in it.
As an example, the breakfast buffet at Hilton Fujairah Resort — which is included with the room rate — was outstanding, in my opinion; and only part of this extensive breakfast buffet is shown in the photograph at the top of this article. Please be on the lookout for a review of my stay at this hotel property in a future article.
If you follow even one of the suggestions posted in this article, you have the possibility of having your cake and eating it too — if chocolate cake is your idea of breakfast, with no apologies to Bill Cosby — meaning that eating a leisurely breakfast and still get your much-needed sleep is indeed doable, depending on your priorities…
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.