Hilton Helsinki Strand
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Warning: Watch Out When Booking Breakfast Room Rates During the Pandemic

The current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — or, more accurately, the level of overreaction to it by some people; but that is a debate for another time — has wreaked havoc on everyday life in society around the world. The travel industry has arguably been affected the most in countless ways over the past year…

Warning: Watch Out When Booking Breakfast Room Rates During the Pandemic

Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton Calgary — University Northwest
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…and breakfast offered at hotel and resort properties — whether included in the room rate or available for an extra charge — is no exception: many hotel and resort properties have restricted what they offer for breakfast in general — such as this one and this one; some hotel and resort properties have eliminated the process of guests serving themselves in a style similar to a buffet; and at some hotel and resort properties, breakfast is not even available at all on a temporary basis for as long as the current pandemic remains active.

Some hotel and resort properties are still offering a breakfast room rate when you book a reservation — but as I found out while in the process of booking a reservation, you do not always “get what you pay for.”

One example occurred when I was planning a trip recently. One hotel property offered a breakfast room rate which was approximately $17.00 costlier than the least expensive room rate — and that is not including any taxes and fees. I normally would not consider booking a reservation at that rate because I usually get breakfast included in my room rate due to elite level status which I earned; but as many hotel and resort properties within the United States usually include a companion at no extra charge, $17.00 plus taxes and fees may actually be a decent deal for breakfast for two people — especially when it is conveniently offered at the hotel property.

When I spoke to an agent who worked at the front desk at the hotel property in question to find out more about what is being offered for the breakfast room rate so that I can reach a final decision in which room rate to book, she told me that breakfast is not being served at this hotel at all for the foreseeable future because of the pandemic. I then asked why the room rate which is specifically for breakfast is being offered. “I wish they would take that down off the site,” she replied in frustration. “I try to let guests know not to book that rate.”

She was unable to answer what would happen if someone did book a room rate at an additional cost and not receive anything in return.


Holiday Inn Vilnius
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

That hotel and resort properties are hurting financially is no secret to most people — I cannot personally vouch whether the breakfast room rate remained on the official Internet web site of the multinational lodging company — of which the hotel property in question was part of the portfolio of one of the many brands — by mistake; or if that “oversight” was done purposely. I prefer to believe the former and not the latter…

…but unless you are booking the least expensive room rate when reserving a hotel room, contact someone at the hotel property and verify what you will receive in return to ensure that you are indeed getting the best value for your money. You probably should do this anyway — regardless of whether a pandemic is still in effect.

Never pay extra for something from which you will not benefit. That is a waste of your money.

Needless to say, I did not book that reservation…

All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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