What is the Big Deal About Free Breakfast at Hyatt Place?

Many articles pertaining to the recent changes of the breakfast which was once automatically included for all guests of Hyatt Place hotel properties flooded BoardingArea a couple of days ago; and one would have thought that the world was coming to an end.

What is the Big Deal About Free Breakfast at Hyatt Place?

The new policy is that only members of the World of Hyatt frequent guest loyalty program who book their reservations directly with Hyatt instead of through third parties will qualify for breakfast to be included with their stays when paying an eligible rate.

“Show of hands, how many people know what an ‘eligible rate’ is?” asked Edward Pizzarello of Pizza in Motion in this article. “I happen to know because I’m a travel nerd. But, I’d suspect a large portion of every day customers don’t.”

He is probably right — but the official definition of an eligible rate is easy to find; and most guests will qualify:

An “Eligible Rate” is defined as any room rate for a participating hotel, resort, or other property that is published by Hyatt (including rates found on hyatt.com without the application of a discount code, and Hyatt’s “Standard Rate,” “Volume Account Rates,” “Senior Citizen Rate,” and the monetary portion of any Points + Cash Award (as defined in Appendix B) or, for Miraval properties or Oasis Homes, published by Miraval or Oasis, respectively. When applying an Oasis Stay Credit (defined in Appendix B) to a room rate that otherwise qualifies as an Eligible Rate per the above definition, a Member will earn Base Points only on the portion of the room rate that exceeds the value of the Oasis Stay Credit(s) redeemed, if any. A portion of an Eligible Rate may reflect taxes, service charges, gratuities, and third-party charges for certain included items, and those costs may not be eligible for points.

I recently stayed at the Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester hotel property, which included the free breakfast. Although a trip report and review is in the pipeline as to the experience of my stay, I found the breakfast underwhelming at best — especially as it paled significantly in comparison to a competing hotel property only a few miles down the same road in Chester in Virginia: the Hampton Inn Chester, at which I declared that I arguably had the best breakfast ever at a Hampton Inn.


I got to the point where I tired of reading the word breakfast in the titles of all of those articles — especially as I am not sure of what is the fuss. If you are not a member of the World of Hyatt program, you can simply take a moment to sign up for free and then book that “eligible rate” directly with Hyatt, which most likely is attempting to cut out the middleman third party entity to whom it would not have to pay a fee to get you as a customer.

As for if I were to stay in Chester again, I would have no question as to which hotel property I would choose again — especially if breakfast were a factor in the decision.

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

10 thoughts on “What is the Big Deal About Free Breakfast at Hyatt Place?”

  1. gina says:

    It clearly depends on the Hyatt Place. And that’s the issue they need to work on. The ones in Northern California and Charlottesville I’ve been too have been excellent. Others are not.

  2. David says:

    I am assuming that the Citi Prestige 4th night free is considered to be eligible rate with the new Hyatt rules. I am correct? It is not considered as a third-party as I earn the Hyatt points when I use the Citi concierge.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am not sure of the answer to your question, David.

      Let me see if I can find out for you…

  3. Dia says:

    Hi Brian,
    I’ll tell you who this is a big deal for: the casual traveler who uses a site like Hotels.com for convenience. More often than not, that traveler has a family in tow. That person remembered that last year breakfast at Hyatt Place was free. Now he is in for a rude awakening because he does not spend his time reading miles and points blogs.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I agree with you, Dia — always good to hear from you, by the way — but my question is what percentage of the customers of Hyatt fall into that category — especially when plenty of competing options exist for breakfast included with a hotel stay?

  4. Mike L says:

    Eventually third party booking sites like Expedia and Priceline will have had enough and just stop working with certain hotels. First, they try and screw them out of a percentage of their commissions by hiding part of the rate in the “resort fee” (rapidly approaching $50 at several hotels in Vegas, Orlando and Hawaii). Now this. Hotels love to complain about third party bookings, but loathe paying the commissions on them. They can’t have their cake and eat it too.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Those are very good points to consider, Mike L.

      Thank you.

  5. Iolaire McFadden says:

    This doesn’t bother me too much. I generally use booking.com and if I see a chain hote I’m interested in I’ll check the price on the hotel website as well.

    I’ve very used to looking at the room list on Booking.com to see if specific hotel or Rome rates have breakfast. At common to have specific rates without breakfast. The. I’m used to looking at the breakfast rate and saying no $20/night is not worth it for breakfast.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You raise an excellent point, Iolaire McFadden.

      Breakfast is only truly “free” of charge when it is included in the room rate and no less expensive option exists — not $20.00 per night extra when booking your reservation through a different room rate.

      One can usually spend that $20.00 per day on a plethora of options outside of the hotel property — at restaurants and markets as two of many examples.

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