Hyatt Place to Eliminate Free Breakfast?!? Is This a Good Thing?

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Hyatt Place Free Breakfast Elimination
Hyatt Place Panama City.

Hyatt Place Free Breakfast Elimination

As many long time readers of this site know, I am a big Hyatt fan and a top-tier Globalist member of their World of Hyatt loyalty program. Given Hyatt’s limited footprint, I have thus had to stay in many (read A LOT) of limited service Hyatt Place properties in order to qualify for my status.

In my opinion, Hyatt Place has two real selling points. First, their rooms have a “mini-suite” layout with up to 2 queen beds plus a sofa bed which is ideal for large groups or families. Second, they offer free breakfast, which can be a huge savings for said families and I suppose other guests as well.

Hyatt also positions Hyatt Place properties as being premium options in the limited service space. This of course varies by property though, since the old former Amerisuites Hyatt Place properties are FAR inferior to new builds such as the ones in Panama and near Miami International Airport. I have stayed in quite a few of these new Hyatt Place hotels and they are nice on their own without a free breakfast. Another way to say that is that I would seek out these hotels over the competition even if I wasn’t a Hyatt elite.

The Removal of Free Breakfast

Hyatt Place Free Breakfast Elimination
Hyatt Place Detroit Novi lobby.

News broke this week that Hyatt is testing out the removal of free breakfast at a couple of Hyatt Place hotels. According to View from the Wing, they will do their tests as follows:

  • Charge $10 for any breakfast (Globalists get free breakfast still)
  • Give cold items free, but charge $10 for hot items (Globalists get free breakfast still)

This has of course caused much controversy in the miles/points world, because we all love…………………FREE. The truth is not quite as simple though. Honestly, most other major chains such as Marriott and Hilton have limited service brands which include breakfast and brands which don’t. This allows consumers to choose if breakfast is important. So is Hyatt really committing a giant sin here? I’m not sure.

Is The Breakfast Good?

Hyatt Place Free Breakfast Elimination
Hyatt Place Waikiki breakfast offerings.

I’ll be honest with you. I am not a huge breakfast person. As a Globalist I do enjoy elaborate breakfasts at higher-end hotels because they are “fancy” 🙂 but give me a basic free breakfast and I’m likely to grab some tea and perhaps some fruit. When I am on a more strenuous trip I might grab some hot items as well, but about 50% of the time I don’t eat anything. In other words, even if I wasn’t a Globalist, this wouldn’t be a huge deal.

And of course the quality of the breakfast plays a huge role here as well. If charging $10 means we get real eggs and better quality food overall, then perhaps this is a positive? I’m not sold on that previous statement, but I will say I rarely am impressed with Hyatt Place hot items. Since they rotate hot items, I occasionally find something that is good, but generally it all looks blah.

Bottom Line

While it would be easy to criticize Hyatt here, I truthfully am not sure what to think. Of course we know that Hyatt is trying to cut costs, but will this have a huge impact or will most people not care? I think those large families surely will care, but are they most of Hyatt Place’s clientele or are business travelers a big part as well?

My prediction is that Hyatt is going to eliminate free breakfast, but that certain properties will keep it. Older hotels which have more competition and ones that want to draw families may keep that benefit, while the newer hotter properties will get rid of it. Of course what do I know?!?

What do you think? Would eliminating free breakfast at Hyatt Place properties be a huge mistake or is Hyatt smart to do this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


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18 COMMENTS

  1. I have recently stayed in some Marriott’s that were nearly new at $100-125 per night. One was a Fairfield and one a Residence Inn. Both had wonderful hot breakfasts and friendly staff. I have also recently stayed in a couple of full fledge Marriotts that converted their concierge lounges to a new “M” lounge. It seems the lower priced Marriotts have stepped it up, the top Marriott’s stepping it down.

    I say all this because the Hyatt Places compete with the Fairfields and Residence Inn. Therefore I think Hyatt is shooting themselves in the foot not doing what even the most cheapest hotels now do. I also ding Marriott for what they are doing at their full service hotels. I sorta think Hilton gets it right.

  2. I do the Hyatt place in Austin a couple of times a year since the location is solid and for the price but the room itself does not beat the other competitors in the same location it’s close but I pick it for the ease of parking and breakfast. However if they drop free breakfast I’ll probably just go across the street to a competitor.

  3. I can see why a Globalist would think it’s a positive, since you get it free anyway, so maybe less crowds, and if people are paying then perhaps the quality will have to go up (people won’t be happy if they pay extra for slop). I’m only an Explorist, and I’m a big breakfast person (which is why I have to pick and choose how I use my URs with Hyatt). I’ve only stayed at one Hyatt Place, in Bangkok. The breakfast was actually quite good (as are pretty much all the breakfast buffets at all the hotels I’ve stayed at there). If no more free breakfast then I probably won’t stay there again.

  4. Don
    I believe they are shooting themselves in the foot and the competition will benefit from this blunder.Anyone with a family will look elsewhere.

  5. I’ve stayed at a few Hyatt Place properties in the last two years. I normally look at HILTON, Westin or Marriott when traveling for business, but recent business has placed me in limited option areas. I chose Hyatt Place because of the breakfast amenity. I have accompanying companions and the cost of breakfast is calculated into the trip, so Hyatt Place made sense because of the savings. I’ll definitely do the math moving forward.

  6. I don’t think the large families will care very much. $10 to feed a family of 4 or 5, great. It is the lone traveler that is going to mind. Paying $10 for one when you see a large family paying the same is ridiculous. I’ve noticed recently that the breakfast areas are overrun with families/kids sticking their hands all over the food, picking up things that then putting them back down, yuck. Also, because of the large crowds, staff has had trouble refilling. So, making it cheap for families to eat and more expensive for lone travelers are not going to eliminate any of the issues I’ve experienced lately.

  7. Really stunned Shawn that you’re at all ambivalent about this…. For my wife and I, who do not have “global-IST” or whatever the latest bad grammar high roller status is, we really DO like Hyatt Place and Hyatt House — our favorite hotel chain by far…. Luv being able to use CUR points for 5k at many find HP and HH locations (even those with pools and whirlpools) And concur with your positive take on the room layouts. (and the beds are often really, really comfortable, like the new HP near Chicago’s midway airport)

    More to the post here, the Hyatt Place/House breakfasts are often really nice too…. perhaps depending more on local management, yet we’ve always had great experiences — and really enjoyed the variety, fresh fruit spreads, cheese & dairy items too. (the new Hyatt House at Virginia Beach being one super good one) Ok, not Swedish or Euro class breakfasts, but far, far superior to the increasingly industrial, stale HIE or Country Inn style delivery — and light years above most of the usual lower tier/budget hotel breakfast spreads. (unless you actually like Days Inn waffles 😉 )

    We enjoy Hyatt Place and Hyatt House breakfast spreads so much that we’ve taken to a Hobbit-style breakfast schedule on days we are fortunate to be staying with one. 😉

    so I’ll be writing to Hyatt with one simple, yet very loud message:

    Please reconsider. Keep the breakfast. (and keep Shawn and his high end discoverist friends happy with that Trump-class status for the high end places)

    But keep your hands off our Hyatt Place breakfasts.

    cheerfully

    • You lose me quickly with the insults. I wrote about this because it is definitely a loss and a way to cut costs which is what I said in the article. I also say I am not a huge breakfast person which is why I ask people to share their opinions. No need to insult me or others who earn their status the hard way and probably earn free breakfast as well.

      Again, I think this is a negative, but clearly it is not a negative for everyone.

  8. Just got back from 2 nights at the hyatt in chesterfield mo. Also booked for 3 other families. Love the hyatts houses / places right now with 3 young kiddos. If they change the free breakfast it would likely promt us to look elsewhere.

  9. It’s amazing how hotels chains are increasing the popularity of Airbnb. My one big negative with Airbnb was their cancellation policies. Now hotels are switching to 48 hour and 72 hour cancellation policies. Hotels are charging more than ever for a small room, they might be decorated better with larger bathrooms than the typical 1970s motel but they are basically the same. I’ve rented incredible Airbnb’s for less than wha5 I would have paid for a hotel room in resort locations. Hotels are charging resort fees, parking fees, and now for breakfast. Why would any family stay at a hotel when they can rent a place on Airbnb just as easy?

  10. The Hyatt Place free breakfast spread in La Paz Mexico was fantastic, better than many $30/person breakfasts at “full service” properties. However, I agree that I would much rather pay a reasonable fee and have something I want to eat than be marketed a free meal that is not appetizing.

  11. What I will say is that I would not pay $10 per person for what is currently served at Hyatt Place. The food is adequate for an inclusive (nothing is free, it’s … included!) breakfast at the rate and brand position. But not nearly interesting or well enough prepared to pay more for it. I think Courtyard gets the formula about right on that. The food they offer feels ‘made to order’, so if Hyatt tries that, then maybe.

  12. This one is a big hit for me. The breakfasts are not incredible and they are crowded with families but it’s one of the main reasons I usually stay at Hyatt place. Unless they really improve the current offering, for 10 bucks I’ll eat somewhere else and then stay somewhere else. Hope they change their mind.

  13. With my newly-minted World o f Hyatt Masochist status, I for one will stay loyal to them regardless of the value proposition!

  14. $10 per person or per room? The previous comments imply it is per room, which doesn’t really make sense.

    In either case, it is definitely shooting themselves in the foot as I am a family of 4 and adding $40/night for breakfast is absolutely a dealbreaker.

  15. If Hyatt is trying to lose customers, they’re doing a great job. First, the change to World of Hyatt, and now breakfast at Hyatt Place. Where will it end?

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