how to get breakfast for free at luxury hotels

Does the cost of breakfast intimidate you from staying at luxury hotels? The prices on the breakfast menu above are admittedly expensive, but if you think the only alternative is to leave the hotel and have breakfast in a diner, then you don't know the best kept secret in the luxury hotel business: how to get breakfast for free!

Do the math. If two guests order a continental breakfast every day at the New York City luxury hotel whose menu is pictured above, they will spend $56 per day, plus 8.75% tax — nearly $183 for a typical 3-day hotel stay. The continental breakfast includes a selection of pastries, fruit and berries, a glass of juice, and a cup of coffee or tea (and probably free refills).

Here's the secret to free breakfast: stay at a luxury hotel that's affiliated with a consortium like Virtuoso, and then use the services of a luxury travel consultant whose agency is affiliated with that consortium. There are also luxury hotel families — Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Dorchester Collection, and others — that offer breakfast for free when you book through one of their preferred partner travel partners. You pay the same rate you're likely to find right on the hotel's own website, but you get additional value-enhancing amenities that include a complimentary daily breakfast for two, a room upgrade if available, and an extra amenity typically valued at $100 (such as a food and beverage or spa credit).

Want eggs and bacon instead of a continental breakfast? Some of my preferred partners will give you complimentary Full American breakfasts for two every day, including the breakfast buffet ... or the ultimate luxury of in-room dining. Or even if the amenity is a complimentary continental breakfast, you'll only pay the $4 supplement for a full breakfast.

copyright (c) 2013 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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