When you’re spending a pretty penny on your hotel room, it generally comes along with some ‘free’ (not really free) perks. They change your linen, provide clean towels, basic amenities like soap, shampoo, toothbrush and occasionally free wireless internet access. You may come across some other freebies like free wine and cheese tastings, cocktail hours with free food and drinks, free breakfast buffets etc.


During the recession, hotels began including breakfast for their top-tier guests as an added incentive to book a stay, particularly when a business expense account isn’t covering the bill, such as when you’re adding on a night or two before or after a work trip, or traveling exclusively for vacation.

Fortunately, the perk remains, though you do need to stay a certain number of nights each year to be eligible to take advantage. Let’s take a look at some major chain hotel perks.


Hilton clients that stay either 20 times or 40 nights during the previous year, or customers that earn 75,000 HHonors points and those that have the Hilton HHonors Reserve card or the Surpass AMEX card, will all earn Hilton Gold status for the period of one year. Along with basic room upgrades at check-in, (based on availability), elite members can choose from 1,000 points or a complimentary continental breakfast at Conrad, Hilton or DoubleTree hotels, or 750 points or a free hot cooked-to-order breakfast at Hilton Garden Inn. Platinum members are also eligible for this benefit.


After you stay 25 times or 50 paid nights at any Hyatt hotel, you’ll be eligible for the chain’s highest elite level, Hyatt Gold Passport. You’ll get perks like confirmed suite upgrades at booking, free internet access and access to the Regency or Grand club, where you’ll be able to take advantage of snacks and drinks in the evening and a continental breakfast each morning.

Alternatively, in hotels without a lounge, you’ll get a free full buffet in the restaurant, or, at some properties, free breakfast delivered to your room, making Hyatt’s program the most generous of the lot.

Fried Eggs


Marriott Rewards members who stay 50 nights each year will earn Gold status. Members at that level will receive lounge access at JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Renaissance and Marriott hotels, where they’ll be able to take advantage of a free continental breakfast each day. Other Marriott hotels don’t include this benefit, unfortunately, though some, such as Residence Inn, offer a free breakfast for all guests. Platinum members are also eligible for free breakfast in the lounge.


At Starwood Hotels, guests who stay 25 times or 50 nights earn Platinum status, which comes along with free continental breakfast at any hotel. The benefit varies from property to property, but many, particularly those in Asia and Europe, let you have the full buffet for free, and some even cover entrees ordered off the menu. There’s no room service option, unfortunately, so if you want breakfast in bed, Hyatt’s the way to go.

Knowing about these free perks may ease your decision making the next time you book your future hotel stays.