Thursday, April 05, 2007
Not the way to start the day
I am officially outraged (again). How can any hotel charge a whopping €42, around $56, for breakfast? The hotel in question is the Westin in Rome (I have no problem with a “name and shame policy.”)

I stayed there last week and, with limited open cafés in the area in the early morning, popped into the main restaurant. I have always believed breakfast to be the best meal of the day, so wasn’t about to miss out on morning fuel for the day.

I was staggered. The continental breakfast cost €30 for an offering of juice, coffee, and bread rolls or Danish (I am not sure if cereals were allowed!) Read this again: €30 for basically a drink and a snack!

If you wanted the hot food they charged you another €12.

I have delayed writing this blog a few days to see if I am out of touch and if Westin’s pricing is fair – it is not. I have just stayed in the Radisson SAS in Nice, where the full breakfast with a buffet as good as the Westin’s came in at a more reasonable (but still expensive) €22.

It is time we said enough! Nothing can justify charging such a large sum of money for a meal that is eaten relatively quickly, and is purely fuel for the day. Westin are charging this horrible amount because they can get away with it. I want to know how on earth they justify charging such a vast amount.

If you are like me, and travel on a per diem, you are guaranteed to be out of pocket – our allowance for breakfast is $10 (ok, so CNN isn’t the most generous when it comes to allowances). This means even before I have set foot out of the door most of my daily allowance ($70) has been eaten up as breakfast.

Sure, the Westin selection was good, but nothing out of the ordinary! The only exceptional part was the hotel’s ability to charge the customer like a wounded bull! I want to know Westin, how do you justify more than $50 for breakfast?

So – what do you think is a fair amount to pay for breakfast?

p.s. I have a policy of not responding to the responses usually because I believe you have the right to say what you will about the blog – however several of you have asked questions or raised issues about the shower incident. I will answer them this weekend. And then normal service will be resumed.

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