Reader Christian asks,
What are the best breakfast buffets in Asia? In no particular order. Thanks.
I haven’t tried them all of course so I can’t make a claim about which is best. In general,
- I prefer cooked-to-order breakfast over buffets. But I like lingering over breakfast while on vacation, looking out at a nice view and enjoying several cups of coffee. A sometimes-sterile restaurant where you get up to serve yourself isn’t my number one preference.
- There are several ways a hotel can improve on a buffet experience.
- Not being too busy/crowded
- Offering good service, make it easy to get frequent coffee/juice refills
- Bringing around hot items and pastries which aren’t on the buffet.
- That said, there are breakfast buffets in Asia serving amazing bounty. You’ll even find generous options in some club lounges in Asia, especially in Hong Kong and further south.
- If I had to pick a single city where the quality and variety was the greatest I’d pick Kuala Lumpur.
The most impressive breakfast I ever experienced was at the St. Regis Bali two years ago. Back then all guests received complimentary breakfast regardless of rate. That meant even a non-status member would receive free breakfast using points. That’s no longer the case, although this remains an option for Platinums as their amenity of choice (and paid rates often include breakfast).
Seared foie gras with eggs
The breakfast offered oysters and wagyu beef tenderloin as well, plus a full buffet.
One breakfast buffet I especially enjoyed was at the Le Meridien Chiang Rai when the hotel first opened (and fewer than 10 rooms were occupied). I understand it isn’t at the same quality level as it used to be, unfortunately.
Perhaps my single favorite breakfast experience has been at the Park Hyatt Maldives, largely because of high quality food and good coffee trumped by an incredible view and slow pace.
In the US my favorite hotel breakfast, not a buffet, is the Andaz 5th Avenue where Diamonds can order complimentary room service and I can’t imagine not having the lemon poppyseed pancakes.
Although it’s hard to beat the Diamond complimentary room service at the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris.
My favorite club lounge breakfast belongs to the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong for the view and service.
Club lounge chef at the Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur
For fantastic restaurant breakfasts, a nod has to go to the Park Hyatt Saigon (for the Saigon baguette with grilled pork, pate, pickles, chilies, and mayo) and to the Park Hyatt Siem Reap (for the soups).
The chain that offers the best elite breakfast benefit is unquestionably Hyatt.
- Marriott doesn’t offer breakfast at resorts or Courtyard properties
- Starwood’s breakfast is only guaranteed to be continental, and you have to give up your points amenity to get it.
- Hilton’s breakfast is only guaranteed to be continental
- IHG doesn’t promise breakfast
Hyatt in contrast offers a full breakfast when there’s no club lounge available for up to 4 registered guests in the room.
Personally I’ll take a good quality restaurant breakfast (not the standard US airport hotel buffet) over a club lounge, foregoing evening options. But for a mediocre restaurant breakfast I’ll prefer the quick service of the lounge.