Perhaps the only thing better than a delicious breakfast to start the day is a free one, which is why Hipmunk recently crunched some numbers to see where in the world the most hotels include breakfast as part of the stay. The findings? Free breakfast is largely an American tradition: While 43% of hotels in the states offer it, only 14% do globally.
Those raw numbers hardly tell the full story, though. Even domestically, what’s actually served for free breakfast can run the gamut — from cereal and bad coffee to a full-stocked buffet and omelette bar.
Naturally, the variety is only compounded when considering the entire globe. With that in mind, we decided to take a look at what travelers can expect to see as part of their spread if they’re lucky enough to snag an international free breakfast. Sweden, Brazil, and Israel all made our list of the top 25 countries boasting the highest percentage of hotels with free morning eats. Take a look at what you may find on your plate when visiting each.
Pass the Porridge, Please
In Stockholdm, Sweden, just under one-third of hotels offer free breakfast — good enough for a top-five ranking on the list. The first staple of Swedish breakfast isn’t surprising: coffee. Swedes are some of the world’s biggest coffee drinkers, so you can expect some fresh brewed caffeine at just about any hotel.
Beyond that, a Swedish breakfast generally consists of porridge — which has been a morning ritual in the region for centuries — in addition to open-faced sandwiches smeared with caviar (often from a tube!). Soured milk and crispbread are two other timeless items to round out the morning meal.
In Brazil, where 22% of hotels offer free breakfast, the offerings can vary dramatically by region. There are some staples across the country, though, including fruit and fruit juices, cakes, bread and jam, grilled sandwiches or pastries — each filled with ham and cheese — and other specialities like tapioca pancakes.
One interesting thing to note about Brazil: The odds of getting a free breakfast increase for luxury travelers, while the opposite is true in the U.S. Only 5% of five-star hotels in the states offer a free morning spread, but 28% of hotels in Brazil do — the 20th highest percentage in the world.
A Little Bit of Everything
The last country to squeeze into the top 25 is Israel, where 19% of hotels offer free breakfast. As was the case in Brazil, that percentage jumps dramatically when zooming in on five-star lodging options. A whopping 40% of luxury hotels include the first meal of the day as part of the stay — the seventh highest percentage in the world.
As was also the case in Brazil, the Israeli breakfast boasts a large amount of variety. Yogurt cheese called labane is one unique staple, as is shakshuka, which consists of poached eggs in tomato sauce served alongside flatbreads. Beyond that, salads featuring vegetables, herbs and olive oil are common, on top of more cheese, freshly pressed juices, olives and even marinated fish.
So while U.S. travelers may be used to omelettes and bacon here in the states, everything from caviar to yogurt cheese may grace their plates in other countries. With these unique and delicious breakfast menus in mind, it’s clear that all free breakfasts are not created equally.
This post was posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on August 3, 2015.