Photo: Jennifer Causey

Yes, the “free” breakfast might be alluring in theory, but we all know that the greasy, processed food served up in most chain hotels are not something you should start your day with. Here's how to cook up a better meal, all in your hotel room. 

June 26, 2017

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t treat yourself while on vacation or business trips – there is nothing more amazing than breaking free from the daily hum-drum of your kitchen and noshing on dishes you normally wouldn’t at home.

While on vacation, in particular, it can be so easy and comfortable to drop some extra cash on meals right on your accommodations’ property, and there are many hotels where I would say you should do so.

But don’t be upset with me when I tell you that you should probably skip that free hotel breakfast – especially if you find yourself at a chain hotel, motel or inn.

You might be asking: what kind of well-traveled vacationer would opt out of free things? It’s the self-respecting tourist who understands that you should start your long day of activities with a wholesome, satisfying yet light meal, and you’re not going to get that at the hotel buffet.

Some hotel groups are putting emphasis on trying their best to offer eyebrow-raising, alluring upscale options like cinnamon-glazed French toast or a Santa Fe ham-egg-and-spinach bagel (yes, that’s available at Hyatt hotels).

But more often than not, the promise of a free hotel breakfast is the reality of pre-prepared “just add water” items that really can do a number on you before you’ve even stepped out your door.

Cooking while on vacation might not be the first thing on your to-do list, but I’m here to convince you that you can put together a satisfying and healthy breakfast without even leaving your room. And it’s going to be so much better than anything you’d ever pick up in the hotel lobby.

Foolproof Hard Boiled Eggs

 Photo: Jennifer Causey

Your coffee maker is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to making breakfast on the fly in your hotel room. Hard boiled eggs are an effortless way to enjoy a clean meal in your room, and the ice machine on your floor should be able to help out with an ice bath for our foolproof hard boiled eggs.

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars

 Photo: Jennifer Causey

These bars are a perfectly portable snack you can prep and enjoy throughout your stay. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge.

Miso Noodle Soup in a Jar

 Photo: Iain Bagwell

This Japanese breakfast mainstay is a great way to throw together a nourishing meal in just 10 minutes only using hot water from your coffee maker.  

Two-Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes

If you are feeling more than ready to get adventurous in your hotel room, bring your own non-stick pan and use the burner on your coffee machine to make these amazingly simple sweet potato pancakes.

Loaded Baked Potatoes

 Photo: Randy Mayor

Not exactly the hash browns you might craving, we know, but you can thoroughly cook a whole potato simply using your room’s microwave. Don't forget the healthy toppings too. You can also use the microwave for cooking eggs as well to go along with this hearty dish.

Honey-Almond Multigrain Cereal

 Photo: Randy Mayor

You only need a microwave to make this DIY cereal mix that will transform your stay away from home. And if you’re missing any of the ingredients, we’re sure they are available for you to swipe among the lobby’s spread.