This post continues the series on the trip to Thailand in November 2021. That was just after Thailand began admitting vaccinated and tested foreigners without requiring a seven- or 10-day quarantine. Instead, under the Test & Go program, Thailand only required foreign international air travelers who had been fully vaccinated and had tested negative on a pre-arrival RT-PCR Covid test to spend one night at a government-approved hotel. They could leave the hotel when the post-arrival RT-PCR test came back negative.
I’m glad I went when I did because Test & Go was suspended indefinitely last week because of increasing numbers of Omicron cases. I spent about 12 hours in isolation (quarantine) at Two Three Hotel until my negative test result came back. I was then freed to go to the Grand Hyatt Erawan, the hotel I’d booked for the stay in Bangkok. See the previous post for more information about the hotel and its Grand Club Room.
Other posts from this Covid-19 Thailand trip:
The breakfast buffet is one of the more enjoyable parts of my stay at a great hotel. I really enjoy the variety of a buffet, avoiding having to decide on and place an order, and the ability to get in and out quickly if desired. In Asia, five-star hotel buffets go beyond the continental and American choices I’m used to. They have offerings that cater to the local culture, Western desires, and Chinese, Japanese, and Indian tastes. From a practical standpoint, with a breakfast buffet I almost always skip lunch which saves money, time and calories.
These breakfast buffets are wonderful when there is no additional charge. Breakfast was included in the unusually low $75/night rate I paid for the room. It is disappointing that at Hyatt hotels my mid-tier loyalty status does not automatically include free breakfast at the more expensive hotels. With Marriott, Hilton and IHG (Holiday Inn and partners) breakfast buffets are free through my status in their frequent guest programs. With those programs I need not qualify on stayed nights to receive free breakfast and certain other benefits.
With Hilton and IHG status that includes free breakfast comes solely by holding one of their affiliated credit cards. It is a little different with Marriott. My Marriott Lifetime Titanium status, which includes complimentary breakfast, is based on the number of nights stayed at Marriott in prior years and is good for life (or until Marriott changes its mind).
TAANSTAFFL is a principle of economics that stands for “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” There may be no free lunches, but by golly there are still free breakfast buffets.😉
These buffets can be expensive when paid for on an ad hoc basis. Ritz Carlton, a Marriott chain, is the only exception to free breakfast through elite membership in the Marriott Bonvoy frequent guest program. When staying on points at the Tokyo Ritz Carlton a few years back, I had to shell out about $50 to try its buffet one day. The buffet was great and the price included champagne but $50 is a lot of money for breakfast. Depending on location and other factors, elaborate breakfast buffets at five-star properties run in the range of $30 – $50.
Breakfast was served in the lobby dinning area. Masks were mandatory when not eating or drinking and temperatures were checked before seating. Guests could sit where they wanted but a greeter ensured that seating arrangements met social distancing requirements. The hotel was far from full; so social distancing was never a problem. Hand sanitizer was on each table.
I customarily started with tea, juice, fruit, cereal and a pastry. Then I’d progress to the main dishes – usually an omelet or eggs benedict and a waffle. If there was any room after that, I’d try an Asian dish.
Here is a menu that lists main dishes that were available. Apologies for the focus. For a better look click on the photos to open the menus in a new tab.
Staff were available to assist with beverage refills and orders for main courses if requested. The food was delicious, well presented, and displayed or served at the right temperature. I always left the buffet feeling delightfully stuffed and pleased with the overall value of the hotel stay.
I ate at this buffet about 10 times. There was enough choice and changes in the menu (especially the Asian menu) to have something different every day.
Some say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I won’t argue with that especially when dinning at the breakfast buffet at the Grand Hyatt Erawan. Putting away a quick, hearty breakfast got my day off on the right foot. This buffets was easy and quick, but the food the chefs prepared seemed equal to or better than the quality of a la carte breakfasts. While buffets tend to lead to over eating, I tried to make up for it by skipping lunch.
Are you a breakfast person? Is breakfast one of the things consider when selecting a hotel?