According to a survey by Hipmunk, free breakfast is more important than free Wi-Fi when it comes to hotel amenities. Perhaps that’s why an astonishing 48 percent of five-star hotels in Cambodia offer free breakfast. These properties want to give you what you want since you’re paying for a luxurious experience at these accommodations. Stuffing yourself full at seven in the morning is certainly an integral part of that.
Among all countries in the world, Cambodia is one of the places where you’re most likely to find an upscale hotel offering free breakfast. Only Tanzania (50 percent) has a higher percentage of luxury lodgings providing the amenity for free. In fact, you’re more than nine times more likely to get breakfast for free at a five-star hotel in Cambodia than in America, where only five percent of high-end accommodations offer such. Why do so many five-star hotels in Cambodia include the morning meal without additional charge? Perhaps the reason is cultural. In Cambodia, breakfast is seen as one of three necessary meals in the day, and so it only makes sense that the country’s best hotels would start their guests’ days off the right way – with a delicious, hearty breakfast.
Regardless, the question remains: is a five-star hotel with free breakfast in Cambodia worth it financially and personally? Let’s dig further.
What’s the Average Price of a Five-Star Hotel in Cambodia?
For hotels in Phnom Penh, the country’s capital and one of its most visited cities, the average cost of a five star hotel ranges from $85 USD to $219, according to industry experts. Throughout the country, prices generally fall between $100 and $200 in major tourist destinations like Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.
Compared to hotels in New York City, where even the median hotel rate of $245 exceeds the price of luxury hotels in Cambodia, these rates are not too high. However, luxury hotels in Cambodia are priced far higher than hostels and one- to three-star lodgings, which span from as low as $3 (cheapest hostels and one-star) to over $40 (nice three-star places). Four-star accommodations can sometimes have similar rates, but on average in Phnom Penh, you typically only have to pay somewhere between $20 and $100 for such a hotel.
What’s the Price of Breakfast at a Restaurant in Cambodia?
Let’s say you book a hotel without free breakfast, and you decide to venture outside the property for your morning meal. You’ll be able to get food from a street vendor or simple dining establishment for $1 to $3 per person, or $2 to $6 for two; kuy teav, a noodle soup, is a common sight during the morning, and won’t cost you more than a buck or two usually. Most decent eateries won’t cost you more than $5 to $10 per person, or $10 to $20 for two. Upscale dining establishments typically don’t cost more than $25 for one or $50 for two, with most often around $25 to $35 for two.
So, Does Free Breakfast at a Luxury Hotel Make Sense Financially?
Knowing the cost of going out for breakfast, it’s safe to assume that if you book anything from a hostel to a three-star lodging in Cambodia, you can get breakfast at a restaurant away from your accommodations and still spend far less money than you would at a luxury hotel with free breakfast. For instance, a $30 three-star hotel and $5 breakfast puts you at $35 per day on lodging and morning food, while a five-star hotel already costs you at least more than $85; that’s huge savings over the course of a vacation. If you choose your eatery carefully, you may also get a better meal than what’s offered at the hotel breakfast bar. For four-star accommodation, your breakfast expense could put your overall expenses into five-star territory, but it’s most likely you’ll still be spending less, especially since the high majority of four-star hotels range between $45 and $75.
Financially speaking, it makes sense to not care about the free breakfast that most luxury hotels in Cambodia offer. The price of lower-tier hotels, including most four-star places, is much lower than the cheapest five-star accommodations – even when the additional expense of breakfast is factored in.
But What About the Other Amenities?
It’s important to note that you’re not going to get the same amenities and level of comfort from lower-tier hotels. For instance, at the Sarai Resort and Spa in Siem Reap, a five-star hotel, you get a laundry list of amenities on top of free breakfast, including a full-service spa, fitness center, child care center, outdoor pool, bar and lounge, bathrobes and much more.
By contrast, with a three-star hotel you may get some of these amenities, but the facilities and other offerings on hand won’t be of the same quality, nor as numerous. At budget lodgings, expect only the basics: some may include free breakfast, and most have free internet, but rarely anything else of significance.
To conclude, it’s up to you to decide whether added comfort at a five-star hotel with free breakfast outweighs the savings you can get from staying at lower-star hotels without it. Savings can be anywhere from $10 to over $100 per day for bypassing these apparent freebies, though in addition to the lack of free breakfast, you will lose some of the other luxurious amenities 5-stars are known for. However, the saving you reap could cover all or a significant portion of your daily expenses on food, transportation and tourist attractions in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and other cities in the country.