Growing up as a Lieberman, I was led to believe that a hotel “with breakfast” (aka, included in the price) is the ONLY type of hotel to stay in. From Aruba to Puerto Vallarta, I can remember several family vacations when, at nearly 8:45a.m., my mom began scrambling to get her teeth brushed, contact lenses in and hair-combed so she could make it down to the buffet before it closed at 9. There was no missing the free bananas, cereal and grimy scrambled eggs that had, at that point, inevitably been sitting out for hours. If she was lucky, she’d come back raving about an omelette station, taunting us with what we missed as we were still rubbing the crust from our eyes.
Now, all joking aside (cause I know my Mom is all, “Sara, stop being a snob!”), I do get why “breakfast included” is considered a selling point for many travelers. It allows you to fuel up for the day without having to think about said day just yet. You can have your coffee in your PJS if you really want to. You can even (and you KNOW you’ve done this) take an apple and box of corn flakes to eat at that time of the day when you really want to go into another museum/boutique/park/castle, but just don’t have the energy.
“Breakfast Included” also comes in handy when, again like the Lieberman’s, you suffer from indecision, and therefore will walk around aimlessly for hours until deciding where to sit down and still wondering if it was “the right choice.”
But here’s the thing about most “included” hotel breakfasts (the Ritz aside): They’re usually crap. Or at least just the type of breakfast you’d get back home. They cater to guests, aka tourists, and that’s boring! I don’t want your Kelloggs or Dannon yogurt. I want local. I want different! I want feta cheese and cucumbers like in Turkey or beans on toast like in the UK. I’ll take your banana and maybe a filter coffee to tide me over, but other than that, I’d rather go find something unique, fresh and made-to-order.
While it wasn’t quite gourmet, I was pleasantly surprised by the array of options at my hotel Berc here in Bled this morning — despite my getting there at Lieberman-o-Clock, just before they cleared it all away. Not only did they have a DIY espresso machine, but there were walnuts and figs and nuts for a muesli-mashup. There was strawberry yogurt (or what looked like yogurt — it was a bit runny) as well as vanilla. There were all types of bread, from rye with oats to banana muffins. There was calve’s liver (there’s the local element), cured meat, tomatoes and cheese — crumbled or sliced. There were sliced strawberries and oranges. All this for my 50E a night stay!
I obviously filled up and took advantage.
It’s a good thing I did, too. The day’s activities included my cycling nearly 10 miles to the nearby Vintgar Gorge and the town of Radovlijica, which was unpronouncable no matter how many times I tried.
I didn’t even feel the need to eat again until 2:30p.m. when I had a non-traditional lunch of the traditional Slovenian dessert called Kremna Rezina, which is a pastry filled with cream and vanilla custard.
Needless to say, for dinner in Bled, I had vegetables and fresh-water fish, likely caught from the gorge I hiked hours earlier.