Floating breakfasts: the rise of the trend for the hottest luxury hotels

(CNN) – If you follow luxury hotels or travel influencers on Instagram, there’s a good chance you’ve seen at least one “floating breakfast”.

In case you don’t know them, here’s what to know: They’re typical high-end hotel room service breakfasts – think toast, fruit, coffee, etc. – served in a pool or hot tub rather than in bed. Usually they are placed on large platters or colorful baskets and then accessorized with bright tropical flowers to make them even more photogenic.

These breakfasts are especially popular in Asia and the Pacific, especially at private villa resorts in warmer weather in places like Thailand, Fiji, and the Maldives.

Almost everyone agrees that the trend started in Bali, although no one resort in particular seems to deserve credit for coming up with the idea first.

Gorgeous scenery and delicious food equals perfect social media bait.


While these breakfasts have become more common on resort menus over the past five years, the coronavirus pandemic has made them more popular than ever as hotel guests avoid buffets and dining areas. communes.

“Over the past year, in-suite dining has become extremely popular, especially for those seeking solace in the safety and comfort of their suite,” Jann Hess, chief executive of Amanjiwo in Bali. “Floating Breakfast is a popular choice.”

After all, the Floating Breakfast needs a pool to float – and a private pool is a much better choice than a shared pool where a splashing kid could tip everything over.

Beyond the ‘gram

While the gorgeous colors and dramatic plating of Floating Breakfasts make them perfect for social media, asking people to stand in the pool before fully waking up or taking caffeine seems like a potential recipe for disaster. .

Are these breakfasts just made to be shared online and thrown away, or do people really like to eat them?

James Booth, a Sydney-based reporter for DMarge.com, admits to asking the same question before trying one at an upscale resort in Bali in 2019.

He tells CNN Travel that, for him, the Big Meal worked better in concept than in execution. Although Booth pre-programmed a specific time for breakfast to arrive, he ended up sleeping too long, which meant he missed the optimal window to consume it.

“I realized that because it was a humid environment, leaving your breakfast out might not be ideal,” he says.

Even though the food was already starting to cool, he was determined to take an Instagram photo of the fancy setup before eating. The hotel staff had judiciously placed the trays in a separate section of the pool, but moved them to the larger area in order to stage the scene.

It ended up in trays floating in different directions and he, still with watery eyes, was trying to lock everything up.

“I was too embarrassed to ask for help,” he admits, “so I spilled everything all over the place. The coffee contained some pool water and the bread was soggy.

Still, Booth is careful to blame himself and not on the resort employees who organized the meal.

“I think it’s a bit violent to jump in the water as soon as you wake up,” he says.

If he had to repeat the experiment, he would make a few changes, namely to drink the coffee first so that he was alert enough not to spill anything and find a place in the pool where he could sit to eat instead of. stand awkwardly.

Float the idea

The floating breakfast quickly became another luxury hotel amenity, like afternoon tea or a treat for the blanket. Amid the pandemic, domestic travelers enjoying affordable stays have also embraced floating breakfasts.

Timo Kuenzli, general manager of Cape Fahn Hotel, a pool villa in Koh Samui, said nearly 100% of their guests over the past year have ordered one.

“We can certainly see that the Asian market is much more prone to capturing Instagrammable moments than other markets,” he said.

Besides looking beautiful, the photos also serve as a free marketing tool: people see the breakfasts online, check the locator, and then want to experience it for themselves when they stay in Cape Fahn. later.

And due to its growing presence, beach resorts must continue to raise the bar in order to bring out their offer.

The Six Senses Uluwatu in Bali (pictured above) serves theirs in a red heart-shaped basket. The Anantara in Koh Phangan, Thailand offers a floating “sunset sushi” extravaganza. Cape Fahn is working on an afternoon floating tea experience.

Regardless of your personal opinion on the merits of Instagram-centric hotel deals, it looks like these floating meals have gone from fashion to mainstay. Remember to drink the coffee first.

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