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Hotel breakfast: Can you stomach $15 oatmeal?

NEW YORK – Oatmeal’s supposed to help reduce your risk of heart disease – but not if you’re eating it at a high-end hotel in the USA’s most expensive hotel city.

In some high-end New York hotels, the price of a hot bowl of oats just might give you a heart attack.

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At the famed Algonquin Hotel in Times Square, for instance, a “bowl” cost $15 – and it’s the cheapest thing on the menu.

The $15 price, by the way, isn’t at all out of line with other high-end hotels. In fact, it just might be on the low end. Via Twitter, reader and Meeting Planner @MeetingRef told me that at the Grand Hyatt New York hotel last week, “room service had a bowl of cereal that was over $20. Oatmeal was similar. Thank goodness for club lounge!”

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And apparently oatmeal comes at a premium outside the Big Apple. In March 2010, @MeetingRef told me she paid $16.27, including tax, for oatmeal at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Milwaukee.

If you’ve seen similarly priced or higher-priced oatmeal on hotel menus, I hope you’ll tell us about it in a comment.

Algonquin’s oatmeal: Good but pricey

When I had breakfast at the Algonquin earlier this month, I found a $15 oatmeal option that was made with cream. I asked for the straight-ahead kind so I could add my own low-fat milk. At $15, by the way, it happened to be cheapest hot meal choice on the menu (see photo).

The bowl I had (see photo) tasted good and arrived nicely presented.

The oatmeal was topped with a few apple slices (yes, those are apples slices), plus sides of raisins and brown sugar. My one complaint was that the $15 bowl wasn’t deep so the portion was more like a cup.

Personally, I normally can’t stomach paying a high price for oatmeal – something I make for myself pretty much every morning. I’d rather leave a hotel and find a local Starbucks, where I’ll pay about $4 though admittedly for lesser quality.

Some people even bring their own packets and prepare it when they can or in their guest room using the hot water from the in-room coffee maker.

Die-hard oatmeal fans: How much are you willing to pay for oats? Do you ever BYOO and make it in your room?

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