Resort fees have spread like a plague throughout the travel industry but once in a while, they’re actually worth it. At the Waikoloa Beach Marriott, where I’ve been staying as their guest for two days this week, the $25 resort fee not only gives you two Mai Tais and free internet to get the party started right, it also gets you 25% off the breakfast buffet and with a retail price of $29 combined with their rather high a la carte pricing, you’ll be easily persuaded to upgrade to the buffet. That’s a good thing.
This buffet isn’t ground-breaking by any means, but it does have a really nice selection of every breakfast category (eggs + meats, pastries, carby treats like fresh-made waffles and pancakes, cold cereals, local favorites, etc.). As far as highlights, there’s an omelet bar right up front with made-to-order egg dishes; a large fruit station along with three fresh Hawaiian juices: guava, pineapple orange guava (the inspiration for that stupid POG game from the ’90s!), and classic orange; and the coup de grace: individual cups of loco moco!
For those unfamiliar with the magic of loco moco, it’s a classic Hawaiian dish that usually comes in a serving of about 40,000 calories. Picture a giant plate with a fried egg (or poached in this case, a hamburger patty, a mound of white rice, and gravy poured everywhere. You eat one in the morning and you can surf all day. I love the fact that the Marriott’s buffet offers little buffet-sized portions of this iconic Hawaiian breakfast dish. Usually I can only eat a few bites of it anyway, so these individual portions take away all of the guilt of leaving the rest on your plate. Okay, maybe not all of the guilt, but at least some of it.
My egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms, and onions was quite good — light, fluffy, and filling without being heavy. The fruit tasted fresh and I would have loaded up on the Portuguese sausage (another Hawaiian favorite) if I had time for a nap right after breakfast. Overall, I would recommend a visit to the buffet, but only if you’re getting the 25% off discount anyway. Otherwise, $29 is just too high for me.
The Hawaii Calls restaurant where the buffet is located isn’t the most impressive in terms of architecture. It’s basically a giant patio (lanai) with a bunch of tables set up. That doesn’t matter, though, because it’s all about the view and watching the bright blue water of the Pacific Ocean on the Kohala Coast is a spectacular way to enjoy breakfast.