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SIGN OF THE TIMES: Miami Locals Pose as Guests for Free Hotel Breakfast

​Times are tough, so many people are searching for hotels with free continental breakfasts.

Problem is, some of those eating aren’t guests, says Hampton Inn manager front desk clerk Alfonso Tobenas. That’s right. Folks walk into tourist hotels and pose as guests to gain access to morning chow. Who would do such a thing? Lots of people, according to local hotel insiders.

“It is what it is, bro, times are tough and they’re hungry,” Tobenas says. “They’re just trying to beat the system and save a buck. The first time you’re going to get away with it, the second and third time I’m going to ask you to leave.”

So how does Tobenas, who has worked five years at the hotel tucked away behind Dadeland Mall, spot the freeloaders? By the way they talk — they can’t hide that Miami accent — and by the way they dress. Tobenas can spot a real tourist from across the room.

Tobenas says some people even regularly rotate hotels for their free breakfasts, but he recognizes their faces after a while. When he spots them, he lets them eat free-of-charge so they let their guard down. Then he confronts them and asks for their room number. At that moment, they realize they’ve been found out and generally leave without incident.

If they keep coming back, he either charges $7.50 — the estimated cost of the breakfast per person for the hotel — or calls the cops and have them charged with trespassing, though not usually with theft.


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One comment

  1. cronkite

    i have some friends who camped out on a beach late at night and woke up to volleyball brunch madness held by the hotel.
    here is the best free load gig.
    hang at the concierge desk; get some info on a newly checked in guest and dine in the hotel under that room # and name.

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