Hotel waffles are something that I cannot get enough of, after purchasing a Belgian waffle maker recently. In fact, since I recently started living in hotels, I use my Belgian waffle maker in the room whenever the hotel chain does not have a waffle iron station. Yes, I do search for waffle makers in hotels exclusively when booking them; if they don’t have free breakfast, I can’t even begin to stay there. But the question is, why are those hotel waffles so good?
What is a Hotel Waffle
A hotel waffle is not a standard waffle in many ways, yet we all know what a hotel waffle is just by saying that phrase. A hotel waffle is a waffle you get to make yourself in a hotel. You are provided with a small paper disposable cup with enough batter to make a single waffle, or with a container of batter and a measuring utensil for pouring your own batter into the iron. From there, the waffle iron is spun around, which by rotating it allows the waffle to cook faster.
Here are some more detailed instructions by Driving Inertia on how to make motel continental waffles: “The waffle machine should have been left open for you. Just pour it into the center and proceed to step 3. Time to pour. Step 3: Close and flip. This is where you probably want to act quickly. Close the lid and flip the waffle-maker to ensure the dough fills both sides of the iron. Some may dribble out the sides.”
Once the waffle is done, you flip it out on your plate and start munching it down–once butter and syrup is added for toppers. This is very simple and gives you control over your morning. While you may appreciate having a maid and housekeeping and even a kitchen cooking up the majority of the food, making a waffle brings us back to reality. It is a grounding affair. The kind that ensures you everything will be OK with the world. That and the fact that the waffles at hotels all taste exactly the same.
It must be in the mix, which according to all of the waffle making machines and batter dispensers I have seen, and as indicated in hotel press shots, there is a go-to “Hotel Waffle and Pancake Mix” and it is called Golden Malted. According to the company, which sells the waffle mix from hotels to individuals online, “Enjoy America’s Favorite hotel waffles and pancakes in the comfort of your own home. For over 75 years, Golden Malted has been featured in the best hotels and restaurants around the world and now you can treat you and your family!”
I personally have tried many kinds of waffle mixes at home. These include Kodiak, Krusteaz, Bob’s Red Mill, and a fancy European Belgian waffle mix with pearl sugar. However, I have not purchased and made the Golden Malted waffle mix at home. That might just be the trick, but I feel like it’s something else–something more than just the mix.
Pitting Waffle to Waffle
In the quest to figure out why hotel waffles are tastier than other types of waffles–and a reason why some people like myself will go through the trouble of staying in a place with a continental breakfast–starts here. How does the hotel waffle differ from other waffles?
It turns out it’s not because they are anything like a Belgian waffle. The hotel waffles are missing the pearl sugar, which is a pea-sized ball of sugar that is the key ingredient in a Belgian waffle. I have worked my way through many stacks of Waffle House waffles, and can also say that these hotel waffles are made by amateurs and you can always tell. I myself am not a professional waffle artist, and neither is anyone else staying at these hotels.
While nobody seems to ever burn their waffles, there is simply a limit to the added flavors and textures that can go into these. You can’t get the buttery splash from a Waffle House cook’s scoop of oil. You are lacking the grease from your bacon to side with the waffles, which, along with the salt, highlights the sweetness of the hash-marked carbs. It’s a premixed batter in a cup that you pour into a waffle iron and spin around until the thing dings at you. Pretty simple, very basic. So what makes it so special?
Hotel waffles are not like the frozen EGGO waffles that The Stranger Things kids are fans of either. I have eaten far too many name-brand and off-brand boxes of frozen EGGO, so I know what frozen waffles are all about. I am surprised that hotels don’t go with the frozen ones and stick them in a toaster oven, to be quite honest. Why are they making the waffles to begin with? It does seem like a risky move, with the raw batter sitting out already mixed like that.
Location, Location, Location
Here is where I feel that the bottom line on hotel waffles is location, location, location. The reason why a hotel waffle tastes so good is a combination of three locations. First, the location of the waffle iron, which is not at home but is still in your control. You get to be a chef in someone else’s kitchen. This makes the waffle taste better–because you made it with your own love and energy. The second location is the hotel.
You are in a hotel which is most likely in a fun, festive town or neighborhood. You are traveling, most likely, and looking for an adventure in this area. All of these locations add up to an even tastier waffle, because in the back of your mind, you are thinking about all of the fun you are about to have on a stomach filled with hot hotel waffles. Covered in syrup. Plenty of syrup, and butter, too, all melted in the squares of the pastry you have just whipped up.
Finally, the location of the waffle within the iron is the third draw to this food. Waffles don’t have to be made in a flipping iron that spins around like that. In fact, this is the style of waffle maker that is preferred for the Belgian waffle, which is thicker and takes longer to cook. When you spin the waffle maker, it speeds up the cooking process, making it perfect for Belgian-style waffles. So using this particular waffle iron in a hotel, well. There you go!
That’s the reason why hotel waffles taste so good. You are using an internationally recognized waffle iron to make a basic waffle without the pearl sugar of the Belgian waffle. You get to spin the waffle like you are flipping pancakes–but without ever dropping the waffle. In the end, a child can do this, but you get to do this because most likely you are on a vacation to a fun and exciting place. This is all you need to make the best tasting waffle–in my experience. This is also why hotel waffles taste so damn delicious.