Dear Hotels of the World: I’m Totally Fine With You Eliminating Room Service

I can count on one hand the times I’ve taken advantage of a hotel’s room service offerings. There was that afternoon we arrived in Philadelphia with just barely enough time to get ready for Justin’s wedding, so we ordered a turkey sandwich and a carafe of white wine. And when I went to Las Vegas for that booze event, and had a credit to spend on a room service breakfast – a decent omelet and some coffee. And last summer in Edinburgh, when we realized that there’s not one restaurant in the entire city open past 10pm on a Monday night, and ordered a burger-and-chips deal. But I could have survived without any of them, and if that’s one service that’s disappearing from hotels, I can live with it. 

In theory, room service is just fine.  You’ve been traveling, you’re tired, unfamiliar with the area’s restaurants, fighting jet-lag, trying to get your body adjusted to the time zone you’re in, so you pick up the phone and order something from the hotel’s restaurant. But the reality, in all too many cases, involves waiting well over a half-hour for your food, which is often mediocre at best, and expensive. When you’re finished, you’re supposed to put the tray outside your door. Isn’t that weird? It might stay out there all night, and into the next day–a feast for potential vermin. 

Phone books were once a great idea too. Because what you needed was only available in that book. Now there are alternatives. Same with room service. Like ordering delivery from a nearby restaurant that you looked up on your phone, or asked a hotel employee to recommend. Or actually going down to the hotel’s restaurant and getting something freshly made, and bringing it to your room while it’s still hot. Or, god forbid, taking a walk. 

I’m that guy. I’ll happily take a stroll to some nearby sandwich place or pizzeria to bring back some food and drinks for my better half. If I happen upon a grocery store, all the better. We’ll get some beer, seltzer, maybe a bag of Pirates Booty. 

Room service. It was always better in theory than reality. Get rid of it, I won’t miss it at all. 

[Always know the best restaurants near your hotel by downloading the GPS-enabled BlackBook City Guides App for iPhone and Android; More by Victor Ozols; Follow me on Twitter]

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